CCW advocates have been following the progression of HR Bill 822, which proposes national concealed carry reciprocity by which a person who has obtained a valid CCW permit in one state can legally carry concealed in any other state. This bill has, of course, generated a tremendous amount of fear and doubt on both sides of the issue. Here are a few of the concerns (both real and imagined). . .

  • The law would create a “race to the bottom” in which states that have very strict laws around CCW permit issuance would be forced to allow visitors who come from states with less strict gun laws to be able to carry in their states, thus circumventing the existing structure.
  • The law would create a Federal registry and Federal standards for permit issuance thus letting the Federal Government and their “Black Helicopters” know who has guns and who does not.
  • States rights would be trampled as they would be forced to possibly change the criteria under which they issue licenses to comply with the new law.

Of the three points above, only the first is really relevant. The other two are the result of  FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt). The proposed law does not create any Federal system for licensing gun owners, nor does it require states to change their existing policies for CCW issuance. Point three does have some merit in that Federal law would override States’ interest in creating laws, but if you subscribe to the argument that the Constitution trumps State Law then, technically, it is illegal for states to define laws that undermine the second amendment.

All that aside, I’d like to make a modest proposal that might help bridge some of the gaps.  It certainly won’t please everyone as some people simply do not want guns in the hands of citizens period under any circumstances. But they are by far not in the majority in this country and that view is so far outside the main stream of opinion in this country that it doesn’t merit consideration here.

Let me start my proposal by laying out several of my beliefs with respect to CCW:

  1. CCW licenses should be issued only to law-abiding citizens. If you have a history of committing felonies, committing domestic abuse or similar crimes, then no soup for you.
  2. We require drivers of automobiles to receive training and pass a competency test before they are allowed to drive. Why should we not ask the same of people who plan to carry concealed weapons in public? Note here that I am not saying you need to take a course and pass a test to simply own a gun. I only want competency tests for people who plan to carry them in public. We require our police to periodically demonstrate competency by periodically qualifying with their weapon, so why should citizens be different?
  3. Any qualification program must be reasonable. One fear that many people have is that the state might set the qualification bar so high that few people can ever pass it. A qualification program must be constructed such that a person can reasonably pass it with some practice. My gun club, for example, requires all members to annually qualify by putting 9 out of 10 shots onto a 2′ x 3′ cardboard target from 50′. This is not that hard and would demonstrate that at 50′, a person can generally get their bullets into the right place.

With that said, here is my modest proposal. First, I would define the qualification and background check requirements by incorporating the opinions of multiple stakeholders from police to the NRA to very senior firearm instructors, etc. Call it a blue ribbon panel that would define the criteria.

Once we had reached agreement on the criteria, I would then offer the states a choice. If their existing permit issuance program meets or exceeds these national standards, then they are all set. Carry on business as usual and your permit will be recognized in all 50 states.

If, however, you live in a state whose permit issuance criteria does not meet the national standards, the state would have a choice. It could continue to issue permits the way it always had, but those permits would not be recognized outside the home state, absent a specific reciprocity agreement with other states. For instance, your New Hampshire CCW permit would only be good in New Hampshire.

Alternatively, the state could change its permit issuance process to comply with the minimum Federal standards at which point the state’s permits would be recognized everyone. On the off chance that you wanted a nationally recognized permit and your state did not want to change its rules, you could always apply for an out of state permit from one of the states that has a qualifying program and thus obtain a nationally recognized license.

The beauty of this system is that it preserves most of the states’ rights. Your state and only your state would have your personal qualifying information. There would be no Federal registry and, even better, you would not have to apply for permits in every state you want to take a firearm into. States could choose to modify their permitting process to comply with the program or not, but they cannot choose to prevent U.S. citizens who have passed the qualifying criteria from carrying concealed where they want. It would also take the power away from anti-gun politicians and return it to the people where it belongs.

77 Responses to A Modest Proposal for a National Concealed Carry Permit

    • This bill does not do anything to help people carry in their home state, but rather to allow them to carry outside of their home state.

  1. Your premise is based on the assumption that CCW is even a just process. If you’re required to ask permission then you’ve already abdicated what is naturally yours. No one can assume to dictate how you utilize your property for licit purposes, and those that do are authoritarians.

