Hull, founding director of OKOCA, wears an unconcealed side arm at Beverly's Pancake House in Oklahoma City (courtesy foxnews.com)

“Although I favor open carry, I do wholeheartedly support constitutional carry, openly or concealed. When one carries on the authority of a license or other permit, one has accepted a privilege in lieu of exercising a right. When carrying openly, I am exercising my right to keep and bear arms. When I carry concealed without a license, I am exercising my right to keep and bear arms. When I carry concealed under the auspices of a license, I am exercising a privilege extended to me by government; not exercising a right. Put another way, when I engage in activity, permission for such engagement thereof being conferred by government authority, I’m exercising a privilege. Driving under a license is exercising a privilege, not exercising the right to travel. Carrying a sidearm as a peace officer or private investigator is exercising a privilege, not exercising the right to keep and bear arms. There are many private and professional privileges that are exercised by individuals and groups each day that would, at other times, be considered the exercise of rights if done so by the individual.” – John in Ohio commenting under Guns & Ammo Supports Gun Control

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99 Responses to Quote of the Day: Rights vs. Privileges Edition

  1. Imagine if you had to pay $50 for a license to exercise your “right” to vote.

    Maybe I missed the part in the constitution that said your right to vote “shall not be infringed”.

    • Poll tax. Stamped out by the 24th Amendment. There is a precedent.

      Among other things, I am supporting the suit against a $10 state “poll tax” for every background check for firearms. This is a clear example of Colorado’s unconstitutional infringement of protected rights.

      Run these people out of office in the loudest, most radioactive way.

      • “Poll tax. Stamped out by the 24th Amendment. There is a precedent.”

        Amen to that.
        “The power to tax is the power to destroy.”

        The charging of ANY fee for the exercise of ANY right puts the government in a position where they can destroy that right. If they deem it necessary or advisable to encumber the liberty of citizens who wish to exercise ANY right by an investigation into the “qualifications” needed for such exercise, let them use general tax revenues for that purpose, and explain to the voters why they have to pay for such “investigations”.

      • A fee to purchase is just as odious as a fee to carry – the right is to keep AND bare arms.

    • Well, the days of the poll tax, not to mention the property-owning prerequisite for voting, do overlap with a bygone era of greater firearms freedom. Maybe attaching a nominal fee on exercising some rights, particularly on those that impact other people, might induce people to take such rights more seriously? There are people out there, let’s not forget, who on Election Day would gladly, gleefully, whole heartedly and full throatedly pitch your firearms in a ditch in exchange for a free Obamaphone.

      • Limiting a free man’s rights is never the correct thing to do. A human ought to have the right to do what they will and except the consequences of those actions both good and bad.

        • The vote is more dangerous than the firearm. The vote is nothing but asking someone else to do violence on your behalf.

      • Right, so let’s put a fee on speech, or blogging, or going to church. That’ll make people take those privileges seriously!

    • I believe I remember that when the votes were being recounted in Bush v. Gore that an interesting point was made about how a state’s votes on the electoral college could be decided. That point was that each state was able to determine how those votes would go. Winner take all or divided up proportionally, even whether the popular vote would be required at all. For example, it is possible for a state to have its state legislature decide how the electoral votes shall be assigned. It’s not that far of a stretch. We don’t vote for the president, we vote for someone to vote (hopefully) the candidate we like. So what’s another middleman between our vote and the winner? It would put additional importance on local elections for sure and as long as no one’s voting rights were violated in electing those state legislators, it should pass constitutional muster. I’m not saying that would be a good or popular thing, but probably legal.

    • Interesting, Gov, but while the right to vote is covered by the constitution rather thoroughly, it also comes with a lot of rules, regulations and requirements. It is therefore a privilege, not a right. Any number of things allow the government to disqualify you from voting, including age and felony convictions. What they can’t do, theoretically, is disqualify you for ethnic or economic reasons, among others specifically listed.

      Voting is not included in the first ten amendments, The Bill of Rights, which were added to the constitution specifically to enumerate those natural, civil, now Constitutionally protected rights that the government had no authority to regulate, restrict or repeal. Any tax or other requirement imposed by any government authority at any level immediately changes these from protected natural rights to privileges granted by the government, since they have now become the sole arbiters of who may exercise those rights and under what conditions.

      ( I suspect you already know all this, Gov., but it needed to be said for the fence sitters.)

    • A fee to vote is unconstitutional. Showing something that says that you are a U.S. citizen like a drivers license, or birth certificate… now thats just common sense.

      Oh don’t have a birth certificate? Easy fix, just get Adobe and create one like the White House put out for President Obama. Not saying he doesn’t have one, one reporter actually did see it, but the one on the website was a layered fake created on Adobe.

  2. Flame if you must, disagree if you do, but I have trouble arguing with shall issue laws, particularly when the cost of entry is low and there are no prerequisites. Does it turn a right into a privilege, or is it equivalent to asking the government for permission? I don’t know. There’s no state where the government has to issue you a driver’s license. In CC states where the government must issue you a concealed carry license and recognize the legal protections that come with them I don’t see that as being permission. This is particularly true in states where the right to carry openly is recognized without a permit. Ideally the US would be constitutional carry, but there are so many bigger fish to fry that in states that are already as I described above I see it as semantic.

    • I don’t agree completely but I see where you’re coming from.

      “Shall issue” is 1000x better than “may issue” which is 1000x better than NJ.

