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Hundreds get bogus concealed carry training in Illinois

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More than a dozen firearms instructors have been stripped of their concealed carry endorsements after investigators found they were issuing certificates to hundreds of improperly trained students.

A firearms instructor from Bolingbrook is the latest to lose approval as a concealed carry instructor in Illinois.  State police said 327 applicants trained by that instructor will be notified their applications are being denied, and they will have to complete required training from a qualified instructor before their applications are considered.

In mid-March, two St. Clair County instructors lost their approval, affecting another 98 concealed carry applicants in Illinois.

The most recent incident brings the total number of instructors who have lost state approval to 13, affecting 425 applicants whose training has been deemed invalid.

In all cases, state police said they got complaints that the firearms instructors were improperly training students and/or awarding completion certificates to students who had not actually completed the minimum 16 hours of training required by Illinois law.

“The public expects firearms instructors to provide a thorough understanding and solid foundation of the curriculum and practical training that meets all qualifications of the law,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “When these instructors fall short, safety is compromised and the integrity of the training process raises concerns."

Applicants,whose certificates are found to be invalid may have trouble recovering money paid for training, and could be forced to repeat the time and money invested in firearms training.

In answer to a frequently-asked online question about whether an applicant can get credit for previous training that is invalid, the state says that training is treated as if it didn't happen.

"You will need to complete 16 hours of training from an approved instructor whose approval to instruct has not been revoked," the answer said.

There is not much relief for students whose certificates are deemed invalid as well.

"Questions regarding restitution should be directed to your instructor or the State’s Attorney’s Office for the county in which you received your training," the answer said.

Those training courses can cost $250 or more.

Bottom line, applicants should review the rules, ask questions and demand credentials from any firearms instructor they are considering.

State officials said about 5,000 concealed carry permits were issued in the first round mailed in late February 2014.

There are more than 2,700 certified firearms instructors listed on the state database.  You can find a list of qualified concealed carry instructors - click here.

You can see a list of instructors revoked by the State of Illinois - click here.


  • justsayin

    The applicants paid the required fee and it is now the State responsibility to make good on those permits. It is NOT the applicants fault that the instructors were bogus. The instructors were authorized educators for the State, therefore, the applicants should be given proper classes at no additional charge and the State should go after restitution from those crooked instructors.

  • Nope

    I hardly think so, justsayin. If you go to a business and it turns out the business is a sham, caveat emptor.

  • T. Cass

    If the instructors were still certified at the time the classes were held, it is the State that erred. If the instructors had no ISP approval, or that approval had been suspended, then, and only then, does caveat emptor apply.

  • Steve-o

    The way the whole thing is being run by the state is a joke. Those instructors were supposed to have been investigated and cleared by the ISP.

    Not only that, but places that are supposed to display the no guns signs, are not doing it. Like bars in Geneseo, Atkinson, Cambridge, and the QC’s. It’s not up to CCW holders to ask if they can carry in a particular business……… THE SIGNS NEED TO GO UP.

  • Steve-o

    Mike, I agree 100%….


    This is right off of the ISP website……..

    Owners of any statutorily prohibited area or private property, excluding residences, where the owner prohibits the carrying of firearms must clearly and conspicuously post the Illinois State Police approved sign, in accordance with Firearm Concealed Carry Act, at the entrance of the building, premises or real property. Please refer to Section 65 (Prohibited Areas) of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act for more information on statutory requirements for signage as well as where concealed weapons are prohibited.

    So by LAW bars have to post the signage.

    • Dave

      Bars only have to post the sign, If 51 percent or more of their sales are from Alcohol, many bars sell way more dollars worth of food than Alcohol….

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