I guess there is some discussion in South Carolina about people getting their permits on-line, and independentmail.com is offering something of a point-counterpoint here. That’s fine; anyone who knows me at all knows that I’m a strong advocate of getting people who disagree with each other to engage in a little palaver. But just when things are going well, you get someone like Michael Staton jumping in . . .

I’ve had a healthy obsession with firearms, their history and the way they operate for the better part of the last decade, and I’ve taken great joy in spending time at the gun range. I support a person’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. I don’t think this amendment should be subverted or changed in any way, which is why the stance I’m about to take on concealed-weapons permits might surprise you.

Okay…a pro-gun guy, believes that the Second Amendment means what it says; maybe he thinks permits should be done away with entirely? If only.

I have read some alarming things about online concealed-weapons classes over the past couple of weeks. I don’t disagree with a person’s right to carry a firearm on their person, but if that person chooses to shoulder such a huge responsibility he should be required to be as informed and well trained as possible.

Got that? Mike has such contempt for folks who shoulder such a huge responsibility that he thinks they need to be forced to learn how to properly utilize their defensive tools and the laws regarding use of deadly force. Tell me something, Mike, would you get a carry permit without learning how to handle your weapon and the circumstances under which you can lawfully use deadly force?

If your answer is no then how dare you? How dare you assume that you and only you are sensible enough to take the steps necessary to truly prepare yourself (as well as one ever can prepare oneself) for a DGU?

Before I started carrying my first weapon, I had run over a thousand rounds through it, practiced clearing malfunctions by having a friend insert snap-caps in random locations in random magazines. I studied Everything You Need to Know About (Legally) Carrying a Handgun in Minnesota (the permit to carry text for a number of instructors) and learned the state statutes on self-defense (the book was a lot clearer and better written, by the way).

But if your answer is yes, Mike, you’d get yourself a permit without knowing how to shoot your weapon or the laws surrounding the use of deadly force. So please do us all a favor and turn all your guns over to a friend and never pick one up again, OK?

46 Responses to Point of Contention: Online Carry Permits

  1. A right that requires governmental approval and regulation is no longer a right, it’s a privilege. It’s really as simple as that.

  2. I live in Kalfornia. All this talk about shall issue and online permits makes me envious.
    Right or privelige, we have neither and yet we’re told we’re American citizens.

    • If Romney wins, apply for a Utah permit.

      It’ll be interesting to see what the powers-that-be in California do when faced with de-facto shall-issue or having to eliminate carry permits entirely, even for the well-connected.

  3. I teach the Minnesota Permit to Carry Class in Minnesota, have since the law was passed. I’ve carried in Minnesota since I was 18, (1969). I’ve been a cop in Minnesota. And I will assert that there are a number of folks out there who carried under the laws prior to the current law that had absolutely NO idea as to what constituted a legal use of deadly force. Not all states have Minnesota’s requirements, South Dakota is but a $10.00 fee IIRC, with no education requirement. So I hardly think it is beyond the pale for someone in another state to assert that folks who intend to carry should have a good understanding of the law as it pertains to the legal use of deadly force. Just a prudent admonition.

    • If it is the laws we are talking about you can do it online like traffic school. that would work.
      Training on the other hand is another animal.

  4. I wish that Americans grew up in homes and neighborhoods where culturally it was part of their upbringing to learn safe gun handling and storage, and effective shooting. Few gun owners bother to consider studying the legal requirements and ethical use of guns and cartridges. I don’t have a solution to what is imo a problem with many owners and users. While it would not solve the above mentioned issues, in a perfect world I would be fine with people being required to complete an in-depth interactive web-based tutorial on guns. Unfortunately we don’t live in such a world and the online tutorial would just be another way to track and monitor ownership by government which I am against.

  5. This topic just keep popping up. If you carry you need training. Gov’t mandated training and permits are a big no for me but is the rule of some States. I have not always believed in it though. I learned some things over the last coupla years that changed my mind.

    I would like to see gun shops work with instructors to offer discounts on guns and gear if person takes offered training. I think it will work well.

    We all know Constitutional carry would be abused by some. What percentage is a guess.

    • The way to find out would be to get data from Vermont and work through it. They’ve had Constitutional Carry the longest and would provide the deepest dataset. Then we’d be talking about real data and not guesses.

    • I have less of a problem with it if it is done right. For instance would you have an issue with training if there were just standard set and any group that wanted to could do it they just have to meet a basic set of standard. In PA when I wanted to go hunting they required a 2 day hunting course. There were several groups that did the course including the NRA. The NRA course cost was just basicly done to cover the cost of ammo since everyone had to fire a .22 before you could complete the course. You got a cert at the end that you needed to show when buying your hunter license. There was nothing sent to the state. The signer of the cert was the one who kept the records just link gun shops do for purchases. Would you reject a system like that? I know I wouldn’t.

      Thanks
      Robert

  6. I am 100% “Shall Not Be Infringed”. It is a right _and_ a responsibility. I have to tell you however that the knee-jerk hypersensitive lashing out that permeates ANY recent discussion that someone _interprets_ as anti-II or anti-carry is leaving me with a sour taste.

    That responsibility is a two-way street. And you already ARE required to demonstrate knowledge and a level (albeit, to varying degrees) of ‘training’ by way of permit courses. The potential for negligence exists, as with many other things… yes, I know… but it is not unreasonable to hold a permit applicant to a certain standard of expertise. It would be irresponsible to do otherwise.

    The only context I have is what is italicized above. Isn’t is _possible_ that M. Staton was not shouting from an ivory tower but bemoaning the quality of the courses being offered? Improper training has the capability to be just as damaging as no training.

    Is there good reason to be defensive about your 2A rights? You betcha’. Too many want to strip them entirely. But holy smokes… loosen your sphincter a bit. Lashing out at every perceived shadow is counterproductive, and you will exhaust yourself doing it.

    • One the one side, there is 100%, no questions asked, “shall not be infringed”. On the other side, there is the any infringement the government wants to dream off, to the effect of a complete denial of this fundamental right.

      Well, newsflash: unless you support the right of criminals, mentally incompetent, etc, to bear arms, then you are in fact in favor to infringing that right for SOME people.

      So, unless you really are in the 100% side, don’t denigrate others when they choose to draw the infringement line somewhere other than you would. When you bash others and accuse them of contemptuousness, you in turn show the same contempt that you accuse them of.

      • Note that I said nothing about that standard of expertise being mandated by a governmental body or preferring a requirement for licensing. Only that in the context of as-it-is-now it is not unreasonable to assume those holding permits possess a level of knowledge and expertise.

        I stand by my statement that there is a pervasive “Wait… was what he said kind of anti-gun? Sounded sort of anti-gun… crucify him!” attitude as of late in the electronic strata.

        Years of demonstrable persecution helps explain why its such a raw nerve, but as we owners have the facts on our side we don’t have to shout someone else down. That’s the other side’s desperate tactic.

      • While I don’t actively support the right of criminals or lunatics to own and carry dangerous weapons of any sort I realize that they are going to have them anyway, I don’t support their right to breath either. Short of killing them outright there is NO POSSIBLE WAY TO STOP THEM.
        Politicians pass all sorts of “sounds good, does nothing” laws on a regular basis. They would pass a law against Gravity if they could make it sound good and it would pander to some vocal group of “activists”. If you depend on it and jump from a high building the results will be the same, the law wouldn’t change anything. Just like depending on the “Law” to disarm criminals and lunatics did nothing to protect the helpless victims of the Aurora shooter.
        High School used to include a course called Civics that taught the Constitution and how government was actually supposed to work. Do they still do that or does it now teach how Transnational Progressives want it to work? Every parent should be teaching and insisting that all schools teach Firearms Safety and the Laws concerning Self Defense instead of programming children to be willing victims and utterly dependent on a Government that will do little or nothing to protect them. There will always be some that will abuse their rights, that cannot be PREVENTED, it can only be stopped when it does happen and PUNISHED after the damage is done. There is no way to ensure Safety by making someone else helpless. Setting up anybody to be a helpless victim only encourages criminals.

  7. A permit is a TAX , A right is something the government has no say about, do the BAD guys get a permit to rob, kill, or rape NO.. so We are no longer a FREE people… We lost liberty long ago,, are we safe or better are we safer ,,, NO, NO, so what’s the point here.. does a permit or a law or gun controls stop crime …. NO NEVER , Do the police stop crime ,,, almost never ever, does more government ever make anyone safer … NEVER… WE are either free or SLAVE… Amerika is gone … HISTORY … they are just not going to tell you the truth… If fact has the ONE WORLD ORDER ever told the truth , Well turn on the TV or radio, or public education , or news print and get LIES… be men or slaves……… sorry SHEEPLE!

