Residents turn out for shot at Utah conceal-carry permit

Residents turn out for shot at Utah conceal-carry permit

HOOPESTON — About 40 Vermilion County area residents took a five-hour class Saturday to obtain a Utah conceal-carry permit, hoping that Illinois will soon join all the other states that allow their citizens to carry a handgun in public.

The Utah permit is recognized in 35 states, but not Illinois, the only state with no conceal-carry law.

Some taking the class hope that if Illinois gets a conceal-carry law, the Utah permit will be valid here, as it is in Indiana and Wisconsin, or that already having a Utah permit will allow them to get an Illinois permit more quickly or easily. And some just want the ability to carry a handgun when they travel to the states where the Utah permit is recognized, like Denise Scharlach and Mary Bushong, two of several women in Saturday's class at the American Legion in Hoopeston.

Scharlach said as a female, she feels more vulnerable when traveling alone, because women can be targeted more, especially when carrying a purse. But even when the whole family travels together in unfamiliar places, something could happen, she said. Bushong said being able to carry a gun when traveling would give her more of a sense of security, especially when her kids are with her.

But they're both hopeful that Illinois does enact its own conceal-carry law, so they can carry handguns. But they both said they wouldn't conceal carry all the time, only in certain situations, and would feel more comfortable carrying a handgun in a purse rather than on them in a holster.

In December, a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Illinois' ban on carrying concealed handguns in public and ordered the state Legislature to create a concealed carry law. Since that decision, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has formally asked that the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals review that ruling.

In the meantime, residents in Vermilion and Iroquois counties are taking advantage of the Utah conceal-carry permit classes being offered by instructor Paul Slavin of Auburn, Ind., who coordinated and taught Saturday's class. Slavin held the class a week ago at the American Legion in Rossville, where about 50 attended, he said. The Utah permit classes are being offered in other parts of the state as well.

Slavin, who's also a certified National Rifle Association instructor, recently moved to Indiana from Utah and has been certified to teach that state's required conceal-carry class for more than two years. He's also certified to teach conceal-carry classes for permits in other states, including Florida, Arizona and Michigan. But Slavin said he teaches the Utah permit the most, because it's so widely respected by law enforcement and gun groups and is the most inexpensive to maintain. He said renewal costs are only $25 every five years. Slavin charges $125 per person for the Utah permit class and $75 for veterans. At the end of the classes, Slavin provides everything the participants need, including paperwork, fingerprinting and identification pictures, to submit to Utah to get their permits.

Slavin said other than being able to carry in other states, the Utah permit is advantageous to Illinois residents for other reasons. He said when Illinois does create a conceal-carry law, it could recognize the Utah permit as other states do, but also, the state may decide its own permit will be valid in Illinois only. So, an Illinois resident would need another permit to conceal carry in other states. "It's a very good tool," he said.

Although Utah requires the five-hour class, the instruction does not include firing a handgun. For the first half of the class, Slavin teaches gun safety in all aspects and covers pertinent state laws in the latter part before completing the fingerprinting and other documentation. "This is what I want you to take away from this class is safety, safety, safety," said Slavin, who encouraged the participants to obey the laws of each state, including Illinois with its no conceal-carry ban.

Slavin also encouraged the participants to call their state legislators and tell them they want conceal carry in Illinois.

Slavin said he supports the Second Amendment and a citizen's right to own firearms, but he's also a strong advocate for laws prohibiting anyone with a felony or persons treated for mental illness from having firearms, and he's an advocate of training for those who can legally own firearms. He said firearm owners, in general, have gotten away from the training aspect.

"People need to know when to keep it holstered and be a good witness," he said. "There's a fine line between reasonable and non-reasonable force, and people do not understand that fine line and instead of defending themselves, they become the initial aggressor."

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rsp wrote on January 13, 2013 at 10:01 pm


He said firearm owners, in general, have gotten away from the training aspect.

"People need to know when to keep it holstered and be a good witness," he said. "There's a fine line between reasonable and non-reasonable force, and people do not understand that fine line and instead of defending themselves, they become the initial aggressor."

Good to know they will give you a permit without ever requiring you to fire a gun. No wonder when cases have been reviewed of so called self defense most are instead aggression. And let me just think this one through, gun in purse. If something comes up, how long will it take to find the gun? Forget about purse snatchers and the kids looking for things. And you've never fired a gun before?

serf wrote on January 14, 2013 at 7:01 am

My thoughts exactly.  That's why this stuff is a joke.


