Firsthand Look at the Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Process

by Valinda Rowe – IllinoisCarry spokesperson
Mike Rowe – IllinoisCarry
Richard Pearson – Ex. Dir., Illinois State Rifle Association
Illinois Concealed Carry License
Firsthand Look at the Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Process

Illinois –-( The implementation of the Illinois Concealed Carry licensing process is an involved and complicated undertaking tasked to the Illinois State Police.

Having worked with the ISP for a smooth roll out of the new licenses, an invitation was extended to Richard Pearson of the Illinois State Rifle Association and Mike and Valinda Rowe of IllinoisCarry to view firsthand the concealed carry licensing process.

ISP Deputy Director Col. Marc Maton has headed up the project and has been very diligent in ensuring that goals and deadlines were met on time.  He and members of his staff and the Firearm Services Bureau took us through each step of the license application process.

First, the application is scrutinized for proper documentation and errors.  The most common mistake by licensees are failure to sign the training certificate or submitting the wrong training certificate.  Other common errors include entering ‘O’s instead of zeroes or zeroes for ‘O’s, double spacing between first and last names, and uploading a photo that does not meet the head and shoulders requirement.  Any of these errors will require a correction made by the licensee.  If an email address was submitted with the application, an email is sent out with instructions to correct the mistake.  However, if an email address was not submitted then a letter must be sent through the mail which creates a delay in the application process.

Once the application is deemed complete it is entered into the database that is available to local law enforcement who then have 30 days to submit an objection if they have information that would indicate the applicant is a danger to themselves or others.  The application is also routed to the department tasked with doing the background checks.  The applicant’s identification information or fingerprint number is entered into the computer system which has the ability to check multiple agencies at once.  At any point during these steps, if an indication appears that the applicant has a prohibiting factor in their history, their application may be denied or if the prohibiting factor is in question, the application can be sent to the ISP concealed carry review board for further scrutiny.

When an application is approved it is routed to the printer, an amazingly impressive hi-tech piece of equipment which pretty much fills a room by itself. At one end, blank cards with only the color scheme are stacked in a tray. Each card travels along a track where the color photo, license information, and a hologram is applied via multiple spools of mylar. Simultaneously, the same piece of equipment begins printing the letter which will accompany the license, shoots a dab of glue on the card and matches the card and letter via a barcode, attaches the card to the letter, tri-folds the paper, inserts the letter into a windowed envelope, and finally glues it closed.  All that is left to do is add postage.  The machine and technology is very impressive.

Many things stood out to us during the tour.  First of all, we found the team of people charged with issuing the licenses to be a hardworking, dedicated team who have a goal and are working hard to meet that goal.  The people we talked with were open to our questions and appear to take great pride in their part of the process.  Col. Maton, seems to have set the tone for the department by establishing the goals and deadlines which has made it possible for the ISP to begin issuing thousands of carry licenses before the deadlines mandated by the new law.

Our members can be proud of the hardworking, dedicated staff under Col. Maton’s leadership who are doing exactly what they were tasked with doing, especially with the difficulties of a start up operation of this magnitude.  It is our expectation that as they continue forward, the licensing process will become even more streamlined and proficient.  Our hats are off to the ISP on this aspect of the new concealed carry law and we appreciate their tireless efforts in this process.

We would like to thank:

  • ISP Deputy Director, Col. Maton
  • Asst. Deputy Dir., Lt. Col. Matt Davis
  • Chief of Staff, Lt. Felix Canizares
  • Staff Ofc. of Information and Technology , Sgt. Gary Clark
  • Firearms Services Bureau Chief, Ms. Jessica Trame
  • Asst. Chief, CCL Unit, Master Sgt. Jennifer Radosevic
  • The card printer technical team

The IllinoisCarry forum was started in April 2004. The idea was that Illinois needed a central location to communicate ideas and information regarding 2nd Amendment issues in Illinois. There are many organizations in Illinois working to protect our 2nd Amendment Rights. Working with these groups IllinoisCarry has become the central location for information and Action Alerts. IllinoisCarry will not endorse political candidates. We simply provide information so voters can make informed decisions. Our goal is to join the other 48 states that allow their citizens to carry concealed firearms. We encourage you to register on our forum and join the fight for your 2nd Amendment Rights in Illinois. Visit

  • 3 thoughts on “Firsthand Look at the Illinois Concealed Carry Licensing Process

    1. Richard Pearson of ISRA & Valinda Rowe of Illinois Carry are named in Otis McDonald’s book, An Act of Bravery, as two of the people who recruited him for the Supreme Court lawsuit. NRA lawyers made $1.3 MILLION on that case, so bad gun laws make money for NRA.
      After the U.S. Federal Court in Chicago struck down the IL carry law in Dec. 2012, Pearson & Rowe let NRA lobbyist Todd Vandermyde give the police unions Duty to Inform w/ criminal penalties of 6 months or 1 YEAR in jail, and an UNLIMITED privacy waiver. DTI will only affect black people in Chicago anyway. HB183 carry bill sponsor Brandon Phelps is from Harrisburg, that’s in the southern tip of IL down by Kentucky. The good old boys (and girls) did the best they could for southern IL gun owners. Thanks Todd!

    2. Don’t believe everything the ISP is doing I’ve been getting the run around for 3 weeks from the ISP I have been approved and active on my status for over 3 weeks and still don’t have my license I can’t get a straight answer from anyone that’s if you can get to speak to someone

    3. The Illinois Concealed Carry process got hijacked by wanna-be commercial trainers, which is why its so costly (profit) and difficult to navigate.

      This is why its such a complicated and difficult process. The only thing the Rowe’s and NRA would not compromise on was making sure that the NRA private trainers were specifically allowed to sell training courses to applicants, and that they training courses were mandatory to apply for a permit.

      A Illinois permit is going to run the average person $450 to $550 in costs fees and training payments and obligates them to set up a online ID that is very complicated.

      No lower cost or subsidized permit process exists for poor or working class citizens. If you want the permit, you must pay a LOT of money to the Rowe’s or or to other private trainers like them.

      The trainer certification course the Rowe’s are certified under was a two-day class and the class the Rowe’s managed to make mandatory for a private citizen to merely carry a supposedly 2nd Amendment guaranteed firearm is just as long as the trainer course that certified the Rowe’s. A shorter class or one that had no range time would not net these private trainers hundreds of dollars.

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