By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — Conceal carry instructor Clint Taylor of Mt. Vernon said the 100 people he has trained will be joining thousands of Illinoisans in applying for licensure when the state begins taking applications on Sunday.
Illinois State Police provided a preview this week of the Concealed Carry License (CCL) application process for the public. Since early July, the ISP has been providing the public with regular updates on the CCL process including FAQs, firearms instructor training requirements, firearms instructor databases, approved curricula, signage requirements, training, and the ability to apply for a digital ID and submit electronic fingerprints. A new CCL unit has been created and is currently operating out of the ISP central headquarters building in Springfield.
As a law enforcement officer — Taylor was formerly with the Mt. Vernon Police Department and now is a part time officer with the Ina Police Department — he is not required to obtain a CCL license. However, Taylor said he is still going to apply for one.
"Last week the state sent out an e-mail to certified instructors so that we could start applying for permits. The state wanted to make sure the system would work by Jan. 5. It didn't work on day one. I didn't personally apply since I'm a law enforcement official, but I'm going to apply anyway just so I can learn the process so I can help my students with it," Taylor said.
Taylor, owner of Southern Illinois Concealed Carry Academy, said he will conducting another class this weekend — Saturday and Sunday — and still has openings remaining. The class will be held at the Holiday Inn in Mt. Vernon, and the shooting will be conducted on a private range outside of Mt. Vernon. Taylor has another class scheduled on Jan. 17-18.
"I try to have at least three classes a month, usually on Friday and Saturday and Saturday and Sunday, and one during the week on different days of the week," Taylor said, adding that participants must complete at least 16 hours of training in order to apply for a concealed carry license. Taylor said prior gun training may result up to eight hours of training being waived. Prior training that constitutes waiver of hours is listed on Taylor's web site at southernillinoisconcealedcarry.com.
Effective Jan. 1, all private firearm transactions in Illinois must be approved by the Illinois State Police. Any non-federally licensed firearm dealer who desires to transfer or sell a firearm will be required to contact the Illinois State Police and provide the purchaser's Firearms Owners Identification Card number. ISP will determine the validity of the FOID card and issue an approval number which will be valid for 30 days from the date of issue.