A concealed carry permit holder in Chicago shot and killed a would-be burglar on the city’s west side Saturday amid a city-wide crime spike that has law enforcement officials scrambling.
“A man was shot and killed while trying to rob a cell phone store in Chicago on Saturday, police said. The would-be robber entered the cell phone shop on the 3400 hundred block of West Chicago Avenue in Humboldt Park around 7 p.m.,” Chicago’s Fox affiliate reported Sunday.
“A man on the scene shot the robbery suspect in the chest and abdomen, police said. It is not clear if the man was the owner, employee, or another customer,” the outlet noted. “Police said the shooter, 29, had a valid concealed carry permit.”
A later report from the Sun-Times indicated that the shooter was a store employee. Police confiscated both the shooter’s weapon and the suspected robber’s.
The news comes amid word that homicides in Chicago spiked 50% in 2020 over 2019 and more than 4,000 people have been shot in the city, most in the months since May, following the end of mandated coronavirus-related lockdowns. The city is likely to end the year with just under 800 murders, and 710 of those murders were gun-related homicides.
Over the Christmas weekend, 23 people were shot and 6 were killed, including the would-be robber, per the Chicago Sun-Times.
Concealed carry permits are hard to come by in Illinois, and applicants must meet very specific requirements. In addition to being 21 years of age, they must register with the state as an Illinois firearms owner, have no criminal convictions within the previous five years, no DUIs within the previous five years, and no pending arrest warrants. Permit applicants must also undergo 16 hours of additional training.
Only around 315,000 Illinoisans — or about 2.5% of the state’s population — have successfully navigated the process. Of those, only 74 individuals have been involved in a shooting since 2014, per the Chicago Tribune.
With crime in the city of Chicago spiking, however, the number of people applying for concealed carry permits has skyrocketed, according to the Trib.
“With the coronavirus pandemic raging and Chicago at times dealing with civil unrest, Illinois residents shopped for more guns and applied for more firearm permits in 2020 than at any other time in history, state police officials said this week,” the outlet reported last month. “There had been more than 500,000 serious inquiries about purchasing guns by this month, according to Illinois State Police statistics, representing a 45% increase over 2019.”
Applications for firearm owner identification cards — the basic ID needed to purchase a weapon in the state of Illinois — are also up.
“The state also had received a record 445,945 applications for firearm owner’s identification cards as of November 2020, a 167% jump from the 166,649 applications in 2017. The Illinois State Police did not release numbers for any other years but said the 2020 applications ‘blew past’ a previous surge in 2013 after concealed carry licenses were first offered,” the Trib said.
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