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“I came into the course nervous and a little uncomfortable.  I came out of it confident in my ability to use my gun to protect my family and with the knowledge of how and when to do so.”

— Female, 30s, April 30/May 1, 2011 class.

GSL Defense Training, LLC is proud to announce Illinois-approved classes for residents wishing to apply for an Illinois Concealed Carry License (ICCL) after the first of the year when applications are available.

Classes come in two flavors:

A 16-hour GSL Defense Training Basic IL CCW class This class is also an NRA Personal Protection in the Home course, which is nationally recognized by many states, including Florida and Arizona, as satisfying those states training requirements to receive a non-resident carry permit.

Here’s the full course description:

This Illinois-approved course satisfies the 16-hour training requirement to apply for an IL carry license.  It is also the GSL Defense Training NRA Personal Protection in the Home course which is recognized nationally by numerous states to satisfy those states’ training requirements to carry as well.

Course goal: To develop the basic knowledge, skills and attitude essential to the safe and efficient use of a handgun for protection of self and family, and to provide information on the right to self-defense.  This class covers a review of the NRA gun safety rules, how to use firearms responsibly and ethically for personal protection, as well as developing the proper mindset for using a firearm for personal defense and when facing a life-threatening encounter.  Also covered will be mental awareness, how to avoid becoming a victim, strategies for home safety, responding to a violent confrontation in your home and basic defensive shooting tactics.  We’ll teach you gun ownership laws and more importantly, an in-depth discussion on the judicious use of deadly force including when deadly force is justified against “unarmed” aggressors.

Additional topics and activities included by GSL Defense Training above and beyond the NRA Personal Protection in the Home Course:  We will discuss interactions with potential assailants, the moral and ethical decision-making involved with deadly force, malfunction clearing drills and weapon retention strategies.  Also, post-shooting interventions with witnesses, responding & investigating officers, the media and others will be covered and *much* more.

Students will spend several hours on the range with live-fire both days. Students will fire approximately 250 rounds.

A Firearms Owners ID Card is recommended, but NOT REQUIRED.  Novice shooters are welcome!

This course not only satisfies the training requirement for IL, FL, AZ and other state carry licenses, but will also serve as a strong foundation for future development of your personal shooting and self-defense skills.


An 8-hour GSL Defense Training Basic Plus IL CCW class.  This class is the 8-hour “make up” class that former GSL Defense Training alumni need in order to apply for their Illinois Concealed Carry License.   This one-day class has four-plus hours of range time and four-plus hours of legal lectures as required by the Illinois Firearms Concealed Carry Act.

Don’t trust your training to just anyone!

Stick with the people you know and trust.


Scroll down for scheduling information…


Here’s what our students say…
(Just a few of the comments from spring and summer 2013 alone)

The staff are all WONDERFUL.  They take individuals at all levels and increase their skill levels.  They do this is a friendly, non-judgemental and professional manner while making stressful situations not only bearable but successful for each student.  I would highly recommend this course to anyone.  You gave a newbie uncomfortable with firearms confidence and skill in a very pleasant two-day period.

Excellent instructors; absolutely worth the money and time.

I have been shooting for 35 years and learned A LOT.  Enjoyed all the instructors, they were very helpful with loads of advice and encouragement.

Course was exceptional and instructors have a tremendous knowledge of subject.

This class was so much better than I expected.  I had, and still have a lot to learn, but I feel much more confident in the handling and proper use of a gun.  

For me, as a beginner, I think the course is amazingly instructive and helpful.  I just wanted to say that all of the instructors are incredible and I would like to say a big THANK YOU! to all of them. Their sense of humor made everything so enjoyable.

This course FAR surpassed my expectations.

Great course.  Had a great time.  Good people & good food with guns!  Can’t beat that.

It was great.  Instructors were all great – so helpful, never made us feel stupid.  You are all true patriots.

I am really happy I decided to take this class!  I feel much more prepared and aware.

As a novice shooter, I was so grateful for the instructor to student ratio.  They all helped me immensely.  I feel like I am comfortable shooting firearms now.

Overall fantastic experience.  Good instructors, super nice.  Hard for me to sit still as a rule, can’t believe I did for so long, and was spellbound for so long.  Great Job GSLDT.

Course was excellent.  Couldn’t have been a better set of instructors.  Thanks.

Extremely impressed by the good number of instructors to the number of students.  Their training has shown me more than the trainers I’ve had in the past.

The instructors make people with limited experience feel very comfortable.

My goals included: Learn and have fun.  Accomplished both, Thank you all,  Great Food!!!

Excellent class, excellent instructors.  Lots of fun and learned a ton.  Great Job! All staff was friendly, helpful.  Never felt left alone and unsure what to do next.

I came looking to gain some knowledge of and comfort around firearms.  I am leaving with a new hobby I am looking forward to pursuing.

Instructors were very passionate about what they were doing, which made the students even more interested.

Really enjoyed the class!

I had a wonderful time and learned a great deal.  I have been shooting for most of my life and found out I was doing it wrong!

The instructors were the best of any I have ever encountered.


All instruction was great.  Instructors made me at ease having not fired a gun in a number of years.  Instructors were extremely patient and encouraging.

GSLDT provided a great course.  Even as an experienced shooter, I learned something at every session.   I brought my wife and father and we all thought it was great.  Semper Fi!

I will be recommending this to all of my friends/family… My passion for shooting and handling pistols has increased exponentially because of the many tips/tricks/training learned this weekend.  THANK YOU!

Overall extremely well put together training  that I highly recommend to anyone who owns a defensive firearm.

