SPRINGFIELD — Even though lawmakers have been unable to agree on a plan allowing Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons, the Quinn administration has launched the process of building a computer system designed to handle future gun permits.

State purchasing documents show Illinois State Police spending $175,000 to begin automating the process used to identify people who will be prohibited from getting permits.

The contract, which is a part of a long-sought overhaul of the state’s beleaguered Firearm Owner’s Identification card program, represents just one piece of the additional manpower and computer upgrades state police officials say they’ll need to bring Illinois in compliance with a federal court order allowing citizens to carry concealed firearms.

The state police awarded the no-bid contract this week on an emergency basis, saying without it, the state will not be ready to issue permits by the June 8 deadline dictated by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Jessica Trame, bureau chief for the state police’s firearm services division, said the agency is trying to be ready for the day when Illinois joins the rest of the nation with a law legalizing concealed carry.

In addition to upgrading computers and adding new software, the agency must hire people to process applications once they begin flowing in.

“We’re writing job descriptions,” Trame said.

The work behind the scenes comes as state lawmakers have been unable to reach an agreement over how to comply with the federal order.

The National Rifle Association wants as few guidelines as possible, while gun control supporters say local sheriffs should have the ability to nix applications if they believe a person isn’t qualified to carry a loaded gun.

State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, said he plans to ask his colleagues to vote on legislation next week that would legalize concealed carry throughout the state with one exception. Under his plan, anyone who wants to carry a loaded gun in Chicago would have to get an endorsement from the police chief — a provision that is opposed by the NRA.

Raoul said many voters are concerned about an increase in the number of guns being carried in the heavily populated urban area of the state’s largest city.

More from pantagraph.com

(6) comments

daplumber
daplumber

Finally, somebody is moving in the right direction and getting ready to give me, my Illinois CCW Permit. I have only been waiting for thirty years!!!

Ted Kennedy's Swim Instructor
Ted Kennedy's Swim Instructor

Sorry Kwame, but my constitutional rights don't stop at a city border where I need the permission from the local politburo to use them inside the boundaries. It's all of Illinois, no exceptions.

ericmt
ericmt

See, rural people and rich suburbanites can carry guns, but not THOSE people. You know, poor minorities.

Slicemaster19
Slicemaster19

My biggest worry is if they don't do it by the June deadline. Then local Home Rule jurisdictions will pass their own hodge-podge of laws that will make it impossible to carry without at some point violating some law somewhere.

And every bonehead in the state will start carrying because they heard the term 'constitutional carry' and suddenly what should be law abiding gun owners are turned in to felons because they didn't adhere to local laws.

I'm not disparaging Illinois, but every place also has that group of mouth breathing redneck that will TRY to get in to some kind of trouble just so they can throw it in someones face that they have a gun.

I would hate to see the very last state to get concealed carry also become the first big embarrassment to the concealed carry movement because it wasn't done in a thoughtful manner. Just opening the floodgates and allowing people to THINK they know what they are doing is going to set the whole movement back many years in public opinion.

My favorite saying for concealed carry is "Don't scare the sheeple, because then they forget the difference between a sheepdog and a wolf and decide they want to stop both". Nothing is more dangerous to your rights than a frightened public, because then they start listening even more to the Bloombergs, Emmanuals and Piers Morgans of the world because they aren't smart enough to figure it out themselves.

KeithETurner
KeithETurner

No American Citizen should be required to have a government permit to exercise a fundamental Civil and Human Right.
Not government bureaucrat or politician should have the authority to decide what Rights we have.
Constitutional Carry of WEAPONS not just firearms for self defense, is our birthright as human beings. And it is to be protected and guaranteed by our government.
Not meted out as a privilege for some based on their having to beg and convince the government.

Euler 314
Euler 314

Our "birthright as human beings" is quite a lot of things, including and not necessarily limited to education, creativity, divine inspiration, freedom, dignity, wisdom, integrity...

Now brush your face. The Flintstones are coming to dinner.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.