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Old August 9, 2010, 08:55 PM   #1
Hazborgufen
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I have a Chicago Firearms Permit

I originally posted this on another forum, but the mods thought it would be good to crosspost. I didn't see any other thread like this, so hopefully this will be something new.

As we all know, Chicago recently passed the “Responsible Gun Ownership Ordinance,” allowing us city residents to finally legally keep handguns within city limits. I've gone through the application process for the Chicago Firearms Permit, and quite surprisingly, received it in the mail on Thursday of last week. I figured I would relate the story for anyone who may be interested.

To start with, soon after the ordinance was passed there was a lot of confusion about the application process. The CPD eventually posted this memo explaining the application process. The ordinance and all relevant documents can be located at the CPD website. One of the most frustrating parts to the application process was locating a “state licensed” firearms instructor that would teach an ordinance approved class. I had some other questions that I wanted answered as well, so I called the CPD gun registry department. I admit that I approached the application process with some skepticism, both because the ordinance was so new that nobody was quite sure how it worked and because of the general mentality Chicago has against firearms.

I had some logistical questions due to the timeframes the ordinance specified for registration of previously owned handguns. The ordinance requires all previously unregistered firearms to be registered within 90 days of the ordinance passage, which seems like a nice window to allow you to make your gun legal. Of course, the ordinance also provides for up to 120 days processing time before your CFP could be issued. I was curious if, due to the potential delay of processing, the 90 day window could expire before I received my CFP which would prevent me from getting a registration certificate for my Sig. I also wasn’t sure if the 90 day window applied to me because I never brought my pistol into city limits, which I also wanted to make clear on any application. The officer I spoke with assured me that I could register my handgun at the time of application for the CFP, so that wouldn’t be an issue. This of course did not turn out to be the case.

My other concern was due to the fact that I will be moving to a different apartment soon, and I didn’t know if I should wait to apply since the address would obviously be changing. I learned that the state police so not send out new FOID cards when you submit a change of address, so my old address will be on my FOID card until it needs to be renewed. The officer I was talking to suggested that I submit my application before my move, since my FOID and drivers license have matching addresses and would thus not delay the paperwork.

I then asked if there was a list of approved firearm schools and they provided the URL for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation which they claimed would answer my questions. There is a section for “Firearm Training Course” but the site does not allow you to search for a course. Rather, it is used to either verify if a license number you already know is current, or gives you the documentation to become a licensed instructor. Not very helpful, so I called the office to see if they had a list. They gave me a number to the state police because apparently they would know. The number turned out to be the emergency line, which was super fun and the dispatcher tersely transferred me to the FOID department, who of course had no list. Luckily a quick google search brought me to Fidelity Investigative Training Academy, which has a course specifically designed for the CFP. They even posted their Illinois license number and it checked out!

The school is located in the second floor of a strip mall, and shares space with a jujitsu school and a dance studio. The class was a very diverse group of people. A few people had stories about their homes being broken into and how they wanted a firearm for protection. One woman told me how the guys who robbed her house were caught and were serving a prison sentence that would be ending in a few months. She was particularly motivated to get a gun legally. The class was a good basic intro to handguns and included safety, general maintenance, an overview of different brands (don’t by Hi-Point, they're for gangbangers!), and an overview of “how we think the new ordinance works, though don't hold us to it.” None of the info was particularly new for anyone in the class, though I guess it would be good for anyone new to handguns. The next day was the range qualification portion. The requirement to pass was to fire 50 rounds at a target that was about 10 feet away. I was done shooting before most had gone through their first magazine. The instructor really liked my P220 though, so I let him shoot a magazine. I got my certificate of completion and my training affidavit and I was off.

The next day was paperwork day. You are required to file the permit application in person at police headquarters between 8AM and 3PM, Monday through Friday. After filling out the application and paying the $100 fee, you are fingerprinted. Contrary to what I was told on the phone, I could not register my Sig that day, which made me worry. The officer assured me that “it would all work out,” and that if I didn’t get my permit before I moved, that I could file a change of address. I did learn that while the registration is $15 per firearm, the yearly renewal is free. I was fingerprinted twice (their laptop froze the first time) and was on my way.

