Some area residents are taking their first steps towards getting concealed carry licenses in Illinois by going through the required training courses. One of the first classes of that kind in our area was offered this weekend.
The class in Sterling allowed students to complete the requirements that they take a 16-hour training course and prove that they are competent shooters.
Some other QCA residents may find the process difficult to complete, because there are only a handful of state-certified concealed carry instructors in each of our local counties at this point.
Most of those instructors are in the Chicago-land area, and the state is still processing some instructors' applications.
People we talked to at the Sterling training class this weekend told us they're just happy concealed carry is coming to Illinois.
"It's going to make them more cautious. One of the things we tell them is to avoid conflict, instead of trying to find it, because it's not their job. They aren't the police," said Howard Melchi, a former police officer and certified concealed carry instructor who led this weekend's training.
People wanting licenses will also have to pass background checks and provide fingerprints.
Applications will be available on the Illinois State Police website starting January 5, 2014.
There is already a full list of concealed carry instructors on the State Police website, which includes names, cities, phone numbers and email addresses, in some cases.
You can also search this by county to find an instructor in your area.