Conceal, carry licenses top 300,000 in Illinois
The number of state residents owning a conceal and carry license has increased to more than 310,000, according to estimates recently issued by Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA) Executive Director Richard A. Pearson.
The figures are based on the work of Crime Prevention Research Center researcher John Lott and his organization, which estimates that the national number of concealed carry permits has increased to more than 17 million.
Fourteen states do not require permits and are not counted in those statistics. The ISRA estimates that up to 30 million Americans may carry firearms for self-defense.
While the state rifle association supports the increase in conceal and carry licenses in Illinois, Pearson said his group sees it as a campaign issue in the governor's race.
“While Illinois is now up the over 310,000 range, that could change if the wrong person is elected governor,” he said in a bulletin sent to ISRA members Sept. 13. “It will be disastrous for firearm owners if J.B. Pritzker is elected."
Meanwhile, Pearson asserted that a “Chicago crime wave continues,” with 2016 police figures showing that charges were filed in only 1 out of 20 shootings.
“If the police do make an arrest, the Cook County State’s Attorney doesn’t prosecute with much vigor,” Pearson said in a prepared statement.
Upcoming ISRA events include:
Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 15 & 16
2-day Defensive Firearms Training Course
Illinois Short Course Championship
Saturday, Sept. 15
Intro to Firearms for Beginners
Sunday, Sept. 16
Firearms Skills & Drills
Tuesday, Sept. 18
Tuesday Night Irregular Rifle League
Wednesday, Sept. 19
Bench Rest League
Wednesday Night F-Class League
Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 22 & 23
DTI — Urban Rifle
Sunday, Sept. 23
ISRA Bullseye Match
Springfield Pistol Match