Three Reasons Why Constitutional Carry (No CCW Permit) is Not Insane

“[Wisconsin] Republicans are considering two versions of the concealed carry law,” columnist Eugene Kane writes for jsonline.com, “which I would label thusly: There’s the ‘sane’ bill and the ‘insane’ bill. The sane version – which I oppose – would allow gun owners to apply for permits and receive required training to carry concealed weapons in most public areas but with some restrictions. The insane version – which I vehemently oppose – would allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons in public without any permit or training required.” So why is the second version bonkers? Kane reckons it’s so obvious he doesn’t really need to explain his position . . .

His dietribe [sic] starts with a restaurant shooting that has nothing whatsoever to do with legal concealed carry. It’s an excellent indication that the writer relies on rational thought to oppose permitless or Constitutional Carry like Lindsay Lohan relies on the Mormon Church to stay sober. In terms of explaining the “lunacy” of the “buy a gun stick it in a holster” concept, this is about as good as it gets:

Supporters of the latter, the so-called constitutional carry, don’t think that government can give permission for something they believe is guaranteed under the right to bear arms.

You can argue with these people until you’re blue in the face that it’s not 1776 anymore, but that won’t make them budge from their position.

So I guess Constitutional rights went out of style sometime around the Bush Administration. Which is a fact I can’t deny (e.g., the Patriot Act). Anyway, that’s besides the point. Well, not the main point. Not for me. In this article.

Kane is depending on the prima facie case for permitting and training. Training people how to use handguns will stop them from misusing them—for their own good. Train ’em up and they’re less likely to shoot friendlies and/or themselves. To which I say, where’s the evidence?

In his book More Guns, Lots of Indigestible Statistics (or something like that), author John Lott concludes that pre-CCW training doesn’t do much in terms of protecting gun owners from their own stupidity or the public from stupid (though legal) gun owners.

Proposals to force Wisconsinites’ concealed carry weapons holders to take training ignores the data. They’re based entirely on conjecture (a.k.a, “common sense”). Just like Massachusetts’ high-capacity magazine ban. And we all know effective that’s been at stopping gun crime.

But WTH. Let’s assume the pro-training side is right—despite the fact that there’s absolutely no sane reason to do so (aside from making Constitutional rights more palatable to those who don’t get it, adding a bit of security theater to the debate and enriching firearms trainers). But let’s do it. Let’s fall in love with training.

Now let’s fall out of love. Or at the very least, consider three non-public safety reasons why Constitutional Carry is not nutso.

1. Constitutional Carry arms the populace

Gun control advocates have an extremely limited appreciation of personal liberty (if it’s even on their radar). But they’re not stupid. They know that the more barriers government places in the way of CCW permits, the less CCW permits the government will issue. More laws, less guns.

Chicago’s post-McDonald decision laws requiring training for applicants who want to own a gun in their home—whilst banning gun ranges within city limits—is only the most obvious form of de facto gun control. Requiring training in the first place is the most insidious.

Make no mistake: requiring training is a form of taxation designed to inhibit CCW permits. Poll tax anyone? No? So why is it OK to tax a law-abiding American for placing a gun in a holster? (Lest we forget, Uncle Sam or his State cousins have already taken their pound of flesh for the gun, holster and ammo.) Answer: it isn’t.

Be that as it is, requiring training removes the option to carry a concealed carry weapon for a large chunk of the population. Not so ironically, not so unintentionally, that wedge represents the poorest segment of our citizenry. It’s not just the right-wing nutcases who don’t want to register their CCW with the government. People living in neighborhoods where the police are not their friend feel the same way.

Of course, it’s exactly this part of society gun control advocates want to inhibit from gun ownership and concealed carry. Gun grabbing elitists think poor people are too stupid and emotionally out-of-control to own or carry a firearms. It’s OK for the smart folks (which includes Donald Trump for some reason), but not for “the folks.” Hence their opposition to Constitutional Carry.

Reverse that misguided paternalism and you have a sensible argument for Constitutional Carry.

2. Constitutional Carry simplifies policing

It pisses me off no end that any police department would oppose concealed carry. In the best of all possible democracies, the po-po would view armed law-abiding citizens as their allies in the war against crime. You know; ’cause an armed citizen is not a criminal. Pays their salaries. That sort of thing. Anyway, Constitutional Carry would make the police’s job easier.

