Senate candidate, instructor accused of falsifying concealed-carry documents in Ogle County

Juan Reyes also pleads not guilty to Winnebago County gun charges

Juan J. Reyes in November 2023. DO NOT use with election stories, this is a  mugshot related to a felony forgery charge.

OREGON – The Illinois attorney general is prosecuting the owner of a Rockford firearms training company and a GOP candidate for state Senate who the AG says falsified information in Ogle County for clients who were applying for concealed-carry permits.

Juan J. Reyes, 52, of Rockford also was indicted Dec. 1 on gun charges in Winnebago County.

In Ogle County, Reyes is accused of filing paperwork in 2022 that says clients completed the required 16 hours of training when they did not, Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in a news release.

Reyes faces two to five years in prison, or probation, and a year of mandatory supervised release if convicted of forgery.

Reyes, owner of JCC Firearms Training, also is charged with violating the Concealed Carry Act, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a 364 days in jail, two years’ probation and a fine of up to $2,500.

According to the charging document, which was filed May 18, 2023, on May 14, 2022, Reyes, a certified firearms instructor, knowingly provided Illinois State Police Special Agent Scott Wernet a signed, false concealed-carry certificate that said Wernet and another applicant had completed firearms training.

Reyes was arrested Nov. 7 in Winnebago County, and pleaded not guilty Dec. 1. His preliminary hearing is Jan. 31.

He is free after posting $1,500 of his $15,000 bond, which was imposed before the Pretrial Fairness Act, eliminating cash bail, took effect on Sept. 18.

He and his attorney, Christopher Taylor of DeKalb, declined to comment.

”Individuals who intentionally break our public safety laws meant to protect Illinoisans from gun violence must be held accountable,” Raoul, a Democrat, said in the release. “I will continue to partner with the Illinois State Police and other law enforcement agencies to fight gun violence in all of its forms.”

Assistant Attorneys General Steven Knight and Peter Ravoori are prosecuting.

Emails and phone calls to the attorney general’s office seeking more information were not returned.

Additionally, on Tuesday, Reyes pleaded not guilty in Winnebago County Court, where he is indicted on a charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, a nonprobational offense punishable by one to three years in prison, and a year of mandatory supervised release, and with misdemeanor possession of a firearm without a FOID card, which carries up to 364 days in jail, up to two years’ probation and a fine of up to $2,500.

According to the indictment, on Nov. 7, when he was arrested, Reyes had in his possession an uncased, loaded and immediately accessible Glock 43 handgun, without a valid license under the Concealed Carry Act and without a valid FOID card.

He has a status hearing Feb. 21.

Incumbent Democrat Steve Stadelman defeated Reyes in the general election for the 34th District on Nov. 8, 2022. Stadelman again is seeking reelection.

Reyes also filed to run again; he faces Belvidere’s Crystal Villarreal Soltow in the March 19 primary.

The 34th is in Winnebago County and includes most of the Rockford area.

Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.