Question of the Day: What’s the Right Age for Concealed Carry?

In the wake of Oklahoma teen mom Sarah McKinley’s successful DGU, I bring your attention to a Sooner State teen who was defenseless against her murderers. “Carina Saunders was brutally murdered as a means to frighten another woman into cooperating with a human trafficking ring,” ibtimes.com reports. “The 19-year-old who graduated from Mustang High School just last year was tortured, dismembered and beheaded. Parts of her body were found stuffed in a duffel bag and dumped behind a grocery store on Oct. 13. She was identified by her distinct tattoos . . .

Jimmy Lee Massey, 33, has been arrested on first-degree murder charges. A 20-year-old woman, whose name has not been disclosed, came forward as a witness to report she had been kidnapped by Massey and forced to watch the brutal murder in Bethany, Oklahoma.

Massey was already being held in Oklahoma County jail on drug charges. He has admitted to investigators that he kidnapped the 20-year-old woman and forced her to watch as others tortured and killed Saunders. He also provided details about the crime . .

Despite the fact that she was known to run with a rough crowd and use drugs like marijuana, methamphetamine and Ecstasy, Saunders was a “random” choice for the killers, according to police.

[Police Chief Phil] Cole said, “Our information right now leads us to believe she was a random choice, as sad as that is. She had relationships within these loosely associated people, and I think that she was a victim of opportunity.”

Oklahoma citizens must be at least 21-years-old to qualify for a concealed carry permit. I know this post is a bit of a sucker punch, and Ms. Saunders may not have qualified for a concealed carry permit for other reasons, but do you think the minimum age for CCW should be lower than 21?

comments

  1. avatar KYgunner says:

    That article literally turned my stomach. That’s horrifying.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more!

    2. avatar Tim says:

      No joke!

  2. avatar someguy says:

    That’s so horrible. There should be special provisions in the Constitution that allow torture for cases like this.

    Now, on to your question. The carry age should be 18. If you can possess a firearm at 18, there’s no reason you can’t conceal it. A concealed firearm doesn’t make it any more dangerous than openly carried firearm.

    1. avatar IdahoPete says:

      +1. And did anyone else notice the police response time in the news reports about the 18-yr old mom (Sarah McKinley) who defended herself with the shotgun against the two scum? She didn’t start shooting until they broke down her front door, 21 MINUTES into her 911 call. The police had not yet arrived to “protect” her.

      “When seconds count, the police are only 20 or 30 or 40 or so minutes away. Call 911 and die, because we can’t trust civilians (especially 18-year olds) with guns.”

  3. avatar Aaron says:

    The Opencarry.org “age to carry openly” map shows that there are a few states that allow it at ages 17 and lower – not many but they do.

  4. avatar Bruce W. Krafft says:

    Being a good libertarian I think the gov’t imposed limit should be zero years old. It should be up to the individual and their parents to decide when/if concealed carry is appropriate. I know several 15-year-olds that I would trust to carry and I know several 35+-year-olds that I would *not* trust to carry. In Minnesota you can get a farm work license to drive at age 15 (to drive farm equipment and work vehicles within 20 miles of the farm during daylight hours) and a whole lot more folks per capita are killed by vehicles than are killed by guns.

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      This.

    2. avatar Adam says:

      My first thought when I read the title was the exact same thing as what you posted. No where in the constitution does it say a person must be of a certain age to own a firearm.

      To often the government is allowed to impose regulations to ‘deter’ crimes. I have been raised with firearms from birth yet do not go around shooting at anyone yet I had to wait until I was 21 to obtain my CCW simply because the government has decided that some cannot be trusted.

      Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves seeing how far we have fallen after how hard they fought and how much they sacrificed for us all to be free of tyranny.

