If you happen to be giving some thought to taking a concealed carry class, I’d suggest doing a bit of research first. Start by making sure that the class being taught completely meets the state requirements. Otherwise, what happened to Mr. John Ambrose at a Bass Pro Shops in Illinois could also happen to you.
The entire article is listed below with links to the actual source. Have a quick read and then let’s talk about how this could have been avoided.
Bass Pro Shops Sued Over ‘Worthless’ Concealed Carry Class
Joliet man says the Bolingbrook store falsely advertised a course that ended up not meeting state requirements. The instructor is no longer permitted to teach concealed carry classes.
Bass Pro Shops in Bolingbrook is being accused of f. Credit: Patch file photo
BOLINGBROOK, IL — A Joliet man is suing Bass Pro Shops after the Bolingbrook sporting goods store allegedly advertised a concealed carry training course taught by a firearms instructor who has since been decertified. John P. Ambrose accuses the store of falsely advertising a “worthless class” that did not meet the 16 hours of training required to obtain a concealed carry license in Illinois, according to Sun-Times Media.
The suit comes after the Illinois State Police on April 1 announced that a Bolingbrook instructor was decertified for allegedly failing to train applicants properly. Ambrose said he took a course offered by Bolingbrook-based Security Guard College and instructor James Andel, who at the time was certified to teach concealed carry training courses. Ambrose said he took the class after seeing an ad for it at the Bass Pro Shops in Bolingbrook last October, the Sun-Times reported.
The Joliet resident claims that Andel told him the eight-hour class satisfied the state’s concealed carry requirements because it included supplemental online education and time at a shooting range, according to the lawsuit. Ambrose said he got a letter from state police on March 31 saying his application for a concealed carry permit was denied because he did not meet the required 16 hours of training. Click here to read the Sun-Times Media article.
Andel is one of 13 instructors who are no longer approved to teach concealed carry training courses. State police said the instructors were banned from teaching the classes amid complaints regarding instructors who were allegedly improperly training students and/or awarding certificates to students who had not completed the 16 hours of training.
State police said 327 applicants will have their requests for a concealed carry license denied because they took Andel’s course. The applicants will have the opportunity to become re-trained without incurring another $150 application fee, and will be allowed to appeal the denial by submitting a written petition through the ISP’s administrative review process, police said last week.
So how could this have been avoided?
#1 – Learn and understand the CCW license requirements – As a potential student, take the time to learn exactly what the CCW license requirements are for your particular state. While most CCW instructors are honest people with integrity, there are always those like the ones above who will cut corners in the name of profit. It’s your responsibility to make sure that you understand the requirements. Here’s a great place to get started understanding those requirements: http://www.usacarry.com/concealed_carry_permit_information.html. Click on the state you reside in, and you’ll be taken to information about that state’s CCW licensing program.
#2 – Check out the instructors – Most instructors who are lawfully licensed to teach CCW will have no problem either discussing their credentials and/or showing you references to their teaching credentials and state certificates. I’d suggest being a little concerned about any instructor who doesn’t doesn’t or won’t provide proof of certification. Most certification is handled at the state level as it’s state has it’s own certification standards for instructors.
#3 – Check out references – Most reputable instructors are more than happy to proved references to happy customers who have taken their class. Follow-up and call those people to hear their opinions.
#4 – Interview the instructor – Most legitimate instructors are happy to answer a few questions about the class and how it works. Always as about the class length and the amount of time involved. Be wary of any references to “getting you out early” or anything along those lines.
Here’s why all that matters:
In the event that you do obtain a CCW permit and ever have to use a weapon to protect yourself or another, there’s a very good chance that someone (either law enforcement or an attorney) will look into your credentials to verify that you are or were legitimately licensed at the time of the incident. If a lawsuit is involved, there’s a very good chance that your training records, certification, tests, and anything else related to the class will be subpoenaed for court.
And here’s the final question to consider when evaluating a potential instructor: would you want this person testifying on your behalf in court? If you can’t answer yes, then find another instructor with either better credentials, better experience, or more training experience.
Here are a few other resources and tips on choosing the right CCW instructor: