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Like a lot of states, South Carolina has a training requirement to get a concealed weapon permit. And yes, sitting through eight hours of “training” to exercise a constitutional right isn’t right, but there it is. Richard Lee Wykel obviously didn’t want to spend all those hours in that stuffy little room, so he didn’t. Instead, the CWP instructor was processing applicants’ paperwork, giving them the answers to the state-mandated test and blowing them out the door in under an hour. Until an undercover South Carolina Law Enforcement Division officer took the class, that is . . .


Richard Lee Wykel, 51 was charged with Perjury and Subornation of Perjury. SLED says Lee’s training classes did not meet the requirements in the CWP statute.

They said an undercover SLED agent took one of Wykel’s classes and was given the answers to the test. They agent says the class lasted less than one hour. The Statute requires 8 hours. The agent also says they were not required to do handgun qualification either.

No range time, no legal theory…none of the state mandated curriculum. And Gary Miller, another certified CWP instructor, doesn’t like it. Not one little bit.

“When they come in and don’t take an 8 hour course there is no way they can cover what constitutes the use of deadly force in the state of South Carolina.”

Except when they can. Hate to bust up your business Gary but any gun owner can spend a little internet time and do the research on their own. Many do and learn far more than the eight hour class will ever cover.

But the class is the law. Wykel fought the law and, just like in the song, the law won. Now, as tells it, the law’s next target may be Wykel’s complicit students.

SLED said that any of Wykel’s students that received their CWPs and did not complete the eight-hour training class are subject to perjury charges as well for falsification of the application process.

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  1. Let it be known that the issue here is NOT that South Carolina has a legal requirement in place for minimum training time. That is a completely separate issue from what has taken place here.

    The problem is that Richard Weikel lied and broke the law and colluded with other people to lie and break the law.The instructor was derelict in his duty to educate people on the serious business of handling firearms, and the students were complicit in defrauding the law for their own gain.

    Cheat on your Thesis, and your degree will be revoked. Lie on a military entrance document and you’re out of the service. Falsify information on your employment application and you’ll be duly fired for it.

    The instructor deserved his new set of bracelets, and the students involved deserve their day in court as well.

    • I couldn’t agree more. We always point out that the entire CWP concept is a constitutional infringement when we teach these classes. We then make the most of the requirement by teaching safety rules, tactics, marksmanship, FTF, dry practice, and reload drills.
      Fundamentally, the requirement is about safety for the gunner and for the people they protect. Not everone knows the four rules or how to operate a gun responsibly. You make it sound like going to the DMV, but my group of instructors works to make people safer and more effective handgunners- for free. For a site so eager to point out every time FPSrussia muzzles his hand, I would think TTAG would go for that.

  2. The man’s a crook and a liar, and now he’ll never own a gun again. I hope they go after his cheating students and revoke all their permits. I don’t like SC’s gun class policy but you’ve got to follow the rules or change them legally.

      • The rule of law is an important aspect of civilization. If you don’t like it, you work to change it rather than pretend it doesn’t apply to you. If that notion doesn’t sit well with you, there’s always Somalia, where such things are ignored.

        • work to change it? what good does change do? you’ll still get fcuked, the politicians will give you the choice of the mouth or the ass.

        • Following, enforcing, or otherwise supporting an illegitimate law is not a noble act, it’s the surest way to support tyranny and arbitrary rule. Non-compliance is how things are changed, legislative action (typically) isn’t a very good vehicle for social change, particularly when civil rights are involved. Whether you’re talking about jury nullification, prosecutors refusing to bring certain charges, law makers openly flouting legal restrictions (e.g. prohibition), or a common sense that the law just isn’t right, people generally should go with their gut instincts.

          I’m not saying this guy is a Rosa Parks or anything other than a guy who wanted to get in, get paid, and get out, but my broader point still stands.

          • This guy gives all gun owners a bad name. He broke the law because of laziness, not out of a desire to change it. (If he disagreed with the law, why is he teaching a class mandated by the law?)