  2. Driving a car is not a right. There’s a hugely critical difference to carrying arms, which is a constitutionally protected right. Driving a car is done on the government’s roads (more often than not), so the government does have some say in how you can do it (speed limits, etc). For that matter, driving a car is inherently more dangerous than carrying a gun.

    • Please attempt to see through the brainwashing for a minute.

      Driving a car is a right. It is your right to property. If you obtain property through licit means then you have a right to own and use that property for licit purposes.

      “The government’s roads!??” Just who, exactly, paid for all those roads? You have as much right to travel public roads as you do toll roads. You, after all, pay for them to be built and maintained.

      So, it is your right to operate your property for licit purposes on roads you paid for, as long as you don’t infringe upon the freedoms of others in the process. Please keep this in mind the next time the Ministry of Truth tells you that driving is a privilege.

    • Driving a car certainly involves the right to travel. Ever think about how your life would be changed for the worse if the state decided to suspend/revoke your driver’s license? Can’t drive to work and back anymore…highly restricts “right to work” principles. (Average commute in California is around 30 miles…one way. Try that on a moped in the rain! Drive to the store for food? In a rural area where the grocery store may be 20 miles away? How much can you load on your bicycle?
      Worse, various states are now in the process of building laws/regulations to suspend driver’s licenses for “crimes” that have nothing to do with driving or travel. Like dropping out of school under the age of 18. Driving? Not until you’re 18, unless you go back to school. Given the current state of the public school system…
      Driving may be considered a privilege by the state…but it’s only for the purpose of heavily restricting the right to travel if you’re somehow not a “good person” in the eyes of the state.

    • Morseus,

      See my previous posts as to whether the personal right of firearms ownership is a right or not. Fact is that we say it is and others say it isn’t. The courts ultimately decide what exactly the Second Amendment means (as proscribed by the Constitution). So far the prevailing wind in the courts are with us, but that can change. In addition, there is a whole other can of worms as to whether the 2nd Amendment guarantees our rights to carry concealed. Again, we say it does, others say it does not.

      Whether the states technically have the right to regulate the keeping and bearing of firearms is secondary to the fact that right now they do. The only way to change that is through the political process and whether that happens depends on what state you live in. All I was suggesting was a way to reduce some of the state’s ability to restrict the legal carry of weapons by non-residents.

  3. #1 – Nope – and I know I am in the minority on this one, but hear me out. A felon will get a gun, legal or otherwise. I would much prefer not even worrying about it since it is simply a tool to lock him back up on some parole/probation violation. A convict who turns legitimate later in life deserves to be able to self-protect, just like anyone else.

    #2 – Nope – infringement of a basic constitutionally guaranteed right. We don’t require bloggers to pass a grammar test to write a gun site, do we. As for the LEO aspect, they are held to a much stricter standard since they are in “the sh!t” much more often with weapons drawn. They are supposed to be more proficient.

    #3 – see above. By being “reasonable” and “modest”, you play into the anti-gunners hands. Don’t let them frame the argument and steal the language!

  4. I do not like the idea of the state requiring you to ask permission to exercise a constitutional right.

    I think if the state wants to issue licences, it needs to offer something in return. If you have a permit, perhaps your civil liability is reduced or eliminated if no criminal charges are filed after a defensive gun use.

    In my heart, I am a “The 2nd Amendment is my Permit” kind of guy, and I am not keen on grand bargain compromises.

  5. If we were sure that both sides of the 2A debate were people of good will, I’d be sanguine with a training requirement. However, there have been enough examples of a training requirement being used specifically to prevent or actively discourage CCW that I cannot agree.

  6. In general, I like this proposal. However, it would certainly be difficult to get this type of thing through Congress. Think of how many Reps are in the NYC, Chicago, LA, and SFO areas that would fight against it. Those are only the big anti-gun cities; it’s not even counting most of the New England area.

    Your 2′ x 3′ cardboard sheet at 50′ might be more than what some CCW’ers can handle. Think of the 65 year old lady with a j-frame: do you think the has the eyesight/coordination for that? Maybe, but I know lots of people who can’t shoot snubs for crap and would struggle to make those hits.

