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.


Al Gonzalez.


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”.


Mr. Gonzalez:

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.

John Boch

8 thoughts on “Protective Firearms Institute responds: GSL retracts”
  1. Nice to see the good guys working together and acting in a professional manner. GSL raised a flag, they clarified their message and asked for professional courtesy from GSL, GSL gives benefit of the doubt and everybody walks away content. I like it.

    And no legal threats from some douchebag in a fancy truck!

  2. You read something and take what you WANT to see and then blame them?
    Spoken like a true progressive! Your desire to slam anyone daring to infringe on “your” territory and training dollars is making you look the fool.

    Trying to blame them for your own mistaken perception is the classic non apology apology.
    How about sticking to promoting yourselves instead if trying be default cuz everyone else is worse than you? Oh wait -yer well on yer way to demonstrating why people shouldn’t give you a dime – so who’s your next target? Who will you talk bad about next because you worry they might book a class you think you are owed?

    Cry wolf much?

    Here’s a friendly too – what is so wrong with government is that it tries to mind everyone’s business for them instead of minding its own. You are exhibiting the same characteristic. Try leading by example in a positive direction – mind your own business. Oh wait – that’s just what you have been doing. My bad. You’ve been trying to scare folks away from anyone BUT YOU. You are a slave to your own greed and I think yer so entrenched in it and so in live with getting that money that will refuse to look inward and witness the litany of mistakes you have made and keep making.

    The SADDEST part about it all is this – a great many people would have sought out training of the kind you specialize in BY THEIR OWN LIBERTY! You didn’t have to choose the way you have but you did cuz you just gotta get every dollar from anyone who dares exercise their rights without paying you. Yer just like government. No wonder our government acts as it does. It’s full of slavemasters offering permission for payment -just like you.


    1. We didn’t go looking for this or try to read something into it. It was sent to us by a number of people, including two screen grabs aside from the one we made.

      At best it was not well written.

      Is that you, Mr. Shewmake of Equip 2 Conceal?


    2. Wow, you sound pretty bitter about something. I can verify and so can 1,000’s of students that John Boch and the GSL Defense Training team are in no way becoming millionaires or even thousandaires from their training business. Almost all of the instructors have full time jobs. They take time away from the friends and their free time to teach and train others safe gun handling and personal protection. Do they charge a fee? Of course. Do the charge outrageous fees, no. Do they comp classes for people who “need” the class because something has happened in their life. Yes. So before you go on a rant in regards to something you know nothing about, maybe you should get your facts straight.

    3. You are right about ONE thing, t.c.s.t.-a., YOU are pathetic, and mighty hateful, gathering from your rant. Why don’t you take your hate and bitterness back to Wisconsin, it is you, bitter Billy bboy, isn’t it?

  3. I’m glad to see some professionalism on both parties, however. People need to pay close attn as to what they read, especially online, social media website, etc. People have a tendency to rush into judgment without verifying the information. It’s amusing to see a “blogger” to post information that isn’t true and without using true journalistic protocol. Get the facts, read, and investigate before spreading or risking a lawsuit from either party in question. At the end everything was handled professionally but this could have been avoided by simply verifying the info in question. Good job on both parties! Now lets move on…

  4. I’m a little late here, but I agree with a couple of the contributors who say “well handled by adults”.

    It takes a man to recognize he’s wrong and acknowledge his mistake and make it right.

    Any petulant child can throw and temper tantrum and slam everyone they don’t agree with, calling them names and denigrating their work. It is an even more immature and cowardly thing to attack a man anonymously, without signing your name to your missive.


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