Concealed carry in Illinois one year later
WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL —
It has been one year since Illinois became the last state in the country to allow people to carry concealed weapons.
Since then, business has been booming at gun ranges all across the Southern Illinois region.
In January, more than 34,000 applied for a license; the numbers trickled from there with more than 6,000 in May who applied and nearly 5,000 who trained to get a concealed carriers permit in December.
Robert Hill spends his free time at the Williamson County Gun Club.
He says being allowed to carry a concealed weapon is a privilege; one that requires practice and respect.
He does not leave the house without his gun.
Larry Morse with Heartland Training Teams says business was good last year, and he only expects it to increase.
“The fear factor. People feel a little bit more vulnerable right now. I know I personally got a lot more calls this year for class sign up,” said Morse.
Now, more than 91,000 Illinoisans are carrying concealed, but is that really all that much in a state of nearly 13 million?
“Typically in a state that gets concealed carry there’s about two or three percent of the population that gets the concealed carry license, so we’re behind the in that respect,” said Morse.
Hill says having his weapon on his hip brings him a sense of comfort
“You never know when something’s liable to break out,” said Hill.
The state of Illinois denied concealed carry permits to 2,300 applicants.