In states where no CCW permit is needed (Vermont, Alaska, Wyoming, Arizona), cops don’t have to antagonize legal gun owners and endanger their own lives by asking the person carrying a concealed weapon to prove they have a permit. If they’re not a criminal, the gun’s legal. End of story. Less time, less hassle, less paperwork, less chance of a misunderstanding, less stress, less cost to the taxpayer.

Constitutional Carry also improves the citizens’ relationship with the police. In states where getting a concealed carry permit is only slightly less difficult than scoring a date with Nozomi Sasaki, thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens carry a gun for protection illegally. How cooperative must they be when the police want to ask them a few questions?

Generally speaking, by making it easy to carry a gun, Constitutional Carry restores respect. By the police for the citizenry.

OMG! With Constitutional Carry, the cops can’t talk to someone without thinking he might have a gun. Well, he might have one now. In all the large cities where the people can’t carry a gun legally, police have been accused of systemic corruption and brutality (e.g. LA, Chicago, Philadelphia). Coincidence? Maybe. I’ll simply say that anything that increases police politesse is a good thing.

3. Constitutional Carry helps the economy

The firearms industry is a great business. The margins aren’t huge, but it’s steady and ongoing and there’s lots of brand loyalty. What? Gun dealers, gunmakers and their camp followers (ammo, targets, cleaning supplies, etc.) don’t deserve to see their business prosper? Tell that to notorious anti-gunner Senator Charles Schumer, who’s busy pimping Remington’s bid for the new U.S. Army rifle.

Wherever it appears, Constitutional Carry ushers-in a surge in gun and gun gear sales. In a down economy, the gun biz has been growing steadily. And it’s an American business, with plenty of made-in-America jobs. Why not get the government out of the way of what the market wants and let the market have what it wants once the government gets out of the way?

Seriously. I’d like to hear the arguments against Constitutional Carry, or for Constitutional Carry with training, that don’t use the words “driver’s training” and instead rely on statistical data. At the moment, the silence is deafening.

comments

  1. avatar Matt H says:

    When we count states that already have constitutional carry, we should also consider another category of CCW permitting if training is the issue that separates a sane policy from an “insane” policy for some people: states where the permit only requires a background check and payment of a tax. According to Wikipedia, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Washington fall into this category.

    It turns out John Lott has done research on the effects of training requirements:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/More_Guns,_Less_Crime#Training_requirements

    Since they have very little effect either way, I’m thinking the tie should go to the Second Amendment: the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. We shouldn’t have to “bow and scrape before the king”, as Alan Korwin puts it, to exercise that right.

  2. avatar NMSteve says:

    RF-
    IL does not have any CCW permit. The post McDonald hoops to jump through are to have a registered firearm, that is not an “assault weapon”, within your home (but not in your yard, on your porch, or in your garage). To register my 870, it cost almost $300:
    $75 for the class
    $20 range fee
    $35 gun rental
    $100 Chicago Firearm Permit application fee
    $15 gun registration fee
    and driving between 100-150 miles to get this all done.

    After the IL assembly voted down the CCW bill, both the NRA and 2 Amendment Foundation have filed lawsuits against the state.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I knew that! About Illinois I mean. As for John Lott’s research, who knew (except all those Wikipedia readers)? I couldn’t make it though his book. I tried. Lord knows I tried. But if JL says training don’t do nothin’, and doesn’t publish the work under an assumed female name (love ya’ John!), I’m prepared to accept it. And anyway, even if pre-CCW training did have a measurable impact on preventing NDs or bad shoots, I wouldn’t necessarily sing hosannah (I’ll leave that to Toto). There is always collateral damage to any firearms policy. Even not having one. The risk of creating legions of CCW owners who can’t shoot for shit is worth it—in terms of society’s desire to prevent crime. And anyway, a Constitutional right is a Constitutional right. Shall not be infringed and all that 1776 misegos. IMHO.

      1. avatar Matt H says:

        Yeah, that book was a tough slog. Unsatisfying at times too. Even after getting through a bunch of statistical analysis that I kinda-sorta understood, it failed to make a truly airtight case in some places. At least, I think it did.