    I propose a maximum distance of 25′ and a full size silhouette (which is usually 2′ x 3′ anyway). Any hits on the body/head of the target are counted.

    The 65-year-old lady I’m referring to is this one: http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-01-18/news/30641186_1_tsa-agents-security-agents-checkpoint

    Don’t forget the CA state legislator who tried to take his .45 on a Southwest flight: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/01/calif-lawmaker-caught-with-loaded-45-caliber-in-carry-on/1

    • Eric,

      Here’s my rationale for tight qualifications: I’m out with my two kids, bad guy does something and another citizen who is packing pulls his gun and starts hosing the place down. One of my kids catches a bullet in the head. Sorry, but this is an unacceptable alternative. If someone is going to pull a gun in public, they better darn well know how to shoot it accurately or else they are going to be in a world of hurt. Regardless of what happened in the situation, I can assure you that when the case goes to the grand jury and they show pictures of my little girl before she caught a bullet, the shooter, no matter what his intentions, is going away for a long time.

      The alternative is that the DGU person has some basic skills and sends the bullets where they belong – into the bad guy. Some states like Texas already have a shooting competency requirement and I would hardly call Texas the home of bleeding heart liberal gun grabbers.

      Furthermore your example of the 65 year old woman is interesting when tied to the analogy of the drivers license. There are some people who once they get to a certain point in their lives that simply should not drive a car as they are an accident waiting to happen. If the 65 year old lady pulls a gun and can’t handle it, she is probably better off without it. I have an ultralight J-frame and it hurts me when I shoot it. I can’t imagine a 65 year old woman shooting something with that much kick.

  7. This part seems ripe for abuse:

    “Alternatively, the state could change its permit issuance process to comply with the minimum Federal standards at which point the state’s permits would be recognized everyone.”

    If those standards are set by our elected representitives, then I dont think its much of a problem. However, if the Federal standards are set by some faceless, unaccountable burocrat, then you just asking for some corrupt, politically motivated a-whole to muck up the works.

  8. We have a right to own guns, carrying them publicly is something we can all agree takes it a step further in responsibility. I also think training will neutralize some of the arguments people have. Also, when someone sees a gun on someone’ s side they might be more comfortable if they knew the person was trained and at least was briefed on the rules surrounding DGU. The unknown status of a gun carry makes for MWAG calls to the police.

      • Would you feel even safer without licensing and testing for drivers? I know it’s a little scary to expect people to be trained, certified, or licensed to carry weapons in public but frankly I’m not comfortable with the lack of training in this regard.
        What I’ve seen at public ranges confirms my fears.

        • Actually, considering the nature of licensing and testing for a civilian driver’s license…it wouldn’t change my feelings at all. Driver’s education and licensing programs are not about making good drivers. They are at best an introduction to the process and an explanation of the laws. Most programs don’t meet the best standard.

          So, why don’t we have so much more carnage on our roadways, if the licensing requirement isn’t adequately training and preparing people for driving? Quite simply most people are more reasonable than we want to give them credit for, most people achieve a minimum standard competence in driving, not because of state action, but because falling below the minimum standard competence has disastrous results.

          If we truly want to improve driving (and gun handling) we need to quit pretending that government action means a d@mn thing and aim for cultural change. Peer expectations have far more import than random regulations.

          JSG

    • “We have a right to own guns, carrying them publicly is something we can all agree takes it a step further in responsibility.”

      We have a right to keep and BEAR arms, which is not to be infringed.

      • And if you do BEAR arms you better know what you are doing, because if not your right to BEAR arms will most certainly be infringed.

  9. No training requirements. They WILL be abused. No background checks. They will be abused. A simple national reciprocity rule will do. If your state allows you to have a CCW, than any state in the union must honor it. Let the residents of gun prohibiting states prohibit their citizens if they like. These citizens need to change their own laws. Just allow me to travel the whole country as a free man.

