SPRINGFIELD — Almost one in four of the roughly 23,000 Illinois residents who have applied for concealed-carry permits live in Cook County, but new figures from the state police show rural areas taking the lead when relative population is factored in.

Data released this week shows the highly populated county that’s home to Chicago leads the rankings with more than 5,300 applications filed between Jan. 5 and Jan. 13. Suburban Chicago’s densely populated Will and DuPage counties followed in second and third with 1,759 and 1,589 applications respectively.

But when comparing application numbers to a county’s population, rural counties have the highest proportion of applicants compared to urban and suburban communities.

For example, Woodford County has 154 applications on file, but that number is almost 40 per 10,000 people compared with 10 per 10,000 in Cook County. On that per-capita basis, Cook County ranks last among Illinois’ 102 counties.

Other area counties with higher per-capita numbers include DeWitt (45 applications; 33 per 10,000 people) and Ford (43 applications; 30.5 per 10,000 people), according to State Police statistics.

McLean County is among the counties with a lower per-capita figure. There were 325 applications filed as of mid-week, or 19 per 10,000 people. Similarly, Champaign County has recorded 305 applications, or 15 per 10,000 people.

“I would have thought it would have been a lot more, but I also think that the residents around here might have expected a big rush at the beginning and are just waiting for things to slow down and then get their education and everything in order,” said McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery. “Today, the figures may be a little low. Next week, they may be well above that.”

No permits have actually been issued yet because law enforcement officials are still reviewing the applications.

People who apply for the permits have to undergo 16 hours of classes taught by a licensed instructor.

People who are 21 or older, have a valid firearm owners identification card, complete a 16-hour training course and pass a background check can obtain a concealed carry permit for a fee. The five-year permits cost $150 for residents and $300 for nonresidents.

The law bans carrying concealed firearms in places such as schools, child-care facilities, courthouses, public transportation, college and professional sports stadiums and in establishments where alcohol sales make up more than 50 percent of a business’s receipts.

Illinois lawmakers have projected that there would be 350,000 to 400,000 applications for concealed carry permits in the first year of the law.

Applications can be submitted online.

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(9) comments

catlbyer16
catlbyer16

I may try letting my new sidekick be my CC. His name is Blue and he is kinda nosy. You see he is a Blue Healer. You may not want to turn your back on him as your heel is not the only area he likes to take a bite out of.

Euler 314
Euler 314

Nice!

What kind of holster do you use for Blue? ;)

catlbyer16
catlbyer16

Red, Ram 2500 Diesel powered.Front seat, passenger side.

watchandlearn
watchandlearn

CC? Do you mean concealed carry? Might be kinda hard to conceal a full grown dog.
Hopefuly you can control your beast so he doesnt end up getting shot by legal concealed carry card holder.

catlbyer16
catlbyer16

Well , did you ever think that Ole Blue might be a decoy?

RetiredMilitary
RetiredMilitary

I guess my Pomeranian is the equivalent to a .22 short and might be able to stuff her into a loose fitting jacket...

mestizo
mestizo

The scared country bumpkins need to carry a gun to protect themselves from rabid coyotes and the possibility of lost gangbangers wandering county blacktops. I had a neighbor in Chicago years ago who bought a handgun in order to protect himself and his family. His own son stole it and used it with the street gang he belonged to. Chicagoans are sick of gun violence. They know adding more guns to the mix will only make things worse. America will resemble Libya as the anti- government militias arm themselves. Guns and politics are a bad mix. Trust me, my ancestral nation of Mexico is full of examples of revolutions and drug cartels.

As I've said before, it really isn't that dangerous out there. Tone down the fear.

Cynical skeptic
Cynical skeptic

Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, yet continues to have higher crime rates than New York or Las Angeles. Seems to me as though all their gun control laws are really working well to ameliorate the violence.

mestizo
mestizo

You can't come up with a better one that old worn out argument? Even Mexico can't keep American weapons and ammo out in spite of having North America's strongest gun control laws. When Iran needed to bolster their arsenal, President Reagan's administration came to the rescue. Good old Oliver North! Gotta love him! Chicago's gang wars are concentrated in certain areas. There aren't murders on every single block in the Chicago. The last time I checked Chicago wasn't encircled by a security fence and Coast Guard protection along the 30 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Calm down, life is good.

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