The state of Illinois began accepting concealed carry applications a few weeks ago.
With the floodgates opened, more people are looking to complete the course they need to meet the state requirements for a permit. Click here to visit the Illinois State Police Concealed Carry Licensing website.
Jon Capp with Western Illinois Firearm Training says he's been very busy since the concealed carry permit application process began. He says the 16 hour training course ranges from basic firearms training to information about the concealed carry laws in the state of Illinois.
"Why are people interested?
"They want to partake in that right, they also want it for personal protection," Capp said.
Capp says the 16-hour Illinois State Police curriculum covers everything from basic firearms training to information about the state's concealed carry laws. Credits for previous basic firearms training programs do apply to some applicants, but at the end of this class everyone will know where and how they can legally carry concealed weapons. It's also important to know how to interact with police when carrying a weapon.
Concealed carry applicants also have to have proficient shooting skills. Click here to learn about the requirements for shooting accuracy from KHQA This Morning.
Capp says a big emphasis is put on the proper justifications for drawing a weapon. Click here for a demonstration on how to draw weapons properly.
"We want them to know when they pull their firearm, what is going to happen," Capp said. "How their world will change forever. A person who decides to do that has already changed their life because they are taking a loaded weapon into a public setting."
That's a theme echoed by another local firearms instructor, James Bland with WISE Firearms Training.
"The most important thing people can learn during these classes is that concealed weapons should only be used in the defense of life and always as a last resort," Bland said.
It also is important to do your homework when choosing a Concealed Carry Firearms instructor. You have to make sure an instructor is certified by the state of Illinois and the Illinois State Police. It also is important to check the background of the instructor.
Click here to find an Illinois State Police-approved concealed carry firearms instructor.