SPRINGFIELD – The number of Illinois residents expected to apply for concealed-carry permits in the law's first year could fill Wrigley Field 10 times, creating a new and rapidly growing industry: Gun instructors.
In recent weeks, the Illinois State Police has approved nearly 1,000 instructors to provide the 16 hours of training required of anyone who wants to carry a concealed weapon, the (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported.
And as the list continues to grow, there are clear signs that when the training does begin, business will be brisk.
John Jackson, co-owner of Capital City Arms Supply in Springfield, learned as much almost immediately after his name popped up on the state police's website identifying him as an approved concealed carry instructor.
"I've got 200 people on a waiting list, and I've been getting emails throughout the day," said Jackson.
Just how many people will apply for the permits is not known, but there are 1.6 million Illinois residents with Firearms Owner's Identification cards, which the state will require people to have before it'll issue a concealed carry permit. Already, authorities anticipate 400,000 people will apply for concealed carry permits in the first year alone.
The 16 hours of training – the most in the United States – is to be given in two parts. The first eight hours covers things like safety, gun handling, maintenance and basic marksmanship principles. Instructors in the second will cover state and federal concealed carry laws, as well as detail where weapons can and can't be taken, how to interact with law enforcement and when it is acceptable to use lethal force.
The second part of the course also includes what is called a "live fire exercise," in which applicants will be tested on accuracy and required to hit a target 70 percent of the time to obtain a permit.
The paper reports that the cost of classes will range from $100 to $200 for each eight-hour class, and could be higher depending on the cost of range fees. The permit itself costs $150, $300 for out-of-state applicants.
Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com