  8. I agree training is important. There are dumb people out there look at the guy who just shot of his private part just this week. Training is important but like MSI in Maryland said there are diff kinds of training. There is the training were government requires you to take a government course with government instructores because then it becomes expensive and hard to get. But I support training like they have in some states were who does it doesn’t mater just need to cover safety.

    Thanks
    Robert

    • So offer FREE training like the NRA does, and offer it to all for free,,, but you will NEVER get the bad guys to take any Course… people just Don’t understand LIBERTY !!!!!!

      • Yes and the bad quys don’t worry about concealed carry laws and all the other laws out there. I really don’t care if the bad quys let them shot themselves. I care about the law abiding people who don’t know how to use / handle their guns. A 1 time course showing you how to handle / use a gun and I agree it should be something the NRA could offer a free course on. Also could be something the local guns shops do. Hell in MD we have an online website that covers the basic’s although I really prefer something hands on were people actually get to handle a fire arm but under no curstanance do I want it to be a governmet train course that can be used as a weapon agaist people wanted to buy / use a handgun. HELL NO!

        Thanks
        Robert

        • I have to agree.

          Law-abiding being safe = good PR for pro-II
          Law-abiding being unsafe = bad PR for pro-II
          Criminal being unsafe = good PR for pro-II
          Criminal being safe = good PR for Pro-II

  9. I live in South Carolina and am a concealed weapons permit holder. SC has more stringent requirements for getting a CWP than it’s neighboring states. You can renew your permit online, but to get it initially, you must attend an 8 hour course and qualify on the pistol range at various yardages. I haven’t heard of any discussion of changing the permit requirements.

    • Like Joseph, I am a SC resident and CCW permit holder. What is this online talk? I had to take the training class, written, and practical test. The only thing online is renewal.

    • I’m from South Carolina (Anderson) as well and echo the above. In order to get my CWP, I had to jump through many hoops–all offline. I joined a local range so I can now practice, but I’m definitely a handgun newbie just winging it and trying out different tips and such that I have read about–mostly online.

      So my next goal is to find some sort of local handgun safety/proficiency class where both my wife and I can learn from a “pro” who can get us learning “correctly” instead of me just making it up as I go.

    • Then it sounds like SC is doing it right. A training course to make sure you know what to do and how to do it then get out of your way. Works for me.

      Thanks
      Robert

  10. I have no problem with a training requirement. Utah and Florida–usually thought of as the most 2A friendly states–require one. One of the things that always surprised me about NYC was that they make you go through hoops to get a permit but require nothing in the way of training.

    • Rather than a training requirement, proficiency (permit or not) should be the rule. I don’t want to get into the the debate about requiring permits (I’m in Arizona, so it’s not much of an issue), but any individual that carries should be proficient (sure, that term is debatable). That is learned by practice and the help of professionals and friends, but not necessarily by permit instructors.

      To get my “permit” I had to attend an 8 hour class (Ben Avery Range, by a guy named Rick). It was worthless. The “education” was mostly centered around how great of an expert he was/is. The finale was shooting targets at 5 yards. People that couldn’t come within 15 or 20 inches of the target were passed.

      As a side note, he thought my wife and I were competition shooters. All we did was hit the intended target. Odd how that class passes for “training/education” to get a permit. Everyone in the class passed. The emphasis on learning is oftentimes less than the emphasis on dollars. Go through the motions and get a permit – and by the way, you’ve met the “training” requirement.

  11. To those here who have no problem with a training requirement, and thus a limitation – “infringement” if you will – on the right to bear arms, I ask you then, where does your agreement to have your rights regulated stop?

    Just takes one agenda-driven politician or council to enact a de facto ban by making the training requirement ludicrously difficult to pass. And they will do it.

    Anyone who thinks if you give the antis an inch, they won’t take a mile, is fooling themselves.

