“This bill will eliminate the state’s long-standing permitting system and prevent local law enforcement from making important determinations that help keep guns out of dangerous hands.” – Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Police Commissioner Joseph Plaia in More states are allowing people to carry concealed handguns without a permit [via washingtonpost.com]

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83 Responses to Quote of the Day: Police Need to Determine Who Can and Can’t Carry Guns

  1. Determining who should or should not posses guns is quite simple.

    Is the person a prohibited person? If not, they may carry a weapon…

    • The problem with this premise is that it makes too much sense. Also, God forbid that anyone should even think of rescinding adjudication from such a wise and righteous arbiter as the esteemed Commissioner.

      • That’s an easy one. Who decides; Police Commissioner Joseph Plaia, or those he designates. What criteria; Those who are his friends and donate to his campaigns, OK to carry. Those who aren’t are outta luck(or, more accurately; influence).
        Who enforces that and how? Police Commissioner Joseph Plaia, or those he designates. by withholding permission.
        It’s really a very simple and old matter, this selling of political influence. It’s been going on ever since the first priests and Kings. Its not exactly a startling idea, to anyone who has an idea of history. But it is to those in the currant Western world who have been conditioned to believe that history is only what has been carefully chosen for them in the governmentaly approved textbooks.

      • Personally, I think the criteria *should* be no guns if you’re in prison or a psych ward. Outside of that, you’re good to go. Unfortunately, in reality, we tend to let people whom we know are still violent out and about into society.

        • That’s a grossly simplistic view of human psychology. There are plenty of people who are functional in whatever scenario, as long as they are free of temptations and influences. We let convicts out on parole every day with the requirement that they not drink, use drugs, or associate with their former gang buddies. Further, we add requirements that they seek employment, meet regularly with their P.O., and abide by a curfew.

          This sort of disciplined lifestyle works for some ex-cons and allows them to function in society until they’ve proven that they can make all of their own decisions responsibly. Until then, they’re in a middle ground outside of prison but not fully integrated into society. This bit about “if they’re not safe to have a gun then they’re not safe to walk the streets” is flat out nonsense, because it ignores the reality that plenty of people do indeed complete the terms of their parole and resume normal lives.

          Others, resume carrying guns and participating in other prohibited activities, when their intelligence and impulse control are simply not suited to handle those responsibilities. Then they end up back in prison. It isn’t always easy to predict who’ll make it and who won’t. Blindly, slavishly adhering to the “either lock ’em up for life, or else free everyone and hand out firearms” deprives those individuals who actually can make it on the outside, provided they have some strict rules governing their conduct and removing temptations, of a chance to leave their former lives of crime and salvage something for their future.

          I know, I know, it’s fun to write that stuff on the Internet, because it’s bold and it’s brash and it’s oh so contrarian and libertarian. It’s also unrealistic, unoriginal, and completely useless in any public policy context.

        • Jonathan Houston –

          To be honest, I was talking more that someone who, released from prison and otherwise a free man, should have the right to carry a gun. But okay. Let’s run with your post.

          Couple of issues: “If they’re not safe to have a gun then they’re not safe to walk the streets” is flat out nonsense according to you? Please. Please take that sentence, say it aloud and then say that it is nonsense. Seems to make a lot of sense to me. Please tell me how that statement is “unrealistic, unoriginal, and completely useless”.

          In any case, you reversed what I said. It’s not “if they’re not safe to have a gun then they’re not safe to walk the streets.” It’s again (see first paragraph) that, “if they’re not safe to walk the streets then they’re not safe to have a gun.” I do believe that most ex-cons would be perfectly responsible in exercising their 2nd amendment rights.

          Your words: “It isn’t always easy to predict who’ll make it and who won’t.”…Yes. Yes, it is. You honestly think it’s a coincidence that the majority of the victims of Chicago’s violence (see article from this site “Chicago Killers’ Arrest Records Revealed”) are known bangers themselves? Here, let me quote the article: “The average person arrested for a homicide or shooting in both years had nearly 12 prior arrests, with almost 45 percent having had more than 10 prior arrests, and almost 20 percent having had more than 20 prior arrests. ”

          12. Prior. Arrests.

          Yeah…wow. Too bad they weren’t out on parole, seeking employment, meeting regularly with their P.O., or abiding by a curfew! That certainly would have saved them!

          We have an older man who raped and murdered a 15-year old on trial right now. Is he someone who is (your words) “functional in whatever scenario, as long as [he] is free of temptations and influences”? Like what “temptations and influences”? Should teenagers be responsible for running the other way when they see him?

