3 Reasons Your Right to Carry a Concealed Gun Is Under Threat

[ssad ssadblk=”Top Right Ad”]Do you feel secure that the Second Amendment protects your right to carry a gun? Does the ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirms that requiring applicants to demonstrate good cause beyond self-defense “amounted to a destruction of the Second Amendment right” bolster your confidence? It shouldn’t. The decision wasn’t unanimous.

In his dissent, “Judge Thomas stated that San Diego County’s ‘good cause’ policy fell squarely within the Supreme Court’s definition of a presumptively lawful regulatory measure. Judge Thomas stated that in dealing a needless, sweeping judicial blow to the public safety discretion invested in local law enforcement officers and to California’s carefully constructed firearm regulatory scheme, the majority opinion conflicted with Supreme Court authority, the decisions of sister circuits, and Ninth Circuit precedent.”1

 

Your right to carry a concealed gun is under threat. Judge Thomas represents those who want to take a more constrictive view of what the Second Amendment promises American citizens. Others consider the Second Amendment a relic which fosters an unsafe environment—one never envisioned by our forefathers and thus expendable.

The three greatest threats to your rights reflect this environment. Some point to lax laws. Others argue that too many people are crazy! This leads to fear as a major motivator in the movement against concealed carry. Let’s look at each of these threats.

  1. Lax State Laws

Groups like the ‘Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence’ aren’t antagonistic to concealed carry, however they recognize that weak laws are a threat. They recognize state failure to obligate each individual who applies for a concealed carry permit to meet a ‘good cause’ requirement creates an unsafe environment. This group points to several issues with lax concealed carry laws (CCW).

  • They can allow the wrong people “to carry concealed weapons into too many public places.”
  • This can increase crime, rather than reducing it.
  • Federal legislation requires states with strong CCW laws to recognize concealed carry permits from lax states, which effectively negates the protections offered by stricter permit requirements.3

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As of 2011, one state and Washington D.C. didn’t allow concealed carry. Discretion in issuing permits was practiced by 10 states. In 35 states, the permit issuing agency has no discretion if the applicant met minimum requirements. Surprisingly there were four states that allowed concealed carry without permit. These are the most recent statistic available

Only Washington D.C. has tightened it’s stance on concealed carry permits. In this apparently relaxed environment it might seem there’s little threat. However, two factors are working against your rights.

  1. Anti-gun Research

Groups like the ‘Violence Policy Center’ are actively stacking their research against your right to concealed carry. They claim their ongoing research proves concealed handguns are “exposing the public to more danger.” They claim that “579 fatal, non-self defense 4 incidents” have occurred in 38 states since 2007. These incidents caused 763 deaths, partly because 29 concealed carry permit holders were involved in mass shootings.

Statistics like this are at the forefront of the movement to remove guns from public spaces. Because lax laws allow people with histories of instability or violence to secure permits to carry handguns, they argue that no one should be allowed to carry. They fail to recognize that filtering mechanisms could be put in place to reduce the number of inappropriate permits issued. They also neglect mention of the criminal element, which will carry guns regardless of the laws.

  1. Fear

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence argues that its just common sense that the  more guns allowed in public the higher the risk for gun related violence. They claim this “is why 56% of Americans oppose laws allowing people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public places.”5

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There is some justification for this fear. However, stiffer qualification laws would make a difference here as well. If the public knew that every carrier had to take a series of courses before obtaining their permit, it could reduce the fear significantly. For example, courses could include:

  • How to uphold legal compliance
  • How to maintain situational awareness
  • How to prepare for a critical self-defense event
  • How to reduce innocent casualties during an aggressive shooting event

Most city police forces are supposed to be highly trained in gun use. Because this isn’t reality, there’s often reason to fear them as much as private citizens. An incident in New York highlights this. When an irate employee shot his former boss in front of the Empire State building, NYPD quickly caught up with him. They killed the man from 10 feet away but also injured nine bystanders.6

If private gun carrying Americans were better trained than the police who ‘protect’ them, how would this make public spaces more dangerous? It could make them safer.

For example, consider the man who rescued a Baton Rouge police officer from an assailant who had pinned him to the ground and was beating him. The assailant refused repeatedly to let up when the gun-carrying citizen warned him to let the officer go. The first four shots didn’t stop the assailant. After a final warning, the fifth one did.

Requiring a training system would empower more citizens to do what this man did— work with law enforcement. It also has a higher prospect of standing up in court.

We’re required to prove we know how to handle a car before a driver’s license is issued. Why should requiring a gun owner to prove his or her ability to handle a gun safely in public places be any different?

If we are to retain our rights to carry a concealed weapon for protection, we must be proactive. It’s almost impossible to regain a right once it’s lost.

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