Concealed carry (CCW) (carrying a concealed weapon), is the practice of carrying a handgun or other weapon in public in a concealed manner, either on one's person or in close proximity. Not all weapons that fall under CCW controls are lethal. For example, in Florida, carrying pepper spray in more than a specified volume (2 oz.) of chemical requires a CCW permit, whereas anyone may legally carry a smaller, so-called, "self-defense chemical spray" device hidden on their person without a CCW permit.

While there is no federal law specifically addressing the issuance of concealed carry permits, all 50 states have passed laws allowing citizens to carry certain concealed firearms in public, either without a permit or after obtaining a permit from local government and/or law enforcement. Illinois had been the last state without such a provision, but its long-standing ban on concealed weapons was overturned in a federal appeals court, on Constitutional grounds. Illinois was required by the court to draft a concealed carry law by July 9, 2013 (including a 30-day extension) at which time the Illinois legislature, over-riding the amendatory veto of the governor who had sought to impose many restrictions, approved concealed carry to begin January 2014, at the latest.

The new legislation requires a background check and 16 hours of firearms training to purchase a $150 five-year concealed-carry license; as a "shall-issue" law, Illinois State Police must grant the license to anyone with those credentials.

Smart Targets LLC trains under the NACFI training curriculum and believes this is the most comprehensive and informational training available.

NACFI's License and Permit to Carry Training covers the six broad topic areas necessary to understand if a permit to carry is for you and, if so, how to survive a Defensive Gun Use (DGU). The six broad topic areas are:

1.    Physical - Surviving a violent attack physically is important, but only part of story.
2.    Personal/Moral - Do I have the personal fortitude and capability to use a firearm for self-defense and can I live with myself if I have to shoot someone?
3.    Legal - A complete understanding of the laws regarding the use of deadly force and permit to carry laws. Staying out of prison is a very good idea!
4.    Practical - How do I carry a firearm? What type of handgun is right for me? Maintaining shooting skills. Practical tips for carry and surviving a DGU.
5.    Communal - What are the expectations of my community? What are the expectations of permit holders in general? What do I do if I am stopped for a traffic violation? How do the laws and communal expectations live together?
6.    Financial - Ever thought about how you would pay for saving your life. That DGU could cost millions and we know how to pay for it. For most of our clients say this knowledge alone paid for the class.

Illinois requires 16 hours of training in order to obtain an Illinois Concealed Carry Permit. Credit hours are given for prior training. (Check Illinois State Police website for approved training courses or contact us). We offer an 8 hour Handgun Safety and Handling Basics and the 8 hour Illinois Concealed Carry Course which exceeds the States requirements of training. Our training also satisfies the requirements for Florida CC permit. We also offer the Utah CC permit classes as well.

For a list of classes and to register, visit www.nacfi.org or click on the tab below and register. For additional information, email stil.concealedcarry@yahoo.com.

Joe Jakubik - NACFI Certified Instructor, Utah CCW Certified Instructor
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