Interest in concealed carry classes in Illinois has risen dramatically as the Jan. 5 opening of the application process fast approaches.

Mark Maggos, an instructor who works for Trigger Talent in Godfrey, says his classes are booked for weeks in advance. Another business, Ramparts Range in Pocahontas, has trained 650 people since October.

Anybody looking to get a CCW permit in Illinois must complete a 16-hour course from an instructor approved by the Illinois State Police.

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