          Your entire argument seems predicated on the example of a drug/alcohol offender, talking about “temptation” and needing a “disciplined lifestyle”. I was (or at least I thought I was, until you went pants-on-head) perfectly clear: V-I-O-L-E-N-T O-F-F-E-N-D-E-R-S. Violent offenders are the issue. People who have impulse control issues when they’re under the influence of something? Yeah, they’re alright. That’s an issue that society can help with and that the offenders themselves usually want help with. But you think you’re going to rehabilitate gang enforcers? I’ll tell you right now that the only time they’re not associating with their former gang buddies is for the 10 minutes (if that) that they’re face-to-face with their PO.

          I’m not even saying that we should just lock them all up and throw away the key just to be sure. It would work, yeah, but the contrarian libertarian in me that you seem to mock has more than a few civil liberty issues with it. But let’s not pretend that all crimes and therefore all criminals are equal.

        • Actually, citing the average of twelve prior arrests supports Jonathan’s point that it’s difficult to predict who will be responsible and who won’t. Citing an average to make a claim for the whole spectrum doesn’t work any better here than does citing the $50,000 median income of Americans as support for a claim that there is no poverty in the country: in both cases, it fails to recognize that there are necessarily numbers lower, indeed much lower, than that midpoint.

          As an example, it’s generally assumed that allowing people with bipolar disorder to have firearms is a dangerous thing. Yet I suffer from bipolar disorder and my doctors have never had a problem with me being armed, for the simple reason that I am so deeply convinced that firearms are not meant for harming people that they have been uncertain I’d actually be able to use one to defend myself (though reasonably certain I’d not hesitate to use one to defend someone close to me).

          There’s the saying about lies, damned lies, and statistics. Any time an average or median is given as a support for an assertion about an entire population, the clam is on that spectrum.

        • There are necessarily numbers much lower than the mid-point. You’re absolutely right, and I don’t have issues with giving someone the benefit of the doubt the first go-round.

          There are also necessarily numbers much higher than the mid-point. Giving someone with their 2nd, 3rd, 10th, 20th arrest the benefit of the doubt? No thank you.

    • Determining who should or should not posses guns is quite simple. Are you currently incarcerated for a crime or mental illness? If yes, then no. If no then yes.

      What part of shall not be infringed don’t we seem to understand? If a citizen is trustworthy enough to be on the streets with the rest of us then why should any rights be restricted? The question we should be asking is not how to keep guns out of the hands of those we don’t trust, but why are those we don’t trust among us in the first place.

  2. The conscientious recognition of my life is the only permission I need to defend my life. It is not a right given me by any “God” or “Written doctrine of any man”. My right to defend my life is self apparent, I am therefore I will use any resource to preserve my life. Gun included, no other person is “God” over my life cop or no cop. A cop is just another swing dick playing strong arm for those who appoint themselves over the rest of you. Are you going to allow another human tell you no, you cannot defend your life?

      • Really? The Declaration really isn’t that long. It shouldn’t need a Sparks Notes for it. Just read the thing, that way you actually know what it says instead of what some website wants you to think it says.

      • The Declaration of Independence isn’t a legal document. It’s the intent was to give the reasons for the break from England. Most of the document is a list of British actions that lead to the break.
        People then had a clear explanation for independence. the document was read throughout the 13 coloni s and generated support for independence.

        • The Declaration is in the first volume of the U.S. Code, and has been cited by courts as determining precedent, so it is a legal document — it just isn’t legislation.

      • @neiowa – My right to own myself, and the implicit right to defend myself from harm, is unalienable from me because of the nature of the human being that I am. You say, and I tend to agree, that our human nature was determined by God the creator. But regardless of the source of that human nature, it is the nature itself that is the source of our right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Atheists have the same rights as the faithful.

      • Sorry, neiowa, but rights are self-evident from the observable fact of self-ownership. Yes, our rights were bestowed by our Creator, but invoking the Creator is not necessary to establish that all are created equal, etc.

  3. They do this in New Jersey and out of a population of 9 million there are less than 1200 CCW permits issued. It’s a defacto ban.

  4. For all of its libertarian successes NH still has this entrenched old-world law and order conservatism nonsense. Ayotte was a good example of this. Everyone with a badge was a god and everything under the sun should be prohibited from all except those who were personally vetted by the badged gods. It’s too bad we can’t interject some of the “live and let live” hippy stuff from VT without dragging in their faux-peacenick hoplophobia.

    Everybody’s a f@#$ing tyrant in their own special way I suppose.