        In spite of all that, the book does actually have some really good passages, typically the chapter summaries but sometimes mixed in with the graphs.

        So I can’t claim to have read every word, but I did remember something about training in there.

  3. avatar Jason says:

    4. It just works. It’s not a theory. There’s no need to speculate. Come to Arizona. See for yourself. Life goes on. The air just tastes a little more like… freedom.

    1. avatar ExurbanKevin says:

      Amen to that. We’ve had it for a full year now and it STILL ain’t the wild west out here.

      1. avatar Jason says:

        The funny thing is, even if it were, we’d be doing mighty well. In fact, the average citizen might even be safer. As Kopel pointed out in The Samurai, The Mountie, and the Cowboy (p237-238) the “Wild West” was actually quite safe if you weren’t getting into drunken duels or hiring out as a mercenary in a range war.

        Love your blog by the way. If you ever go shooting at SGC, let me know, and I’ll buy you a drink at Kay O’s after. But just one. I’m not into drunken dueling.

        1. avatar ExurbanKevin says:

          SGC? Well, I’m in the Southeast Valley, so maybe I’ll get my passport together and pack a lunch… 🙂

          Sounds like fun. I love SGC: It’s the ultimate example of what a gun club could be.

        2. avatar Lance says:

          Largest in the nation if I recall correctly. And they are fixing their most glaring problem, limited range, with a new store in Peoria that goes out to 100 yards, indoors.

      2. avatar Travis Leibold says:

        Ditto! Even I was a little surprised at how smooth the transition has been.
        CCW classes in my area took a sharp decline but have actually began filling up again. People have probably been carrying and starting to ask themselves questions to which they realize they don’t have answers for. Imagine that! People willfully seeking training on thier own!

  4. avatar Res Publica Americana says:

    Here’s a treat for you guys:

    1) “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right. [Nunn vs. State, 1 Ga. (1 Kel.) 243, at 251 (1846)]”

    Note how the judgment uses the term ‘militia’ interchangeably to mean both a deputized militia and the people.

    2) “The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the high powers” delegated directly to the citizen, and `is excepted out of the general powers of government.’ A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.” [Cockrum v. State, 24 Tex. 394, at 401-402 (1859)]”

    How about THOSE for some examples of a long-gone breed of people in government? Servants of the citizenry, proud of their power to defend liberty and justice.

  5. avatar ExurbanKevin says:

    Did an interview yesterday with the Director of Operations for a local shooting range, asking her about the effects of Permit-less CCW on their training classes. I’ll have the full article up on TrainMeAz and my blog later this week, but the bottom line is, Arizona switching to permit-less carry lowered attendance in their CCW classes but sent attendance in their Intro to Pistols and such classes thru the ceiling.

    1. avatar Matt H says:

      I would imagine it would drive up interest in intermediate and advanced pistol training too.

    2. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Any chance of blogging it for TTAG as well? Couple of ‘graphs and picture will do. Ping guntruth@me.com

      1. avatar ExurbanKevin says:

        Can do, and thanks.

    3. avatar John Fritz says:

      Was the CCW class coerced and the Intro to Pistols class voluntary?

      1. avatar ExurbanKevin says:

        A CCW class still has benefits for Arizona residents: Reciprocity, carry in bars (where allowed), etc.

        The CCW class was coerced in that yes, you had to go thru it in order to get a permit, but now both are voluntary classes for concealed carry.

  6. avatar Roy Hill says:

    There is no training required to exercise your freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble in public, or freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    However in the case of Eugene Kane, maybe there should be?

    Nah………nevermind.

    1. avatar Jayson R says:

      You going to church, writing news articles, spouting off about this political cause or another has no chance of me or mine accidentally dying or being crippled because the preacher is boring, the article has poor grammar or the cause is unpopular.

      Bearing arms recklessly can impact others much more significantly and immediately than exercising any of the other Rights and exercising it should not be done with a caviler attitude. Unfortunately changing someone’s attitude isn’t easily done through compulsory training and licensing.

      1. avatar Adam says:

        So your saying that a person exercising their religious freedom has never done a third party harm?

        You’re funny.

        1. avatar Jayson R says:

          Nope I’m not asserting that at all which is why I chose the words “accidentally” and “immediately” in drawing the difference.