  12. If someone makes a big mistake with a firearm they expect consideration, understanding, mercy and redemption from the law. So if we don’t have a single requirement for concealed carry and something “bad” happens then I suppose we throw the book at the defendant and call it a day.
    I don’t think required training or testing is too much to ask as long as a broad spectrum of people work with their legislatures to craft it. Calling the 2A My Carry Permit is OK in theory but as a practical matter doesn’t work for all the people all the time.
    YMMV and your skills and common sense too. But it’s not possible to do a lot of things without a license, or certified training. Carrying a gun in public is a responsibility that is best approached with reasonable training. It’s up to us as gun owners to shape that debate lest it be shaped for us and onerous training requirements are used to restrict the rights.

    Either be part of the parade or watch it. But a national carry permit is on the horizon and we can make sure it works for all of us.

  13. The key point for me is that bad people will carry, regardless of the laws. Layers of requirrements mostly affect the very people who are not the problem. Make the law clear and the punishment for bad acts stern and then let all of us make our choices.

    • +100

      This is a constitutional approach to the issue. Anything else is a violation of our rights. See the last clause of the second quote below.

      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right’s existence is all the reason he needs. — Benson Everett Legg, U.S. District Court Judge from the recent case in Maryland

      The freedom to own and carry the weapon of your choice is a natural, fundamental, and inalienable human, individual, civil, and Constitutional right — subject neither to the democratic process nor to arguments grounded in social utility. — L. Neil Smith

  14. Right to Keep and Bear Arms.

    Government is banned from infringing/interfering with it.

    No permits, no background checks, no “prohibited persons” lists, no bans, etc..

    Seems some people here don’t have a clue about the 2nd Amendment or the concept of individual Liberty.

    • I agree….2A is a INDIVIDUAL natural right. Each of us decides what works for us individually and what training we INDIVIDUALLY decide we need. I’ll decide what/how I determine I need to carry if I choose to. None of the folks here or anywhere else, including Gov’t, have the authority to/knowledge of/experience to require anything of ME. They may share their opinions with me, and I will consider that input. Anything beyond that is an infringement on/ and an insult to ME. That is what liberty is.

  15. Anyone know for sure about this requirement for an S.C. CW permit?

    http://www.sled.sc.gov/SCStateGunLaws1.aspx?MenuID=CWP#6

    CONCEALED WEAPON PERMITS
    (7) “Proof of ownership of real property” means a certified current document from the county assessor of the county in which the property is located verifying ownership of the real property. SLED must determine the appropriate document that fulfills this requirement.
    Just asking.

    • IIRC, it is simply stating that in order to be granted a CWP, you must be a permanent resident or own property in the state (qualified non-resident). Has nothing to do with your hardware. If that’s what you’re asking. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

  16. Silver says,
    “A right that requires governmental approval and regulation is no longer a right, it’s a privilege.”
    Agreed, and almost exactly right.
    Ahem.
    Government mandating that Citizens have to fill out forms, pay fees, submit fingerprints and pictures, take classes and pass a background check for approval to do anything is treating Citizens worse than common criminals.
    Not to mention all this being subject to other terms and conditions, and uh, reasonable regulations and having to do a part of it all over again to get renewed? Hmmm.
    Never mind the fact that what .gov is requiring all this for is to, uh, allow a Citizen to do what they’re morally obligated to do to begin with.
    Subject to other restrictions, and as permissible under Federal, State, County and local statutes, laws, rules, codes and ordinances, you may now provide yourself with and sometimes keep and bear some types of approved firearms.
    So the Citizens are treated worse than criminals over a right that’s older than this whole Nation and enumerated in most all State Constitutions and the U.S. Constitution as a “Right”.
    All the while some of the actual criminals who couldn’t give a damn less have been fed, clothed, housed and when they showed up, schooled, kinda…all at the Citizen’s expense, and then carry uh, illegal guns, to rob, rape and perpetrate other types of general mayhem on Citizens, besides shooting innocents and each other over bitches and drugs?
    All this and now one guy’s objecting and complaining about the idea of online permits and the Citizens are begging fedgov to make their permits valid in every State?
    All a matter of perspective, or so they say.

    • Agree with most of the above but the one guy who’s bitching isn’t talking about getting his “PERMIT” online. He’s bitching about it being possible to take a worthless training course on line instead of actually taking a live in person worthless training course. If you don’t want to learn the rules and regulations it doesn’t matter where you sleep through the course. If you do want to learn them the information is easily available without paying somebody to spoon feed you.