      • I can imagine on the NJ thing. I got my first CC in Massachusetts – Boston to be specific. It was an 8+ week process, cost a few hundred bucks (not including the gun I’d eventually buy), several trips around the state (to BPD headquarters, to a training ground to quality), fingerprints, interviews, and after all that I faced the A) the possibility that I’d be denied at the whim of a cop who wouldn’t even have to show up in court to justify his or her actions and B) the guarantee that if I was approved, I’d get a restricted LTC, which specifically forbids you from actually concealed carrying. It’s simply a permit to buy a gun or ammo. Open carry is a great way to suicide by cop in Boston, by the way.

        I got my second CC in New Hampshire. Drive to the police station, fill out a one pager, no fingerprints. Pay $10. Pick up full LTC three days later, which is just a receipt.

        Again, I may be biased here, but I just have trouble arguing with that. Plus, at least here, once we show anti’s that an almost 100 year old law can just be changed they might start fixin to change it themselves.

        • Repeat just about your entire first paragraph for every handgun one wishes to purchase in New Jersey. Every time…

        • The point being, there shouldn’t be a license or permit to do something that the Constitution already allows, no matter how easy or cheap it is. A right authorized is a privilege, not a right. “Got a permit for that pistol you have concealed?”, “Yeah, here’s a copy of the Constitution with the 2nd Amendment highlighted”.

          The argument that it shouldn’t be a big deal, this permit process, no matter how easy or cheap is the epitome of the frog in a boiling pot argument.

        • The bill of rights doesn’t allow anything. It recognizes a series of God-given rights. One of them is the second amendment, which recognizes the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It does not specifically say that the people have a right to conceal said arms. Furthermore, and please do not mistake my knowledge for support, there is far more case law against the carrying of firearms, concealed or otherwise, than there is for it. In fact, I don’t think the Supreme Court has ever interpreted the 2nd as a right to carry firearms, universally or otherwise. Again, this is not an interpretation I support, it’s simply a statement of fact.

          My point? We have a lot of work to do on those fronts. Wins in DC and Chicago don’t really affect me personally, but they’re far more important for all of us as they begin the process of establishing the 2nd as an individual right. At the same time recalls in CO and elsewhere will show anti’s that we won’t be treated like criminals. And education regarding the complete and utter failure of gun control on every level will ensure that we will continue to win. That all requires hard work and frankly, baby steps sometimes. I’m happy that AZ, WY and some other states passed Constitutional Carry laws, but in NH I’m content to work on the bigger picture rather than keeping it real over $10.

    • The only “legal protection” that comes fron my CCL is that I won’t be arrested if I am found to be carrying, unless it is someplace I’m “not supposed to”. Same “protection” applies for constitutional carry, except it doesn’t cost me license fees, training fees (which, in fairness, I would have paid for anyway), and doesn’t require me to submit to finger printing and having my name on a defacto state list of known gun owners.

      • I specifically said “I have trouble arguing with shall issue laws, particularly when the cost of entry is low and there are no prerequisites.” Later on I mentioned that, at the very least my state does not require fingerprints, and I would certainly view that as an infringement. Likewise, the cost of entry here is $10. I don’t mean to be insensitive, but if you don’t have $10 you probably don’t have enough for a gun or ammo.

        In regards to the legal protections that come with it, you’re also often protected from legally enforceable gun free zones (the gun free school zone act specifically mentions state issued CC permits), any reciprocity that your state has and likely other protections that I can’t think of right no (I think there’s something in GOPA, right?)

        • $10 today can easily become $100 or $1000 tomorrow, just as 30 rounds can become 20, then 15, then 10 or 5. Next thing you know, you’re losing your firearms freedom in 3….2….1….

          Once you accept unconstitutional infringements as a way of life, the rest is just so much bureaucratic paperpushing toward civilian disarmament.

        • The problem is, with government, to allow the idea of permitting is to allow he creep of control. Even if we have a state that is shall issue, with a small processing fee, no external requirements, and no fingerprinting, you still have an established, legal framework to add all of those things. The argument is then “what do we require to issue a permit”, rather than “do we require a permit at all”, leaving a wide open door to higher fees, lengthy training requirments, and other prerequisites like insurance and storage requirements. I know that light regulation can feel awfully free, but permits absolutely equals privilige, and privilieges can be modified by the giver at any point.

          As for your other points, you are correct that my CCW does allow for concealed carry in other states (no difference on “no carry zones” in my state, they’re either statutary or don’t carry the weight of the law).

        • There are a few states where gun rights are becoming more restricted, a bunch where they’re becoming freer, and a few where they’ve generally been the same for a long while. I don’t believe you can logically equate freer states staying free with the systematic infringements that are happening in states like CT, NY, and CA (states that have always been inclined toward restriction, mind you). I also don’t equate restrictions on magazines (or by that virtue, any firearm or related item) with CC licensing. A ban or limit creates only a distinction between the people and the state, and makes law abiders and felons one in the same. A license (again, in the NH or similar context) serves to make a distinction between felons and everyone else. Now, the law already makes that distinction, so it’s duplicitous, but it’s also very different from a ban.

          I respect anyone who disagrees without resorting to rhetoric or name calling, but I guess we do fundamentally disagree. I suppose that’s what discussion is for.

        • “If you don’t have $10 to vote, you probably shouldn’t be voting on a candidate that will vote for/against taxes.”
          “If you don’t have $10 to vote, you probably don’t have the money to get to the polling place to begin with.”
          “If you don’t have $10 to file for a permit to exercise your right to free speech, you probably shouldn’t be speaking on whatever subject you are speaking on.”