    We have lost much of our rights one common sense rule at a time. They are being reclaimed incrementally, but I don’t see a need to compromise. Get what we can, but get it pure. Instead of those regimes where you do not need training giving in, just give reciprocity across the board. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit refers to the 2nd ammendment as a civil right. He articulates it much better than I can, but I think that his view is, fight every instance of gun control possible, with the end goal being no gun control. Don’t start with the premise that we need to meet in the middle. We don’t. We will lose some battles, but overall, we are winning, and we should continue the fight. Two steps forward and one step back. Look where we are compared to twenty years ago.

    • Exactly. The several states honor each others drivers licenses without regard to the licensing process or requirements so why should firearms be any different.

    • That attitude will kill this bill before it gets out of committee. There are more than enough states that have stronger gun regulation to make sure that this bill never becomes a law. The only chance we have to make something like this happen is to come up with a compromise that works for everyone. Remember, I am not proposing changing the existing model – only adding the optional second step if one wants one’s license recognized nationwide.

      Refusal to make any compromises is what has made Congress and the Presidency that proud bastion of do-nothing idiots that it is today. We have to find some way to compromise and meet in the middle as there are too many people on both sides of just about any argument to enable one side to force its wishes on the other.

  10. Mr. Barrett, while you may see some disagreement with your points in the comments, and some of it might be mine, I want to thank you for the effort and time you put into several very well thought out posts.

    If I’m reading you correctly, we really don’t disagree with the big picture. Your point about what we should be doing is taken. For those who can’t or won’t get involved beyond the ballot box, (like me, more or less) I have a suggestion. Give someone who doesn’t shoot the opportunity to. Take a friend to the range. Teach your kids and wife to shoot. Do what you can. One piece at a time.

  11. I’m not 100% on how HR 822 is written, but I know that a resident from, say, Maine has to follow the rules of Michigan while in Michigan. In effect, his Maine license becomes a Michigan license while within that state’s boundaries. What I am less clear on is how the bill currently handles a licensee from a state with NO practical test entering one with a practical test. If that state’s lowest common denominator hasn’t been met, is the visitor allowed to carry?

    It may be that what you’re proposing is already in the bill.

    • “If that state’s lowest common denominator hasn’t been met, is the visitor allowed to carry?”

      If I understand correctly, yes. HR 822 imposes the place/time/manner standards of the visited state on the visiting license-holder, but not any of the training/competency/live-fire/whatever-other-barriers-to-exercising-2nd-amendment-rights standards.

      Which is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.

  12. Excellent proposal, sir.

    My criticism is that it is clearly based upon reasonable knowledge of firearm ownership and human behavior.

    That may be too great of a challenge for our current political environment…

  13. “…Alternatively, the state could change its permit issuance process to comply with the minimum Federal standards…”

    You have just opened the door for federal regulation and eventually control. The Feds NEVER just “go along”, they have an ingrained need to control your life — just look around you.

    Nothing that involved the Feds should ever get on the table.

    • Yup. Sooner or later the feds would start passing tighter and tighter restrictions, probably “voluntary” in the same sense as federal motor vehicle code standards are voluntary, ie. “do what we want or we won’t give you back ‘x’ portion of the taxes we took from the citizens of your state”.

  14. I note with some interest that my permit issued in Maryland (a “might” issue state) really required no proof of training or basic competency; while my non-res permits issued by PA and FL (shall issue states) at least initially required some documentation, such as certificates from training courses.

    Not suggesting one is better than the other, although it seems that in states where the process is, shall we say, more political, than others, they really don’t care about basic competency, just connections.

    As to some prior comments about “no background checks” – are you really serious ? As far as I know, all the shall issue states still require initial applicants (as opposed to renewals) to submit to a background check.

    • Yes – just as I am serious when I say there should be no restriction on the type of gun we can own, but for slightly different reasons.

      The background check is simply another hurdle to jump through. Mine cost $122 in CA, on top of the $90 permit fee, $175 mandatory training, and $20 application fee.

      As to limiting weapons – if someone has a gun, they should be able to have any gun – it makes no sense to me on the restrictive nature of automatic, semi-automatic – if they are going to use a gun for bad things, what does it matter – and the same for “positive” uses for a gun, what does it matter. It is just another infringement of a God-given, Constitutionally guaranteed RIGHT.