Since receiving my permit, I have submitted the registration form for my P220. I included a letter with it stating that the pistol had not been in city limits prior to registration, as I don’t want to be filing what is essentially a tattle slip. The most obvious observation to make of this whole process is that the ordinance is designed to prevent as many people from getting the permits as possible. It seems particularly difficult difficult for people living on lower incomes. The process is fairly expensive, with the class, permit, and registration fees, and requires a significant time commitment. Since no ranges are allowed in the city, you need to trek out to the suburbs for your range qualification with the class. Since ranges are booked on the fly by the school, there isn't likely to be much access to public transport, especially if going out to a far suburb (This actually was a gripe some people had. I was going to offer to carpool, but everyone was able to figure out transport). Good luck if you can't get off work during the limited window the registration office is open. Also, all of the information is online so hopefully you have a computer and internet access. Calling the police wasn’t particularly helpful as most of the info I got over the phone was wrong or useless, though I will chalk that up to the fact that the process is still new. Anyway, I’m now a permit holding registered and fingerprinted Chicago gun owner, so hooray! The ordinance allowed me to bring my pistol into the city while my registration is processed, so I have it at home and got a weapon light to celebrate. Seeing as how my license number is very low, it doesn’t seem like they’ve given out very many yet. If anyone has any questions I hope I can help.
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Old August 9, 2010, 10:08 PM   #2
Aguila Blanca
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Congratulations.

However:
Quote:
Calling the police wasn’t particularly helpful as most of the info I got over the phone was wrong or useless, though I will chalk that up to the fact that the process is still new.
Never attribute to stupidity that which can be attributed to malice.
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Old August 9, 2010, 10:32 PM   #3
ISC
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While it's a step in the right direction, I wonder how people would view the infringement on their first amendment rights if they were required to go through that process to get a permit to write a editorial against the government or belong to a church.
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Old August 9, 2010, 11:35 PM   #4
BillCA
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Congrats on having the paitence to put up with that. Even here in California, that seems absurdly draconian.

But help me out here...


Chicago Firearms Owners Permit (CFP).....: $ 100
Chicago CFP Fingerprinting fee (if any)..: $ ??
Chicago Gun Registration Fee ............: $ 15
Illinois State Firearms Owner ID Card ...: $ 10
Certified Class & Range Training course..: $???
One box (50 rounds) of .45 ammuntion.....: $ 32


I'm guessing between $175-$225 just to get this far.

How far did you have to drive out of town to get to a shooting facility (miles)? How much time did the trip take you (one way). How long was that portion scheduled to last? (:30, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00hrs ?)

How long was the classroom instruction? 3 Hrs?
How long did it take for you to arrive, check-in and get processed at the CPD bureau that processes permits?

The next question -- the Chicago certificate of firearm ownership, as I understand it, is specific to each gun and lists the address where that gun is supposed to be. So what happens if you must move to a new address before applying for a new certificate (i.e. due to a fire, water damage or some other unforeseen event)? Do you incur any liability (risk of arrest) if the city cannot provide the certificate before you move to the new address?

Inquiring minds need to know.
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Old August 9, 2010, 11:53 PM   #5
maestro pistolero
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Congrats. And I admire and commend your determination to exercise the right. Hopefully, the process will be streamlined and trimmed to be less burdensome in the future.

And nice choice of weapon as well.
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Old August 10, 2010, 05:34 AM   #6
RDak
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Congratulations and thank you for explaining what you had to go through.
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Old August 10, 2010, 06:24 AM   #7
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Congratulations and thank you for the post.
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Old August 10, 2010, 07:43 AM   #8
geetarman
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I appreciate what you did. I am sorry it was required to exercise a Constitutional right.

Wonder what would happen if you had to jump through hoops like that to write a letter to the editor or otherwise exercise your rights under the First Amendment.

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Old August 10, 2010, 09:50 AM   #9
Hazborgufen
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Quote:
Never attribute to stupidity that which can be attributed to malice.
I actually found the police to be quite sympathetic to me and the process. Truthfully, the application process is very new and is only compounded by the ambiguous and vague nature of the wording in parts of the ordinance. The politicians designed the ordinance with malice and the police are trying to sort it out.