          Shall I go on? A fee or tax on a right, is not a right, it’s a privilege. It’s no different than a poll tax.

        • Those all lack context – there’s no inherent cost in voting or speech. There is when you buy a gun, and regardless, in states where you do not need a purchase to buy, own or carry a gun unconcealed I do not believe the 2nd amendment is being infringed using the extremely strict definition you’ve used.

        • “Those all lack context – there’s no inherent cost in voting or speech. There is when you buy a gun, and regardless, in states where you do not need a purchase to buy, own or carry a gun unconcealed I do not believe the 2nd amendment is being infringed using the extremely strict definition you’ve used.” – You keep missing the point, you have to apply for a CHP, in most places, on a regular basis. VA has a 5 year expiry period. In these cases, the gun is already bought, you are saying it’s okay and welcome (from your perspective) that the government charge me a fee to determine how I can or can’t carry said property. In states where they require you have a FOID, that’s the same as a “Poll Tax” in my mind. Now you are being charged above and beyond to exercise your 2nd Amendment protected right. Simply because you find the $10 fee acceptable, doesn’t mean that it’s not an infringement. Not everyone can pay the $10, nor should they have to. If you have no problem with a “nominal fee” on exercising your 2A protected right, I guess you’re okay with a Poll Tax or a “nominal fee” to exercise your religion or your free speech. Maybe, there should be a “nominal fee” that can be paid to protect from unlawful search and seizure. I mean really, it’s not that big of a deal, it’s only $10 to exercise a right that’s protected/enumerated by the Constitution.

          I don’t know how much more simple I can make it, without actually drawing pictures using Crayons.

        • “I don’t know how much more simple I can make it, without actually drawing pictures using Crayons.

          It’s not that you aren’t making your position simple to understand; it’s your failure to grasp how the 2nd amendment is interpreted outside of your head. I’ve said, and am saying one last time, that I do not feel that NH’s Shall Issue law is an infringement, nor do I feel it’s an infringement in any state which allows the unrestricted carrying of firearms openly while requiring easily acquired permits for concealed carry.

          You’ve stated your piece as I have mine… you don’t need to infer that I’m an idiot because I don’t agree with you.

    • To be a priviledge, allowed or issued by the state and paid for by the individual.
      Its no longer a right.
      So its far from symantics here.
      Its a total infringment on My Right to bear arms.

      • “Its a total infringment on My Right to bear arms.

        But it’s not. At worst it’s an infringement to conceal arms, but even then I think you’re stretching the definition of the word. A shall issue concealed carry permit in and of itself does not limit your RTKABA, nor does it restrict or undermine said right. Adding prerequisites, or other terms and conditions certainly does, and every state is different, but I still don’t see a real infringement here, and most certainly not a total infringement.

        • What is a “total infringement”? Last I knew, there weren’t qualifiers on what an infringement was or wasn’t, based on degrees of severity. An infringement either is, or isn’t. While there can be degrees of infringement, that doesn’t mean that a minor infringement ceases to be an infringement, it is still an infringement.

        • “Its a total infringment on My Right to bear arms.”
          But it’s not. At worst it’s an infringement to conceal arms, but even then I think you’re stretching the definition of the word.

          I disagree. Try walking around Manhattan, Trenton, or DC with a pistol openly carried on your hip. Essentially, there is NO permit available in the latter jurisdiction. Even at the cost of a penny, the cost is the restriction upon a God-given and enumerated right of self defense.

        • “What is a “total infringement”? Last I knew, there weren’t qualifiers on what an infringement was or wasn’t, based on degrees of severity. An infringement either is, or isn’t. While there can be degrees of infringement, that doesn’t mean that a minor infringement ceases to be an infringement, it is still an infringement.”

          Then, using your strict, no grey are definition I’d say that paying $10 for a CCL in a state that does not require a permit to buy, own or carry a firearm is not an infringement.

          “I disagree. Try walking around Manhattan, Trenton, or DC with a pistol openly carried on your hip. Essentially, there is NO permit available in the latter jurisdiction. Even at the cost of a penny, the cost is the restriction upon a God-given and enumerated right of self defense.”

          That’s completely irrelevant. My comment was “I have trouble arguing with shall issue laws.”

        • “Then, using your strict, no grey are definition I’d say that paying $10 for a CCL in a state that does not require a permit to buy, own or carry a firearm is not an infringement.” – Yes, it is an infringement. By definition, it is a limitation until a condition is met, a $10 fee being the condition. That limitation may or may not be able to be achieved by everyone. Thereby, the only ones that can realize and overcome that infringement are those with the means to overcome the condition. Qualifications or conditions on something simply make it a privilege, not a right.

          ‘“Its a total infringment on My Right to bear arms.”
          But it’s not. At worst it’s an infringement to conceal arms, but even then I think you’re stretching the definition of the word.’ – bearing arms doesn’t specify how it’s being born. There aren’t distinctions made on the right, it simply either is or it isn’t. It has been further delineated through mealy-mouthed compromises that the bearing of arms had to be broken down into openly carried or concealed carry, ostensibly to combat the criminal element carrying firearms (legally or illegally). That compromise has now been turned against the law-abiding. If there were ever an argument against compromise or the unintended consequences of legislation, that alone is a very fine example.

