2112 W. Galena Blvd.
Suite 8-430
Aurora, IL. 60506
(630) 908-9950


Q. When can I apply for my Illinois Concealed Carry Permit?


A. After attending a 16 Hour Training Course (8 Hour NRA Basic Pistol Course, and an 8 Hour Illinois Concealed Carry Course (CCW). Once you successfully completing these two courses, you’ll receive a certificate indicating you have met all the training requirements necessary to obtain your Illinois Concealed Carry Permit.  At that point, you can apply for your Illinois Concealed Carry Permit.



Q. Do I need to have my fingerprints taken in order to apply for my Illinois Concealed Carry Permit?


A. No, the Illinois State Police (ISP) DOES NOT require applicants to submit fingerprints with your application.  ISP has made past claims that obtaining and submitting a digital copy of your fingerprints "can" help speed the applicant's background investigation, however, we have not found this to be the case.  In fact, past students who have submitted their digital fingerprints verses those who have not have reported virtually the same wait times of approximately 80-90 days.  Obtaining a digital copy of your fingerprints can expensive, and typically ranges anywhere from $60 to $100 depending on the vendor.  If you insist on obtaining a digital scan of your fingerprints, we recommend you use Accurate Biometrics



Q. Do I need to obtain my fingerprints for out-of-state Concealed Carry Permits, such as Florida & Utah?


A. Yes, these particular out-of-state issued Concealed Carry Permits require fingerprinting when submitting your application.  See the indvidual states of Florida and Utah for more information.



Q. I’m a current/former member of the military, am I exempt from training?


A. Thank you for your service!  CRITICAL DECISION will proudly grant up to 8 Hours credit towards your mandatory 16 Hours of required training for all Active, Retired, or Honorably Discharged members of the United States Armed Forces.  A Copy of your DD-214 is required the day of class.  This credit exempts you from the 8 Hour Basic Pistol Course only.  A General Discharge, Other Than Honorable Conditions Discharge, Bad Conduct Discharge (BCD), Dishonorable Discharge, Officer Discharge, and Entry Level Separation (ELS) do not count for this particular credit.



Q. I don't have a valid Illinois Firearm Owner's Identification Card (FOID Card), can I still attend the training?


A. Yes, you can attend any of our firearm training classes, even if you don't currently possess a valid FOID Card.  Illinois Law 430 ILCS 65/2(b)(15) states: "A person who is otherwise eligible to obtain a Firearm Owner's Identification Card under this act and is under the supervision of a holder of a Fiream Owner's Identification Card who is 21 years of age or older while the person is on a firing or shooting range, or is a participant in a firearm safety and training course recognized by a law enforcment agency or a national, statewide shooting sports organization".  - CRITICAL DECISION is a recognized Firearms Training School by the Illinois State Police.


Having said this, you will need to apply for your FOID Card during your application process for your Illinois Concealed Carry Permit.



Q. What do I need to bring to the class?



  • A good attitude
  • Valid Driver’s License, a State I.D., Military I.D., or FOID Card
  • Former Military: Copy of your DD-214 or NRA Certificates
  • Black pen
  • Pencil w/ eraser
  • Notebook or Notepad to take notes
  • Sack Lunch & Refreshments (No time to leave the property for lunch)
  • Handgun (Unloaded, clean, good functional condition) enclosed in a case.
  • At least 2 magazines (Pistol) or speed loaders (Revolvers)
  • 100 Rounds of commercially produced ammunition (Federal, Remington, CCI, Winchester, Speer, Sig, Armscor, etc…) (Ammunition is available to purchase at J.R. Shooting Sports)
  • Holster, only If you have one. We will discuss proper selection in class
  • Belt (Capable of holding the weight of a holsted firearm)
  • Jacket, vest, or button down over shirt (to practice concealing / drawing your firearm from the concealed)
  • Safety Glasses & Hearing Protection (Available at J.R. Shooting Sports)



Q. Will I have to shoot a handgun in the class?


A. Yes, you will have to shoot a handgun, and successfully complete the Course of Fire in order to pass the class.



Q. What is the Course of Fire?


A. All students must pass a live fire exercise with a concealable handgun consisting of:

  • A minimum of 30 rounds
  • 10 rounds from a distance of 5 yards, 10 rounds from a distance of 7 yards, and 10 rounds from a distance of 10 yards at a B-27 Silhouette Target (24"x45")  The target we use is shown below.



Q. How many rounds can I miss and yet pass the live fire exercise?


A. instructors are not required to issue training certificates to any applicant who:

  • Does not follow the orders of the certified firearms instructor
  • In the judgement of the certified instructor handles a firearm in a manner that poses a danger to the applicant, or to others or,
  • During the range firing portion of testing fails to hit the target with 70% (21 out of 30) of the rounds fired.



Q. What classifies as a "Hit" on my Target?


A. A round that has impacted within the Black / Grey / Orange portion of the silhouette on the B-27 target. Any round that breaks the line between the black portion of the silhouette and the non-scoring area is considered a "hit."



