Friday, Dec 6, 2013
Hundreds Approved to Start Concealed Carry Courses
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS -- Concealed carry instructors are getting ready to start classes. So far, Illinois State Police have approved hundreds of courses to train people for permits under the new state law.
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 860 people are qualified to teach the concealed training course. However, those instructors are still waiting for more details from the state.
Trooper Trained hopes to hold its first concealed carry courses next week.
"Everybody's phones are just lighting up," said Michael Hooks, former Illinois State Police and instructor for Trooper Trained. "It's just overwhelming response."
First, the approved instructors we'll need to figure out just how many hours each of the more than 200 applicants need. Those exemptions are based on their prior military or firearm experience.
"That entails calling each person that's on our list to find out what training they'll actually need," said Hooks.
The Pinckneyville-based group of instructors have law enforcement backgrounds. Hooks was excited to help write the course curriculum.
"The state law specifically gives us what's required to be taught," said Hooks.
Once you cover the basics of safety and shooting, instructors are allowed to teach additional skills. Hooks plans to spend extra time with his students stressing just how serious it is to use a weapon.
"This is life-altering," said Hooks. "This is not something to do for fun. This is deadly force."
Hooks wants people to do their research before picking an instructor. Their experience could come up in court if shots are ever fired.
"The attorneys are going to scrutinize you and the training you received," said Hooks.
Instructor experience is a concern shared by Larry Morse.
"I would ask how long have you been training before I signed up with somebody," said Morse.
Morse is part of the Heartland Training Team and is eager to start classes. However, he's waiting for the Instructor and Curriculum ID numbers he'll need to sign paperwork.
"We're not sure what the state police are doing there, exactly how long it's going to take," said Morse.
Morse believes many people would benefit from practice before and after the course. He's also not afraid to fail students who are unsafe handling or shooting a gun.
"If you're looking at protecting your life, the life of your wife, or your husband, or your kids, or whatever, I think you owe it to yourself to be as proficient with this thing as you can," said Morse.
Although you can take the concealed carry course at anytime, the state hasn't started accepting permit applications. They have until January 5 to begin that process.
For a list of approved instructors, visit http://www.isp.state.il.us/firearms/ccw/instructor-registry.cfm.
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