        • “Then, using your strict, no grey are definition I’d say that paying $10 for a CCL in a state that does not require a permit to buy, own or carry a firearm is not an infringement.”

          Much more important is the precedent that has been set. If you agree that they may infringe on your natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to the tune of a $10 fee before you may exercise that right then you have by default turned that right into a privilege granted at the whim of the government. What will prevent them from raisin that fee to $100 next month, or $1,000? Or demanding payment in gold coin, or placing any other impediment they can devise in the way of exercising your right? S the City of Chicago government for examples. You have already agreed that they have the authority to infringe, have you now ANY ability to tell them when they have infringed too much?

        • ” What will prevent them from raisin that fee to $100 next month, or $1,000? Or demanding payment in gold coin, or placing any other impediment they can devise in the way of exercising your right?”

          Then it would be a clear infringement. But that’s a completely different scenario than the one I described. What you’re saying is analogous to the old anti argument “Well, if you can have an AR-15 then why not just get an atom bomb?”

    • I guess what you wrote is one of the ways to look at this. And your points are quite valid. And yet… I do see a, shall we say, philosophical difference between shall-issue and constitutional carry. I do see more potential for big-brother scenarios with the shall issue approach. A database of permit holders is one more set of data not everybody is happy with. A database and a bureaucracy related to a permit system costs money and does little to combat gun crime.

      Mind you, I do live in a country that has shall-issue CCL *and* mandatory gun registration (for nearly all firearms) and the whole system more or less works without problems and doesn’t cost that much, so the main problem with a permit system lies with the what-if scenarios related to things like revolutions.

      And I don’t know what’s better. A permit system filters out at least some of the mentally ill and incompetent and so on, so it likely could save some lives. And I’m not talking about just mass murderers. Around here, you need a certain shooting score and some knowledge of things like gun laws and first aid and you need to show you know how to handle a gun safely when you apply for a CCL, and all this limits things like NDs and their costs, both in terms of lives and money. But it costs money and time too and has a potential for negative impact on liberty. We sometimes even joke we don’t own our guns, the state has lent them to us.

      So I’m not sure which alternative is better.

    • Blinkypete, a license, even shall issue; turns a right away into a privilege; you go from a free man practicing a right to a servant getting permission from your master To protect your life.

      With Shall Issue, the chains are lighter, but they are still chains of servitude and subservience.

    • Blinky,

      I think “Johns” comments were meant to be a more holistic view of the state of concealed carry permitting right now. While its very easy in CT, as you said yourself – its like pulling teeth in MA.

      I think you’re right though, with the “shall issue” (and places where its dead-nuts easy to get a LTC) being as close to a “constitutional” right as we will likely get (short of said constitutional right itself).

      He makes a really good point though – under the auspices of our constitution, we (in theory) shouldn’t have to submit to any sort of governmental procedure or oversight to carry a firearm, concealed or openly carried.

      • “He makes a really good point though – under the auspices of our constitution, we (in theory) shouldn’t have to submit to any sort of governmental procedure or oversight to carry a firearm, concealed or openly carried.

        I agree completely with this statement; it’s just that in practice I believe in choosing one’s battles.

        • “choosing one’s battles”, in this instance, is a compromise on something with someone(s) that don’t understand the 2A to begin with. Your position is to compromise with the ignorant, in order to selectively prioritize other engagements? No! We should be educating the ignorant and then arguing against their position, if it remains, after that education.

        • I simply disagree with you; the world is full of compromises, and this is an exceedingly good one from our standpoint, no matter how principled a stand you take against it. In the case of NH, it’s also an almost 100 year old one, and there’s a long list of things I’d focus on before working on this.

        • And this is precisely why we lose or will continue to lose… Sure, there are other fights that are “bigger”, but you are missing the big picture. I’ll spell it out again. Compromise, while sometimes a good thing, in this case it’s a compromise (in your opinion) in order to achieve a greater good. No, in this case education on what the 2A really means, wins out every time over the illogical emotional argument. I’ve presented to friends of mine that are anti-2A or anti-gun, writings from the founding fathers (Federalist Papers, etc) explaining what reason(s) the 2A was intended. Along with other logical inputs (education), they admit that the reasons are valid and their previous arguments against are unfounded or driven by fear/emotion. This is a case similar to those. Besides, we’ve compromised enough on 2A, we should not be compromising any more. Your “there are bigger fish to fry, so I’ll concede this battle to fight the next” argument is exactly what is meant by the frog in the boiling pot.

        • I disagree entirely with your first statement. We are winning. We’ve been winning for almost 30 years, and the last time they won we swept the next election and dumped their stupid la 10 years later. Are they still fighting? Hell yes they are, that doesn’t mean we aren’t winning.

          I applaud you for educating anti’s, but I’m still not seeing my acceptance of shall issue as a loss or failure, nor do I think any existing case law in any state supports your interpretation of the 2nd amendment. Hopefully someday it will, and I’d rather work on that rather than simply insist it’s already the case out of principal.

      • Ohio is now a ‘shall issue’ state. Once upon a time, many of us lawfully carried concealed without license or duty to notify during law enforcement encounters not resulting in detention. Ohio has now split the right to keep and bear arms into the right of open carry and the privilege of concealed carry. Ohio courts have supported the notion that carrying concealed is a privilege whereas open carry is a right; that a right cannot be licensed but a privilege can. Applicants pay a fee and are required to complete training. They must submit fingerprints and a background check is performed. Licensees have a duty under Ohio law to notify an officer immediately during an encounter for law enforcement purposes. The licensing law also required licensees to obey all lawful orders of law enforcement officers.

