The new concealed carry law is having an impact in Hinsdale and Elmhurst where police, first-responders, and other officials are looking at changes in how they do things as a result of the law.
To date, 43 residents of Hinsdale have applied to the Illinois State Police for the permits. The number of applicants is 144 in Elmhurst. Hinsdale Police Chief Brad Bloom said the number of residents who've requested the permits surprised him.
"I thought it would be much less. I didn't think that many would be interested," he said.
The applicants represent a diverse pool of both men and women, who range in age from 23 to 77, he said.
The Illinois State Police review the applications and let local police know who's applied. The process for a resident to be approved includes fingerprinting, a photograph, and 16 hours of training by a certified instructor.
Bloom said applicants must have or be seeking a Firearm Owner's Identification Card. While state police handle the background checks, local police have a 30-day period during which they can object to an application. He said a history of domestic violence, threatening behavior or mental illness could be reasons for objection.
"There are things the state is not aware of that we are aware of," Bloom said.
Hinsdale police are still reviewing applications and have not yet objected to anyone who has filed, said Deputy Chief Mark Wodka.
Decals with the red banned sign over handguns have been posted in both towns at places such as libraries and fire stations where guns are not allowed.
In Elmhurst, Deputy Police Chief Jim Kveton said he's not alarmed by the number of applicants.
"I don't think is surprises me. We have 45,000 residents so that's a small amount."
Jodi Sennett, who works in the records department, said Elmhurst police have not yet reviewed all 144 applicants, but said they have objected to one applicant because that person has had five or more arrests in the last seven years.
"That's one of the objections (police can use)," she said.
Kveton said Elmhurst police are looking at changing training to handle the possibility of responding to more incidents where a person may be armed.
"We have to prepare ourselves. We have to be a little more careful in those situations," he said.
Elmhurst Fire Chief Jeff Bacidore said his department is mulling its response procedures. A change the department is considering will be to ask people when they respond and are taking them to the hospital to leave their gun behind.
"If a patient will not leave their weapon we will consider it a refusal of treatment," he said. "It's just too dangerous."
In a case where a person is unconscious he said the department is looking at placing the gun in a locked box on the ambulance, though ambulances and fire stations are places where concealed handguns are not allowed in Elmhurst.
"This is a hard one," said Bacidore. "I'm uncomfortable having them (firefighters) handle guns because they're not trained for that."
In the vast majority of incidents, he said police are also responding with the fire department, and could handle a gun if it falls out of someone's pocket or is revealed when emergency responders cut away a person's clothing.
"Ninety-nine point nine percent of them time they are with us on a call so they'd secure it and take it to the police department," Bacidore said.
Bloom said he doesn't expect the first permits to be issued until March or April.