Illinois gun owners are rushing to the nearest gun shops before the new year. It's all in an effort to renew their concealed carry permits before they expire in 2019.
Back in 2013, lawmakers in Illinois passed the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. Permits are only good for five years so now early applicants are preparing to apply for renewal for the first time.
“We’re going to sign up today for February just to try to beat the rush," gun owner Chris Mcelroy said.
Since his childhood, Chris has always been a big lover of guns. Even before he was a teenager, he already had his first firearm.
"I just enjoy it. I always like hunting. It's fun to shoot," he said. "My dad got my first shotgun for me when I was 12."
Chris said he was one of the first people in line to get his permit when Illinois became the last state in the country to pass a concealed carry law.
"It's on our rights and they shouldn't be able to deny it," he said.
Now five years later, he's once again back in line.
"It's good to know the new laws and what to need to know," he said.
Chris is one of thousands of Illinois gun owners rushing to renew his gun permit before it expires next year. In order to renew his permit, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act required people who want to keep their permits to take a three-hour gun safety course and a shooting test every five years.
"There are about 400,000 people now throughout the state of Illinois that are expiring so they're going to rushing in to get there license." gun shop owner Steven King said.
Steven owns Metro Shooting Supplies in Belleville and St. Louis County. He said since October people have been flooding his gun shop in Illinois to take his renewal classes.
"We have a huge influx of people coming in that their license is expiring," he said.
Also starting in January, a new law will affect "waiting periods" for people who wish to have a gun. The law creates a 72-hour waiting period on all firearms, not just handguns.
The bill also eliminates the current waiting period exemption when a non-Illinois resident buys a gun at an Illinois gun show.