            Laws can be changed. It happens all the time. But it becomes less likely when people like the one in this story break the law for the wrong reasons. He wasn’t protesting. He is not a friend of the 2A. He is making your life harder. He gives ammunition to people who want to increase criminal penalties for things like this, and who want to enact even stricter laws. That is what he accomplished. I can’t voice support for him out of some idea that we have to break the law in order to change it.

            People who support the 2A need to condemn acts like this. Not say, “yeah, but…”

    • The ability of average people to effect meaningful change over draconian and unjust laws is an illusion. The sociopaths who hold control and influence over us will throw out a bone once in a while to keep everyone quiet. But nothing much ever really changes. Our justice system in its current incarnation is rigged, corrupt and broken.

      This guy is screwed. Yet no person or property was damaged as a result of anything he did. The only entity claiming to be wronged by his deception is “The State”. Sometimes I think the endgame in this country is for half of us to end up in jail and the other half to end up guarding the first.

    • And how do you go about changing the rules without people first practicing civil disobedience to show that not everyone approves of the rules?

      • Civil Disobedience would be peacefully boycotting the class, or as the instructor refusing to teach it. In my book it is not falsifying government documents, lying, cheating and stealing. This guy just became a poster boy for the Anti-2nds out there and screwed us.

        (Stealing by legal definition includes theft by taking, in this case taking the money for a class he did not teach. As such he stole from the students and the place paying him to instruct.)

        • Right, because if they peacefully did that, all that would happen is that they wouldn’t get their CCW and the media would claim that it’s a success and that anyone who didn’t want to do those things is a hardened criminal and shouldn’t be allowed to own guns. It’s impossible for this guy to “screw us” because the media and government both have the undying goal of everyone being in chains with a number burned into their forehead – so no matter what happens involving guns (good or bad), they’ll keep pushing the same totalitarian shit.

  3. Per
    “According to SLED, Wykel became a certified CWP instructor in 1996 as a firearms instructor for the South Carolina Department of Corrections, but he is no longer employed by the SCDOC.”

    It makes you wonder how many folks got the Cliffs notes version rather than the 8 hour.

    As a SC CWP holder, I took the 8 hour class and qualified on the range. It’s just like jumping the border in my book, there is the right way to do it and the wrong way, if you took the wrong way, you should be held accountable.

  4. To prosecute this guy’s students is to impose a ridiculous double standard on gun owners. What government agency follows its own rules? The website may say one thing, but the worker at the DMV says something else. What do you do? You do what you’re told.

    If I had been one of this guy’s students, I probably would have found another instructor. But that’s because I pay attention to the letter of the law when it comes to guns, because I *know* there’s a double standard. I could easily have committed perjury when I applied for my passport, if the county worker was tired and wanted to cut corners. I never would have noticed- I would have just filled out the forms the way I was told. And *nobody* would bother to prosecute over that (unless they knew I was gun owner).

    Someone mentioned cheating on a thesis. (I happen to be taking a break from working on my thesis right now). This isn’t like plagiarism. This is like citing a source that is itself plagiarized. Now, if I *really* know my stuff, I ought to discover that my source is plagiarized, and act accordingly. But lots of people don’t know their stuff that exhaustively, and shouldn’t have their degrees revoked for it.

    • To extend the Thesis example, just because the origin of your source’s info is false does not eliminate your obligation to avoid plagiarism.

      Returning to topic the South Carolina CWP students knew this jackwagon was breaking the law and participated anyway.Those people should have had the sense to seek the door the moment that moron discussed breaking the law. By sticking around they agreed to the potential consequences.

      Its an unwritten truth that when it comes to firearms a civilian owner of guns is held to a higher standard on knowledge of the law than the police, the judge, the Jury, and the attorneys at law.

      A policeman can make a mistake on gun laws, a lawyer can make a mistake, heck, even a judge can make a bad ruling regarding guns on the bench in complete violation of previous law, but if a civilian AR15 owner is found to posess a 15.9″ barrel rifle without a tax stamp he will be tossed in the clink without remorse.

