By Farrah Fazal
POCAHONTAS, Ill. (KSDK) - Fly by night conceal carry operators are popping up in the last state to get a conceal carry law.
A retired Illinois state trooper, who now owns a gun range, said he's getting calls from people every day about people who either don't have licenses or don't have the experience to teach firearms training.
Mark Owensby used to be the weapons training instructor for the ISP. He's signed up 500 people, and the list keeps growing to take his conceal carry course at his range in Pocohantas.
"There's a lot of women taking the course, a lot of couples taking the course," he said.
He's also getting calls from corporations who are offering conceal carry to their employees. Owensby said conceal carry is big business. Big business attracts con artists trying to make a fast buck. He said the not so legitimate instructors may set up "a classroom in their house, a garage or a makeshift range in the backyard to teach two to three people at a time."
The Illinois attorney general and the Illinois State Police haven't cited anybody yet. They want people to do the research, ask the questions and find registered, licensed instructors who have experience. Owensby said $150 is a fair price to pay for a two day course.
"I've heard anywhere from 200 plus in Madison County to 600 in Chicago for these classes," he said.
You can find approved instructors on the Illinois State Police website. TheBetter Business Bureau's website will give you instructors and the feedback from people who hired them.