Illinois citizens take first steps to receive conceal carry permit

By Alyssa Donovan

November 10, 2013 Updated Nov 11, 2013 at 11:09 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- People throughout Illinois took a shot at the first step in receiving their conceal carry permit this weekend.

Former marine Robert DeGise is no stranger to firearms. He was part of one of the largest battles in World War 2, Iwo Jima.

"That was 68 years ago, the weapons have changed," DeGise said.

So have the laws.

Degise is one of 22 people who took a shot at completing an Illinois conceal carry class this weekend at Vital Security Training Academy.

"I found out there are a lot of legal aspects I had not been aware of before," DeGise said.

The class started off with the basics.

"How to clean their weapon, the proper way to pick out ammunition, the proper way to store it," said Dean Baize, class instructor.

Then it covered the details of the law.

"I've learned where you can and can't carry, I've learned that just because you have a conceal permit doesn't mean you can just go be a hero," said beginner Diana Siegwarth.

"You have to be very very careful about how you handle yourself around other people and in certain situations," said student Daniel Combs.

Siegwarth says she took the class because she wanted to be informed.

"I don't think that I will carry everywhere I go but I may find myself in situations where it might come in handy," Siegwarth said.

Instructor Baize says for proficient shooters it will be a challenge to get used to the concealment aspect of the new law.

"You might have it in a coat or a sidearm, and they've never had it in that location so we have to practice that. Clearing the clothes," Baize said.

The course is 16 hours long with a few exceptions.

"I took the 8 hour because I am a combat veteran and I also took the NRA pistol course," DeGise said.

But the class is just the first step in receiving a permit to conceal carry.
After completing the course students receive a certificate of completion from their instructor.

They can then apply with state police but that doesn't start until January 5.