View Full Version : Help: where to go for training/classes

November 18, 2008, 12:11 PM
I am a complete newbie to firearms.

I don't have my FOID card yet and I have not taken any formal training. My girlfriend and I are interested in getting into firearms for recreational plinking at ranges and self defense (mostly just for the plinking, we live in a very safe area).

I'd like to get a FOID card for myself and my girlfriend; I have seen that I can either go to a firearms dealer to fill out an application or print out an application online and send it in... and wait 30 days for it to process. Does the on-site application at the firearms dealer go any faster or is there any quicker way to get a FOID card (I was hoping to get her a firearm for a christmas present :D)?

Where are some good ranges in the Chicagoland/Milwaukee area? I have found a few online, but cannot find any reviews.

I would be interested in training if it would help out but I haven't been able to find out much information on available courses. I took training through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation when I started riding motorcycles and it was a big help (not to mention gave me a huge discount on insurance). Is there any good standardized training program for firearms in North-Eastern Illinois or South-Eastern Wisconsin? I'm willing to drive a little ways for a good program if you think it would help, but I'm a quick learner and don't mind reading or doing internet-based training if courses available are not worth it (I don't want to be treated like a baby due to the lowest-common-denominator factor).

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

right winger
November 19, 2008, 12:58 AM
The National Rifle Association offers classes and training.

December 1, 2008, 01:30 AM
Hey, I used to live in Chicago and I'm still in the wonderful restrictive state of IL.
If you can easily print out a good picture of yourself just send in your FOID card application from home. Gun shops will usually charge a fee and do the whole picture bit for you, but in my opinion it's a rip off unless you really can't get a good picture of yourself.

Don't know of too many ranges. Also there is a bit of a wait on FOID card these days at least thats my cousin just got his and it took several months apparently there are lots of new people applying for them.

February 6, 2009, 11:34 AM
Here's a couple of classes I found with Massad Ayoob.
May 7 - 10, 2009 - Rochester, IN
August 22 - 25, 2009 - Kalamazoo/Battle Creek, MI


February 7, 2009, 04:27 PM
Where in Chicagoland are you?

GAT Guns in Elgin is a bit pricey, but an option.

There is a place in McHenry on 120, but I have forgotten their name.

During the nicer months there is a guy who opens up some of his land to members of www.illinoiscarry.com on specific days. Might want to join there as well, as they offer a ton of local information.

If you want a CCW class (not legal in IL, but you can get a UT permit), there is www.carrysafely.com.

February 13, 2009, 01:24 AM
I used to live on the southside of the city in Beverly. Now I'm out in the city a ways south.

February 13, 2009, 10:58 PM
Maxon's on Des Plaines on Rand road

Illinois Gun Works in Elmwood PK on Grand at Harlem

There are ranges south of the city that I am not super familar with.

Team Spartan is a good choice for training. I believe they do civilian training also.