How To Find The Right Concealed Carry Illinois Classes

By Leanne Goff

In July 2013 IL Public Act 98-63 required anyone wishing to carry a concealed firearm to be licensed. A major aspect of this law is the requirement to take concealed carry Illinois classes. This class covers all aspects of handgun safety and handling and the concealed carry law. Those found carrying without a permit are subject to a Class A Misdemeanor; multiple offenses can result in a Felony.

In addition to taking a class, there are other restrictions. You must be at least 21 years of age. If an Illinois resident, you must have a valid Firearm Owner Identification Card (FOID). No one who has been convicted or found/plead guilty to crimes having to do with physical violence or force, multiple DUIs, pending warrants, judgments or prosecutions, or have recently been in an alcohol or drug treatment program (past 5 years) is eligible. The final criteria is to have taken 16 hours of certified firearm instruction.

Some special circumstances allow exemption from the law. Current law enforcement officers are exempt and retired officers can be federally approved through the IROCC program. Out of state residents can be eligible if their own state's CCL is substantially similar to Illinois'. If you feel you may be exempt, be sure to check out the information on the state's website to ensure you are in compliance.

Depending on the provider, class is held at convenient times on weekends, week days and evenings. Most offer 4 hour or 8 hour sessions for those who need to break-up the course. Twelve and 16 hour sessions are also common so you can power through the lessons and get going with filing for your permit. Private instruction is also available.

The course offered at different concealed carry Illinois classes will differ slightly, but all will cover the same basic information. This is not to say all providers are the same. One thing to investigate is the experience and background of the instructors. You may find that a particular instructor is better suited to your particular interest or needs. You may find a course where multiple instructors are used in order to provide a range of approaches and styles.

The course will start in the classroom. In this first phase you will be introduced to principles of safe weapon handling and secure storage of firearms and ammo. Handgun cleaning and maintenance is covered, along with an introduction to ammunition choice and weapon modifications. The two most important aspects of the class deal with ensuring lawful compliance. You will be taught the fundamentals of lawful concealment in different situations, as well as use of force and what constitutes self defense. These and other issues are covered at length.

Range time is an important component of the training. Instructors will demonstrate and instruct you on stance, grip and breathing. Pistol handling and control basics are reviewed and students are evaluated and critiqued until proficient. Time handling and firing provides students with confidence that they can carry into the real world.

It is estimated that there will be more than 400,000 applicants for IL CCLs in the first year. If you are interested in a CCL, sign up for concealed carry Illinois classes soon. For a list of registered instructors and schools, check online. Currently the wait time for class is almost 6 months, so don't delay.

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