On Friday, we posted “Buyer Beware: Do your homework before registering for an Illinois Concealed Carry class” where we cautioned Illinois gun owners about some groups advertising classes as approved when they are not or others who certainly seem questionable at best.
Among those mentioned as an example was Protective Firearms Institute.
Their president responded:
My name is Al Gonzalez and I am President of Protective Firearms Institute (PFI). On September 27, 2013, you blogged an article titled “Buyer Beware…Illinois CCW.” In it you posted a copy of one of our Facebook postings for proposed Ill CCW curriculum and erroneously commented that we were advertising that PFI had an approved curriculum and were preparing for CCW classes.
I believe you may have misread our posting. The requirements listed were from those posted earlier on the ISP website. They have been revised but include what I listed (shorter version). They can be found on the ISP -CCW- FAQ section, under “What does firearms training course consist of”. No where in this posting did we say or insinuate that we “had’ an approved course or that we were beginning any type of classes. If you re-read it, you’ll see that we posted what we were gathering from ISP and we wanted to let our followers know that we were starting a class list for those interested in being one of the first to attend our CCW class, ONCE it begins (after Jan. 2014) and once ISP had approved our submitted curriculum.
While I understand that as a blogger you are not obligated to follow standard journalistic protocol of verifying your reported information, I feel that your article painted PFI as practicing deceptive advertising. While I do not wish to engage in legalistic maneuvering, I am asking that you review our posting, again, and possibility considering re-tracking or revising your posting to exclude the PFI Facebook posting. I commend your oversight on the bad practices of the few, but PFI is not include on that list. The firearms industry is already under fire by the commercial media and we need to work together to help all good practitioners, of which PFI is considered as one.
Thank you for your time and re-consideration.
Here is the ad in question:
Another example: A Facebook advertisement posted on September 4th for an Illinois Concealed Carry class that was supposedly “ISP Approved” from the “Protective Firearms Institute”.
We were referred to your Facebook page from our readers after we wrote about Equip 2 Conceal’s playing fast and loose with advertised course descriptions.
Our readers interpreted your post as that of your company offering a course curriculum (ISP approved) that hit those listed points, which we can agree were those published by ISP as course requirements/guidelines.
Looking at your post from your perspective, we can see where you may have simply failed to communicate your intended message, and instead, your message was misinterpreted by a host of people as meaning something that wasn’t intended.
We appreciate you reaching out to us in a non-confrontational manner and explaining your intentions.
In the spirit of giving you the benefit of the doubt, we have edited the original post and accept your contention that this was misinterpretation on our part.
Thanks again for reading and commenting.