Take a five hour 'safety' class, pay us 25 bucks, never actually shoot the gun you'll be carrying everywhere, and you can now magically carry a gun anywhere for the next five years.  



pushpin1 wrote on January 14, 2013 at 4:01 am

How do conceal-carry handgun advocates feel about mandatory liability insurance?

rsp wrote on January 14, 2013 at 8:01 am

That would be an infringement on their rights! One of the newest claims is that if minorities had guns we would never have had slavery. 

vcponsardin wrote on January 14, 2013 at 9:01 am

"...he's also a strong advocate for laws prohibiting anyone with a felony or persons treated for mental illness from having firearms..."  Unfortunately, the mentally ill Mr. Lanza of Newtown, Connecticut, "borrowed" his weapons from this first victim--his mother--who had legally purchased those guns for (ironically) self-protection.  A fat lot of good those guns did to protect her and her community.  One way to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill is to keep guns out of the hands of the family and friends of the mentally ill.  And the best way to do that is to keep guns out of the hands of most Americans.  I support the original position of Ronald Reagan and the NRA in the 1960s when they argued that the fewer legal guns out there means fewer illegal guns in the hands of criminals.  (Where do you think criminals get their illegal guns?  The black market.  And where does the black market get their illegal guns?  Stolen from the millions of legitimate, licensed gun owners who don't know how to properly store and secure their weapons.)  People forget that one of the first things Reagan did as governor of California was to sign the "Mulford Act" which severely restricted the ability of citizens to carry weapons.  The NRA, at the time, wholeheartedly supported the act.  Why?  Because at the time the threat they were concerned about were groups of armed Black Panthers roaming white neighborhoods.  Now that groups like the Black Panthers are no more, the NRA and conservatives have completely flip-flopped. 

ttaylo776 wrote on January 14, 2013 at 10:01 am

How do you get signed up for the class?  Is there contact info for Slavin?  Or a website of his that I could got to to sign up for the class? Thanks

jdmac44 wrote on January 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

People need to put their anxieties in perspective, yes guns have the potential for danger, but the same people who I hear saying they wouldn't want to share a sidewalk with someone carrying concealed don't give a second thought to sharing the highway with someone driving a three or four thousand pound vehicle, who may be fiddling with the radio or eating a sandwich, who may be intoxicated, or who may just be a bad driver in spite of the really really short training and re-qualification they get.  Listen, concealed carry has been legal in dozens of states, some of them for up to thirty or forty years and you just don't hear of horrible screw ups happening with concealed carry holders.  I have my Arizona license, which makes me eligible to carry in nearly every state between California and New York and my training was waived because I'm a veteran and gave them a copy of my discharge papers, so I haven't been to a class, but I would hope that they would strain that first and foremost, that if you're going to carry, you must do so with a holster.  If you carry a gun in a good holster, the chances of it going off while it's in there is nil; the key is protecting the trigger.  Other than that, they're going to learn how to safely handle the gun.  I participate in the Faculty Staff Firearms Safety Program and they run everyone who joins through a basic handling session to make sure that everyone on the range is safe, when I went through it, I saw one lady that was very shaky and she made me nervous, but they worked with her and I became comfortable with being next to her on the range with a loaded gun, it doesn't take that long to become competent and to know how to shoot straight.  Illinois will have an eight hour course and it will involve live fire.  I understand that people who don't shoot have a lot of anxieties about what is unknown to them, but it is anxiety and much of it is unfounded.  If you're really so concerned, I suggest that you go and take a class yourself and find out how easy it is to get used to handling and firing a gun, rather than protesting something that you have no experience with.  Contact Darnall's Range in Bloomington, they have a great facility, lots of classes and I'm sure they can arrange for you to get your hands on a pistol that you can use for the class. Also Guns Save Life of Champaign/Rantoul has a few teachers that run classes regularly.

rsp wrote on January 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

Other than that, they're going to learn how to safely handle the gun.