      All who own firearms need to be above and beyond reproach when it comes to following the laws , as onerous as they may be.Or their time of legal gun ownership may be a short one.

      • Ok, we can demand that gun owners be above and beyond reproach. That’s one option, and the one our society has taken.

        Or we can demand that our courts and prosecutors treat gun owners just like other people. Take your pick.

        Now, I’m not saying that gun owners should be shown the kind of leniency that would shown to a mugger, or to someone who commits vehicular homicide. (That would be insane!) I’m talking about the kind of leniency that would be shown to someone who, say, isn’t required to parallel park on their driving exam, because the examiner wanted to go home early. Don’t throw them in jail for driving with out a properly obtained license. Make ’em re-take the test. Simple.

  5. I think the biggest problem here is that the students could very well wind up in some very hot water because they aren’t fully and sufficiently educated on what does and does not make a good shoot.

    • That’s an argument for mandating training in the first place. Living as I do in PA, I took the time to fully and sufficiently educate myself.

    • “When they come in and don’t take an 8 hour course there is no way they can cover what constitutes the use of deadly force the arbitrary and capricious laws in the state of South Carolina.”Don’t shoot anyone who isn’t trying to rape or kill you or a loved one. That’s pretty simple.

  6. I don’t agree that it violates the constitution to require training for CCW licenses. You can still own and possess guns all day long without the license, there is your constitutional right in all it’s glory.
    I agree that 8 hours is an arbitrary number that is too long, and the citizens of SC are obligated to press their representatives for a change in that law rather than whine about it being unconstitutional. You want unconstitutional, visit NJ, NY, CA or any other place with REAL restrictions that violate your rights.

    This bozo broke the law and won’t be handling any guns again. Probably a good thing, it shows he has judgement issues.

    • Really? Handing out the answers to a test makes you unfit to own a gun? I’m sorry, but that’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen.

      I think the reason why states make the CCW training so long is as a deterrent (here in Ohio it’s 12 hours). A significant portion of that is learning how to disassemble and clean your gun, and the though of having to sit through hours of agony being told things that I already know definitely lessens my desire to get my CCW.

      • “Handing out the answers to a test makes you unfit to own a gun?”

        No handing out the answers doesn’t, signing a swore affidavit under penalty of perjury does.

        • Read what the guy above me wrote. He said that he shouldn’t be allowed to own a gun because “he has judgement issues” since he enabled people to cheat. That is NOT a viable reason to take away someone’s gun, nor is falsifying documents. Yes, I know that the LAW states that if you commit any crime that you lose your guns (a great reason for them to keep making more and more things illegal), but that isn’t what’s being debated here. GS650G said that doing something like cheating on a test is worthy of losing your gun rights, and that’s just absurd.

          • Criminals also have judgement issues and if forms the reason they go to JAIL.
            Quit the Ad hominem already.
            If you commit perjury by cheating on a test or providing answers to same test you break the law and then no gun rights for you.
            Unless you think it’s ok to cheat on test, then someone else has judgement issues.

        • Sadly, the lefties continue to set the example that cheating and lying is OK. They set that example for the entire populace. Maybe if we can get the swamp drained, we can return the country to right and wrong, ethics, morals, patriotism and real equality.

    • When the Constitution was written, the authors of the 2nd Amendment stated that no formal training was required for something which should be taught to young men by their elder relatives (fathers, grandfathers, uncles, etc). That using firearms should be a natural act. It is still training, just not “formal” training. James Madison and George Mason, co-authors of the 2nd, stated that armed citizens were members of the militia. Even so, they should not be expected to march to and fro or to waste powder and shot in training.

      Therefore, I see nothing wrong with training. I received mine from my grandfather and the military and law enforcement. I simply object to being charged for it. No one should have to pay to exercise a right.

  7. Addressing whether the state should be in a position to mandate training, the answer is a resounding no.

    How can we trust the state to mandate professional training when a majority of law enforcement serving in said state are safety hazards themselves?

