Unlike the majority of states across the nation, Illinois has a very rigorous training requirement to carry a firearm in public. To carry legally, of course. The criminals in Chicago have always skipped any licensing and training, outside of ‘training’ they get from Hollywood and music videos.
In recent days, the Illinois State Police have revoked their instructor approvals for a pair, leading to hundreds of ‘revocation pending’ letters to everyday folks and felony charges against one of the two (allegedly) corner-cutting instructors.
George Parsons, Spring Valley
George J. Parsons, Jr. (now formerly) offered classes through LZ Resale & Indoor Shooting Range in Spring Valley. He told his students that they were going to skip breaks and work through lunch in order to wrap things up a little early. Considering he didn’t even start until 10a.m., that should have been a big red flag to students. But when they wrapped up the days well before 4pm, someone should have held up their hand and said, “this is supposed to be an 8-hour day.”
They didn’t. And now they’re paying (literally) for it. Both in time and money.
One of Parsons’ former students, a GSL member, related to me that “we covered everything required.” Maybe so. But that’s only half of the (screwed up-) law’s requirement. There’s also a time requirement for in-person, hands-on training that doesn’t cover “working lunches” or breaks. What’s more, instructors agree that their training will meet or exceed the law’s requirements. Failing to do so exposes instructors to civil liability from students and criminal prosecution from authorities.
And now everyone who has ever submitted a training certification that Mr. Parsons has signed off on now has to repeat that course. They have to take it through an approved instructor and submit new training certificates within 60 days. If they do so, their licenses will remain valid. If they fail to do so, the license will be revoked. At that point, they can re-apply at any time in the future as a new applicant, submitting the 16-hour training certificate and the $153.xx in application fees.
Sources inside the Illinois State Police have told GSL that as many as 300 people received the initial batch of ‘pending revocation’ letters. No wonder he’s looking a little despondent and busy taking angry phone calls. Him telling people “he doesn’t know” what’s wrong with his courses is just bravo sierra. He knows. And the students knew when they left after only five to six hour days.
If the students all ask for a refund of their $100-$150 in tuition, that means Mr. Parsons needs to cough up about $30,000-$45,000 out of pocket. And that’s if they don’t sue for damages.
A new batch going after those initial applicants from the 2014-2015 time frame will reportedly be mailed in the coming weeks. Even though they their initial license has been renewed, their initial 16-hour (or 8- hours in the case of vets or those with prior NRA training) training certificate will have to be re-completed under an approved instructor.
Terry Lumma: Shipman, IL
Mr. Parsons’ problems pale in comparison to those of Terry Lumma from Shipman, IL. She was an approved instructor until a State Police investigation found her coursework to be far short of the law’s requirements. However, losing her instructor certification is the least of her concerns at this point.
Macoupin County State’s Attorney looked at the results of the criminal investigation and charged her with forgery (a felony) and also a misdemeanor for corner-cutting her classwork. She apparently offered cut-rate $80 16-hour courses and the tuition wasn’t the only thing that was… reduced.
She wasn’t quite as prolific as Mr. Parsons though. Only a little over two hundred of her former students are receiving ‘pending revocation’ letters from the Illinois State Police.
Here’s the press release from ISP. Here’s a link to their Facebook post… some of the comments are priceless (and you don’t need a Facebook account to read them!)
Springfield, IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP) Firearms Services Bureau (FSB) Investigative Support Unit (ISU) and the Macoupin County States Attorney Jordan Garrison charged Concealed Carry License (CCL) Instructor Terry Lumma, 60-year-old female of Shipman, IL with Forgery (Class 3 Felony) and Providing False Conceal Carry Weapon (CCW) Certification (Class A Misdemeanor).
“The Illinois State Police takes these types of allegations seriously and will investigate those who attempt to defraud the system and bring them to justice,” stated ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “The men and women of the Illinois State Police, Firearms Services Bureau, continuously strive to protect and maintain the integrity of the FOID and CCL.”
In December 2020, the ISP FSB received a complaint against Lumma. The complaint stated Lumma was not teaching the CCL classes according to the CCL Act 430 ILCS 66/75 (ilga.gov). After a five-month investigation, the FSB investigators found evidence to support the allegations of the complaint. The case was presented to the Macoupin County States Attorney Jordan Garrison, who made the determination to file criminal charges. Lumma was charged with Forgery and Providing False CCW Certification. Lumma was mailed a Notice to Appear and is scheduled to appear at the Macoupin County courthouse on June 23, 2021 at 8:45 a.m.
Due to this investigation, the ISP FSB determined that all the concealed carry certification courses hosted by Lumma, failed to satisfy the mandatory requirements for concealed carry firearm training set forth in the CCL Act. As a result, training certificates issued to over 200 students by Lumma and submitted to the ISP as part of their CCL application have been deemed invalid. All of these students were sent letters notifying them of their status and are being provided a grace period of 60 days from receipt of the letter to complete the requirements for a new, valid CCL. During the 60-day period, the ISP will deem the CCL holder as valid, if the CCL is otherwise in good standing.
In accordance with Section 75 of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, 430 ILCS 66/75, qualified instructors are required to teach all applicants, who are not eligible for prior training credit, a minimum of 16 hours of instruction approved by the Illinois State Police prior to issuing an Illinois Concealed Carry License Training Certification.
The ISP FSB provides a list of CCL frequently asked questions: IL Firearm Applicant Portal (ispfsb.com).
All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Now, I’ll be the first to agree that the Constitution says nothing about “training” before one can bear arms, vote, write a letter or select a church to attend. However the world is not a perfect place and Illinois is about as imperfect as they come.
But until and unless we can get the votes to change the law (which we don’t have now) or until we can get this training requirement struck down in a court of law, the law is what it is.
And frankly, while I don’t like this training (or licensing) requirement to lawfully carry in Illinois, it surely ranks as a huge improvement over what we had before a court ordered Illinois to adopt some sort of concealed carry law.