Quote:
While it's a step in the right direction, I wonder how people would view the infringement on their first amendment rights if they were required to go through that process to get a permit to write a editorial against the government or belong to a church.
I agree with you. The city government is treating this like a privilege not a right.

Quote:
Congrats on having the paitence to put up with that. Even here in California, that seems absurdly draconian.

But help me out here...
The FOID is $10, the CFP application (including fingerprints) is $100, and firearm registration is $15 per firearm (and apparently renewal is free). The class is a big variable. The one I took was only $75. As mandated in the ordinance, it was 4 hours in the classroom and an hour at the range the next day. The range was at G.A.T. Guns in East Dundee, which is about an hour drive away and had a range fee of $20 ($16 if you buy $25 worth of ammo) and rental fee of $10. I brought my own pistol and ammo, so I don't really know what they were charging for ammo, though I know it wasn't cheap. Due to how quickly I completed the qualification, I simply turned the rest of the time into a normal range day and happily shot a few more boxes while the rest of the class finished up, so it wasn’t a wasted day.

Since taking the class at Fidelity I have heard of other classes that cost $135 plus an all inclusive range fee of $50. All told I guess it cost me $225 after registering my handgun and re-registering my shotgun and not counting the FOID which I already had. The FOID has a 30 day processing time and the CFP currently can take up to 120 days. So I guess that someone totally new and who takes the more expensive class faces a $310 cost plus up to a 150 day wait. This is CLEARLY designed to dissuade people from applying.

Processing at the police headquarters took less than an hour but the train ride was 20 minutes each way. I was asking lots of questions though, so it could have gone a little quicker I suppose. The biggest delay was when their fingerprinting computer froze.

Quote:
The next question -- the Chicago certificate of firearm ownership, as I understand it, is specific to each gun and lists the address where that gun is supposed to be. So what happens if you must move to a new address before applying for a new certificate (i.e. due to a fire, water damage or some other unforeseen event)? Do you incur any liability (risk of arrest) if the city cannot provide the certificate before you move to the new address?
The ordinance requires that updated information must be reported within 24 hours. So if you move you have to submit a form to amend your CFP and an additional form for each of your firearms. It appears that as long as the information is submitted, you are in compliance, though who really knows? Personally, I would ALWAYS send forms via Certified Mail, so that they can’t claim it was lost.

I was determined to get my CFP forms submitted as quickly as possible and was quite surprised that it came as quick as it did. I’m sure that others will forego the process simply because it is so burdensome.
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Old August 10, 2010, 11:31 AM   #10
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Congratulations!

There was another recent thread on TFL asking:
" What kind of law would it take to be passed in your state for you to move?

Kudo's to you for staying and fighting for your basic right of self preservation in a city full of corrupt politicians, a city with some of the worst gun laws yet one of the highest murder rates in the US.

Remember the past anti-gun political agenda of your present city/state leaders, make it your business to know the agenda's of future candidates and come election day vote accordingly.

Keep up the fight.
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Old August 11, 2010, 09:16 AM   #11
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I live in Illinois south of I-80. I find even the FOID highly objectionable. I can't imagine jumping thru the hoops you did in Chicago. It's time to take state control away from the crooked Chicago machine and restore some sanity to Illinois. After the next round of lawsuits, you sir, should be entitled to a refund. Good luck to you for all our sakes.
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Old August 11, 2010, 09:10 PM   #12
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Hazborgufen,

It's clearly designed to make it prohibitively expensive for someone like a single mom struggling along as an accounting clerk and part-time waitress. Or a senior citizen on a limited income who might be able to scrape together $275 for a nice used gun.


Illinois State Firearms Owner ID Card ...: $ 10
Chicago Firearms Owners Permit (CFP).....: $ 100
Chicago Gun Registration Fee ............: $ 15
Certified Class & Range Training course..: $ 75
Training Course Range Fee ...............: $ 20
One box (50 rounds) of .45 ammuntion.....: $ 32

This is probably typical within $15... I make that to be $252 in extra, government-mandated costs just to own your first gun.