    That said, mandated training is here to stay. Whether it is right or wrong, there is no way constitutional carry will ever become the 50 state right it deserves to be. Half this nation is in favor of background checks at gun shows, a law that in states where it has been enacted has done nothing to reduce crime. The concept of someone strapping on a pistol without anyone in government granting a signature, even a boilerplate one, is so abhorrent to a majority of Americans we would do better to campaign for the shutdown of the DMV than try to advance Constitutional Carry.

    If someone has to sign a liability waiver or sit in a class for two, four, six, or eight hours its a price worth paying to gain the ability to defend oneself without the government making things worse.

  8. I’m a fairly strong Second Amendment supporter, but after visiting here over the past few months and observing the IGOTD awards, and also going to my own range and observing some carelessness, I guess I have a hard time objecting to a requirement for an eight-hour course as a prerequisite for a concealed carry permit.
    First, it’s in EVERYONE’S best interest that if someone is going to carry a (loaded!) gun in public, they ought to be compelled to know how to do so safely.
    Second, if we interpret the Constitution literally, I doubt that there is a militia on the planet that doesn’t expect it’s members to demonstrate that they can handle their firearms safely, and likely demands that members be subjected to some manner of training.

    Just my $0.02-worth.

    • The problem with training is that it has little influence over whether or not a gun owner will be responsible.

      Being safe with a firearm is a personal decision.All training can do is show someone the proper way to handle a gun.It cannot help when someone with a firearm decides to ignore common sense,as the ND figures from the military and police illustrate.

    • I’m with you Frank.

      I agree it cannot make them a safe gun user, but the amount of completely safety ignorant gun owners out there is alarmingly large.

      Also have you thought about how it would be recieved by the population as a whole if they knew that in order to carry a concealed weapon you had to have had class room training, a written test and qualify on the range. Only then could you apply, rather than swipe the Visa, buy a gun, ammo and then go pay for a CCW even though you have no idea how to use a gun?

      I am actually a little disturbed I have not even heard a whisper of anything like this on here, hopefully it’s not just a Southern thing, but in GA if you did not make the gun store employee feel like you knew what you where doing, you where advised to take a course. I have seen many people told that they would not be sold a gun by the store unless they took a course or some form of training because they would otherwise be a danger to themselves and others with a firearm. If they said never mind and left, every other gun store around was called so they knew.

    • Some of the comments and questions I see from the comments on this site makes me in favor of training more than I was before. It’s the stupid mistakes and events that form the basis for the laws we hate. No one remembers the knucklehead who foisted the law on the rest of us, unless an organization or group takes their name ( Brady Campaign) or the infamous Sullivan law.
      Stop waving the Constitution around and acting like it’s Germany 1937 just because of some classes you have to take. You’re being allowed to carry concealed in most places around people who are not armed and generally get concerned when they see a gun or hear one go off. Learning the law concerning brandishing and operating a gun in a situation is important and most of you guys won’t even read the owners manual for a gun let alone the law.

      • “You’re being allowed to carry concealed”
        Wait, WHAT?! “Allowed”?!! You’re joking, right?

  9. I’m sorry I severly doubt an undercover officer just HAPPENED to take this sleaze bags class. I find it much more probable that one of the students spoke up about the 8hrs and the range time, not 45mins of dictation, and did not like his response. That would likely lead to a call to the 50 to come sit in on his next class.

    As for the training requirement, I am all for it. Granted I never had to sit through any State mandated training, Uncle Sam made me exempt. SC, as with all states that I know of that require training, have many exemption clauses where any reasonable proficient shooter should not have to take the course. (I am looking at buying property in SC so I am pretty familiar with their gun laws) You need to take a written test and a practical test to get your drivers license, carrying a concealed handgun is a lot more involved than driving. Your right to CCW is not the same as your right to have and own guns. There is a huge difference between being a competent gun owner and someone trained, skilled, and levelheaded enough to be able to effectively and appropriately use a firearm in many public places (like a crowded mall or movie theater).

