Former Air Force reservist Michael Thomas says he doesn't know why a special review board denied his application for a concealed carry license. (Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune / May 20, 2014)

Applicants who were denied concealed carry permits by a special review board before Thursday, when the Illinois State Police changed the rules governing the board’s procedures, are not guaranteed to benefit from the new rules, a state police spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Under the new system, the board, which had previously operated in secret, must notify an applicant if a law enforcement agency lodges a credible objection to his or her application and must give the applicant 10 days to rebut the objection.

But for the more than 800 applicants who have already been denied, only those who took the matter to court will have the opportunity to make their case to the board, said State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond. And they’ll first need to have a judge send the case back to the board, Bond said.

The previous system sparked more than 200 lawsuits from applicants who wanted to know why they were denied -- information that was kept secret under the old system – and the issue was detailed in a report by the Tribune. The lawsuits prompted the State Police to change the rules, Bond said.

But for those with pending lawsuits, the board and the Attorney General’s office “are determining, on a case-by-case basis, whether to litigate those cases or to ask the court to remand the cases for consideration under the new emergency rules,” Bond said in an email to the Tribune.

If a judge sends a case back to the board, the new rules will apply when the board reconsiders any objections to the application, Bond said.

The new rules, put in place as emergency amendments, are only good for 150 days. A committee within the General Assembly will have to approve the rules in order for them to become permanent, Bond said. 

kgeiger@tribune.com

 

dglanton@tribune.com