Illinois concealed-carry permit applications declining

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say applications for concealed-carry permits have been generally declining in Illinois since the program launched three years ago.

The State Journal-Register reports Saturday that numbers provided by the Illinois State Police show nearly 104,000 people applied for the permits in 2014, and about 32,900 have applied so far this year. There was an increase between 2015, when 60,000 applied, and last year, which logged 76,000 applications.

Western Illinois University professor Todd Lough cites several likely reasons for the decline, including that the strongest supporters applied as soon they could. Another factor: the election of Republican President Donald Trump and a GOP-controlled Congress viewed as more gun-friendly and less likely enact gun restrictions.

Lough says the limited number of places where people can carry concealed weapons also plays a role.