  15. I say The federal government purpose a National CCW system. You can get your state CCW and enjoy available reciprocity, but if you must you can apply, get, go through the red tape to get a national CCW wich is universally recognized and Congress shall set the terms for application. That way state rights are not trampled and it gives congress something to do other than screw up the country’s economy, rights, etc….

  16. Not all felonies are violent. Also, not all felons who finished serving their sentences will commit another crime. I’m with others on this when it comes to the 2nd Amendment as a right.

    We want 2A to be treated equally, correct? Do convicts lose their right to a fair trial? Do convicts no longer have the right to remain silent? Are convicts not protected from cruel and unusual punishments?

  17. I really hope the national CCW reciprocity gets passed but I hold no illusions that Obama would sign it or even let it ride his desk without a veto.

    If he wanted to guarantee his reelection he could sign the reciprocity bill and publicly promise to veto any future semi auto bans that reach his desk.

  18. Vermont’s got the right idea because if you’re not a felon you can carry a gun no questions asked, and you don’t need to beg anyone for one of their silly permits. Everyone with a clean record should be allowed to carry a gun without jumping through hoops and paying all kinds of “fees” in order to exercise their rights. I’ve got several non-resident carry pemits, but I did it for fun and I’ve got nothing better to do than jump through hoops.

    • Perhaps, but here is one problem with Vermont – let’s say you want a permit in another state – It is going to be harder to get one if you don’t already have a CCW permit from your home state, which is true in VT as there is no such thing as a CCW permit. To apply for a permit in a border state such as Maine or NH, you need to get a letter from the chief LEO in your jurisdiction attesting to what a swell person you are. Me – I’d much rather go through the permitting process which in a “shall issue” state pretty much guarantees my permit and I never have to talk to my chief LEO about anything.

    • Amen. Thanks for that link – powerful stuff. Rights are Rights – not privileges granted by the government.

  19. I believe (and correct me if I am wrong) but what you suggested is essentially what HR 822 does. That part of a 49 (hopefully soon to be 50) state reciprocity CCW agreement means that there was a recognized minimum set of qualifications: fingerprints, (FBI) background check, some form of formal training; and that if your state met these requirements you became HR 822 compliant.
    I fully agree with that. My feelings on a CCW permit are this. Yes, second amendment, personal liberty, freedom, founding fathers, and so on and so forth. Let’s be reasonable. The basic assumption by police is that if you have a gun on you, you are a bad guy and up to no good. Is that a violation of “innocent before proven guilty” yes, but you are not going to change the attitude any time soon. So I see a CCW permit as a piece of paper that you can show to police which in effect says:
    “Don’t worry about me, I am a good guy, I have no criminal record, and I know how to use this gun safely. I am not a threat to you, you have no reason to suspect that I am engaged in criminal activity or have malice in my heart just because I am currently carrying a guy.”
    I just wish more police were trained to see CCW holders in that light rather than as proto-criminals who haven’t gotten caught yet.

  20. “The law would create a Federal registry and Federal standards for permit issuance” … “The other two are the result of FUD”…I disagree.

    Congressman Dave Reichert (R-WA), a former Sheriff, introduced amendment H.AMDT.876 to the bill which was agreed to by voice vote. The amendment requires a GAO study on the ability of state and local law enforcement authorities to verify the validity of out-of-state concealed firearms permits. One of the arguments against the bill is that law enforcement already has a hard time verifying the validity of out-of-state permits.

    I don’t know about you, but that sounds an awful lot like the first step to a national registry of CCW holders.

    • Studies are routinely done. It doesn’t mean it’s part of the law or even WILL be part of the law. It simply says that they’ll piss away taxpayers money on some foolish “study” that has little to no relevance to reality.

    • a member of congress can request a study at any time and part of any bill (it is a privilege, which is why it was a voice vote rather than a recorded one). All it does here is tell those who opposed the bill to STFU and that will take away one of the arguments against HR822

  21. Everybody who is not in an institution of some sort should be able to carry a gun wherever, whenever. I don’t care if every crook in the country never steps out of the house without at least three guns on his person. The problem is not that the bad guys have guns, it’s convincing them that attempting to use them to make other people miserable is a right now, in-your-face DANGEROUS thing to do. No, this is not an extreme “wacko” idea.

