Ever since Gov. Scott Walker signed SB 93 on July 8, 2011 there have been instructors offering Wisconsin Concealed Carry classes. But according to Brian O’Keefe, administrator of DOJ’s division of law enforcement services, “it’s buyers beware” until the DOJ finalizes the guidelines and are approved by Walker which will most likely be in October. “Those of us working on it are inclined to say it would be in-class (instruction). We don’t want to get into a situation where someone’s kicking out certificates in their basement,” he said.
So that got me thinking… What are the instructors doing to ensure that these classes they are offering will pass the upcoming guidelines. And if they don’t meet the guidelines set by the DOJ, what will they do for their customers?
I reached out to Joseph R. Merignac who is the Chief Weapons Instructor at Tri State Self Defense. They are offering Wisconsin Concealed Carry Classes which is a one day class and as their website states “meets and exceeds the requirements set forth by Wisconsin Public Act 35 (SB 93) as it states in section 175.60 (4b,4c,4d).”
“I am teaching a four to five hour weapons safety class that covers anything and everything that the hunters safety course covers except with handguns. I am also making sure that the students have plenty of hands on with weapons to ensure the students can properly handle the handgun of choice. I am also covering laws that are already set forth through the federal govenment and also that are covered in P.A. 35 of bill 93,” says Merignac.
“As an instructor for the National Rifle Association I already meet the instructor requirement. And if the DOJ or I feel that that there is something else that should be covered then I will at no cost to the students that have attended my classes give an update class. I am confident that my classes will meet and exceed the DOJ’s requirement and would look forward to working with the DOJ to assist in setting requirements from my experience and knowledge as a Concealed Weapons Instructor of 11 years,” he said.
I’m willing to bet that most of the instructors offering classes would offer a free update to people that took their Wisconsin Concealed Carry class but didn’t meet the guidelines once published. The word is that these classes are filling up quickly and I would expect it to pick up a lot more once the new law goes into effect on on Nov. 1, 2011. So if you decide to get your training early to beat the rush, I would suggest posing these questions to the instructor you plan on training with. If they will offer a free follow-up just in case the guidelines are passed and don’t accept your training then you should be good to go.