McCarthy: 16 hours of training for concealed carry not enough - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

McCarthy: 16 hours of training for concealed carry not enough

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By next spring, hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans are expected to be carrying concealed, loaded firearms. That became law last week. But the debate over what should be in the 16 hours of training each must receive, rages on.

The Concealed Carry Law enacted last week gives the Illinois state police 60 days to come up with guidelines for the required training classes, 16 hours' worth. Chicago's top cop told FOX 32 News, though, he doesn't think that's nearly enough to teach civilians what they need to know, especially when it's legal to fire a gun at someone.

"Why don't you ask the family of Trayvon Martin? Seriously. We're setting ourselves up for problems," Garry McCarthy said. "And 16 hours of training? And then telling somebody, ‘Here, go have at it.' There's not even a qualification involved. There's 16 hours of training. Do you know what 16 hours means? That's two days in school, right? Eight hours a day. That is not an adequate period of time to become proficient with a firearm. You probably can't even figure out how a gun works in that short a time, how to clean it! Let alone to learn how to use it."

Asked about Garry McCarthy's concerns, a spokeswoman for the state police told FOX 32 News she could not comment, beyond saying that the curriculum of concealed carry classes is still under discussion. The National Rifle Association's chief lobbyist here said the basic concepts are taught in much less time in other states.

"That's the meat and potatoes of what a carry permit is about: when you legally can use deadly force in defense of yourself or somebody else," the NRA's Todd Vandermyde says.

The Illinois Criminal Code says a person "is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony."

State Senator Dan Kotowski, a critic of concealed carry, would like to amend the law to require the same 80 hours of gun training police get.

"The training of a Chicago Police officer is so intense, and still, in spite of all the training law enforcement goes through, we still have problems," Kotowski says.

The guidelines for concealed carry training classes should be released by early September.

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