    Remember the Bernie Goetz incident in New York quite awhile ago? Bernie, taking exception to the idea of surrendering his wallet in return for not having his face rearranged with a screwdriver, discovered option #2…shoot the bad guys. Then he disappeared for three and a half days before turning himself in at the local police station and telling them he was the guy who did it.

    Funny thing is that during that three and a half day period, violent crime on the NY subway system dropped by 50%!!! After Bernie was identified and his picture plastered all over the city in newspapers and on the boob tube, violent crime ratcheted right back up to the old levels in another couple of days.

    For three and a half days, the idea that some faceless guy sitting a few feet away might just blow your brains all over the windows if you didn’t behave yourself kept fully half of the bad guys quiet, even though they still had the same needs, impulses and weapons. Please name one single other event or practice that has ever had that kind of effect on violent crime in NY or anywhere else! (“Community policing” maybe? NOT.)

    The question becomes, is this effect repeatable? Is it reliable? Is it transportable?

    Orlando, Florida, circa 1967. The rape rate has been climbing precipitously since last year. The public is scared. The cops are mad. The perps are, somehow, not being caught. An Orlando cop supervisor type gets an interesting idea. He knows that a lot of the local women are buying guns, and he knows a lot more already have them. He puts out a flyer telling the local women that if the have or get a gun, come on down to the cop shop and they’ll show her how to really shoot it.

    Three months later a reporter from the Orlando Sentinel gets ahold of the story, makes a few calls and talks to the cop that came up with the idea. The next day the paper’s headline reads, “2500 Orlando women now trained to shoot”. Within 72 hours the rape rate declined by 67%, and remains lower than the state norm in the Orlando area to this day.

    So I don’t CARE if the bad guys have guns…as long as enough of the rest of us have them to convince crooks that trying to use guns to hurt or kill people without a darn good reason is a good way to get themselves dead, pronto.

    • I would agree that the bad guys having guns isn’t really the issue, but I see no reason to make it easier for THEM to get guns. The rest of your post I can understand.

      • Point there is that none of the “common sense” restrictions set up to prevent the criminals (defined as those who simply ignore law to go violently after whatever they want) manage to achieve that without placing (frequently) onerous restrictions on those of us who are NOT criminals. Whatever makes it more difficult for the good guys to simply, peaceably and conveniently obtain their weapons is counterproductive in terms of individual and community protection.

        Of course, if the aim is other than protection from criminal violence, say discouraging the possession and use of firearms and/or defense in general…well then…maybe we’d better know that, too.

      • “OnlyKetchup says:

        February 3, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        I would agree that the bad guys having guns isn’t really the issue, but I see no reason to make it easier for THEM to get guns. The rest of your post I can understand.”

        how many bad guys are gonna sign papers and give thier true ID got get a CCW come on people the good guys are not the damn problem

        • If the good guys are not the problem then why are they being saddled with all the laws, regulations, procedures, ID and all the rest of it? If the crooks don’t have to obtain a CCW then why should I have to…unless I’m applying for the state’s permission to exercise a privilege that can be denied at whim?

          Get it straight please. Making it “easier” for crooks to obtain or carry weapons (an arguable premise to begin with) has nothing to do with making it less trying for me to buy, possess and carry.

    • Fully agree with you Schisms. Bad guys are a concern to me only to the extent of how I must protect myself and my family from them. To OnlyKetchup, bad guys will always and easily get guns. Even if there was a drive by the government to get all guns, bad guys will get guns. One thing the gun haters don’t understand is the cat is out of the bag. Guns aren’t that hard to make and neither is ammunition. Heck, at that time I would be one of the bad guys. I want to further the acceptance of my rights, don’t care about the bad guys’.

  22. There are no federally-mandated standards for obtaining a drivers license, which is a privilege and not a right, and you propose federally-mandated standards for bearing arms, which is a right?

    Gee, sorry, but I’ll have to pass.

    • you cannot drive without a license. give it a try and see what happens when Smokey pulls you over. I am sure he will be thrilled with the whole Bill of Rights argument.