  5. Constitutional carry is something that sells itself. The more states that do it, the more proof there is that licensing does nothing, the faster it spreads. If the police needed to determine who could carry, then all the constitutional carry states would have problems.

    • Indeed, the experience of a growing number of states suggests that either these determinations made by police aren’t nearly as important as they claim, or else the police do a very poor job of making them.

  6. Is it racist of me, that as a half-Sicilian, every time I see a cop like this with an Italian name I assumed he’s probably mobbed up and protecting the interests of his constituency?

    • I would have to investigate, (facts matter), but right off the bat I would not be at all surprised if this gentleman had Massachusetts roots. That’s quite common in southern NH.

    • Probably be better off if the mob were still running certain cities in this country. At least Chicago couldn’t be much worse.

      • Great movie scene, BUT, Arabs aren’t black. And I happen to be part Arab on the Sicilian side, confirmed by DNA testing. I wonder how that happened?

        • The moors were light skinned berbers (as opposed to dark skinned berbers (tuareg) who lived in the interior of North Africa closer to or in the sahara) who lived along the north African coast. By the time they conquered Sicily, they were Islamised and ruled by a small class of Arab elites. The chances any random sicilian has Arab descent is almost as small as your average sicilian having subsaharan African descent dating from the conquest.

  7. FTA “Joseph Plaia is a member of Granite State Coalition for Common Sense, an offshoot of Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun control group founded by former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.” Portsmouth has yuppified over the last 30 years and is now a liberal’s heaven. Its public officials reflect this.

  8. Officer friendly there is confused.

    When citizens decide, n police implement, that’s policing. When a separate caste of tooled-up guys in uniforms decide and enforce who can do what, well, that has other names.

  9. “This bill will…prevent local law enforcement from making important determinations that help keep guns out of dangerous hands.” ORLY? Making determinations keep criminals from getting their hands on guns, do they? Is that how it works? Sounds to me like he’s spitting a lie into our faces.

    • Growing up here in NE MT my dad used to say; “don’t piss on my head and tell me it’s raining”.
      Yeah, mr commissioner who wants desperately to keep selling your influence on the side! That.
      Also, it makes little difference that I don’t live in NH. Crooked Bullock just sold us down the river… again! But this time he added insult to the injury. Crooked Politicians, like rats and cockroaches, are everywhere.

      • NW MT here. Yeah, Bullock sure is a scumbag. Hopefully we get a better alternative than Gianforte and boot him next time. I’ll never forget how condescending the form letter response from Bullock was when I wrote him in support of constitutional carry. It’s. Ad enough to have a form letter, but to talk down to you in it was pretty bad.

  10. And how many law enforcement people are complaining that their jobs now require that they be psychiatrists, social workers, baby sitters, and so on?

    • Yeah, but those are responsibilities. They don’t mind the added powers. The notion that the two ought to go together is regarded as quaint and antiquated.

  11. The point of the 2nd Amendment is to protect the citizenry FROM government. It’s not about crime, not about duck hunting, not about sport shooting.. this nation’s founders foresaw tyrants like Hitler and Stalin because tyranny existed in their day. It’s so very much harder to haul off an armed citizenry to concentration camps if that citizenry is armed, even with modern technology and heavy weaponry as Syria and Afghanistan proved. The current spate of race-related political events has caused certain racial minorities to buy guns by the truckload. I say that is a good thing. Eventually, the dictators will win (Russia) and we’ll all be either silenced or carted off. The future will be much worse than the past.

  12. Apparently, a lot of Police Chiefs think they are the right folks to decide who gets to carry. Where I live, judges make the decision. But the State law provides that the permit must be issued unless the applicant has been convicted of something serious. In the days when I had a heavy right foot, I used to get stopped a lot. Police officers seemed to like that concealed carry permit. I got warnings instead of tickets many times. Street cops may have a better handle on this than do chiefs.

  13. I wouldn’t go QUITE that far…I was at my local gun shop/range in Illinois tranferring a gun from Indiana a few days ago. I inquired about concealed carry training and the owner went on about ex cops doing it. Not a selling point in Illinois…or in NewHampshire I see. Anywho picking up another gun today.

  14. With NH being a “shall issue” state, control by CLEOs seems fairly minimal. So the change to CC is a very small step from my perspective.

  15. More like citizens need to decide who can be a police chief! Or police in general. Maybe require a Constitutional history class for all aspiring protectors of the community.