      1. avatar Ropingdown says:

        Even in 1786 it was cannon that quieted the disaffected masses. Small arms were insufficient. Not many of the founding fathers fought for our freedoms. Except for Washington, they politically advocated for the rights. Other people did the fighting, ‘young bloods’ and country folk. Sam Adams was referred to by other ‘founding fathers’ as the ‘lightning bolt’ that spurred the revolution. He did not fight in it. As soon as it was over, though, Adams was in full support of turning cannon on the rural farmers who did fight, but who had gone unpaid and were late on their farm mortgages due to a shortage of gold and silver coin in which the debts had to be paid, debts owed to big Boston money men. Many of these money men sat out the revolution abroad. The leading General of the revolution until George Washington took over was Artemis Ward. This same man was the judge who enforced the post-revolution mortgage default judgements and forfeitures. It was safer to be a Boston banker, flee for the duration of the Revolution, then return and have your property ‘restored’ and collect on your pre-revolution mortgage collateral. See Shay’s Rebellion, or read even the first eight paragraphs on the topic in Wikipedia. Common folk had to struggle to get the right to bear arms into the Bill of Rights. The revolution was a war to free the colonial rich from the grip of Great Britain. Not until the rich traders of Boston saw their business threatened did they join the working man in advocating rebellion. The minute the ‘revolution’ was over these same men, for example John Hancock, didn’t want another speck of revolution, thank you.

    3. avatar JTB says:

      It is a common mistake to treat children the same as adults in discussions about rights and liberties. Children are NOT the same as adults until they hit a certain maturity level. This varies person to person, but the law has to be clear so they pick an age of 18 for most things, and 21 for everything else. You lose a lot of credibility when you act like children an adults are the same in a political debate. The left does this all the time in the healthcare debate. They say we make children go to school so we can make adults buy health insurance. Big difference between a child an an adult, and it can come back to bite you in the ass if you don’t acknowledge it.

      1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

        I agree that children are not adults. With a passel of kids on my little tribe, I know some who were ready to pack a heater by the time they were 18, others not so much.

        This is a really good question.

  5. avatar Charles says:

    18. If they’re old enough to fight, they’re old enough to tote.

    I do think some training and qualification should be required, however. The little bit of trouble most of us have to go to in order to carry legally is a good and necessary distinction between us and those who have no regard for the law.

    1. avatar HSR47 says:

      I disagree on the subject of training. There is no such requirement on the exercise of any other right, and others are arguably more dangerous.

      1. avatar Charles says:

        I understand the anti-government feelings many of us have, but let’s consider how a suspension of some or all gun laws would look like. While a majority of Americans are more or less law-abiding and more or less responsible folks, there are a whole lot of people out there who aren’t. (If you need examples of stupid people shooting guns, look to YouTube) Do we want to be guilty by association with irresponsible people? Imagine what the gun grabbers would do with just a few egregious examples of stupidity.

        My point is that some government regulation is good. It’s illegal for 13 year-olds to drive automobiles. This is a good thing, and if you don’t think there are parents who would allow their 13 year-old children to drive you’re not paying attention to how people raise their children these days.A small amount of mandatory and reasonable training filters out the stupid and incompetent and distinguishes the law-abiding from the criminals.

        1. avatar Sam says:

          Again, laws don’t stop people from acting, they just provide a disincentive to do so.

          I drove cars when I was 13 on public roads (I’m 23 now) despite the law.

        2. avatar Charles says:

          I’m not saying the laws would stop anyone from doing anything, I’m saying they give a form within which order, justice and rights can be protected.

    2. avatar Tom says:

      18. If they’re old enough to fight, they’re old enough to tote.

      This came up a lot during Vietnam.

  6. avatar Mike G says:

    This post is similar to how the gun grabbers dance in the blood whenever there is a firearms death. A post on the concealed carry age would stand on its own.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Gun rights advocates must fight fire with fire. We must appeal to the gut as well as the head. We own the second part of that, but we must constantly claim the first.

  7. avatar Derry Mellott says:

    18. If your old enough to vote, get married or fight for the Country, your old enough to carry. Prior to 18, with Parental or Legal Guardian consent. Training for pre-eighteen year old sounds reasonable, but should be part of the Parental Consent, I think. Training for over eighteen, also seems reasonable, but would wait for the debate amongst the comments here for a final judgement. Maybe just being able to pass some sort of basic safety/proficiency test.

    The basic story used to bring this to our attention sickened and revolted me, as well. The perpetrators are despicable and vile monsters.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      Under 18, agree parental consent and training, but over 18 – I would argue, we don’t require any special training for any other Constitutionally protected rights.Speech, Press, Religion, Peacefully Assemble, Unlawful Search and Seizure, Self-incrimination, etc… Any requirements for training (and I think any person who does handle guns should have training) are an infringement on your rights because it arbitrarily places obstacles to exercising those rights.

