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Opinion

State needs time to issue permits

(MCT) — It seems that Illinois’ long-overdue passage of legislation to allow concealed carry of firearms is giving some advocates itchy trigger fingers.

Earlier this month, the General As- sembly overrode Gov. Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto of the concealed carry legislation that it passed during this year’s legislative session. The veto override came on the last day before a court-imposed deadline that required the state to pass such legislation, which stemmed from a legal challenge to Illinois’ old ban on concealed carry by a plaintiff named Mary Shepard and the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Many Illinoisans who understandably were frustrated that their state was the last in the nation without a law allowing concealed carry apparently took the passage of the legislation to mean that they could start packing heat immediately. But that’s not what the bill says.

The law says Illinois State Police have 180 days to set up a program before accepting applications from those who want to carry concealed firearms, plus another 90 days to process the forms.

Shepard and the ISRA argue that waiting those nine months for the permit process to be finalized is unjustified and unconstitutional. They say the delay is unreasonably long. They are asking a federal judge to clear the way for Illinoisans to begin carrying concealed firearms as soon as possible.

We applaud those gun rights advocates who have worked to change the state law, and we urge them to continue to work within the system. There’s no need to rush what should be a deliberate and careful process of issuing concealed carry permits to law-abiding citizens who have the proper training to use their firearms.

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This editorial first appeared in The Telegraph, Alton, Ill.

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