You would think after Illinois passed a law that mandated jail time for concealed carry instructors who cut corners in their CCW classes that unethical instructors would straighten up or just stop teaching.
You would be wrong.
We still get reports of instructors chopping four, six or even eight hours off their 16-hour classes. “Oh, we’ll just skip all the breaks and shorten the class,” these con artists tell their students. Or they offer “online” portions of the course. “COVID restrictions, you know.”
Those taking these classes may think, “I’m all in for this.”
Even if enrollees shrug their shoulders and trust their instructor, they should know something’s wrong when they spend less than 12 hours in what’s supposed to be a 16-hour class. Or one with any time spent “online” learning.
Then enrollees get a letter from the Illinois State Police Firearms Services Bureau. Bad news. Their carry license (or application for a carry license) has been tentatively revoked pending a permanent revocation because their instructor(s) failed to provide the required training.
It only takes one person to report a corner-cutting instructor for all of that instructor’s students to have their licenses revoked if the allegations are confirmed.
Yes, the ISP typically gives students 30-60 days to take a real class from another instructor to bring them back into good standing. Failing that, the revocation of the license (or application) becomes permanent and individuals can start from scratch if they so desire. At a fresh new application fee of $153 and change.
Hint to students: Training certificates issued since 2018 list the recommended times instructors should spend on the major components of the (always in-person) class.
For example, four hours of gun handling is recommended. If your class spends less than an hour on gun handling, including shooting the qualification (or even standing around waiting your turn to shoot it), that should serve as a clue that the class doesn’t satisfy the law’s requirements.
Again, all it takes is one person to report a faulty course, and that report to be substantiated, and everyone that instructor has signed off on gets their licenses/applications revoked.
That alone should have perspective license applicants holding their instructors’ feet to the fire when it comes to fulfilling the law’s requirements.
We at GSL don’t believe there should be a training class requirement for a carry license any more than there should be a training class before voting or having children. However, the world is not a perfect place.
Until Illinois becomes like Indiana without a training requirement, make sure your carry class instructor follows the law or don’t complain when you get to spend a second weekend of your life taking a class when you could have done it right the first time.
“Why don’t you guys file suit to strike down the training requirement?” you might ask. Fair question.
Right now, with our limited resources, we’ve elected to focus on our lawsuit challenging the FOID Act’s constitutionality. That will benefit all Illinoisans, not just the ones applying for a carry license.