By Cliff H.
When it comes to constitutional carry, I’m of the same belief as RF – the only correct reading of the Second Amendment means that the government has no authority to say who can or cannot carry arms, when, or where. Nor do they have the authority to require anyone to acquire a permit before exercising their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. But that’s a fight for another day. Right now we have to live with the reality of our eroded 2A rights and, in most places, jump through bureaucratic hoops in order to avoid having our freedoms further eroded by facing arrest and other unpleasant and expensive official reactions . . .
That being the case, I’ve obtained a concealed pistol license (CPL) from the state of Washington. RF is apparently in the process of getting his permit from Texas. Many of the readers of this site have done the same in their respective jurisdictions. So now, technically (though unconstitutionally) we are “legal”. But what does this mean when someone spots your heater and dials 911 in a panic or you’re just involved in a routine interaction with a LEO?
At some point the situation will probably arise in which you must prove that you are “legal”. This is a problem for me because I carry IWB at 3 o’clock and my wallet is IHP (Inside Hip Pocket) at 5 o’clock. How do I pull my permit without further alarming anyone given the proximity of my gun hand to my weapon? For myriad reasons, I do not want to hand over my pistol to the officer first so I considered a small fold-over card holder that I could slip over my belt next to my holster like many plain-clothes cops do with their badge. It’s even likely that if they spot the CPL, gun muggles (non-carry citizens) would assume I was LE and not feel concerned.
A few weeks ago RF posted a piece with a picture of a badge at the top. Wow, a concealed carry badge! That would be great to clip to my belt rather than just dangling my permit. I went to the website and did some research. Yes, I could get a custom badge saying ‘Concealed Pistol Permit’ with the Washington state seal in the middle (Dave from agentgearusa.com) sent me the photo on the left above). I could choose other styles if I wanted, too. It was a little steep at $69.95, I thought, but it could save a lot of headaches. Then I started looking at the other badge styles offered.
I like the round one; I think it looks “cool” (but costs $89.95, for some reason). Unfortunately, EVERY badge they offer, even CCW badges, is a variation of a law enforcement or other official government agency badge. Even the round one that I like is based on a Deputy Sheriff badge. This could cause a problem rather than solve one. Yes, gun muggles would assume I was a LEO and go about their business, but what if some over-zealous anti-carry cop decided to make my day/life more interesting by accusing me of impersonating a police officer? Any badge, regardless of the inscription engraved on it, that looks almost exactly like a police badge could lead to that sort of misunderstanding. I really don’t need or want that kind of excitement in my life.
So I first posed the question to RF: could we come up with a new badge design that doesn’t mimic law enforcement badges and is distinct and recognizable nationwide as a CCW badge? Secondly, and perhaps most important, would the People of the Gun who carry embrace the idea and actually buy, carry and/or display such a badge? Or am I just going off the rails on a crazy train?