Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013
Concealed Carry Courses Underway in Southern Illinois
WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- State Police expect hundreds of thousands of people to apply for concealed carry permits next year. In our region, many people are getting a head start on the required training.
As of Monday afternoon, nearly a thousand people in Illinois have been certified as concealed carry instructors. They are allowed to begin training courses, and there's already a huge demand for those classes.
The next months will be packed with concealed carry courses for Tombstone Gun Range in Marion.
"We're offering things on the weekends, during the week," said David Kemp, President and instructor at Tombstone.
Their very first class on Monday was completely filled. Men and women spent the morning hours in classroom and the afternoon on the range.
"A lot of people are so interested in getting it that they're willing to take time off from work," said Kemp.
Kemp believes many people are eager to have the course done early, so they can apply for the permit as soon it's available from the Illinois State Police.
"I think the fear is is that if they wait six months, they'll be behind the backlog," said Kemp, "So much that it's just going to be such a long wait."
Others, like student Randy Lynn, just want to get the training out of the way.
"It's kind of ridiculous for me to be able carry a gun in 33 states and can't carry one in my own hometown or state," said Lynn.
Lynn received his Utah concealed carry permit about four years ago, and has used it to transport his gun while traveling.
"It's just when you're staying in a hotel in a strange place, in strange cities, I like to have some type of self defense with me," said Lynn.
The cost of getting an Illinois permit isn't going to be cheap. The full 16-hour course at Tombstone is $300. The five-year license will mean another $150.
The price isn't holding back these first students.
"They want to be able to protect themselves wherever they go," said Kemp, "It's just one of those hot issues that people feel very strongly about."
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