Nearly four months after Illinois residents started applying online for concealed carry licenses, businesses like gun ranges and training classes are feeling a positive impact.
“It’s concealed carry. It’s a whole different ball game,” said Tim Barton, owner of Citizens Tactical Unit Firearms Training Academy in Geneseo, Illinois.
“All the rules are different, the laws are different, the behavior is different,” he said.
It is loud in Barton’s gun range. There are distractions, including flashing red lights and screaming when people shoot their guns.
“If you’re just going through the motions, so you can get a certificate and your concealed carry, you’ll gave to go somewhere else, because you are required to perform here,” he said.
Barton says 100% of his business is from the concealed carry law.
“Right after you called and just before you called, I had two gentleman call and ask ya know, what’s your range class like?” he said.
His concealed carry classes are small, no more than six people. Half the required 16 hours of training are spent in the classroom, the other half is in his training range.
“I do have just range time coming in, but those are guys that have been through the concealed carry class and now they want to practice their new techniques,” he said.
Illinois State Police are expecting 300,000 concealed carry applications this year. Some of those people are heading to Iowa to get their training at places like QCI Firearms Training in Bettendorf.
Owner Darin Oberhart is a certified instructor for Illinois.
“I planned for it, it was part of my business plan for, cause I knew that eventually Illinois was going to get some sort of permit,” said Oberhart.
He teaches at his Bettendorf location and then brings participants to a local gun range for that portion of the training.
Last month, Illinois State Police issued 5,000 permits.