SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Data shows Illinois residents shopped for more guns and applied for firearm permits more than any other time in the state’s history as the COVID-19 pandemic raged and Chicago dealt with civil unrest.
Illinois State Police statistics show there have been more than 500,000 serious inquiries about gun purchases through November. That is a 45% increase from 2019.
The department also received 445,945 applications for Firearm Owners Identification cards, a 167% increase from 166,649 applications in 2017.
Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly told the Chicago Tribune the increases were a reflection on the unease and tension seen in the state and across the country.