        2. avatar Adam says:

          Oh, another good example:

          Jenny Mccarthy’s use of Free Speech to spread misinformation about vaccines which has had a direct effect on parents not vaccinating their kids and a rise in preventable diseases.

      2. avatar AK says:

        Right. And the Heavens Gate people didn’t use religion recklessly and get a bunch of people killed.

        1. avatar Jayson R says:

          Good examples, but none of them killed or maimed me or mine. Those wackos killed themselves or their children, but the abuse didn’t “accidentally” fly across the street or erupt from a backpack and the bad advice about not getting vaccines didn’t prevent my kids from getting jabbed.

          How hard do you think it would be to did up stories about folks who unintentionally killed/injured others with firearms.

        2. avatar Adam says:

          But it could get your kid or someone else’s sick if someone does not vaccinate their kid and your is too young and/or otherwise unable to be vaccinated.

          My point is that your initial statement is not accurate. That’s all.

        3. avatar Vincit Veritas says:

          Nor did any bullet ever “accidentally” fly anywhere (at least in the last 100 years or so). Any such incident was an episode of negligence. This blog articulately chooses the words “negligent discharge” to describe those events.

          Every day you put yourself in multiple situations where others could kill or maim you “accidentally.”

          People die in car accidents every day, but we still all gotta get to work. You wouldn’t limit that right (ahem, privilege) to certain people, or certain states, or require a different license for each state because you accept the risk that comes with living in a free society. And there’s nothing in the constitution about your car.

      3. avatar Keith says:

        I knew this position would come up. Come on, man, do you think that the founders did not realize the risks inherent in the second amendment (or any of the bill of rights, come to that)? Do you think the second amendment was included because of some kind of naive oversight where the ratifiers were unaware that an armed citizenry might not, on some occasion, lead to a local tragedy?

        If America has come to believe that the particular freedom to keep and carry arms is not worth the risk, then it has only one recourse: amend the constitution to revoke the second amendment. Until such time, you foam and fuss all you like. Those who choose to carry are protected. Doesn’t matter how many people think it’s a bad idea.

        1. avatar Jayson R says:

          What position is that?

          Seems like folks are projecting all sorts of their own fears/concerns/issues into my comment. I only asserted that when exercised recklessly or with a caviler attitude bearing arms can have consequences for others that could be more severe than when folks choose to follow a religion, print inaccurate news reports or say stupid things.

          I never wrote boo about the risk being too high, nor frothed or foamed nor suggested putting limits on RKBA.

      4. avatar Little Crow says:

        Because Charles Manson didn’t hurt anybody with mere words and ideals

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    We’ve been hearing from the wingnuts that Constitutional Carry is the EOTWAWKI for a while now. However, the people who have experience with it feel otherwise. Would I support mandatory training in a Con Carry state? No more than I support mandatory training in a licensing jurisdiction. My MA training was law- and safety-oriented (no live fire), cost $60 bucks and duplicated what I already knew. I enjoyed my instructor and talking guns, but while the class was well-intentioned, it was also kind of a waste. In Mayor Blamebag’s paradise of NYC, you can’t even touch a handgun, not even for training purposes, unless you already have a license. Kinda backwards, huh? The list of stupid gun laws goes on and on, except (for the most part) in Con Carry states.

  8. avatar ExurbanKevin says:

    All you need to know about anti-gunners is within this article:

    “The sane version – which I oppose…”

    They are against sanity: We’ve known that for a long, long time.

    1. avatar TTACer says:

      lulz

  9. avatar stateisevil says:

    So yeah, the “training” is a complete joke and the violently disposed will do what they’re going to do without regard to the “law.” And it’s a right. Open or Concealed, no permits. Nuff said.

    1. avatar Cateye says:

      Did you know that people that get a pistol, Start going to the range and having fun. The sport is grate to get in to,When people go buy their firearms. They won’t to be good with it,And they go out to the range more then officers do. But the people that don’t own a firearm,Don’t know about it,They are not there to see whats going on.

  10. avatar Matt H says:

    Is it just me, or does it seem backwards that in quite a few states, including mine, we have permitless open carry but concealed carry requires a permit (or in Wisconsin’s case, isn’t allowed at all). Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Not that I want new restrictions imposed, but if anything it seems like open carry calls for MORE training, particularly in weapon retention.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      If it’s logic you want, don’t read the gun laws.