  17. The government already has loads of information on all of us via the PATRIOT ACT, so I am pretty sure that maintaining an online registry of training for CCW will just add more information regarding us to their files.

  18. “if that person chooses to shoulder such a huge responsibility”

    Shoulder? Maybe he’s talking about concealing an SBR. ;P

  19. WE would make a lot of people 2a friendly by giving free firearms training, like when I was in high school you could get free rifle training (22 rifle) but you could very easy add 22 pistol and give all kids safe firearms use training,,, In fact this should be a STATE DUTY as being a part of the Militia ,,, in fact our founders wanted a strong Militia in every state, but a small standing army,,, This is why they add the statement up front ( A well regulated Militia) , We pay tax for every liberal lie under the Sun, We need to DEMAND the teaching of the Constitution before any public education systems get a cent,,,, and membership in a State Militia (being WELL TRAINED) is just what our founders wanted… We must return to basics or forget liberty in this country forever… and that means nothing or no one will be SAFE>>>…

  20. Let me get this straight. Gun Right folks eagerly support “Constitutional” carry. Under such: no training, no permits, no limit on # of guns purchased / month, etc. However, other “gun right” folks are getting their panties in a bunch because of on-line CCW courses. Please, either you’re for the ultimate civil right to be exercised or you’re not. Let’s treat adults like adults. If they screw up, there are plenty of laws and liability penalties, and Darwinian consequences for stupid behavior. Not the least of these is blowing off a body part like the young idiot who blew off his manhood while supposedly cleaning his gun.

  21. I rise in strong support of the statements made by the last Marine out…and follow that with a hearty “Proud to Stand With Ye”.
    Brother, am I ever glad you brought up mention of the well regulated Militia passage from the IIA…
    the latter part ‘being necessary to the security of a free state’.
    Maybe one of the fine folks at TTAG might pose a Question of the Day along the lines of * uh oh, here it comes) …

    “What would America be like today if Americans had heeded the words of the Founders and actually had maintained their Citizen’s Militias?”

    ( Just speculation here, but it seems, uh, well, dubious at best as they say, that American Citizens would be groveling to .gov for rkba permits, overrun with millions of criminal ‘entrants without inspection’ types and having to contend with hordes of mentally-disordered digressive Libtards in .gov. just for starters, and I do mean just for starters. )

  22. Bruce, you’re becoming more strident and contentious all the time.

    “Got that? Mike has such contempt for folks who shoulder such a huge responsibility that he thinks they need to be forced to learn how to properly utilize their defensive tools and the laws regarding use of deadly force. ”

    That’s a bit aggressive, don’t you think? All the guy said was he thinks people should be required to be as informed and as well trained as possible.

    That’s not contempt. That’s not forcing restrictions on people any more than any of the other requirements we face as members of a society of our fellows.

    The notion of “shall not be infringed” is the most anachronistic part of the anachronistic amendment. The right is already infringed and has been for a long time. Society demands that and The Supremes have upheld the idea. The purist demand for no infringements whatsoever is the stuff of fantasy.

    • Yep. I’m going to get a troll award or comment, but on this one point you have hit the nail on the head (minus the anachronistic note); of course, I said something similar a few posts above 🙂

      I find it perfectly reasonable that my right to defend myself and my family be tempered, though not negated, by my neighbors right to be safe from from my misuse of deadly weapons. So yes, my individual right takes, well, not a backseat, but a little structure and proficiency testing for the protection of others’ individual rights (how about your right to life). Same kind of reason why we restrict where we can shoot (no backyard ranges in suburbia, for instance.)

      You want to buy a firearm? The only infringement there is that you not be medically or criminally incompetent.
      Want to use your firearm in your “castle”? In the majority of states, no real restrictions.
      Want to go about town packing? Now we’re getting into a balancing test. I don’t particularly have a problem with making sure you actually know what you are doing. We have the right to defend yourself, but not the right to be incompetent when we go about doing it. So, the 2A purists would say no one has the right to test you. Let the criminal code be an incentive for gun owners to get the training they need, and if they don’t the law will punish them. This is a case where an ounce of prevention (a little training and a such) is better than the cure (the potential loss of life and limb).

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