Illinois has now joined the ranks of all other states, with a law now on the books allowing residents to legally carry firearms in public.
But it could still be months before the first concealed carry permits are issued.
The new law gives state police 180 days to put a system in place for evaluating permit applications.
Once applications are accepted early next year, the state will have 90 days to process them and issue permits.
The law took effect after lawmakers overrode Governor Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto of the legislation.
Quinn calls the override vote a “bad day for public safety in Illinois,” but supporters of the new law say it will reduce crime and allow law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.