WEST FRANKFORT, IL (KFVS) - On Tuesday the Illinois Legislature will return to Springfield to begin hearings on creating a conceal carry law for the state.
But, there are hundreds of people across southern Illinois who aren't waiting to see what lawmakers do, they're already enrolling in conceal carry classes.
And on Monday night more than 20 people sat in their first defensive shooting classes being offered by John A. Logan College.
"And in the basic pistol class we're going to cover things such as safety, that's our primary focus," said Mike Corkran the NRA Training Counselor for the classes. "We're going to be teaching them where to point the guns in a safe direction, fingers off the trigger until they're ready to shoot. And keeping the guns unloaded until they're ready to shoot."
Many of the people taking the classes are single middle to elderly aged women who not only believe in their 2nd Amendment rights, but also their desire to stay safe.
"If you get burglarized you can protect yourself legally," said Louis Bratzel of Marion. "And if you're out some where and someone tries to rob you, you can protect yourself. And I just want to learn the legalities of it. And how to use a handgun properly."
There are many facets of using a firearm to protect yourself and learning how to do each one of them correctly is key.
"I want to get more situational awareness, what to do in certain situations," said Jeff Davidson of West Frankfort. "I want to be able to protect myself. We should be able to protect ourselves in any way from criminal activity."
The students are also going to learn the proper way to conceal their weapons and be respectful to others when carrying a firearm in public.
"Some people think we simply have someone strap on a gun and walk the streets, that's not the case," said Corkran. "We want them to learn responsible. And when to use a weapon. What could be the possible aftermath of doing so. The psychological affects on them. These are the things we're teaching in the classes."