How frustrating it is to do everything you must do to comply with the state of Illinois law to apply for a concealed carry license, and then the state drags feet and you have to wait too long for your license. You’re not alone. In fact, more people are experiencing excessive delays than those who are not. However, we have assisted students with the following steps and you too can expedite your concealed carry license if you’ve been waiting too long.
First, let’s define how long is too long of a wait. The Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing act states (paraphrase), the Illinois State Police (ISP) shall approve or deny your license within 90 days if you submit fingerprints, and the ISP is allowed an additional 30 days if you do not submit fingerprints. Therefore 120 days is the statutory maximum a concealed carry applicant should ever have to wait in Illinois. It is also important to note that when we speak of days we are talking about calendar days, NOT business days.
So we know 120 calendar days is the statutory maximum an applicant should have to wait per the law. However, statistics published by the ISP show applicants have waited an average of 183 days in May of 2021. Remember, that is the average wait time. This means some applicants are waiting significantly longer. How much longer? As of the time of this writing (February 2022) I am assisting two students who applied in the summer of 2020. That’s about 20 months (approximately 600 days).
The following process identifies the method we have been using, with good results, to expedite your concealed carry license applications. Be sure to document the dates and times of each contact attempt.
The first thing you must do is to log into your portal at the Firearm Service Bureau website. Be sure to check on the status of your application. Be sure the ISP has not requested additional information. Be sure that your application is complete. Be sure that you haven’t been sent to the concealed carry review board. If all appears in order, then it is time to start the inquiries.
Email the ISP. You want to create a paper trail. When I email the ISP it is not unusual for it to be ignored, however, sometimes a rep from the ISP will reply weeks late. The ISP email address is [email protected]
If you do not have a response within 2 business days I’d recommend calling the ISP. You could call them first, however, it is not unusual to wait on hold over 2 hours before speaking to a live person. The ISP phone number is 217-782-7980. I would document the date and time of the phone call and how long I was on hold.
Another option is to send a fax. This is a good option because very few people communicate by fax machine any longer so your request likely won’t be buried as easily at the bottom of an enormous pile. The ISP fax number is 217-782-9139
If within 2 business days you still haven’t received a response to your fax (or phone call) a letter by the US Postal is in order. I would recommend sending the letter by registered mail.
Illinois State Police
Firearms Services Bureau
801 South 7th Street
Suite 400 – M
Springfield, Illinois 62703
Let’s take this to the next level if we must. The director of the Illinois State Police is Brendan F. Kelly. Brendan’s email is [email protected] and his phone number is 217-782-7263.
Another option may be to visit a FSB kiosk at specified ISP locations. The ISP issued a press release with information about their new kiosks on December 15, 2021. Kiosks are located in Lockport, Springfield, and Du Quoin. For more information and locations, read the press release.
Still waiting for your license? Call in the big dogs.
If you still have not received a response, it is time to contact your elected officials. The people who run for office and receive our votes are supposed to represent and support us in government. This is where I would apply the most pressure, but be polite. At first, they may make excuses for the ISP. They may state the ISP is backed up. They might blame COVID. Do not take “No” for an answer. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
To contact your elected officials visit the Illinois Board of Elections website at: https://www.elections.il.gov/ElectionOperations/Districtlocator/Addressfinder.aspx Specifically contact your state representatives as well as your state senator. But, it may not hurt to contact other elected officials as well! Email, phone, write.
It is always important to be polite but also to be persistent. Do not take No for an answer when speaking with any person mentioned above. The squeaky wheel truly does get the grease. Below is an example letter you might consider using for your correspondence…
To Whom It May Concern
Regarding Excessive Wait Time for Concealed Carry License Application number <your ccl application number here>
I applied for my Illinois concealed carry license on <date>. Illinois law states that a license application shall be approved or denied within 90 days if finger prints are provided, or allowed an additional 30 days without finger prints. I have now been waiting approximately <x> days.
I believe that the state of Illinois Firearm Services Bureau is in violation of the law and is denying me my right to bear arms by purposefully delaying the issuance of my concealed carry license.
I am writing today to seek assistance in forcing the state to comply with its’ laws and issue my concealed carry license immediately.
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