4/02/14 | by Chris Eger
At least 425 candidates for Illinois’s new concealed carry permits have found their applications rejected due to improper training from state certified instructors.
Since the state adopted the new concealed carry law, in which more than 60,000 have applied for permits to the Illinois State Police, an alarming amount of applications have been rejected after investigations found that students did not receive the full 16 hours of in-person training mandated by the law.
The most recent case involves a Bolingbrook firearms instructor who was found to be offering concealed carry classes with a portion being conducted online, which resulted in 327 of his students having their applications refused.
“I kind of feel like a fool,” said John Ambrose, 38, of Joliet when he learned Monday that his application had been denied due to the instructor’s teaching methods. He had paid $125 for the course and the instructor, who was at the time approved by the ISP to conduct training, had vouched for its content.
Ambrose became concerned when he learned that he wasn’t receiving one of the first 5,000 permits issued and then his fears were given substance when the State Police informed him that his training was inadequate.
Authorities have referred the matter to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.
“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 in a release Monday. “When these instructors fall short, safety is compromised and the integrity of the training process raises concerns.”
The affected applicants will have the opportunity to take the course again with a different certified instructor and without paying another $150 application fee. They can also appeal the denial in a written petition through the State Police’s administrative review process.
This comes on the heels of two other instructors who lost their credentials in March because of an ISP investigation into complaints of improperly certifying applicants. As a result of this investigation, some 98 students who trained with these instructors did not meet the minimum hours of required training, and their applications were denied.
The Land of Lincoln is not immune to the problem of a few instructors trying to cut corners. Last year officials in Missouri were at a loss as to what to do with some 1,700 permit holders who took inadequate classes from an instructor in that state while a similar Ohio case put 600 students in jeopardy.
The public can report abuses by completing the complaint form on the ISP Concealed Carry website, or by calling (217) 782-7980.
Photo by Justin Brockie