Law enforcement in Cook County, the Illinois county that includes Chicago and has a population larger than most states, isn't pleased about what the new bill means for them. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart, a proponent of gun control, says he is deeply concerned about who will now be able to carry weapons in public.
"People will say: why didn't the sheriff catch this person with mental health issues? Well I was given no resources to investigate anybody," he says, noting that the bill gives law enforcement just 30 days to object to any person who is applying for a concealed-carry license, which he says is insufficient time. "We conservatively estimate that on Day 1 we're going to have tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people coming into apply for concealed carry in this county alone."
Some 358,000 people in Cook County currently have a Firearm Owner Identification card, while 1.5 million hold those cards in the state.
In Illinois, the process for a gun owner who gets a criminal conviction or is deemed mentally ill, is for state police to send them a letter asking for their FOID card back, something Dart says has been difficult to enforce.
The sheriff previously told the Chicago Sun-Times that the lack of regulation in the law could turn Cook County into the "Wild West."