For the majority of those looking to apply for an Illinois concealed carry permit, it will be necessary to take the complete 16 hour CCW course.  But what if you're already have certifications or professional experience with firearms?  Do you still need to take the Basic Pistol Safety class in addition to the advanced Concealed Carry training? 

The short answer, in most cases, is no.  Let's take a look at three circumstances where advanced gun owners may be exempt from having to take both days of training. 

Military  Service, Prior & Active

If you've gone through boot camp or basic training, it's understood that you learned a thing or two about how to handle and care for a pistol.  Considering the nature of military and combat training, those with prior and active service are traditionally exempt from having to take Day 1 of the two-day CCW permit classes.  It will always be beneficial to check with your instructor (or the Illinois State Police) if you want to make absolutely sure, prior to signing up for classes. 

Police Officers, Retired

The role of police officers is greatly centered around knowing the ins and outs of operating a firearm responsibly and under duress, and this serves as proper justification for bypassing the first 8 hours of concealed carry training in Illinois.  If you're a retired officer of the law in good standing, you will not be required to re-take the basic pistol safety portion of IL CCL training.  Again, and to prevent delays in receiving your permit, it's advisable to confirm your eligibility prior to enrolling.   

Prior Firearms Classes & Training

Did you take the NRA Basic Pistol Course previously for a job or as a means of personal protection?  If so, you should be able to skip day one and move right on to the IL concealed carry training class.  Those who took it in Illinois are automatically exempt, in addition to others who may have taken it in another state before moving here.  You'll need to have you completion certificate in order to progress to the second day of classes.  

Wondering If You Qualify for Advanced CCW Classes?

We should stress that the information provided in this article is given with a grain of salt.  After all, it's safe to assume that stipulations exists on the state level which might require an advanced gun owner to take both 8-hour CCW permits classes.  For the most part, however, this is a realistic guide on scenarios where you would typically be exempt.

If you still have questions and would like to speak directly with a certified CCW instructor, call Concealed Carry of Illinois at 847-461-8611 or write to us confidentially through our secure contact page.  We have upcoming classes in the Chicago suburbs and north shore, so be sure to bookmark us to know when we'll be in your area!