    • In CT, which is a “shall issue” state, the trend has been to increase fees and create new fees. It now runs around $330 for a new permit holder, the permit is good for 5 year, from there it is just the permit renewal. It isn’t a insignificant cost.

      Fee structure for the permit process:

      $70.00 to the town, local authority fee
      $16.50 to the DPS, federal fingerprint/background fee
      $50.00 to the DPS, State of CT Fingerprint/background check fee

      Then you get your temporary permit and

      $70.00 – State DPS pistol permit fee
      $125.00 (estimate for NRA gun safety course)

      http://ctpistolpermitissues.com/ct-pistol-permit-process/

    • “There’s no state where the government has to issue you a driver’s license.”

      Ohio Revised Code 4507.13(A), “The registrar of motor vehicles shall issue a driver’s license to every person licensed as an operator of motor vehicles other than commercial motor vehicles.” http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4507.13

      • …I read that as saying the state must issue a license to every person licensed to drive. It sounds like the state still does not have a duty to license people, nor to people have a given right to be licensed. Am I reading it wrong?

        • No, you aren’t reading it wrong. On quick search, that’s the closest I’ve found in the ORC…. again, on a quick search. I realized that section was weak when I posted it but it was all that I had time for. If I get time on Lexus Nexus or something similar in the near future, I’ll look for case law. I’d be willing to wager that if an individual qualified for an operator’s license in Ohio then the registrar would be required (“shall”) to issue a license. It’s not too terribly far off from the concealed carry licensing language (going from memory).

        • No, John. The verbiage is simply stating that the state shall issue a driver’s license card to whomever who is granted the privilege to drive by the state.

  3. @BlinkyPete.

    By definition, a civil right is beyond regulation by ANY arm of government.The Civil Rights Act wouldn’t have any teeth if we required black people to pay $5 every annum to use the same restrooms as white people.

    Thus, what we really have with Shall-Issue CCW is NOT an exercise of a civil right.Rather, in fact it is a state legislature-approved privlidge.Different states have different conditions on said privilege, but rest assured, if you have to pay a fee ,it’s not a right.Unless your state has true Constitutional carry, you are bearing arms at the grace of your neighbors.Subject to change without notice, and terms and conditions do apply.

    • True, but theoretically, what if CCW permits were free?

      I’m thinking along the lines of voter registration here… is our beef with the cost or the registration when it comes to CCW?

    • Again, in states that have constitutional open carry (I believe there are 36 of them) I do not see the right of the people to keep and bare arms being infringed, strictly speaking. Even if I did, I see the issue as being semantic in the fact of far greater issues that face the 2nd amendment.

      • A fortuitous typo there. Yes, in open carry states “bare arms” are allowed, it’s the covered ones that might be at issue with permits.

        • Hahaha, oh man, well played. It’s even worse that I first spelled it right in a comment above and then got it wrong here. D’oh.

      • What about states like Ohio where there are places you cannot carry openly but can under a license? (Ohio CHL law doesn’t require the sidearm to be concealed, BTW.) To legally carry a loaded sidearm in a motor vehicle (motorcycles and scooters included — NOT mopeds as I previously posted) a private individual must posses a valid CHL. To legally carry in a liquor dispensing establishment one must have a license to carry. To avoid legal trouble being in school zones, one must have a concealed handgun license. Even then, it only excuses carry if one doesn’t exit the vehicle and is immediately in the process of dropping off or picking up their child. It’s anyone’s guess what will happen if a parent gets jammed up because they had to wait any length of time beyond “immediately” for their child to come out of the building. We have people who open carry here that refuse to take a license. I know of some that believe they must completely avoid entering within a 1000′ of a school.

        As a side note, I rarely ever saw ‘no firearm’ signs beyond state liquor stores, taverns, and correctional facilities prior to Ohio’s concealed carry law. We have so many more signs now.

        When a group of us were in Cincinnati and there was a ‘No More Names’ (National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence) demonstration on Fountain Square, police tried to order us to get off of the square (a public place) while open carrying. We rightly informed the officers that we were simply enjoying the public space and not some organized protest. We refused to vacate the square and we refused to disarm. Within a few minutes, a ranking officer told them to back off as we were not an organized protest and had every right to be there armed. If we were carrying under a license, would we have been legally compelled to disarm or get off of the square because the law states that we must follow “all lawful orders of law enforcement”? If we would have been an organized protest then the city would have required a permit. We would have been present under a privilege and subject to restrictions at the discretion of government. In Columbus the following week or so, there was an organized protest. There, law enforcement managed to cordon us off because it was touted as an organized event and we did not have a permit. We were relegated to an area next to the public road, far away from the anti-gunners’ event. In DC, law enforcement told us to move away from in front of the White House. We refused on the grounds that we were individuals enjoying the public space. Law enforcement gave up at that point. Because we kept ourselves out of the realm of privilege, we secured that area for others to be able to bring the Barrycades and deposit them right in front of the White House fence. If we take permits or licenses, we fall under the specific regulations and rules of government and it no longer remains “shall not be infringed” or “Congress shall make no law”. I don’t like it but that IS the reality of rights, privileges, licenses, and permits.

