Concealed Carry in Illinois as of June 1: Marion County Top 20

According to an article by Reboot Illinois writer Kevin Hoffman, more than 181,000 Illinoisans have a license to carry a concealed firearm, according to the Illinois State Police.

In July 2013, Illinois became the last state in the nation to legalize concealed carry after a federal circuit appeals court struck down a ban on carrying concealed handguns in December 2012.

The Illinois State Police began issuing licenses to residents in the spring of 2014; and as of June 1, 2016, there were a total of 181,489 active concealed carry licenses.

Using data provided by the state police, we’ve listed and mapped out which counties have the most concealed carry license holders per 1,000 residents as ranking counties based on the total number of active concealed carry licenses can be misleading.

For example, more than 47,000 permits have been issued to residents of Cook County — by far the most in the state — but the county ranks dead last for the number of license holders per 1,000 people (see the spreadsheet above for absolute figures).

Illinois’ concealed carry law is considered to be among the strictest in the nation, particularly because there are 23 prohibited places where a license holder can’t carry, such as public transit and public festivals that require a permit. In addition, private businesses can post anti-gun signs designated by the state police. While legislation has been introduced in recent years to loosen restrictions on where one can carry, including a controversial bill that would have permitted license holders to carry a concealed, loaded firearm on public transportation, no such measures have advanced through the General Assembly. (Read the complete article and see the chart by clicking here.)