      I agree in concept, but . . . . we are not there yet and it will take baby steps. It wasn’t like the civil war ended and suddenly all was well. Even after Brown v Board of Ed, it took years to implement the Bill of Rights fully. I am patient. If a state-issued license satisfies the critics and puts the issue to bed for now, fine.

      • Actually you can drive for years without a driver’s license. It is only a minor fine IF you get caught speeding, having an accident, DUI……. Just like you could carry a concealed weapon for years without a permit, criminals do it continually. It only becomes an issue if you use it. Laws don’t prevent anything. The best they can do is provide an excuse for punishing someone after the fact. Yes, you can “yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theater” causing a panic where people are trampled. It MAY result in your arrest, trial and punishment after the fact. But the “Law” does not require that you be gagged before you are allowed to enter the theater.

    • Ralph,
      Please see my reply comment to Morseus near the beginning of this thread regarding the right to drive.

  23. Watch it so it does not become as stupid as it is in Sweden. Here it is a year of study and at least once a week engagements in courses and stuff before you are even considered for owning a handgun, and then only for competition. You are not allowed to carry it or protect yourself with it. Even at home and even if your life is in danger. If you manage to hurt someone you are tried for attempted murder regardless.

    Another example s the gangmember who had an illegal FA ak47 on his person when the police caught him. He got leniency because “he needed to protect himself from other criminals”. This is how retarded gun laws can get when certain political views get a foothold.

    It is a slippery slope and the end is gun bans for law abiding people.

  24. So, here is a quick scenario – I’m curious. New law goes into effect tomorrow:

    1. Pass a Federal Background Check (FBI kind of thing)
    2. Demonstrate minimum competency (9 out of 10 rounds) into 2.5′ x 3.5′ target at 50 feet
    3. Pay fee of $100

    Do these three things and you get a five year permit to carry concealed in any state – State laws cannot be passed to prevent you from doing this.

    Do you do this? Yes or No? No editorials here – just a simple Yes/No answer. I know that my scenario is not realistic, but I’m curious how many people will put aside their concern and mistrust about a Federal registry in favor of getting a nationwide concealed carry permit.

  25. The “race to the bottom” is a feature, not a bug. It is actually a race to restore the right to carry that traditionaly existed outside of the slave states before the civil war.

    Constitutional carry is what is on the horizon.

  26. I submit we are living in a post Constitutional Era. The POTUS through Czars, govermentl organizations, (ATfF, EPA, Dept of Educ), are making edics and fiat laws, thus going around congress and the peoples representatives. How is that different from a Dictatorship? The governemnt propaganda machine is the media which act as government cheeleaders and filter the news. Almost all rights protected by the Constitution are being violated without serious objects. Our 230+ years experiment in self government appears to be failing fast. The national debt, the economy, the entitlements will sooner or later collapse the system in probably less than 10 yrs.

    • The natural or most basic form of governance of human affairs is dictatorship. Whether because most people are followers or because the growth of bureaucracy leads to an “us vs them” mentality, all democratic forms of government in the history of mankind have failed. Robert Michels formulated the “Iron Law of Oligarchy”: “Who says organization, says oligarchy.” Darcy K. Leach summarized them briefly as: “Bureaucracy happens. If bureaucracy happens, power rises. Power corrupts.” Any large organization, Michels pointed out, has to create a bureaucracy in order to maintain its efficiency as it becomes larger—many decisions have to be made daily that cannot be made by large numbers of disorganized people. For the organization to function effectively, centralization has to occur and power will end up in the hands of a few. Those few—the oligarchy—will use all means necessary to preserve and further increase their power.Therefore, the more power that resides in the hands of the oligarchy/bureacracy, the less freedom there will be. Further, to protect its power, the oligarch–whether a bureacratic or elitist one does not matter–will seek to control the means by which it can be attacked and its power lessened. It will limit the vote, and it will limit the availability of weapons to its citizens/denizens.Conversely, to protect freedom, regulation and licensure should be studiously avoided.

  27. “Ahem see the bill of rights, second amendment, last line…… shall not be infringed””A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state…” Well regulated meaning properly trained and competent, a reasonable demonstration of such is constitutional. It can not have the intent or effect of denying the right to the citizenry like the Mississippi literacy test of Jim Crow times.