If you're paid about $18/hr, also figure your time -- five hours of instruction time, about 4 hours of driving time, 90 minutes submitting the paperwork in person, plus the time to fill out all those permission-slip request forms. That's close to another $190, not counting fuel, transit or parking expenses.

I may drop Alan Gura a note about it, though I'm sure he's aware. He just may not yet know someone who's actually completed the process yet. Let's see if we can help him stir the pot.
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Old August 13, 2010, 08:40 AM   #13
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Hazborgufen.... congrats on successfully "jumping through all the hoops". Seems like everything for the most part went rather smoothly for you... I haven't been having much luck. My inquiries have netted conflicting advice, a few shoulder shrugs and some plain ol' "I'm not sure, we'll need to look into that." I've also gotten a few hmmm, how to say it, ....looks?

With the exception of one legally registered shotgun I have kept my collection at a family members home in the 'burbs for over twenty years. When I was inquiring about the "previously owned/must be registered within 90 days" aspect of the whole process I was asked how many weapons (his word) are we talking about? I said there would be 16 handguns and 9 long guns..... I was told point blank, "that will be a problem, you will not be allowed to own that many"..... and here's the best part, another officer who was close by and overheard said, "why in the world do you need that many guns!?"

With the misinformation and associated fees involved I believe my "weapons" will be living in the burbs for a while longer, they've been there this long so a little longer isn't going to matter. Plus I am hoping that there will be some changes made (for the better) in the whole process, especially the fees... not in the cards for me right now to throw down that kind of money, unemployment only goes so far.... good thing they don't charge you to vote, eh?


Steve
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Old August 13, 2010, 09:52 AM   #14
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I want to see what happens to the first CCW holder that's stopped for speeding.

That's going to be interesting

AFS

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Old August 13, 2010, 11:16 AM   #15
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It's interesting that many of the politicians working so hard to make firearms if not illegal, then prohibitively expensive, to own are also the purported allies of the poverty-stricken, who are least able to pay for all the hoops the prospective gun owner must leap through in order to possess one legally. Makes you wonder...
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Old August 13, 2010, 01:41 PM   #16
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Wow, what a process, glad you survived it. And all that is just to keep it in your home, no carry allowed, so far. I hope things get better fast, but at least you got this far.
Last time I was in the Windy City was 1987.
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Old August 15, 2010, 04:43 AM   #17
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I in all good conscience can't say "congratulations" but I will say thank you for the post and information... you are a brave and dedicated soul for sure.
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Old August 16, 2010, 09:48 AM   #18
Hazborgufen
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Blume357
I can see where you are coming from. This whole process is clearly designed to dissuade as many people as possible from owning a firearm in the city. The costs in time and money is really prohibitive, a point that is clearly recognized. I don't like the process from that standpoint along with the more basic argument that Chicago requires a license to exercise a right. The comparisons to free speech licenses have been made and I agree with them.

However, to dwell on this is very gloomy. The key point is that now a legal avenue exists to own a handgun in a city that fought tooth and nail against it. The process is flawed and many aspects will fail legal challenges, some of which are working their way through as we speak. All I can say is that I have jumped through their hoops, done all the legwork and paperwork, and paid all the fees. I've done everything that they put up to deter me however I, and the people in my class, refused to be stopped. And now, as much as I’m sure the city hates the fact, I have a handgun in my home. This is a victory.

I also think the momentum is on our side. People seem to be warming up to the idea of law abiding citizens owning firearms. Positive exposure to shooting sports helps. I take new people shooting as often as I can. So far everyone has really enjoyed the experience and it helps to dispel many gun myths and stereotypes. The more positive experiences people have, and the more knowledge they have, the better it will be for gun owners in the long run.

I guess my point is that this while this is a draconian process it is a step in the right direction.