Q. I don't own a firearm or ammunition; can I still attend the training?


A. Yes, if you do have a firearm and ammunition, we encourage you to train with what you plan on carrying; however, CRITICAL DECISION has handguns available for rent for $20, and ammunition available for purchase during the class.  Please make arrangements with us on the 1st. day of class if you’d like to rent / purchase items to assure we have the proper equipment available for the range, which will be on the 2nd class.



Q. What type of handguns and calibers are permissible in the class?


A. Any concealable handgun in good working condition (and that is not on our ban list).  We recommend that you use a handgun that you will be using for your daily concealed carry.  The approved ammunition calibers for our class are ,380 Auto, 9MM, .38 Special, .40 Cal., .357 Magnum, ,357 SIG, .45 ACP, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, and 10MM.



Q. Why can't I use a .22 LR, .22 Short, .25 Cal., or .32 Cal. handgun and ammunition?


A. None of these types of handguns or ammunition calibers are considered true defensive calibers in today's modern shooting community.  You can use these types of firearms for practice, "warm-ups", and after-qualification shooting, as long as they're in good working condition, and you're experienced on the use of such handguns and ammunition.



Q. Can I use a laser or scope on my handgun?


A. No, we don't allow students to use any of these items to qualify for any handgun course of fire.  The reasons are that we want students to learn to use their fixed or adjustable sights.  Lasers are more of a novelty that can and will fail when you don't want them to.  We also find lasers to be generally inaccurate, and become a distraction on most firearms.  If you plan on bringing a handgun with a laser to class, we ask that you remove the battery from the laser, prior to arriving for class.  Scopes, red dots, and holographic (RMR) sights can often be difficult to mount and calibrate properly for this type of training.  Night Sights (the green glowing dot sights) are fine.



Q. Are any handguns, shotguns, rifles, firearms, or ammunition banned from the class?


A. Yes, the following list is just some of the firearms and ammunition banned from our classes.  CRITICAL DECISION Instructors and staff have the ultimate and final authority to grant use of, or ban particular firearms and ammunition from any venue:



Any handgun w/ a barrel length longer than 6.5 inches

Any homemade / non-commercial made handguns

Any AK Type Pistols

AR-15 Type Pistols

Black Powder or flintlock handguns

Taurus Judge line of revolvers

Rossi Circuit Judge

Any handgun that shoots typical shotgun or rifle caliber cartridges

Flare Guns

Tear Gas Guns

Derringer-Type handguns

Any "Saturday Night Special" type handguns


Any Handgun Specifically Made By -








North American Arms


Bryco Arms



Shotguns are not permitted in any handgun class



Rifles are not permitted in any handgun class



Mossberg Shockwave (from any handgun class)

Remington 870 TAC-14 (from any handgun class)

Any firearm with a "pump-action" (from any handgun class)



Any reloaded Ammunition

Any Lead Nosed Ammunition

Any G2 Research - R.I.P. Ammunition

Any Birdshot, Pellet, or "Snake Load" Ammunition

Armor Piercing Ammunition

Tracer Ammunition

Explosive Ammunition

Shotgun Ammunition

Rifle Ammunition



Q. What prior experience, training, or credit can be applied towards my 16 Hours of training?


A. We will gladly accept prior credit (up to 8 Hours) for Active, Retired, or Honorably Discharged members of the United States Armed Forces (Copy of DD-214 required), or training from any of the following NRA Courses: Basic Pistol, Personal Protection In the Home, or Personal Protection Outside the Home.  Proof of NRA course completion must be printed on official NRA Certificate Stock, and not a Certificate Stock created by another instructor or training venue.



Q. Why don't you have A 12 Hour course for those who already have a Concealed Carry Permit from another state, or the Illinois Hunter Safety Course?


A. We understand that the Illinois State Police may grant "credit" towards required training hours to persons who currently hold a valid firearms permit from another state; have attended a Chicago Firearms Safety Course, or are graduates of an Illinois Hunter Safety Course, however, CRITICAL DECISION has no way of confirming the validity nor quality of these training courses.  CRITICAL DECISION does not recognize any credit given for these types of courses, unless you obtained your training directly from CRITICAL DECISION.  If you fall into this fore mentioned category, we encourage you to take the 16 Hour Course.  Former students, please contact us for further details.



Q. I'm handicapped and / or have special needs, can I attend the class?


A. CRITICAL DECISION will make every effort to accommodate you and your needs.  Please contact us at (630) 908-9950 so we can discuss your options.



Q. I'm pregnant, and/or breastfeeding, can I attend the class?


A. You will need documentation from your physician indicating that you’re cleared to participate in the use of firearms, and may be exposed to dirt, dust, lead, loud noises, and a shooting range environment.  We highly recommend that you wait on taking the class until your pregnancy is over, and you're no longer breastfeeding.  Please contact us at (630) 908-9950 so we can discuss your options.

B-27 Target (24"x45")

If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact us at or at (630) 908-9950.

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