    • Define “properly”. Define “competent”. Define “reasonable”. In acceptable terms. Hint: Acceptable to whom?

      How about “properly” being thru an accredited course costing no less than $2000, with special $1000 tax for “community liability insurance”, tax to be raised at the discretion of local, county or state government bureau tasked to examine the issue yearly.

      “Competent” to the level of at least medium grade competition shooting.

      “Reasonable” as defined by CDC in accordance with standards recommended by Violence Policy Center.

      “Intent” will be judged by District Court of Appeals at some point, SCOTUS most likely refusing to hear challenges for decades.

      Nope, not interested.

  28. [Of the three points above, only the first is really relevant.]

    Actually, the first point is misdirection. The states like Texas, with higher training standards, aren’t the ones wailing about national reciprocity. The people bitching run the states with discretionary licenses, which limit carrying to the politically connected. No amount of required training will bring them on board.

    [Note here that I am not saying you need to take a course and pass a test to simply own a gun. I only want competency tests for people who plan to carry them in public. We require our police to periodically demonstrate competency by periodically qualifying with their weapon, so why should citizens be different?]

    First, I think you’d be astounded at how little time some police officers spend at the range.

    Second, I would never even consider a federal training requirement for civilians only. If it’s mandatory for me, it should be mandatory for everyone who carries in public, including law enforcement, security officers, and the military. And no “LEO only” classes. They come and shoot with us. Providing they obey the safety rules we’ll make room for them. After all, where I live there are about ten licensees for every state and local cop.

  29. States (orpersons) who oppose national reciprocity predicate their arguments on the basis of “states rights,” i.e., the alleged power to decide who is qualified to bear firearms in public. The typical sop is to propose some kind of national standard of training or proficiency. I suggest that this response is exactly the wrong response to make to a very poor and illogical argument.
    First: It is not an issue of state’s rights. It is an issue of an individual right not granted to citizens by either the federal or state governments. The states, after MacDonald, cannot deny anyone within their borders, at least generally speaking, the right to keep and bear arms. (I’ll leave aside the the arguments as to what this right actaully entails.)
    SEcond, the argument that the state will not be able to impose or enforce its standards on visitors, and that this somehow increases the risk of harm, is specious. The fact is that if you have a driver’s license you can drive in all fifty states, and you don’t have to pass some sort of uniform test to get that license. Nor is there any evidence to suggest that out-of-stae CCW licensees are more prone to commit crimes of NDs when out of state than in state. The real purpose of the argument is to protect the power of “may issue” states to continue denying citizen’s the authority to bear arms, i.e., the “more guns equals more crime” scenario. Andfurthermore, as far as I know, there isn’t a system in place that allows a police officer in staste A to check the validity of a driver’s license from state B–so why should it be any different for guns?
    Third, if there is crime associated with the use of firearms, every state has laws already on the books to deal with those crimes. Those statutes don’t distinguish between people who are residents of the state and those merely passing through.
    Therefore, every argument against reciprocity should be uncovered as really nothing more than an argument against allowing concealed carry, and the states the don’t allow or limit it will be the ones yelling the loudest to keep any such law off the books. Reciprocity will sound the death kell for “may issue” or “no issue” state laws.

  30. I am impressed with the “caliber” of the comments posted here. Not everyone agrees but all are thoughtfully and courteously presented using standard English grammar and syntax.

    Well done considering our typical media portrayal as a bunch of “wife-beating rednecks”!

    “Carry” on! (this pun intended also)

  31. Personally, I like the proposal. Would be great to be able to legally carry in all states and I agree that anyone who takes on the responsibility of carrying a concealed weapon in public should take some basic courses and meet minimum qualifications. However, I think that these courses and qualification tests should be administered by private entities and not the government. Probably by gun ranges where the instructors are certified by some government agency. The more this kind of thing can be separate from the government the better off we all will be. I think it is reasonable to ask that someone that carries a lethal weapon in public show that they have studied the safety aspects, the basic legal aspects and show basic ability to fire a bullet down range in a safe and somewhat accurate manner. I doubt the 2nd Amendment will fall apart with the type of agreements that are suggested by this article.

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