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State

Ill. concealed-carry permits reaching applicants

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Phil Allen and other Illinois gun enthusiasts eager for the right to publicly carry concealed handguns are celebrating as their long-awaited permits showing arrive in their mailboxes.

As a licensed concealed-carry instructor in Mascoutah east of St. Louis, Allen says receiving his permit Monday made him "ready to do a happy dance."

Allen's permit is among the first batch of roughly 5,000 that Illinois State Police are mailing under the state law passed last year. Illinois is the last state in the nation to allow the practice.

The agency says about 46,000 applications have been received so far.

While cheering the milestone of the mailings, Democratic State Rep. Brandon Phelps from Harrisburg says there's room for relaxing where concealed handguns may be carried.

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