Concealed carry is now the law in Illinois. For those seeking a concealed carry license from the State, the following, in a question and answer format, may be of help in understanding the new law.
What are the qualifications for getting a Concealed Carry License?
The applicant must:
•Be at least 21 years of age
•Have a valid FOID card (Illinois residents)
•Have not been convicted or found guilty in this State or any other state of: a) A misdemeanor involving the use or threat of physical force or violence to any person within the last 5 years. b) 2 or more violations related to driving while under the influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, intoxicating compound or compounds, or any combination thereof, within the last 5 years.
•Not be the subject of a pending arrest warrant, prosecution, or proceeding for an offense or action that could lead to disqualification.
•Not have been in a residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism, alcohol detoxification, or drug treatment within the last 5 years.
•Submit a completed Concealed Carry License Application.
•Successfully complete 16 hours of firearms training, including classroom and range instruction.
Note that any law enforcement agency may submit an objection to a license applicant based upon a reasonable suspicion that the applicant is a danger to himself or herself or others, or a threat to public safety. Also note that a significant arrest record may also be grounds for objection to an applicant receiving a license. By and large, law enforcement has 30 days from the time you submit your application to file any objections.
Can you explain the training requirement?
The statutory provision requires 16 hours of training, the highest of any State in the country. Here's the relevant law:
An applicant for a new license shall provide proof of completion of a firearms training course or combination of courses approved by the Department of at least 16 hours, which includes range qualification time under subsection (c) of this Section, that covers the following:
(1) firearm safety;
(2) the basic principles of marksmanship;
(3) care, cleaning, loading, and unloading of a concealable firearm;
(4) all applicable State and federal laws relating to the ownership, storage, carry, and transportation of a firearm; and
(5) instruction on the appropriate and lawful interaction with law enforcement while transporting or carrying a concealed firearm.
(c) An applicant for a new license shall provide proof of certification by a certified instructor that the applicant passed a live fire exercise with a concealable firearm consisting of:
(1) a minimum of 30 rounds; and
(2) 10 rounds from a distance of 5 yards; 10 rounds from a distance of 7 yards; and 10 rounds from a distance of 10 yards at a B-27 silhouette target approved by the Department.
(e) A certificate of completion for an applicant's firearm training course shall not be issued to a student who:
(1) does not follow the orders of the certified firearms instructor;
(2) in the judgment of the certified instructor, handles a firearm in a manner that poses a danger to the student or to others; or
(3) during the range firing portion of testing fails to hit the target with 70% of the rounds fired.
Sixteen hours seems like a lot. Are there any exceptions?
Yes. You may not need to take the entire 16 hours if you have certain previous training recognized by the Illinois State Police. For example, applicants who have completed the NRA Basic Pistol course get eight hours credit against the 16 hour requirement. Likewise, a military vet with a DD 214 also gets eight hours credit. If you have a concealed carry permit from certain states, you might get four hours credit. As of now, the State Police are still in the process of determining what other prior instruction will be eligible for credit against the sixteen hour requirement. Thus, if you only need eight hours of training, that would consist of sections 4 and 5 below.
So how are we going to handle this sixteen hour curriculum?
First, PLEASE NOTE: if you read my home page, you saw where I do not do large classes. Not fun for me, not fun or as useful as possible for you. Thus, I will only conduct private one to three students maximum instruction for concealed carry applicants. Also note that I subscribe and strongly support the Statement of Ethics of the Association of Defensive Shooting Instructors.
With that said, for those needing the entire sixteen hours, this is a two-day affair. The following is the curriculum for the course.
Day One 1. Firearm safety (Classroom) 4 basic firearm handling safety rules Home storage, Vehicle storage, Public Storage
2. Basic principles of marksmanship (Classroom/Range) Stance Grip Sight Alignment Sight Picture Trigger Control
3. Care, cleaning, loading, and unloading of a concealable firearm (Classroom) Gun identification: revolver, semi-automatic Ammunition identification and selection Safety and cleaning protocols Cleaning equipment Loading and unloading Weapon Handling Dry fire practice drills, handgun fundamentals Dry fire practice drills from concealment
Day Two 4. All applicable State and Federal laws relating to the ownership, storage, carry, and transportation of a firearm (Classroom) The Act in its entirety
With emphasis on 430 ILCS 66/10(h) which includes instruction on the appropriate and lawful interaction with law enforcement while transporting or carrying a concealed firearm.
With emphasis on 430 ILCS 66/65 which includes instruction on prohibited areas and the parking lot exception.
The FOID Act 430 ILCS 65/1 et. seq.
Relevant portions of the ILCS including but not limited to: 720 ILCS 5/7-1. Use of force in defense of a person** 720 ILCS 5/7-2. Use of force in defense of dwelling** 720 ILCS 5/7-3. Use of force in defense of other property** 720 ILCS 24/1 et. seq. Unlawful Use of Weapons**
** Must define dwelling, aggressor, forcible felony and unlawful use of weapons pursuant to the ILCS.
5. Weapon Handling (Range) Dry fire practice drills, handgun fundamentals Dry fire practice drills from concealment Live fire practice drills, handgun fundamentals
Live fire qualification with a concealable firearm consisting of minimum of 30 rounds which must include 10 rounds from a distance of 5 yards; 10 rounds from a distance of 7 yards; and 10 rounds from a distance of 10 yards at a B-27 silhouette target approved by the Illinois State Police. (See www.isp.state.il.us/firearms/ccw/ccw-faq.cfm)
Required Equipment: A centerfire handgun, belt holster, a minimum of 1 spare magazine or speedloader, eye and ear protection, a baseball cap and a minimum of 100 rounds of ammunition. Although I prefer a centerfire handgun, for purposes of qualifying under the law, you may use a .22 rimfire if you desire. However, unless that is the weapon you intend to actually carry, (and I do not recommend that), you are far better off to bring the gun that you intend to use as your carry gun. If you do not currently own a handgun, that's alright. We can discuss what firearm makes the most sense for you, as well as related equipment.
How much does all of this cost?
The State will charge an application fee of $150 to Illinois residents, $300 if you are a non-resident. But there's more. You will also need to be fingerprinted to avoid a longer approval time at an approved location, which will run about $50-$65 depending on where you go. (I will make some recommendations.) Obviously your firearm and related equipment are your expenses as well. This includes ammo costs and range fees where required. Then there is the small matter of paying for the course itself. My fees will depend on whether you need the eight hour segment, (the "second day" part of the program,) or the entire sixteen hour course. Go to my Contact GRA page to tell me about yourself and what you think you need. Then we can talk.
Where will the course be taught?
My "home range" is Article II Range in Lombard. However, in the immortal words of a childhood hero of mine, "Have gun, will travel", under the right circumstances.