Five years after Illinois allowed gun owners to obtain concealed carry permits, it is now time for those with licenses to renew them. 2019 will be the first time that gun owners in the state will be required to renew their licenses and so far it's going smoothly, according to Rockford Police Investigator Chris Aldrich.
"We have not had issues with those individuals, dealing with our officers, which, again, we're very thankful," Aldrich said. "We want to keep it that way." A gun store owner in Loves Park said he is seeing responsible gun owners already planning ahead.
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Kenny Polhamus owns KAP Guns, at 7307 Edward Drive, and said, "This month, we did two or three renewal classes already, and we've got two already scheduled for January. We're adding more every day." Local police have even been working in tandem with citizens who possess a concealed weapons permit and carry one on their person.
"We fully support people using their 2nd Amendment rights, just do it legally and cooperate with law enforcement and we're not going to present you any problems," Aldrich added. Polhamus of KAP Guns said he has a unique way of explaining why he believes it is better to be safe than sorry and compared a concealed carry license to having a working fire extinguisher in his store.
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"Every year, a guy comes out and goes through every single fire extinguisher and charges us money, but they're charged good and they're ready to go. Every year he comes out, and every year I pay the bill. Every year, I've never used them," Polhamus said.
Aldrich also added that after seeing the number of school shootings being reported across the country he fully understands why people want to get a firearms license. "I do believe that is weighing on people. And, their safety and their family's safety is paramount to them," he said. "I don't disagree with that. That's the same way I feel about my family and whether I was in law enforcement or not, you want to keep your family safe and you want to keep yourself safe."
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A concealed carry license is similar to a driver's license in the sense that it expires every three to five years and must be renewed. If a concealed carry license holder is found to be in possession of a concealed firearm with an expired license they could be arrested.
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