Dozens Pack Illinois Concealed Carry Classes - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Dozens Pack Illinois Concealed Carry Classes

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Illinois is the only state in the country that doesn't allow concealed carry, but a federal mandate came down in December requiring a concealed carry law. 

As lawmakers race against the clock to comply, dozens are taking classes in preparation.

Classes like the ones hosted by State Representative Mike Smiddy (D-Hillsdale) in Port Byron and Morrison Sunday offer residents a non-resident concealed carry permit through states like Utah or Florida.    

Those permits are recognized in over 31 states, including all those that border Illinois, but are not recognized in Illinois yet. 

Illinois lawmakers have until June 9th to comply with a federal ruling to pass a concealed carry law, so residents are rushing to get permits in anticipation of this federal mandate taking effect soon.  

"This has pretty much exploded and everyone wants to get their permit," Craig Celia of Safe Gun Permits says. 

Celia's gun permit business opened only this past January, and already many of his classes are full. 

"We teach pretty much every weekend, every Saturday and Sunday," Celia says, "We've been very busy." 

He says part of the popularity is people showing up to make their voices heard. 

"The majority of citizens want to get their permit and show the state of IL, especially Springfield, that this is what they're missing out on," Celia says, "The money they're paying for this permit could potentially apply to the state coffers."    

Celia teaches classes all over Illinois in classrooms filled with people like Nancy Elliot of Cambridge, Illinois. 

"Especially out in the country, we need for safety purposes to just protect ourselves," Elliott says. 

Though the permit she gets through the class won't count where she lives, she says she's planning ahead for the future. 

"Down the road, hopefully the state of Illinois will be able get this concealed weapon and then we can do that too," she says. 

Several other companies in Illinois offer classes just like this one as lawmakers race to pass a law that's safe for everyone. 

"If we do not get something done by the June 9th deadline, constitutional carry then comes into effect which means you do not have to have education, all you have to have is a FOID card to legally carry in the State of Illinois," State Rep. Mike Smiddy says.    

Legislators and gun advocates want to put a law in place to outline safety requirements before the June deadline passes.  

"We need to get this done before allowing folks to just go about the old West, strap it on the side and walk around without any training at all," Rep. Smiddy says. 

Both classes in Port Byron and Morrison Sunday were completely full.     

The class has been so popular, there's already a waiting list of over 100 people at State Representative Smiddy's office.    

They are planning to host another class on May 18th at a larger venue to accommodate all the interest. 

To find out more information on these classes visit: http://safegunpermits.com/classes