Illinois State Police Emergency Rules on Concealed Carry Training

On Friday, August 30, the Illinois State Police (ISP) promulgated new emergency rules dealing with the registration of instructional personnel who will play a key role in the implementation of P.A. 98-63 (HB 183), the Firearm Concealed Carry Act.  This new Act (430 ILCS 66) directed the State Police to begin the process of approving training instructors and courses no more than 60 days after the effective date of the enactment of this new Act, and this emergency rulemaking is intended to comply with the deadline.

These emergency rules are temporary in nature.  They must be replaced by permanent ISP rules no later than January 27, 2014.  The permanent ISP rules, which will be in effect in 2014 and following years, must go through a First Notice process for public feedback and comment.  The August 30 Concealed Carry rules did not go through First Notice and have not received formal public comment.

House Republicans believe the public should have the right to comment and provide suggestions to improve these concealed carry instructional rules.  We encourage you to provide feedback on these rules using the following form and we will share your comments with the Illinois State Police.  

Please review the emergency rules located below this form - then use this form to tell us what you think.

Illinois residents will have to receive mandated instructional training from approved instructional personnel before they receive a concealed-carry license under this Act.

What the Firearm Concealed Carry Act requires with respect to applicant training:
  1. 16 hours total (whether one course or a combination of courses), which must include range time (number of hours on range not specified);
  2. Coverage of the following 5 topics (no minimum hourly requirement for each topic):
(a) firearm safety;
(b) the basic principles of marksmanship;
(c) care, cleaning, loading, and unloading of a concealable firearm;
(d) all applicable State and federal laws relating to the ownership, storage, carry, and transportation of a firearm; and
(e) instruction on the appropriate and lawful interaction with law enforcement while transporting or carrying a concealed firearm.
  1. Completion, with at least 70% accuracy, of a live fire exercise with a concealable firearm consisting of:
(a) a minimum of 30 rounds; and
(b) 10 rounds from a distance of 5 yards; 10 rounds from a distance of 7 yards; and 10 rounds from a distance of 10 yards at a B-27 silhouette target.
  1. The Department and instructor shall recognize up to 8 hours of training already completed toward the 16-hour training requirement if the training course is approved by the Department and recognized under the laws of another state.

Important facts about the Emergency Rules promulgated by the Illinois State Police:
  1. The rules only provide for certification of 16, 8, or 3-hour training programs.
  2. The rules place minimum hourly requirements on the types of training that must be included in a course for that course to be certified; these include requirements that are not part of the law enacted by the General Assembly. For instance, the rules require that, for either an 8-hour or a 16-hour course to qualify, the course must include a weapons handling component consisting of 4 hours of range time. That requirement is not set forth anywhere in the Act.

Detail of Emergency Rules:

The new emergency rules constitute Title 20, Chapter II, Part 1231 of the Illinois Administrative Code (20 IAC 1231).  The emergency rules had not yet, as of September 6, 2013, been posted in the State’s Illinois Administrative Code database. 

The new rules included the following five Sections, numbered 1231.10 through 1231.50:

Section 1231.10.  Definitions.  This section defines key words and phrases to be used to enforce this new Act, including “valid firearms instructor certification.”  Certification as a law enforcement firearms instructor, state or federal firearms instructor, Law Enforcement Training Standards Board (LATSB) firearms instructor, or National Rifle Association firearms instructor shall constitute valid proof of identity as a qualified firearms instructor for the purposes of implementing the Firearm Concealed Carry Act. 

“Weapons handling instruction,” for the purposes of this Act, shall include not less than the following: (a) handgun fundamentals in the context of dry fire practice drills, (b) dry fire practice drills from concealment, (c) handgun fundamentals in the context of live fire practice drills, and (d) life fire qualification with a concealable firearm.  The range and target for the live fire are specified.

Section 1231.20.  Instructor approval.  Applicants for the status of Concealed Carry Firearms Instructor must submit a full set of fingerprints; must themselves apply for a concealed carry license later in 2013 or in 2014 when applications for this license become available; and must themselves have or be eligible for an FOID card.

Section 1321.30.  Instructor approval revocation.  Summarizes the administrative-law process that will be necessary to follow for the State Police to validly revoke the approval status of an approved instructor.  Revocation of an instructor’s FOID card or concealed carry license shall result in immediate revocation of the instructor’s approval status.  The State Police may also revoke an instructor’s approval if the Department finds out that the instructor is not teaching the concealed carry safety curriculum in a manner consistent with the Concealed Carry Act.

Section 1231.40.  Curriculum approval.  In addition to personally applying for approval as a Concealed Carry Firearms Instructor, an approved instructor must also teach a curriculum that has received separate approval from the State Police.   The curriculum, to be approved, shall include up to 16 hours of classroom and firearms training.  A 16-hour course shall include the following elements: (a) 2 classroom hours of firearms safety; (b) 3 classroom hours/range hours of basic principles of marksmanship; (c) 3 classroom hours dedicated to training in the care, cleaning, loading, and unloading of a concealable firearm; (d) 4 classroom hours of lay legal education on firearms law; and (e) 4 range hours of training in weapons handling.  Certain persons with some prior firearms training will be allowed to take an 8-hour course (elements (d) and (e) only).   Applicants for renewal of concealed carry license will be required to take a 3-hour continuing education course, allocated as follows: (i) 2 classroom hours of continuing lay legal education on changes in firearms law; and (ii) 1 range hour of live-fire requalification.  

Section 1231.50.  Training certification.  The Concealed Carry Firearms Instructor’s active consent will be a required element of a concealed carry license application.  The Instructor will be required to fill out and submit a certification form for each successful application.  The certification form may include a bypass for the first 8 hours of the required training, the instructor is prepared to certify that the license applicant received prior proof of instruction in firearms safety, marksmanship, and firearms care, and is qualified for certification on the basis of taking the 8-hour course rather than the 16-hour course.