      States set arbitrary standards to buy/possess/carry weapons all the time, but they should not. If someone grows up around guns, is trained by their father (or mother) on proper handling, safety, and shooting, but would still require some piece of paper from some certified-instructor – THAT is the state placing undue burdens on the gun-owner.

      The same thing applies to limiting our choices of weapons – if a person can be trusted with a particular gun, why would they NOT be trusted with another type of weapon (say fully-automatic)?

      Too often, the government, and some Liberal friends, I have look at people and say “they are too stupid (or pick an adjective) to do “X” and should be required to do “Y” to exercise that right/freedom”? I find that insulting!

      1. avatar Derry Mellott says:

        Thanks Tim,
        I agree with your over 18 position. Consider me further enlightened.

    2. avatar HSR47 says:

      Let me get this straight; you’re advocating for a trainee carry permit?

      1. avatar Sam says:

        Under 18 with parents permission, I agree with him.

  8. avatar BLX says:

    If you are old enough to drive … a car is the most deadly weapon most people ever touch. Or raise the driving age. If you are old enough to vote … a potentially dangerous activity. The Germans elected the Nazis. Or raise the voting age. If you are old enough to have (custody of) children … never are you in such position of power as when taking care of a small child.

  9. avatar Skyler says:

    I think the government should have no say in the matter. They shouldn’t even be allowed to license people for concealed carry. You should be able to carry open or concealed as you choose at any time at any age.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      +1 Absolutely!

      1. avatar Derry Mellott says:

        Skyler,
        I agree that the Government should have no say in the matter. In my previous post I was thinking we would never get the Government out of the picture on open carry (won’t give up that much control and won’t miss an opportunity to squeeze a few dollars out of us for something that’s none of their business in the first place). However, complete open or concealed carry seems most in line with the Second Amendment. Thanks for a slap of good common sense!

  10. avatar racer88 says:

    I believe 18 should be the age for EVERYTHING that is considered appropriate for an adult.

    If, at 18, I am old enough to:

    – Serve (or be drafted) my country in the military, operating multi-million-dollar machines designed to kill people and blow shit up….

    – Elect the most powerful official on the face of the planet (President of the United States)…

    Then I should be able to:

    – Buy a beer
    – Keep and bear arms
    – Exercise all of my Constitutionally-protected rights as an adult.

    Otherwise… raise the age for military service and voting to 21. Either I’m an adult, or not… at 18… or 21…. The gov’t needs to make up its mind and be consistent.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      – Buy a beer
      – Keep and bear arms
      – Exercise all of my Constitutionally-protected rights as an adult.

      Hopefully not in that order or mixing #1 and #2! 🙂

      1. avatar racer88 says:

        haha… I should have prefaced with, “in no particular order.” 😉

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    What’s the right age for concealed carry? The question assumes that there is a “right” age, and I’m not sure that’s correct.

    I think that teenagers are flaming idiots, destructive and dangerous to themselves and others. Not all, certainly. Neither is the race always to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but as Damon Runyan said, that’s the way to bet.

    Teenagers smash up their cars, killing themselves and others with monotonous regularity. They hang themselves because somebody posted a bad word about them on Facebook. They make good soldiers because they are told what to do and trained in a system that requires obedience and enforces discipline. I think that a carry age under 18 would be insane. And don’t give me that “it’s their Constitutional right” argument. It isn’t. If the governments can decide the voting age, the draft age, the marriage age, the driving age and the drinking age, they can decide the carry age. We’ll know more after Jennings v. ATF which will be heard in the Fifth Circuit, probably next year, but that’s the way it’s going to come out.

    Over 21 is a no-brainer. Adult citizens should be able to enjoy all their constitutional rights without undue interference, even if they might f^ck up.

    Between 18 and 21? One of the previous commenters posited that if people are old enough to fight for their country, they ought to be able to carry a gun. I agree that if people are actually fighting for their country, they should be able to carry a firearm when they get home. They deserve it. But for those who aren’t fighting for their country and would rather stay home and play “Call of Duty,” please, children, STFU and stop trying to appropriate the accomplishments of your betters. That kind of cynicism just drives me right up a wall.

