Two downstate firearms instructors have been decertified for failing to provide the required amount of training to students seeking concealed carry firearms permits, Illinois State Police announced today.

Ninety-eight students certified by the instructors did not get the full 16 hours of training required by the state to carry a hidden handgun in public, police stated in a news release.

The instructors’ names were not released, but their cases were referred to the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office in Belleville, near St. Louis.

Prosecutors were reviewing a range of options, police said, including cease and desist letters, restitution or criminal prosecution. Police said students reported the short-cut.

“The people of good faith who have come forward believe in law abiding, responsible gun ownership and will ensure that the integrity of concealed carry training is upheld and not twisted into a means to defraud consumers,” State’s Attorney Brendon Kelly stated in the release.

While many concealed carry students may have had prior experience, police said, students are not eligible to get credit for prior training.

State police were in the process of notifying the students that their training is invalid and their applications will be denied.

“Anyone caught abusing the system could potentially face state and federal fraud charges,” state police Director Hiram Grau warned.

Statewide, about 52,000 people have applied for concealed carry licenses, and police have awarded more than 12,000.

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