For residents wishing to know how to pick an Illinois concealed carry class, there are several things to take into consideration. Unlike many other states, Illinois has some very extensive training requirements that need to be met.
An Illinois class must be 16 hour long, which is the most training required of all 50 states. However, honorably discharged veterans will be awarded 8 hours credit toward the 16 hours. In addition, credit (up to a maximum of 8 hours) is given for those who have taken one of the following courses:
Chicago Firearms Permit (4 hours)
Illinois Hunters Safety (4 hours)
Utah, Florida, Nevada, Michigan, Kentucky or Missouri CCW (4 hours)
NRA Basic Pistol (8 hours)
NRA Personal Protection Inside the Home (8 hours)
NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home (8 hours)
In addition to being 16 hours long, an Illinois concealed carry class must also contain a very specific shooting qualification. Students must fire 30 rounds at a B27 silhouette target (that is a man-sized target) and hit it 70 percent of the time. Ten rounds each must be fired at 5 yards, 7 yards and 10 yards.
So what else do you look for?
The first thing to consider in picking an Illinois concealed carry class is what the course curriculum will cover. A class that begins with an NRA curriculum is sure to be thorough and professional and it will be taught by a certified NRA firearms instructor. This is the hallmark of a good course. Never pick a course that is not taught by a Certified NRA Firearms Instructor. Although the first eight hours can be an NRA course, or an Illinois State Police Approved Course taught by an NRA Instructor, the second 8 hour block of instruction will NOT be an NRA course, as it is specific to Illinois.
The second thing to consider in picking an Illinois concealed carry class is the instructor. Frequently the instructors for firearms classes are off duty law enforcement officers with many years of experience. This can be a definite disadvantage.
While a law enforcement officer may have a lot of expertise in firearms, he may not be a skilled instructor. Knowing something and teaching it are two very different things. For this reason, check to see if the instructor has any educational / teaching background or talk to someone who has taken a class from the instructor.
Always ensure that you take a course from a seasoned teacher who can make the class interesting, fun and engaging.
The third thing to consider in picking an Illinois concealed carry class is what the class will consist of and how it will be conducted. In other words, will the class consist of a lecture with a Powerpoint presentation, or will it be more interesting and engaging?
At a minimum, the course should include hands-on instruction with both revolvers and semi-automatic handguns and practice with aim, grip and stance using dummy pistols. Using a pistol equipped with a red dot laser sight is a great training aid to help students learn how steady they are able to hold the gun.
Additionally, a four-hour course like that which will satisfy Utah and many other states concealed carry requirements is not enough. Illinois requires much more than a four-hour course for the first eight hours, which is why the NRA Basic Pistol Shooting course is so appropriate.
So these are three things to consider when picking a concealed carry class. If you consider these three factors and compare the different courses that are available by various instructors, you will be in a position to find the best possible fit for you, instead of having regrets later on.
The next step is to access the NRA website and look to see what Basic Pistol Shooting Classes are offered in your area. This way you ensure that you find an officially sanctioned NRA course taught by an NRA Certified Instructor.
Now you know how to find a class and what to look for in a class to know how to pick the best one.