Chibiker
You have until your current registration on your shotgun runs out to get a CFP, though I would advise against waiting. Get your CFP as soon as possible so that you can take advantage of the 90 day window, and so you don't accidentally end up making your shotgun "unregisterable." While there is a one handgun per month rule, it doesn't seem to apply during the 90 day window that we are currently in. I also don't recall any language that indicates any total limit to your collection, only how many can be assembled at the same time. The only outright bans that still exist are on "assault weapons," “unsafe weapons,” and some wording on magazine size limits. Assuming your guns would individually qualify to be registered you could probably get your permit then send in a stack of registration forms. In fact, I recall another person at the station asking for 10 gun registration forms, which were handed to him without comment. You have to speak with the gun registration department directly, as they are the only ones who actually handle this process. While I had some difficulty over the phone with them, I still believe that it was due to how new this whole thing was rather than any malicious intent. The officers I spoke with in person were immensely helpful and supportive.

BillCA
You are correct in your breakdown of the costs of this license. It essentially prohibits lower income families from being able to protect themselves. The cruel irony is that these are the families that most need the protection. Oddly enough, registering a shotgun or rifle was actually easier before this ordinance passed. It used to be only a $20 fee and you mailed in a form that you could pick up from any police station. Now you need the CFP for any firearm which requires the trip to CPD HQ during their limited hours of operation. My worry is that people who only possess shotguns and rifles will forego the CFP, thinking that it only pertains to handguns. Then when their registration expires, they find out they can’t renew without the CFP and now their firearms are in the city illegally.

I haven’t sent any emails to the people who helped win this case, but if my story can be of any use, I would most certainly want it to be. I should probably send some correspondence to at least thank them.
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Old June 7, 2011, 03:55 PM   #19
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Haz,
Just saw this and i am a step behind you.

Had to replace foid card - i lost it, but that took 3 months.
then found and took class. was not bad, but took time and money - like all day.
tomorrow will go over and shell out more money for the cfp and then - according to you - wait for that and then register the gun.

You are right, they make it very hard to do this because they don't wanty anyone to do it.

My costs so far.
foid = 10
picture for foid - 6
class = 100
range fees including 100 rnds ammo, targets, ears, free glasses i got to keep = 62.00
yet to do
chicago firearm permit = 100
gun registration = 15

= 293

not to mention a day off of work and gas all the way out to somewhere near joliet for the range portion and all the time, 1hr each for forms and pictures and mailings etc.

= so thats another few hundred.

I don't care really, just glad that it is legal now and i won't get thrown in prison for driving to a suburban range with my gun in the trunk.

But at least I will be legal - all the criminals will still be illegal!

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Old June 7, 2011, 07:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
The politicians designed the ordinance with malice and the police are trying to sort it out.
I believe the first half, anyway.
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Old June 7, 2011, 10:56 PM   #21
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I know its a different state and I just realized this thread is old

but you're not the only one(today's national news):

http://www.kcra.com/r/28152574/detail.html
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Old June 8, 2011, 12:23 AM   #22
bitttorrrent
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ha, imagine if City of Chicago allowed concealed carry!

That will never happen at least to the general public. There will always be some type of restriction.
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Old June 8, 2011, 01:46 PM   #23
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Congratulations.

Speaking as a Chicago Cop, we haven't received any instruction in this new permit. so be careful.

It's not a CCW right? it allows you to own one and transport it not carry....correct?
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Old June 8, 2011, 02:36 PM   #24
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I guess it is just permission to buy one for your home of residence.

www.handgunlaw.us is a good website, and you can click on Illinois for more info(such as what the laws in your vehicle would be).
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Old June 8, 2011, 04:10 PM   #25
bitttorrrent
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Quote:
It's not a CCW right? it allows you to own one and transport it not carry....correct?
No, no, it is just a permit to have a handgun in your home - only. And the right to safely transport in your car to a range etc.

It is a bit confusing, but was just at the office this morning to hand in the application for the CFP (Chicago Firearms Permit) after renewing my FOID card and taking a firearms class. I thought it would be a hassle as there was a line out the door, but that was for parking tickets! The Police Officer was actually very helpful in filling out the form and directing me to get finger printed etc. They will mail it to me in a week or so.

After I have recieved that, I can regester any handguns that I want to have at my house by mailing in a form with the info on the allowed firearms.


Anyway, the Police officer also said there is a 12rd max. for any gun I try to regester or they will deny me. So, no 17rd glocks. Have to get a lower mag. for Chicago.
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