    I can understand not feeling you should be “inconvenienced” by the class, but too damn bad. I say make the class a requirement to pass 8th grade. We need A LOT MORE gun training in this country, and it should be free (Hello NRA, Are you listening) or dirt cheap. The more people that take a firearms course, the more people comfortable around and educated about guns. Have you ever talked that misinformed anti gun nut into one day at the range with you? I have, and I usually then have to spend another day or two with them helping them buy their first gun afterwards. Once they understand firearms and how safe they can be the fear goes away.

    We have been over this on here many times and I feel that many of us agree that the majority of the anti-2nds are malinformed. How do you think they will feel after 8 hours with a competent trainer and hands on time in the gun range. I bet a lot of them will be hanging out with us smelling of cordite and Hoppe’s #9 after. Yes many will still never want to own, or maybe even shoot, a gun, but since guns are no long those strange mythical items that kills your whole family and impregnates you because you looked at it wrong, I bet they will be a lot more open to us who do carry and do know what we are doing.

    Educate not Legislate

    • You say we should “Educate not Legislate”. But in fact you’re arguing that we should legislate education. Something doesn’t compute.

      Of course we all agree that more training is good. It does not automatically follow, however, that training should be mandated by the government.

      A couple of people here have talked about the right to “own and possess” or “have and own” (or words to that effect) as being distinct from the right to carry. I agree that carrying a gun requires more preparation than merely owning one. However, the constitution recognizes the right to “keep and bear”. Nothing about “having and owning”. “Bear” is an old fashioned word for “carry”, folks. It shouldn’t be infringed.

      • Correct, so support open carry. 🙂 Back in the good old days in GA you had the legal right to openly carry a firearm if you were legally allowed to own it, you could opt to get a concealed carry permit if you wanted. Now you have to get a permit to carry, but I believe the old law had validity. It was based on the interpretation that you have a constitutional right to carry, but if you want to conceal it for non nefarious intentions then you were moving towards the edge of the right. Back then the application process was easy and painless and basically served the purpose of having a card signed by a judge to hand the cops to say I’m a good guy.

        The problem is that the definition of bearing is intentionally vague and that unfortunately leaves room for interpretation. For example FL specific has decided that open carry is bad (concealed is fine) because it can give others the impression that you are a peace officer. I don’t agree, i think idiot permit holders buying badges ( does.

        I guess this is a case of the road to hell is paved by good intentions. You will never turn on the news and see a report that 1.7 million people in FL exercised their right to carry today and not one of them shot anyone or did anything wrong. (FL has issued an estimated 1.7 million CCW permits) we all no all to well that the one bad apple will get national news coverage, and they will drag the story out for weeks or month. That leads to a perception among the people who don’t realize how many armed citizens they delt with that day that the numbers are more like 1 guy had a gun today and he shot a mother of 4 for an iPod in front of her kids.

        In my opinion having to show that you are competent enough to own the gun serves all our interests. (DISCLAIMER: I will not get into a “what about if/when…” discussion or spend the pages it would take to define my personal limits of how far I would support that) There also is some bias on my part. To me crying about having to spend a couple hours with some fellow gun owners and some time at the range is absolutely absurd when in places like here in MD or DC you will NEVER get to exercise your right to carry. I cannot find the article now, but there was a DC prison guard who lived in MD (very common for DC civil servants to not be able to afford DC, that is why DC Metro runs to multiple stops in MD) who had many document death threats from a known violent gang with many members in MD, not to mention the ones in DC willing to travel, who was denieghed a MD permit because the threats happened in DC.

        On my list of threats against the 2nd training to carry a concealed weapon an 8 hour safety class is pretty near the bottom, and I would rather fight the gross injustices and blatant disregard for the Amendment. Then we go deal with the other, lesser, issues.

        “You say we should “Educate not Legislate”. But in fact you’re arguing that we should legislate education. Something doesn’t compute.”