  11. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    It’s really not that difficult to get a carry permit, I have permits that cover 37 states and I haven’t even applied for my home state permit. Once I receive my CT permit then I’ll apply to my state and MA and I’ll be ready to go in 40 states. The 10 remaining commie states don’t count and I’ll never go to any of them anyway.

  12. avatar tdiinva says:

    Anybody with a military background knows that training is a good thing. I have no problem with a training requirement if it’s free. The first time you get a hunting license in Virginia you have to take a class. Safe handling of firearms is only one part of the class. Most of it is about technique and law. It’s been a long time since I took the course so I signed up again.

    Virginia also requires training for CCW but it’s not free. It would be better if if it were because I would go back every couple of years. Repetitive training is always more effective. Is Constitutional carry insane? No…but it is better to be trained in classroom and on the range than on the street.

  13. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    My first permit was from Virginia, and all I had to do was send them a copy of my NRA pistol course along with the app.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      Is the NRA course free?

  14. Seattle Gun Rights Examiner Dave Workman makes an interesting point in his piece, WI panel OKs gun bill; columnist shows bankruptcy of anti-CCW mindset when he says:

    Wisconsin would not be in its present situation had it not been for anti-gun former Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat. He twice vetoed concealed carry legislation that had been supported by most people on both sides of the issue that would have included permits. His actions have resulted in something of a civil rights backlash, with many gun owners now pushing for full carry rights without a permit. It’s essentially payback for Doyle and a handful of Democrats who refused to override his vetoes. If Wisconsin’s Legislature adopts constitutional carry, the blame, or credit depending upon one’s perspective, lies at Doyle’s feet and nobody else’s. He had two chances to be “reasonable,” as the gun control crowd always puts it, and he blew them both.

    This is something we saw in MN in the years leading up to getting “shall issue” passed. Time and again we would try to work with the antis to get a bill that was acceptable to them, and time and again they bottled it up in committees, or larded it with poison pill amendments, or just plain “changed their mind” and voted against it. So when we finally had the votes to push through a good bill, it was hard to take them seriously when they screeched that they hadn’t had a chance to give their “input”.

  15. avatar John Mama says:

    Great comment about the “best Democracy”………….but we live in a Republic!!

    1. avatar Henry Bowman says:

      We live in what was designed as a Republic… it is now the capital of a global authoritarian empire.

  16. avatar Whathasitgotinitspocketses says:

    For every freedom there is a corresponding responsibility. That is the crux of the issue. Governments have a tendency to use their “freedom to legislate” without having anyone to be responsible for the failues and abuses the laws they pass make possible. A good example is the growing acceptance of warrantless searches by LEO’s at local, state, and federal levels. When they come to the wrong house and innocent people are killed or injured, no one is held accountable. There can be no freedom without responsibility, only tyrany. When I carry (and I do most of the time) I do so in a responsible manner – I do not brandish or display my weapon, I lock it up if impaired, and I am careful to be certain that no one has unauthorized access to it. In short, I am conscious of the responsibility I must have to exercise my freedom. Without that responsibility, there is no freedom, only anarchy. I must admit though that many in governemnt do push my patience close to its limit sometimes.

  17. avatar JohnInFlorida says:

    If a “sane” policy were truly desired, Constitutional Carry, with an emphasis on individuals being held responsible for their actions and SEVERE penalties for negligent and/or reckless implementation of the rights granted by the Second Amendment, would be the law of the land.

  18. avatar Cateye says:

    If people would do a little home work,They would find out when people in that state are carrying. The crime is lowered by 30-40%,That is a lot of people not getting hurt,Killed,reaped,robed. The FBI report have this on there sites for people to read up on. And on top of it,The FBI is telling people how much better it is in that state.How much it helps to keep crime down. Take a good look at NY,IL,DC crime rate. Very bad,I would never live their. All their for everyone to read up on the killing going on in those states. And it don’t need to be like that,They just don’t care for there own people,How sad but true.

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  22. Holy cow, thank you so much for posting this! It is going to help me when I am thinking about going to Grand Prairie 18 in Peoria! I am from Toronto so I am not familiar with Peoria. Next time I see my family will be so much better! Super Wonderful!

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