    • Let’s see what a Supreme Court justice–and signatory to the Declaration of Independence–says:

      The opinion has been very general, that, in order to obtain the blessings of a good government, a sacrifice must be made of a part of our natural liberty. I am much inclined to believe, that, upon examination, this opinion will prove to be fallacious. It will, I think, be found, that wise and good government—I speak, at present, of no other—instead of contracting, enlarges as well as secures the exercise of the natural liberty of man: and what I say of his natural liberty, I mean to extend, and wish to be understood, through all this argument, as extended, to all his other natural rights.–Justice James Wilson, Lectures on Law, “Of the Natural Rights of Individuals.”

  4. Well put.

    FWIW, Rob Pincus also just weighed in with the following on the G&A Facebook page:

    “VERY Disappointed that you would let one of your editors take a Gun Control Apologist position. When one of the leading publications in the industry lets one of their writers get into a semantic debate about the difference between “infringement” and “regulation”, we have problem. I’ve said for years that our 2A Rights are already pretty clearly ‘infringed’. We are gaining ground back towards the true words of the Founding Fathers, but our advance may slow if we are not 100% clear that our guns should be less regulated than our cars. Dick Metcalf advocating for a mandatory 16hrs of instruction for a CC Permit in Guns & Ammo Magazine is surprising as well. I’m a full time trainer and I support “constitutional carry” with a strong community that takes on the responsibility for seeking out training and skill development because it is the Right Thing to Do, not because it is a government imposed requirement.”

  5. So now we run into the issue of a real right versus a right recognized by the constitution.

    The Colorado constitution (just to take an example I am most familiar with, article 2, section 13 http://ballotpedia.org/wiki/index.php/Article_II,_Colorado_Constitution) states that:

    “The right of no person to keep and bear arms… shall be called in question;”

    That sounds pretty good. But note the semicolon; beware the semicolon splice.

    “…but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.”

    In other words, the Colorado constitution very clearly states that concealed carry is not in fact a right (but at least leaves the door open for “granting” the “privilege”).

    Yet we all here appear to agree that it is in fact a right by any objective meaning of the term right, that it is subsumed under the right to defend your own life.

    So what do you do when your constitution goes out of its way to say “no it isn’t”?

        • I believe that in Texas you can purchase a gun at an FFL with no NICS if you have an LTC. I believe that license, which requires a NICS check, counts as such every time you buy a gun.

        • In Florida, you can buy a handgun and walkout with it in 5 minutes if you have a ccw license. $5 NICS gets ran through FDLE. However, you can buy however many will fit on that form. The reason for that is our CCW License are not maintained by the state police or FDLE and they aren’t connected directly to our license plates nor DL.

        • Ah, thanks BlinkyPete. I was confused about which way you meant. Now I understand what you were trying to express.

  6. AZ has it mostly right, Constitutional Carry and if you want to subject yourself to extra scrutiny to carry in areas deemed more sensitive then you can along with being recognized by other states through reciprocity.

    If my drivers license though allows me to drive in MA then my CWP should allow me to carry.

    • Hmm… so Arizona won’t let you carry concealed in *some* places without a permit, but will let you do so with one? What sorts of places?

      I do like that they left the permitting process in place for use by those who travel to other states. Folks from Vermont (which never even thought about requiring a permit; can’t get it more right than that) have a problem when they travel, though I believe a couple of states will accept a plain ol’ Vermont ID as being a valid concealed handgun permit for reciprocity purposes.

  7. The real problem here is everyone’s underlying assumption that government is a benevolent entity. At best government is a necessary evil. At worst, government is pure evil.

    The Framers of our United States Constitution recognized this. That is why the entire document is designed to expressly limit government’s roles, responsibilities, and power. Of course that puts a damper on the personal agendas of many in government. Therefore they seek to control us when our Constitution clearly shows us that it is supposed to be the other way around.

    Government uses “privileges” to control us in a gentle manner. The fact that government is being “gentle” lends a sense of credence or benevolence to their efforts because the alternative is controlling us through nasty force. And that is the real problem and illustrates the real attitude of government. That is why we have to work to eliminate “privileges” and restore real rights.

    • I wouldn’t say evil as much as greedy, self-centered, self-serving, and wholly selfish and avaricious. There may occasionally arise a small spark of goodwill, but this usually is smothered by the prevailing powers.

      • While many governments may not actively seek to destroy people simply for the sake of destroying them, their greedy, self-centered, self-serving, and wholly selfish and avaricious actions still ruin many lives. In other words, their goal may not be to ruin people but that is the end result of their actions.

        • Continuing along your line of thought…

          It’s the nature of government to grow in power. Our Constitution was crafted to keep government power limited. The contract through which the People agreed to be governed is there. We are required to demand that it be enforced to the letter. The document cannot speak and act on its own. The People MUST posses the will and wisdom to hold government accountable to the terms of the contract. Much like a squatter on the land of another; when we allow infringements to stand for any length of time; it creates, in the minds of the courts and legislators, a sort of estoppel to further claim. The rights are ours but we MUST claim them. We must defend against any trespass by government. This is evident in court rulings regarding individual rights. The belligerent claimant must, in person, assert his possession of his rights. If not, it is assumed that the owner doesn’t care about the infringement; that he actually condones it. Being silent, according to the courts, is not enough. The claimant must have clearly invoked his Fifth Amendment right. The same is true for the Fourth and all other enumerated rights. If we remain silent or even passive to infringement, we lose. Why settle for a privilege when you already posses a protected, enumerated right?

