There are now 54 concealed carry instructors approved by the Illinois State Police. Anyone who wants to apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon has to put in sixteen hours in the classroom and shooting range with an official instructor.
One of the first to win approval as an instructor is Daniel Schroeder. He has been carrying a gun professionally for 20 years. He’s been in the military, a police officer, a private detective, and a law enforcement firearms instructor. Now his company, Metro Training Group in DeKalb, is prepared to offer the mandatory concealed carry training classes, as soon as he gets the go-ahead from the State Police. His advice to people itching to get their concealed carry permits?
“There’s no need to jump the gun.”
Schroeder says state officials haven’t approved a curriculum yet… and no one can teach a class until that happens.
“There are companies out there that are putting on classes and have been since June and July. And basically, those people are being ripped off.”
Schroeder advises people who want to take the training to only choose instructors from the state police’s approved list…and never put down a deposit on classes.
Most of the instructors approved so far are in northern Illinois. State police are still making their way through as many as one thousand applications from people who want to become trainers. Hundreds of thousands are expected to apply for concealed carry licenses when those applications become available starting January 5th.
The Bar Is Low
Schroeder says he expects to see quite a range of firearms skills once the classes are underway. He doesn't necessarily have the power to "pass or fail" anyone, but he must make sure they meet the state's requirements. As he puts it, "the bar is low." On the shooting range, students must hit a target with 21 out of 30 rounds, from 5, 7, and 10 yards. He says the target is 25 by 45 inches, and decent shooters can probably pass blindfolded.
Schroeder says the most important thing people will learn in his class is "Safety. Safety, safety, safety." He has three golden rules of firearm safety:
- Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
- Always keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
- Always keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.