  16. What makes any one person more qualified to determine my right to posses a weapon or not??
    Especially a police officer regardless of rank. He/she is just another civilian in my eyes.
    If your not convicted or under indictment for a crime. If your a well round upstanding member of the community.
    You have a right, not a privilege to need permission to posses or carry a gun. Its part of the 2nd Amendment “Shall Not be Infringed” Period.
    Not to be left up to anyone person just because he or she wears a uniform.

    • Jay, this is an important point. One of the ways I put it is to point out that govt agencies of all sorts have pretty much the same proportion of idiots and a$$holes that we see in the general population. They are NOT special people, they do NOT have unique abilities.

    • Yeah, he’s garbage. MT is already a shall issue state with permit less open and concealed carry everywhere outside of incorporated townships. Prohibited persons would still be breaking the law if they carried, just like they are now. Everyone else would just save on the $50 dollar fee. That people elect people who can’t understand that is frightening to me.

  17. Well frack. This crap only applies to law-abiding American citizens. Now tell me how does any of this crud stop criminals and nut jobs? We all know its not about crime. Control of the serfs/cash cows is the real goal.

  18. “L’état, c’est moi.”

    — Police Commissioner Joseph Plaia and every other punkass politician swollen with hubris.

  19. The best and brightest are still working hard to improve the lives of common criminals by lowering the odd of successful, effective self defense by the common man.

  20. When the shit hits the fan and this Preatorian thinks he still has a say he will learn that pissing on those you swore to Protect and Serve will get him a boatload of righteous karma. Who voted this tool in anyway? I bet he cant even qualify with a firearm, but I am so relieved to think he knows whats best for me, stupid is as stupid does, you, sir are now on the radar for being voted out so move your worthless carcass back to ‘assachusettes and cuddle up to that piece of dried turkey jerky Healey. The People have spoken, respect it.

  21. Hawaii (The Soviet of) currently has a bill before the legislature which allows the seizure of firearms, not as the result of a judicial warrant, but after an “administrative” hearing. Most of the gun control mokes here only go after the 2nd amendment – Kauai’s own Sen. Kouchi (late of the law firm Kouchi, Kouchi and Koo) has doubled down, attacking not just the 2nd, but the 4th.

  22. Our law enforcement agencies do not possess the honor, integrity nor ethics to accomplish such a commission fairly.

  23. “……Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Police Commissioner Joseph Plaia ”

    The key word here is “Portsmouth”, a “city” by N.H.’s standards thus as expected Democrat-controlled bastion of dysfunction, an enclave for tyrants and relocated devout anti-2nd Amendment N.Y. Leftists ie. the same scum that fled the “Big” I mean “Rotten” Apple. These Constitutionally ignorant do-gooders with their “superiority” complex destroy everything they touch.

    The best news is that the ideologically inferior mayor of Portsmouth has been active in requesting, accepting, and resettling Moslem Somalian “refugees” in his city which should make for an interesting narrative when one commits an attack upon Portsmouth’s rabidly anti-gun Liberal populace.

  24. How funny. Given the crime statistics on CHL holders vs. the police, it seems to me that the people ought to decide on which police officers are allowed to carry guns.

  25. They already have the power of investigation and prosecution. If the person who wants a permit really is dangerous, then court records will show that the person is prohibited.

    What else do they want? Oh right, they want to prevent people they “know” are dangerous from carrying. But just without that pesky innocent until proven guilty thing.

    Cry me a river. Sorry that the authority you already wield isn’t absolute.

  26. This bill prevents local law enforcement from making determinations about who gets guns? I gotta tell ya, that’s sounding a lot more like a feature than a flaw to me. I like the idea of written, public laws with objective, verifiable criteria. I’m not a fan of subjective, even arbitrary, shifting standards imposed by various and sundry officials indulging their own personal biases and prejudices. Where’s the equal protection in that?

    If local law enforcement has a problem with a certain type of individual carrying a firearm, then let local law enforcement officials, in their private, nonofficial capacities, petition the government for redress of grievances like the rest of us. “There oughta be a law”, you say? Fine. Go fire up your schoolhouse rock videos and follow the process. Until then, quit your whining, and eat your spinach. Welcome to the future of freedom.

  27. Well, politicians have already determined who gets to carry guns, and it’s usually the criminals. A criminal doesn’t even have to answer the question “Are you armed?”, because doing so violates his Fifth Amendment rights.

    All constitutional carry does is level the playing field between good guys and bad guys, instead of allowing bad guys to have teeth and requiring good guys to be sheep.

  28. The police are there to enforce law, not to dispense rights to whomever they feel have jumped through enough hoops. What part of “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED” do they not understand?

  29. Sure, but only if the police also get to decide who gets to exercise their “constitutional right” to have an abortion….

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