  8. Someone show me where in the 2nd Amendment it says anything about open carry or cc. It refers to the right to keep and bear arms. It doesn’t say jack crap about how. Also show me in the BOR where it says that The Government, State or Fed can denigrate rights to privileges as they have done with the Drivers License mantra.

    Plus, the article side-steps “Shall Issue” ccw licenses. In Florida it is for concealed weapons or firearm. You see, the 2nd Amendment specifies the right to bear arms. It isn’t limited to muskets or flint locks.

  9. Would the 9th amendment apply?

    Ninth Amendment

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

  10. The only amendment that uses the word “privileges” is the 14th, every other amendment uses the word “rights”. The US Constitution is written so simply and strong yet scholars, lawyers and politicians will argue it’s meaning until the end of time.
    The right to bear arms supersedes any privilege both the federal and state governments invent up. There is no true privilege to carry, own or possess a firearm. The right to bears arms covers all of that. In any court one should be able to beat any type of criminal or civil charge that has to do with breaking one of the federal or state “privileges” related to carrying, owning and possessing a firearm, but being our governments both ignore and criminally interpret the constitution it’s no surprise our rights are being destroyed more with each passing day.

    Just think if the pathetic republican party losses half or more the people in congress, in districts around the nation. Their failure to get past the bullsh*t ie-abortion, women’s rights, health care, education, religion, bigotry, racism ect ect, is destroying them and by next mid-terms and then the next general election both of which that the democrats will dominate even with Obama the failure bringing them down some, we will be fighting more gun rights battles than anyone of us could of ever imagined we’d have to. I have always understood but never supported the idea of these kooks who think the days of gun rights are coming to an end, I don’t mean expensive ammo and backordered accessories, I mean the banning of ammo, firearms and active confiscation. But now I am a supporter of the idea because this is the endgame, the true outcome waiting to happen. Ask yourself, without the republican party, which is truthfully dying off quickly and really isn’t a true conservative party, what will happen to gun rights if there is nobody in congress to fight for them? They will disappear that’s what! The democrats want to take our gun rights away, pure and simple, and the republicans are too fricking stubborn and dedicated to meaningless issues such as abortion and dedicated against issues the majority of Americans want such as socialized medicine. We could debate who and how many want what but it doesn’t matter. The republicans are a minority, if you support the republicans you are a minority. Even though gun sales and sports have skyrocketed in growth and popularity we are still by far a minority, republican supporter or not. Both parties have failed us, the people in a way have failed us by being brainwashed into this fear of guns. The entire system has failed and here we are talking about our rights. lol
    Unless the political numbers drastically change in the next year or two, we are just going to see more and more anti-gun and impotent pro-gun politicians in congress. Look at the numbers, it ain’t looking to fricking good. If you are a republican write to your congressperson and tell them to PICK THEIR BATTLES! What is more important, the right of a state to tell a woman she cannot have an abortion or gun rights? The right of a woman to not get equal pay and treatment in the workplace or gun rights? The right of someone not to be able to get affordable healthcare or gun rights? They have bitten off more than they can chew, their reach has exceeded their grasp, they have pissed off the majority with their circle of bullsh*t for too long and now us pro-gun folks are going to pay the price. All because a party couldn’t adapt to the will of the people, sound familiar?

  11. I’m a fan of Constitutional Carry too. The author’s conclusion that a Shall Issue permitting system turns a right into a privilege is just wrong.

    Does a Parade Permit turn my right to free speech into a privilege? I don’t think so.

    1A provides in pertinent part: “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech . . . or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Pretty strong language, right? At least as strong as 2A and frankly, 1A is written better. But if my brothers and sisters wanted to hold, say, an open carry rally at the Alamo, we’d still need a permission slip.

    • If it requires a permit or license to exercise then that activity ceases to be exercising a right and belongs in the realm of privilege authorized by government authority. The right to keep and bear arms isn’t the only area that government infringes and the People accept the privilege. As they say, two wrongs don’t make a right.

  12. Can anybody identify this revolver holster? I’ve been looking for something like this for a very long time. Thanks.

    • My guess is that’s a royalty free picture, since it turns up on tons of other publications (slate and ammoland to name a couple), so unfortunately I think you’ll have a tough time finding out.

  13. In my view, the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is perhaps the most important in the entire Bill of Rights. It has two purposes. First, it acts as a deterrent to tyranny. Second, it offers a solution for dealing with tyrannical government. The right of individual self defense against other individuals is a natural right and, in my opinion, not directly touched upon by the Second Amendment. By allowing infringements to the 2A, we’ve undercut at least half, probably more than half, of the amendment’s utility. We’ve lost a significant deterrent property against tyrannical government and even government over-reach. I’d rather not ever see the solution implied by the Second Amendment used in this nation so I rally with fervor to preserve and encourage the deterrent purpose.

    Without qualifier, I support the individual right to individual self defense against other individuals or groups. I also, without qualifier, support the notion that the 2A offers underlying protection for an individual right to keep and bear arms. It wouldn’t be very useful if it didn’t apply to individuals in everyday life. Although defense against government is still self defense, I don’t see the Second Amendment as directly speaking to that individual self defense need. Individual self defense, much like hunting, was considered to be part of basic natural rights. The idea that the People were in control and could depose their government if that government ceased to serve the People was the revolutionary higher ideal that the Second Amendment was to incorporate into the Supreme Law of the Land. Individual hunting and individual self defense would’ve been common sense at the time and likely not warrant a specific amendment since only enumerated powers were granted to government.