I really hate to be the one to tell you this but they haven't written a law so there aren't any requirements. I for one am a little bothered by some of the drivers out there. They clearly shouldn't be on the road. But at least they had some training, and we can see them coming and try to jump out of the way. Hard to do that with a bullet. Surprise!

jdmac44 wrote on January 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

Your fear is based completely in imaginary hypotheticals.  So long as you refuse to accept the reality of history in other states, I refuse to give your arguments any consideration.  And apparently you've never been in a car accident, they're kind of hard to avoid, otherwise they wouldn't kill 40,000 people a year (as opposed to 11,000 by firearms, which includes justifiable homicides); CDC stats.  Again, you're relying on your imagination and basing your convictions on fantasy.  I would really love to split the country in two so we wouldn't have to worry about one another, me and my gun nut buddies vs you and your liberty squashing fear mongers, but I guess we're just going to duke it out in the legislature and the courts from here until eternity.

rsp wrote on January 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Let's see, the accident that almost broke my neck requiring spinal surgery? The one that almost killed my son? How about getting t-boned in the backseat as a child. Should I start listing the people I knew who died in accidents? How about the ones who are disabled from them. Then we can talk about the people I know who have been shot. Or shot themselves because there was a gun handy. Would you like to discuss the times I've had a gun put to my head and told how it would make life easier? But I'm sure you probably think that was just my imagination. You go back to your fantasy land. I've see the real bodies. 

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 16, 2013 at 10:01 am

Firearms kill over 30,000 people per year, not 11,000.

Let me ask you this - why do you need a gun?  I ask this as a gun owner myself.

serf wrote on January 14, 2013 at 11:01 am

You're suggesting that many of us who are 'concerned' about concealed carry don't have any experience with firearms.

You would be wrong.

I'll go on record stating that I own a number firearms.  Handguns, shotguns, and rifles.  I have been around guns my whole life.  I'm very familiar with firearms and very familiar with being around people using firearms.  All of my firearms are also secured in very big safes in my house.

Where I seem to be in the tiny minority is that I'm a proud supporter of the 2nd amendment, but I don't see any reason why someone feels the need to carry a concealed weapon in public.  Likewise, I think it's foolish to argue that assualt rifles (and that is exactly what they are; don't start whining about fully automatic vs. semi-automatic) are somehow sacrosanct and free from any type of government regulation.  

I've spent enough time around gun lovers to form my opinion that a large group of them are not the type of people I'd put in charge of much.  There are too many black helicopter types, too many young guys trying to be macho, and too many that are scared of their own shadow.  I realize I'm painting with a broad brush, but that's my opinion based on my experiences.

It's gotten so bad that I don't go to gun shows much anymore (too expensive for one and too many John Birch Society types mulling around).  I also don't spend any time at public shooting ranges.  All my shooting is done on private land with a small group of people who are logical thinkers and not crazy, for lack of a better term.

jdmac44 wrote on January 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm

"Assault" is a verb, the term Assault Weapon is as valid as calling a pair of shoes "Jaywalking Shoes".  I was in the Marine Corps, we never called anything an "assault weapon", it was the M16A2 Service Rifle.  The world assault is intended to color the object with an inherent property of illegitimacy in civilian hands, it was created by the anti-gun side to make a certain type of firearm seem more scary to the uninitiated, when in fact a simple shotgun can be far more deadly and effective in mass shootings, when in fact the majority of killings that have happened have been performed with handguns.  I don't care what term you use, I'm not budging on the issue.

Frankly, no ones rights are based on anyone else's acceptance of them being able to handle using those rights, so your fear and imagination is your own problem.  The US is the last bastion of gun owning freedom on earth (Switzerland is pretty good, but it's very difficult to get work and residency there and I don't speak Swiss-German) and so we're going to fight like cornered cats to retain our rights and forward them more and at this point we still have the vast majority of momentum and people who are passionate about the issue and the votes in the US House and ILGA House.  Everyone on both sides are completely dug in with their positions, so I suppose no argument is going to change that once it's established that the other person is set in their belief, so I move on to those who are on the fence.

The American Revolution began because of an attempted seizure of military arms from non-soldiers at Lexington and Concord, this country and the liberties of America and probably the free world today wouldn't exist without military arms in the hands of civilians, it was a legally illegitimate insurrection against the legal ruler and sovereign of this land, that's how our freedom came to be, keeping and bearing arms was the line in the sand then and it is the line in the sand now.

serf wrote on January 14, 2013 at 12:01 pm


serf wrote on January 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm

It's an assault weapon



Sid Saltfork wrote on January 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Every gun advocate states that Switzerland is a gun lover's paradise.  The Swiss have a required military basic training for young males.  They used to have their reservists who completed the training keep their weapons at home.  That has all changed.  Reservists now are issued weapons at their brigade arsenals.  Having a gun in Switzerland now is much more restrictive than in the US.