  12. a motor vehicle can be just as deadly as a firearm… so 18 works! They can go off to war to fight for our country and the constitution represents us as a nation, so 18! This gal might be alive today if she had a gun and knew how to use it. I say we all “Light a Candle” every time a Law Abiding citizen exercises their 2nd Amendment right to defend their LIFE or a loved ones!
    LEO’s and Police only arrive at Crime Scenes NOT Crimes!

  13. avatar BLAMMO says:

    This is the first I’m hearing of this story. A Google news search yields surprisingly little coverage of such a shocking crime. Most of the coverage has it genesis in internationally based new services and is mostly only regurgitated domestically.

    Is there a reluctance by the mainstream media to remind people of the vicious evil that exists in our society which can victimize any one of us at any time? Would people be prompted to obtain the means to protect themselves?

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      I’m going with yes. And yes.

  14. avatar Silver says:

    18 is the age when most societal adult benefits and responsibilities kick in. In the past couple decades it seems like 21 has become the new adult because a growing majority of kids are going to college, and thus are still in school before being “on their own.” But if a guy doesn’t go to college and gets a job and is on his own at 18, he’s an adult.

    Younger than 18, a kid is under the care of his parents. His well-being is their responsibility, so you can say the burden of protection falls to them. At 18, the new adult is his own responsibility. So if the burden of protection now falls to him, why would we say he should be legally unable to protect himself?

  15. avatar Mr. Lion says:

    Short answer: Depends on the person in question. I would have no problem with a 16 year old who is demonstratively proficient and mature beyond his years (rare, but happens) carrying.

    Likewise, thanks to the ever decreasing maturity vs. age ratio, some 21 year olds really should not have a firearm at all, but as Darwin tells us that sorts itself out eventually.

    Legally? 18 would be consistent.

  16. avatar Danny Mcbee says:

    I remember seeing reports on human trafficking in my state (Oklahoma) just a month ago. It’s amazing what goes on right under people’s noses.

    As for the question. I’d prefer the Libertarian route that Bruce suggested in many cases but I highly doubt anything like that will be happening any time soon. So I’ll say that 18 is a good age once they’ve already jumped through the current hoops.

    I turn 21 in a few days. My father introduced me to guns when I was about 5 years old and I’ve been shooting ever since. I’m well practiced when it comes to safety (I practice the NRA’s safety rules religiously and I don’t tolerate foolishness from anyone else that would handle a gun around me). I’ve never gotten into a single bit of trouble with the law (I’ve never even had a speeding ticket; I believe in following the law so long as it doesn’t infringe upon my God given rights). I’ve never been in a fight (aside from sparring with friends for exercise) and I’d much rather defuse a “fisticuffs” situation by walking away rather than dukeing it out. I’m more familiar with firearms than many people much older than me.
    Yet despite all of these things I’m not considered “adult” enough to carry a firearm. I pride myself in learning as much as possible over time, but I’ve been an “adult” since I was 18 and aside from a little wisdom from life experiences I was every bit as “adult” as an 18 year old as I am now.

    If an 18-20 year old can demonstrate a clear level of competence and safety with firearms and can pass all of the existing state requirements (I.E they’re not a felon for one) I see no reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to carry concealed.

  17. avatar Danny Mcbee says:

    Also fun fact. In Oklahoma it’s illegal to carry any caliber larger than .45……..it’s vague as to whether or not that’s talking about diameter or .45acp. Technically a lot of people carry a 10mm or a .357 which is more powerful….but not as big as the .45 in diameter.

    You should look into some of the uber random laws that CCers have to live with. Oklahoma has a few odd ones but I’d be willing to bet we’re normal in comparison with some of the other states.

  18. avatar Sean C says:

    I’d make 16 the age for EVERYTHING.

  19. avatar Mark says:

    As someone who works with teens every day, I think the minimum age for concealed carry should be…

    …45

    😉

  20. avatar Jay Wolf says:

    If you can be drafted and sent of to war to get killed for your country at 18 then it should be 18. 18 should also be the drinking age also.

    You see Son, you can go get sent to have your ass shot in asscrackistan but you aren’t responsible enough to drink a beer. BS double standard.

  21. avatar Mark Horning says:

    16. Cars are far more dangerous than guns and we let 16-year-olds drive.

    I’m willing to compromise on 18 though.

  22. avatar Thomas M. says:

    Drive a car, get drafter, vote, drink, carry a gun, agent of consent, sign a contract. It should all be the same age. If it is 18 then so be it.

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