I got a “blocked” call today.
I always know when I get a “blocked” call it’s going to be one of two things: It’s going to be a police officer calling from a “business” phone, or it’s going to be a memorable conversation.
Today’s was a memorable one. It was James Andel.
He was the guy from “Security Guard College” in Chicago who taught a bunch of Illinois Concealed Carry classes at a Bass Pro Shop that were found lacking, to put it charitably, by the Illinois State Police.
A whole bunch of people – 327 possibly – who submitted their Illinois carry license applications using training credentials signed off on by Mr. Andel found themselves needing to re-take their training. Many of those 327 weren’t very pleased.
Here’s a story about the fallout from his shenanigans.
Bass Pro Shop falsely advertised conceal-carry classes
(Sun-Times) – A Joliet man is suing Bass Pro Shops for falsely advertising “a worthless class” that failed to meet the required training hours to obtain an Illinois concealed carry permit, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.
John P. Ambrose is seeking class action status after taking a class offered through Bass Pro Shops. The classes were taught by James Andel, a then certified instructor, and Bolingbrook-based Security Guard College, Inc., the suit said.
Ambrose attended the class after seeing an advertisement in October 2013 inside a Bolingbrook Bass Pro Shops called, “Illinois Concealed Carry Permit Class,” the lawsuit said.
The classes were such a failure, however, that the Illinois State Police issued a press release on April 1 stating that Andel was no longer approved to train Illinois Concealed Carry Curricula and that all of his 327 applicants were denied.
Ambrose was one of those 327, the lawsuit said…
He said the lawsuit against him was dismissed on December 22nd and asked that Guns Save Life pull down the stories we’ve written about him and his “problems” with the Illinois State Police. Why? Mr. Andel says he’s working to restore his good name.
In the very next sentence he says something to the effect, “I know you’ve probably got yourself some business by writing those things about my company.”
That rankled me more than a little. I’ve had two Andel alumni that I know of go through training with the GSL Defense Training group and we certainly weren’t poaching for his past students. I do know some instructors up in Chicagoland very generously offered to “re-train” the Andel alumni for free to the individuals affected.
From a personal perspective, I’ve been very conservative in going after ethically challenged instructors, saving my ire for the most egregious of offenders. I’ve pursued corner-cutting instructors not to drum up business (our training is priced a little over the market average anyway, but at the same time, our content is vastly more than the average course) but instead because left unchallenged, these individuals will make all instructors suspect. Illinois’ new law requiring jail time for corner-cutting instructors has pretty much put an end to dismissing classes hours early or sending students, unsupervised, to a remote range to shoot their qualification.
I googled Andel and found some sort of settlement agreement that was sent out to those affected.
We also wrote about Bass Pro Shops sued over Security Guard College fraudulent training.
If we are factually incorrect in any of our posts, we invite Mr. Andel to contact us with specifics and we’ll correct the errors. Short of that, we won’t be taking anything down.
You made your bed Mr. Andel. Time to lie in it.