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Gun trainers find range time scarce

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 12:30 p.m. CDT

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS (AP) — With a huge demand for training in handling firearms, instructors are having difficulty finding shooting-range and classroom space that are available at the same time for the 16 hours of training Illinois is requiring to allow the carrying of concealed weapons in public.

Illinois State Police officials have accepted thousands of applications since the process opened Sunday. But those applicants need training first, and instructors are having difficulty finding space to do it, the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1bLtqo0 ).

"I need to schedule classroom and range training together, and that's hard right now," said James Monk II, a concealed-carry instructor from Naperville.

Monk has trained about 80 people since November, but he said many instructors have to delay training until ranges and classrooms are available at the same time.

Illinois in July became the nation's last state to approve concealed carry and established the toughest training regimen. That, combined with widespread interest — the state police estimate 400,000 applications in the first year — make for a crowded field of people wanting credentials to carry concealed guns.

In addition to "dry" and "live" firing training and stance and grip instruction, applicants must spend at least 12 hours in the classroom learning rules for safe handling and storage; care, cleaning, loading and unloading, and identification of firearms; and applicable state and federal laws concerning ownership, storage, carrying and transportation.

While classroom space is available, Naperville instructor George Garay said, "The biggest setback is trying to find comparable ranges to do the (firing) training at."

Instructors not affiliated with a range have the additional hurdle of finding a range that is open to outside trainers.

"Some of the other ranges have decided to take it all and do it in-house," said Barry Soskin, who owns the Article II Range in Lombard.

The Arlington Heights residents said he has opened his facility to outside teachers. His facility has trained nearly 1,000 people since October.

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Information from: Daily Herald, http://www.dailyherald.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 

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