I learned so much more than I expected.  I enjoyed this very much…

Very enjoyable weekend.  Much more than I would’ve thought.  

Great class.  It really helped me break some bad habits and I feel much more confident with my shooting skills.

The situational shooting was very effective.  Enjoy the large number of staff to students.

I’m a better shooter, more confident!

Love the instructors!!   Hats off to a professional, friendly and outstanding team of instructors.  Thanks so much.

It’s great having such friendly and informative instructors.

All of the instructors did a good job and were very patient with someone like me who hadn’t shot a gun for a long time before this class.

Good course.  Much more material covered than I ever imagined.

Enjoyed the course.  Would recommend it to others.  Very helpful.

Very, very good course.  I could see improvement from Day 1 to Day 2.

Great class.  It really helped me break some bad habits and I feel much more confident with my shooting skills.  I will be sending my 16-year-old son when he turns 18.

I think this is an excellent course covering all relevant topics about gun use.



The 16-hour, two-day class is available to everyone from novices to experienced shooters.  Everyone will get something out of it!  New shooters will see a big increase in confidence, ability and safe gun handling.  Experienced shooters will see an elimination of wasted movements, tighter groups and new skills.

OPEN ENROLLMENT:   All remaining dates are now available for everyone needing only 8-hours of training.


GSL Defense Training Basic IL CCW Class (16-hour)

At DeWitt Co. Sportsmen’s Club in Clinton:

November 4-5 (Monday/Tuesday)


GSL Defense Training Basic Plus IL CCW Class (8-hour)

At DeWitt Co. Sportsmen’s Club in Clinton:

Friday, November 8: FULL

Saturday, November 9 : FULL

Sunday, November 10:  FULL

Wednesday, November 13  ** Call ahead.  Near capacity

Thursday, November 14 ** Call ahead.  Near capacity

Monday, November 18

Tuesday, November 19






If you have questions, the ISP’s Frequently Asked Questions is pretty good.  Be advised, there are some errors last time we checked (including conflicting information about the number of hours Hunter’s Safety courses count for).

If you want to know which prior training is recognized by the Illinois State Police, click here.

If you want to find some of our instructors on the “ISP Approved Instructors” list to ensure we really are approved, click here.

Look for John Boch, John Naese, Jeff Schwarm, Steve Davis, Kay Davis, Pete Wheeler, Dana King, Eric Luke and Susan Luke for starters.  We have other staff currently pending.

If you want to look up our course on the “ISP Approved Curriculum” list to ensure we (GSL Defense Training, LLC) really are approved, click here.


8 thoughts on “PAID ADVERTISEMENT: GSL Defense Training now offering IL-approved classes!”
  1. Notice some of the dates are Monday thru Friday.

    That’s when range time and staff were available.

    It’s worth it to take a day off work and come out for one of these midweek training days.

    And just think of the stories you can tell when you go back to work the next day!

  2. As one of the instructors, I can only say that we have been planning this eventuality for years. We have been working on our lesson plans and focusing our training over the past ten years to make it as user friendly and comprehensive as possible. We are SO excited to be bringing this training to you, and enable every student to apply for their Illinois CCW upon completion. I can promise you a great class, a good time and some learning as well. See you there!!

  3. As one of your former students, I can’t say enough good things about GSL Defense Training.

    Not only do they have a bunch of guys, but they have female instructors that at first I kind of dismissed. They also have a young kid that’s the son of one of the other instructors.

    Frankly, I kind of dismissed the girls and the kid during the class introductions. The kid was trying to be a comedian and that kind of fell flat.

    Later in the morning, while dry firing, one of the women came over an showed me more useful critiques of what I was doing in two minutes than I’d ever gotten from my friends in thirty years of shooting.

    The “kid” also offered some good advice, repeating some of what the female instructor had told me a few minutes before (old habits die hard).

    They took us from a wide range of skills sets (or mostly, lack thereof) and really brought us around. Hell, I noticed how not only was I doing much better by Sunday both in skills and confidence handling my gun, but so were the people around me.

    My wife said the same thing. She was a nervous wreck going in. They separated us for the range exercises. I’ve been trying to teach her how to shoot for two decades. When we were driving home Sunday, she turned to me and said, “Sam, I had a good time this weekend.”

    She’s NEVER said that to me after we have gone shooting before.

    I cannot recommend these guys (and gals) enough. They are a true patriots and obviously teach for the love of helping people and they love what they are doing and one another.

    I’m sure these classes will fill quickly. Do yourself a favor and spend your money with these people. You’ll be glad you did.

    And take your wife along. You’ll thank me later.


  4. I totally agree. My wife and I have taken numerous GSL Defense classes. If you are inexperienced, you will learn safe, effective and practical firearms handling and self defense.

    I’ve taken a few non-GSL classes. There is a huge difference. GSL classes have much better student to instructor ratios – often 3-4 to 1 in my experience. The classes are fun, regardless of your experience level. The instructors are very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and fun. They understand how to teach new concepts and correct bad habits without making you feel dumb. GSL classes have a huge emphasis on how to recognize and avoid trouble, and also the legal consequences you will face if you ever need to defend yourself with deadly force.

    Maybe GSL should set up a couple of training sessions for fly-by-night out-of-state instructors that are coming to Illinois looking for quick profits. We would all be safer if they did.

  5. Yes, there are some shysters and scoundrels out there.

    Switching topics… Did I tell you about the interesting letter I/we got from Equip 2 Conceal’s attorney last weekend? (Well, he sent it around Thursday but it languished in my spam box for a couple of days).

    I sent him a response Monday and haven’t heard a peep from him since.

    Their reaction will dictate whether I publish his letter and my response or not.


Comments are closed.