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Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I need an Illinois Firearm Owners ID card (FOID) to attend training?
Not necessarily. Under the exemptions to the FOID Act listed under section 430 ILCS 65/2b, there are many exceptions, including, in part, those otherwise eligible to receive a FOID card who are engaging in recognized firearms training and safety courses. You can actually apply for a FOID and CCL at the same time. Out of state residents do not need a FOID card, nor would Illinois issue one. "Prohibited Persons" as defined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, are ineligible to participate. Common reasons for exclusion are convicted felons, those adjudicated as mentally ill, persons under orders of protection for domestic violence, etc. Illinois has their own set of restrictions for prohibited persons when it comes to concealed carry applicants.
- How many hours of training am I required to take for concealed carry?
As defined in ILCS 430 66/75g,h,i, & j 16 hours of training are required unless up to 8 hours maximum personal exemptions exist in designated increments for active duty, retired, or honorably discharged U.S. military veterans, prior law enforcement, or those with 4 hour increments (can be combined up to 8 hours total) of specific states' CCL training completed, Illinois Hunter Safety course graduates, and those with specified training certificates. Please consult the Illinois State Police Firearms Services website for up to date information.
- Do you have handguns to borrow for class?
Yes, we have a limited number for rent at $10 per class, with ammunition available at retail cost with no further markup. Arrangements MUST be made prior to class.
- Is your name John, Jeffrey, JJ, or what?
Yes! Any or all the above. My Dad's name was John Otis Wittenborn (1936-2016) but he did not want his eldest son called "Otis", so my parents went with calling me "Jeff." Once in the state police, the comedians decided the "JJ" on the nametag was sufficient ... except my delicate baby brother's name is actually "Jay." This added to the humor - as well as the confusion - so at work it was usually "JJ" and at home it's more often "Jeff." I try to reserve "John" for my departed, amazing father.
- What does 'Proven Protective Systems' mean?
Essentially, it gives homage to the victories of former students, and to the methods and techniques that stood the test in armed confrontations. Students - both law enforcement and private citizen - are approximately 30-0 in deadly force encounters with pistol, submachinegun, shotgun, patrol rifle, and sniper rifle.
- What's the meaning of your company logo?
The name "Wittenborn" is northern Germanic, emanating near the old border of Prussia and Denmark, and not far from where Arminius defeated the Roman Legions at the Teutoburger Wald. There is still a village there by that name, the colors on its official "wappen" or village flag, are the same as those on the logo. The bloodlines are decidedly Germanic/ Scandanavian, hence the Viking helmet and face. The ancient weapons represent the modern weapons taught - and successfully used by former students in deadly force incidents:
Sword = Pistol
Axe = Submachinegun, Shotgun (and AK-47 variants)
Arrows = AR-15 variants
Spear = Sniper Rifle
- Why does most of the training take place at the Murphysboro PD range?
The police range there is recently constructed, has a very nice classroom, and INDOOR restrooms that are up to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. Since we instruct male and female shooters of all ages, good indoor facilities and plumbing was a priority. The $10 per day/ per student range lease fee is included in the tuition cost, and goes toward future upgrades for the range by the city. Lastly, rather than sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars in land acquisition, dirt work for berms, and constructing classroom facilities - all of which would have radically increased costs and tuition - utilizing existing ranges is a much more practical and sound option. Plus, Murphysboro is my home town - as much as any place. Other training venues are pending.....