        Come on, who held that hair while you split it? I actually did not say to make it a law to pass 8th grade. As far as I know (educated guess) your local 8th grade teacher does not have to get a law passed to teach the war of 1812. Even then I was referring to legislation restricting firearms and stripping our rights versus making training readily and affordably available to all and removing the misinformation and incorrect assumptions we face about our decision to own handguns.

  10. Anything that’s government-mandated is a slipper slope upon which BS will eventually roll.

    I believe people should be familiar with firearms and seek training, but I would never say that it should be mandated by the government that you cannot carry one unless you jump through governmental hoops.

    Why? Because eventually, an anti-2A governmental ruling will create such roadblocks and ridiculous requirements that though your “right” is still technically there, few would ever be able to qualify, thus ending your rights.

  11. Having a SC permit, I can tell you when the class is taught properly, you will know what you can and can not do with your weapon legally. The range time is also helpful if you have an instructor, like mine, that takes a little extra time to give out pointers to the obvious 1st time shooters. I may not totally agree with paying for a permit to exercise my 2nd amendment right, but I see it like driving… do you really want people who don’t know the rules and can’t demonstrate a minimum level of proficiency doing more harm than good?

    • I agree and also look at it as a great appeasement to the uninformed. Many times when people without firearms backgrounds find out you have a permit they will ask what you had to do to get that. Telling them you had to go through training, and the background etc. should appease most of them, atleast a lot more than saying “nothing”.

      That has been my experience atleast.

  12. Washington state has no training requirement for the CPL, and as far as I’m aware, we’re not constantly shooting ourselves here. Are there people out there who could use more training? Sure, probably. But the mandated training most states require isn’t all that significant anyway, and requiring more than that starts to become an economic barrier.

    Overall, I’m comfortable with letting people decide for themselves. I think people who are serious about CCW get way more training than the minimum required, and people who aren’t wouldn’t really absorb any training you required of them.

    • Hey, CarlosT.

      I’m in WA state too. My husband and I got our permits, “Just in case.”

      I took a boatload of training last year. I read, and I contemplated. I shot at matches. Late last summer, a fellow asked why I put away my firearm and holster as I left the range. That was a good question.

      I can count on my hands the number of times I have ventured out unarmed since that moment.

      Ponder that.

  13. Where is the class that South Carolina holds to be able to use your freedom of speech located at??? You shouldn’t have to take a class for CCW.

  14. Wykel charged for a course that he didn’t deliver, so he’s a thief. I don’t want him to see the inside of a prison, but he’s going to lose his certification and his guns. He should.

    His customers are going to have their permits pulled because they don’t qualify. I don’t think that they deserve a lifetime ban. Let them retrain and get their permits. Paying twice is punishment enough, to say nothing about having to sit through a useless and boring 8-hour course.

    Should people be required to take a test and get a permit to carry? No, they should not.

    As for all you civil disobedience advocates out there — I don’t expect you to put your money where your mouth is. Commenting about civil disobediance is one thing, but actually doing it requires a little bit more sack. Talk is cheap. And don’t claim that you’re doing it “on the sly.” That’s not civil disobedience. That’s crime. When I read about you in the newspapers, then I’ll know that you’re not just FOS.

    • “As for all you civil disobedience advocates out there — I don’t expect you to put your money where your mouth is. Commenting about civil disobediance is one thing, but actually doing it requires a little bit more sack. Talk is cheap. And don’t claim that you’re doing it “on the sly.” That’s not civil disobedience. That’s crime. When I read about you in the newspapers, then I’ll know that you’re not just FOS.”

      Well put.

  15. In SC, what is the penalty for perjury?

     I acknowledge false information may cause denial of my application and subject me to any applicable criminal penalties.
     My signature certifies I have reviewed the entire application and all information on it is true and correct.

    Seems clear to me what is required.

    (a) a person who, within three years before filing an application, has successfully completed a basic or advanced handgun education course offered by a state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency or a nationally recognized organization that promotes gun safety. This education course must be a minimum of eight hours and must include, but is not limited to:

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