Quoting the 200 plus years old Second Amendment; comparing vehicles which require a license, vehicle registration, and insurance to guns; and incorrectly making comments on other countries are a desperate attempt to keep semi-automatic weapons with high capacity magazines in the hands of conspiracy theory, and Rambo types.  There is no need for a semi-automatic rifle with a 30 round magazine.  It cannot be used for hunting; and it is not necessary for home defense.  Only the paranoids want to "pack heat" just in case the "bad guys" mess with them.  Grow up, and stop being afraid of the boogey man.

rsp wrote on January 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm

They want to overthrow the government but they are afraid to really do it so they just build arsenals. You kind of hope a car backfires outside of their house. See if they shoot themselves in the foot. I've walked into crack houses and the dealers weren't this paranoid. Not even when I was telling everyone how dangerous that stuff was. I don't necessarily recommend doing that by the way. 

Local Yocal wrote on January 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm
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" was a legally illegitimate insurrection against the legal ruler and sovereign of this land, that's how our freedom came to be, keeping and bearing arms was the line in the sand then and it is the line in the sand now."

This line in the sand you speak of.....are you okay with unwarranted searches and seizures of your property without probable cause? are you okay with being tried in a court of law without due process? Are you okay with being jailed for practicing a consensual and non-life threatening religion, or being jailed for your speech of ideas? Are you okay with the cruel and unusual punishment of imprisonment in a prison where death by stabbing or blunt force trauma and homosexual rape is allowed and encouraged? Are you okay with your email accounts, cellphones, social media accounts, and snail mail monitored by law enforcement without warrant or probable cause?

Do those examples qualify as your line in the sand, or, the day the Obama Administration issues an executive order that you are unable to buy a semi-automatic rifle with magazines of 30 rounds or better at the local sporting goods store the moment when you commence a shoot out with police? 

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 16, 2013 at 10:01 am

My line is based solely on healthcare. I don't care about any of those other things you mentioned. YOU CAN'T FORCE ME TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE!!!!

bluegrass wrote on January 14, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Here we go again with another person who has a few guns, and feels like that gives him the right to tell the rest of us what we can and can't have.  It's okay for serf, because serf and his buddies are logical thinkers who don't go to shooting ranges.  It's not okay for those other people because they're just crazy, foolish, John Birch Society whiners who mull around gun shows and mumble about black helicopters.  The logic is truly dizzying. 

serf wrote on January 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm

You misunderstand.

In no way am I telling you what you can and can't have.  I don't even pretend to have that authority over anyone.  What I'm saying is that as a gun owner, I find a number of other gun owners to be illogical, irrational, and downright ignorant on a whole host of matters pertaining to the second amendment.  

Here's some more dizzying logic for you.  I'm a gun owner who believes that it should be much more difficult, if not downright impossible, for us regular joes to own assault rifles.  

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 16, 2013 at 10:01 am

Me as well, though, to be fair, you have to actually define "assault rifle."

I'm fine with magazines of 3 or fewer bullets, 10 or fewer for handguns being the only ones allowed. Semi automatic or automatic wouldn't matter with that small of magazines.

bluegrass wrote on January 17, 2013 at 11:01 am

Is it possible, logically, to believe that you aren't trying to tell people what they can have, but at the same time believe that it should be downright impossible to own an assault rifle?  Doesn't downright impossible mean, well, downright impossible?

Here's a question for you.  Do you believe I have a Constitutional right to own a semi-automatic Bushmaster .223 rifle with a 20 round clip, assuming it is legal for me in my own personal situation, under current gun as it is written today?

I a lot of owners of hats to be illogical, irrational, and ignorant on a variety of issues pertaining to local, state, and federal government, history, diet, entomology, and a vast array of other subjects.  Especially younger people who wear Fedoras who are not in a band.  Also, men who wear scarves as accessories, like when it's not that cold out, or they wear a scarf with no coat.  That is very illogical to me, and makes me cringe.  That does not give me the right to infringe on their rights, Consitutionally or otherwise. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm

How about since you already have a Bushmaster .223, and a 20 round clip; you legally keep it?  All new gun sales would require a comprehensive background check; and no new high capacity magazines would be sold.  You could buy a new Bushmaster .223 by providing your FOID card with the gun's serial number being recorded.  You would be required to report the gun stolen if that were to happen.  You would be required to sell the gun to another person through a licensing facility.

