Conceal carry denials can be challenged

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Some people who were denied concealed carry permits in Illinois will now be able to get more information on why they are rejected for permits. However, a Chicago area man who was denied a permit said the new rules don't give applicants enough time to file objections.

Neil Weesner has an Illinois FOID card so he can own a gun, and has concealed carry licenses valid in Utah and Florida. He said he has no criminal record, no mental health issues and no domestic disputes.

"Speeding ticket. That's it," Weesner said.

He said he was both angry and dumbfounded when he received a letter denying his application for a concealed carry license in Illinois.

"It was overwhelming just to see that paper. The application states you're a threat to yourself, others and society," Weesner. "I'm sitting there, going, really? What did I do?"

Weesner and hundreds of others who have been denied concealed carry licenses are in an area of unknown. They've been told their applications are denied, but there's no stated reason why, nor any reference to which law enforcement agency filed an objection.

Weesner lives in Elmhurst so he went to the Elmhurst Police Department, but no one there would confirm nor deny.

A number of civil rights suits are challenging the secrecy. Illinois State Police are changing the rules- slightly. An applicant who's denied will now receive a reason and be told of the agency making the objection. That person will then have ten days in which to gather evidence to prove they're eligible to carry.

Critics call the changes cosmetic.

"I work seven days a week. How am I going to go out and go pay for something to go get an appeal in 10 days? There's no way that's going to happen," he said.

Applicants who are denied concealed carry permits have ten days in which to gather evidence and make contact with the Concealed Carry License Review Board, which is the panel that says "yes or no" to disputed license requests. The group's meetings and decisions are held and made in relative secrecy.

About 200 people are now part of a class action lawsuit claiming that the whole process - even with the new tweaks - violates their civil rights.
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