There is a LOT going on in the concealed carry world – and in particular the area of CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY.
Constitutional carry is winning big.
For those who don’t know what constitutional carry means – it means (roughly, subject to NUMEROUS state and federal laws) that anybody who is legally allowed to OWN a weapon is allowed to BEAR that weapon in any legal manner, including concealment.
Practically, it means that law-abiding people in a constitutional carry state can carry a concealed weapon without a license. Since most people (particularly non-criminals) are somewhat scared to do this without training, in practice, there is little difference between a state with licensed, law-abiding, trained carriers and a state with unlicensed, law-abiding, trained carriers.
Ironically, this is a byproduct of liberal laws that kept chipping away, federally, at who could own weapons, and how that would be determined. Thus, at this point, one passes an FBI background check to simply OWN a weapon, so there is almost no issue other than TRAINING with the idea of letting the person CARRY that weapon.
And THAT is where I think we need to STRIKE HARD – assuring voters that – yes – concealed carriers in YOUR NEW constitutional carry state are going to be WELL-TRAINED, which is even better and SAFER than simply WELL-REGULATED.
The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) today applauded Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin for signing Senate Bill 150 into law. SB 150 is NRA-backed legislation that fully recognizes the constitutional right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm.
“On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, we would like to thank Governor Bevin for his leadership on this critical issue,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action. “This law is a common sense measure that allows law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right of self-protection in the manner that best suits their needs.”
Kentucky already recognizes the right to carry a firearm openly without a permit. Current law, however, requires a state-issued permit to carry that same firearm under a coat or in a bag. This new law simply extends the current open carry rule to concealed carry. Those who obtain permits will still be able to take advantage of the reciprocity agreements that Kentucky has with other states.NRA Institute for Legislative Action
My prejudice on the topic of TRAINING comes from having known somebody who was an early concealed carry (CC) trainer in an early CC state. That person – a former assistant DA, strongly influenced my thinking, even though I was not a concealed carrier.
Back then, CC licenses were generally hard to get and required considerable training. Not all states were “shall issue”, meaning that the state had to have a damn good reason to deny a permit. Denials were common and arbitrary – kinda like New York City and Washington DC.
There were many excuses NOT to grant permits. TRAINING was the most plausible one, but also the one that was most easily remedied.
“So you want training? I’ll get training.”
Most state laws had provisions for REQUIRED training, with various degrees of specificity. This was done, in part, to assure both legislators and voters that the CC legislation would not be a RISK to the public and LEOs (law enforcement officers) from untrained or poorly trained individuals.
What I learned, over the years, is that training REALLY IS IMPORTANT. Thanks to the knowledge I gained from this instructor, as well as what I learned myself in the following decades, I came to realize that training is not just a good idea – it is ESSENTIAL. If you, as a gun-owning individual, want your gun to be a guaranteed HELP and not a potential RISK TO SELF – both physically and legally – you NEED training.
I don’t care who DOES the training – even YOURSELF – you need training!
This tweet pretty much sums up the issue, minus my belief in the power of SELF-TRAINING.
NOW – before you start typing – nobody needs to tell me that forcing people to get more and more training is often a DODGE to knowingly suppress the right to keep and bear arms (RKBA). Training is not cheap – and thus it is in many ways a POLL TAX and in some ways the VOTER SUPPRESSION of RKBA. The TIMING of training is also an annoyance for most, and an obstacle for many.
And yet – of all the excuses that can be mustered up against constitutional carry, training is by far the most reasonable and plausible.
But here it the thing that changes the dynamic. The most important part of CC training, in my opinion, is not HOW TO SHOOT. It is actually WHEN AND WHERE NOT TO SHOOT.
The most important part of training, in my mind, is actually LEGAL. It is these points of KNOWLEDGE:
- WHEN and WHERE a person may or may not CARRY
- WHEN and WHERE a person may or may not DRAW
- WHEN and WHERE a person may or may not FIRE
None of which requires anything beyond self-training, online, or from a booklet.
This is why I think that – if ANYBODY can carry, ANYBODY needs access to the BASICS of training.
If we BELIEVE that self-training is possible, and make it easy to get, then I believe there are no true logical barriers to constitutional carry in TWICE the number of states that now accept it. AND I think it becomes entirely possible for those states to have a reciprocity pact.
Trust me – the main message of all of this stuff is DON’T SHOOT. It’s not just assurance to people who are scared of guns – it’s assurance to YOU, the gun owner.
When I see ANY incident on the news where a concealed carrier is involved in a questionable shooting – either by the carrier or by an LEO, it is almost always apparent that the carrier was either not trained, or not paying attention to their training. And the parts they were not paying attention to were not the parts you learn on the range. They are the parts you get in a classroom, or from a book.
While I am going to support constitutional carry under almost any circumstance, I would PERSONALLY be much happier to see constitutional carry legislation accompanied by a minimalist ONLINE SELF-TRAINING – possibly with self-testing – that makes certain permitless carriers are free to become familiar with the rules of the road before they carry.
And there’s no reason this training can’t provide incentives for REAL training, too.
I don’t think this is a lot of money – probably far less than permit systems. But I do think that it’s going to help make constitutional concealed carry the SUCCESS that it really deserves to be.
Remember – TRAINING and TRAINING REQUIREMENTS are not the same.
WOLF snarls at training requirements, but he makes happy panting noises at TRAINING.
MOAR TRAINING is a good thing. It means fewer and fewer accidents, incidents, and problems. I believe it’s in everybody’s interest, too.
Train your dog. Train your WOLF!