Yeah, I know it stills goes against your opinion of your Second Amendment rights; but it is a compromise. 

serf wrote on January 14, 2013 at 8:01 pm

I could do this all night

Here's yet another responsible gun owner.

rsp wrote on January 15, 2013 at 11:01 am

That just makes me feel so safe! I think we need to add intelligence tests. 

hd2006 wrote on January 14, 2013 at 11:01 pm


I think if your are going to have an honest and constructive discussion about the 2nd Amendment and gun control you also need to address the First Amendment as well. Should  Hollywood be allowed to pump out movie after movie involving gun violence? Example new movie that just came out “A bullet to the Head” . Then these same actors produce a public service announcement demanding gun control while all the time sitting back and make millions of dollars showing endless killing sprees on the big screen and TV. I bet if any discussion was made about restricting what violence they can and cannot produce on screen, these same actors would be up in arms screaming about their right to freedom of speech and expression. Would be interesting to watch how it all played out even though we all know what the end result would be.

Bulldogmojo wrote on January 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm

HD2006 I agree with you completely. Violent imagery can cause other humans who never did know their own minds to commit violence. Things such as the 24 hour "news" doing days long antihero profiles of the shooters with production graphics and background music or the talking heads of gun rights on TV and talk radio trying to paint the United states as being historically on the brink of militarily enforced fascism to self marginalizing conspiracy theorists, gun magazines and shows that are meant to sell excessive amounts of weapons regardless of who buys them...



SaintClarence27 wrote on January 16, 2013 at 10:01 am

I disagree. No one who commits murder does so because they played bloody video games or watched bad TV or movies. Instead, you either have that in you to make that choice or you don't. There are otehr people for whom the word "choice" doesn't apply, but mental illness is another issue entirely. However, for both groups, eliminating violent depictions would not change anything. Limiting availability of weapons capable of creating sad violence, on the other hand, would.

Local Yocal wrote on January 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm
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I have to agree with Bulldogmojo, the media can play a factor for some of these lunatics. For some, it's part of their narrative and plan to have their act covered extensively, worldwide. Several actually mail their last words, pictures, videos, motives to television stations before they go on the shooting spree. It's not the fictional portrayals of violence that they copy like zombies; rather, it's the celebrity, notoriety and ability to send messages on the news channels they seek like martyrs with a mission.

Perhaps the FCC, in service to the public interest, should require all broadcasting stations and newspapers to stop running the identities of murderers who investigators have determined did their crime because they wanted to send a "message to the world." Kind of like it's standard practice to protect the identities of juveniles and sex crime victims. Current and future lunatics might be disuaded from acting out if they knew in advance, no one is going to know who the hell you are after you do your deed.

Ideas of mandatory firearms insurance, banning the sales of large magazines and semi-automatic rifles, mandatory background checks prior to sale, and no identifying the perp in the media and other ideas might be some "feel good" reactions to "do something." But really, the guns and lunatics are everywhere 130,000 times a year so far. (gun homicides + gun suicides + gun injuries = 130,000 nationwide)

Bulldogmojo wrote on January 17, 2013 at 12:01 am

I think the broader point I was making was that where the crossroads of ignorance, fear and exaltation with a dogma of violent or apocalyptic solutions meet they can cause people to take irrational actions and worst of all a call to arms offensively. 

Here is a good example of this irrationality...

Many point the finger at moral and social decay, video games etc. and that we need to get back to a better time in this country. When was that? The 1920's 50's, 60's? Our history is wrought with despair, poverty and brutality towards those of a different religion, race, gender and sexual orientation. Propaganda has definite insertion opportunities to marginalize people in any time and from any political viewpoint its just that with technology the way it is we can observe it happening in real time.


Me_2 wrote on May 24, 2013 at 12:05 pm

People are making a big deal out of carrying a conceled weapon, how every gun owner is going to turn into a crazed killer. I have never heard so much B.S in all my life.

I bet the poor guy in England that got run down and then dragged into the middle of the street and hacked to death by two muslims, wished some bystander was armed and could have intervened on his behalf.

In these troublsome times we all need to be armed!