    I applaud states that are moving forward towards their citizens being able to keep and bear arms. From an individual’s ability to defend one’s self; I am ecstatic when more individuals are able to carry, by any means, license or not. From the standpoint of the 2A’s purpose, I bristle when a state only affords its citizens the ability to lawfully carry under a permit or license. The deterrent value of the People towards government has been significantly diminished or perhaps lost entirely by those states.

    Once upon a time in Ohio, we could carry without license or permit, openly or concealed. We had no duty to notify law enforcement during encounters that didn’t result in detention. In the cities especially, Ohioans tended to carry concealed as open carry practically guaranteed a law enforcement encounter. I saw open carry become more rare. Eventually, the concept that Ohioans had a right to bear arms outside of their homes and business all but disappeared from public consciousness. People were being charged for carrying concealed and had to rely on a ‘prudent man defense’ more often. The simple solution was to repair or repeal one line of the Ohio Revised Code. Instead, lobbyists used open carry walks and called for concealed carry licensing law. At the time, I gave warning to close friends that I couldn’t support enacting such law. I warned about accepting a licensed privilege in lieu of a natural right. I warned that giving such in-roads to government control was unwise. Government never relinquishes power. It always must be wrestled back by the People; often at great cost. I warned that an industry would grow up around the requirements of such a license and that industry would form a strong lobby that would work against repealing any licensing laws in favor of the natural right (also a right under the Ohio Constitution). I warned that division would grow between gun owners over the right to carry openly and the privilege of concealed carry. Today, I carry concealed under a license and I carry openly as a natural right. For me and many other Ohioans, we are less free than before concealed licensing laws came to our state. No longer can I and others simply carry… it’s now more complicated. We now have an industry that lobbies against constitutional carry. We now have greater division among us.

    Thank you all for the kind words and civilized discussion. As we are all brothers and sisters in arms, it is my hope that we can remain cohesive in support of the right to keep and bear arms for all Americans, now and for generations to come. Carry on!

  14. I wish I knew what to say John, other than I’m glad to see you got picked up for your own posting, congratulations!

    As a CCW permit holder I’m loath to agree with you but you’re right; it’s at best a temporary measure to workaround laws that should not exist. The 2A should be the only ‘law’ necessary in this nation to carry a firearm, concealed or otherwise.

    I’m reminded of the experiences of a small town in Fl. where (If my memory serves) they briefly suspended concealed carry, resulting in the locals packing rifles until the sheeple petitioned to have CC reinstated. I think concealed carry ought to be the norm if only to avoid confrontation, however I think open carry should be just as lawful and that both are natural rights, confirmed and enshrined in the constitution.

    Fortunately this permission is offered to us while we fight for constitutional carry. It is better than the may issue or no issue alternatives.

    • Thank you, Ardent. I was surprised to see that quote picked up as it was written when I wasn’t actually focused (sleepy, distracted, or coughing my head off — maybe all three?) and I almost deleted it instead of posting.

      There are some major complications to concealed carry licensing. The general public loses sight of the fact that many people may be armed everyday in society. Out of sight, out of mind comes into play. It becomes harder to avoid MWAG calls and puts the RKBA out of their minds come time to vote. I’ve met some individuals who seem to think that having a license to carry a concealed handgun makes them part of an exclusive club. These same individuals will cry out against any constitutional carry and are terrified that open carriers are going to “ruin it for the rest of us”. It’s a deep divide not unlike the old hunter vs defensive carrier schism in the gun owning community. Constitutional carry would decrease the profits and perceived social status of some in the industry of providing training, tactics, and accoutrements. Government agencies, such as law enforcement, are slow to relinquish the perceived safeguards and power of a licensing system. Poorer individuals have greater difficulty paying the $100~$200 for the training required in Ohio and licensing fees. No longer in Ohio can one simply hand a sidearm to a friend and that friend be able to carry as before. They need a license for certain actions such as having the sidearm loaded in a motor vehicle. Basically, concealed carry licensing laws create greater long term obstacles in the effort to re-instate 2A protections against government infringement. Probably one the two worst effects of allowing the licensing of the right to bear arms is that it ‘trains’ the government and the general public that “shall not be infringed” doesn’t actually mean shall not be infringed. The left sometimes uses the argument, “But firearm ownership is already regulated so that means it CAN be infringed.” The other of the worst effects, IMHO, is that the deterrent value against tyranny and government usurpation of power is lost with a licensing system. The government can change licensing laws much easier than it can overcome “shall not be infringed”. If government wishes to not be constrained by the Second Amendment, a constitutional amendment nullifying or modifying the 2A is the government’s only legitimate recourse. Using backdoor methods like Judicial Review, gun control laws, and licensing schemes are unconstitutional and downright underhanded. If government had the real power, it would’ve done more by now.

      With all of that being said; I don’t oppose concealed carry under licenses where there is no other way for individuals to defend themselves. In between all of the lofty discussion about the Second Amendment and infringement, people are living their lives in day to day danger from criminals and other predators. While I would prefer that we, as a community, insist on constitutional carry without further permission, license, cost, or requirement… I can’t, in good conscience, deny that people need a way to carry every day, right now. As long as people keep in the forefront of their minds the difference between privileges and rights, then I have high hopes for our ability to protect and restore the right to keep and bear arms against government infringement.

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