Interest in gun-safety classes spikes with new Ill. law

Interest in gun-safety classes spikes with new Ill. law

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GALESBURG, Ill. (AP) - Some gun shop owners say they're not seeing a huge boom in sales following the passage of Illinois' new concealed carry law, but interest in firearms training classes has increased.

Many calls coming into Galesburg Guns, Gear and Ammo are from people wanting information about firearms safety classes, shop owner Preston Johnson told The Register-Mail.

Sales spiked after the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Johnson said.

"I think a lot of people got a gun at that time to get ready for the concealed carry bill that was in the works at the time," he said, but he's seeing lots of interest in classes.

Illinois this month became the last state to allow residents to carry concealed firearms. The new law requires, among other things, a 16-hour training course, a background check and a shooting qualification test before the Illinois State Police will issue a concealed carry permit.

Firearms instructor Casey Fuller hasn't started planning a curriculum yet for his first Illinois-specific gun safety class, but said that about 900 people are already on a waiting list.

He believes anyone planning to carry a gun should go beyond the new law's requirements.

"I think if someone's going to carry a firearm on them for personal protection, they should go through at least 40 hours of training," he said. "I'm not saying they should be required to, but I think they should anyways."

Classes aren't yet available, pending final details from the state. Fuller expects them to be available starting sometime this fall.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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