Surrender Your Conceal Carry License or Risk Arrest

Concealed carry permit holders in Illinois are receiving letters informing them to turn in their permits immediately, or face arrest.

Ken Cook, who has carried concealed since 2014, told Jenise Rebholz, a reporter from Heart of Illinois ABC:

“The letter stated you have to surrender your conceal carry license within 48 hours or risk the possibility of a warrant being issued for an arrest.”

Cook and his wife turned in their permits the next day, October 7th.

“All of a sudden it’s revoked because my instructor was audited and they revoked his certification and therefore a chain reaction, everyone he taught was revoked because the training (was) deemed insufficient by the state of Illinois,” Cook said.

Cooks instructor, Russell McCormick, is only one of many such instructors who were audited and found with insufficient training programs and had their firearm instructor certification taken away.

“They said he didn’t provide the correct amount of time for the class. They said the class should consist of 16 hours but the approved curriculum on the Illinois State Police website says the 16-hour class must contain a minimum of the following topics… and it breaks it down and that only adds up to a total of 6 hours,” said Cook.

Cook went on to say that the letter was unnecessarily aggressive, and he felt as if he had been made a criminal.

Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz told HOI-ABC:

“It seems as if the revocation letters were pretty harsh and would be the type of letter you would expect to be sent from a violator when in fact these were victims,” said Umholtz.

Victims of negligent concealed carry instructors, who did their students a grave disservice. Negligence so extreme, it turns out, criminal charges may be filed against the instructors.

Cook said that while getting the letter in the mail was inconvenient, the process of trying to get his CCW permit re-instated has been a bit of a nightmare.

Cook was eager to comply with the threats issued by ISP but found it extremely difficult to do as his multiple, well documented, attempts to get in contact with the department proved fruitless.

After receiving the revocation letter, Cook, once again, paid full price for a CCW class in order to re-obtain the permit. When ISP website malfunctions prevented him from uploading the documents as directed, he tried to get in touch with the department by phone to show he had completed the requirements.

All of his phone calls went un-returned

Cook then contacted Valinda Rowe, the spokesperson for Illinois Carry, a not-for-profit organization, “Devoted to advancing your right to carry in Illinois.

She recommended Cook mail in a copy of his new certification, which he did promptly.

A full 30 days passed without Cook receiving any notification. He then contacted the Governor’s office on November 22nd requesting help.

Rowe advised him to once again submit the paperwork. Cook finally received word from the Governor’s office that his appeal had begun processing on December 5th. A week or two later, his permit arrived in the mail.

But unfortunately, the story didn’t end there.

“When I got my concealed carry license back in the mail, five days after that I got a letter in the mail from the Illinois State Police that said ‘Hey we just reviewed your appeal and we’ll be granting your appeal so you’ll be getting your conceal carry back…’ when I already got my license back in the mail,” said Cook.

Cook isn’t alone in his frustrations.

Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz isn’t sure how many people have been affected by the letters, but estimates anywhere between dozens and hundreds. He offered a possible excuse for the department, saying the police are probably too “… stressed to the maximum” to handle the job in a timely fashion.

Brian Wood, an instructor with Good Shepard Defense & Training said that while he hasn’t seen those letters before, the unresponsiveness of ISP is nothing new to him.

“It’s frustrating because if people have a question, I tell them to contact state police directly. These people are trying to get information to comply with the law, it’s difficult and frustrating when they can’t talk to someone that can tell them right from wrong,” he said.

Concealed Carry Law and be tricky. It can be trickier when the government unjustly threatens you with arrest, then ignores your attempts to rectify the problem.

Concealed carry protection can help reduce the level of nightmare after a self-defense situation by defending you from the Illinois legal system. USCCA offers some of the best.

What do you think of this legal soup sandwich? Did your instructor fulfill the requirements? Leave us a comment below to let us know.

If your aren’t sure, here is a list of training classes and dates in your area with instructors who won’t let you down the way Cook’s did.

The word negligent means, irresponsible, thoughtless, failing to take proper care.

Do you think these instructors were negligent in their duty to students? Should they face criminal charges? Let me know in the comments below.



  1. BG on January 17, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Were the instructors certified at the time their certificates/CCP issued? If so, then those CCP shouldn’t be deemed invalid after the fact because the instructor is NOW out of compliance.

    • Jacob Paulsen on January 17, 2019 at 10:16 am

      Well it would seem from the info we’ve seen that the students took a class that was out of compliance or at very least that the state police are assuming that if the instructor is teaching non-compliant classes now that all their past classes were also non-compliant. Either way it doesn’t seem fair to the people who took the class (and paid for it) in good faith.

  2. Jedd crowe on January 18, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    I think someone else messed up and their just blaming the guy he obviously did wat he was told from the state and then they said he was wrong years later sounds like a cover up

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