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By Abram

Among the People of the Gun, the necessity of a license to carry a concealed firearm is discussed with some frequency. Depending on the state, it may be called a Concealed Carry Weapons permit (CCW), a Concealed Handgun License (CHL), or something else (since my state, Ohio, calls it a CCW, I shall use that acronym throughout the rest of the article). A couple of the main debate points are whether requiring a permit actually stops criminals from carrying. Most believe they don’t and whether a CCW is an unconstitutional infringement on the natural, inalienable right to self-defense . . .

Unless one lives in one of the seven states that exercises permitless carry (otherwise known as Constitutional Carry), one is forced to purchase a permit to legally conceal a firearm. While the POTG hasten to point out that a state-mandated permit will sometimes prevent someone from being able to defend themselves from a threat in a timely manner and is an infringement on natural rights, to my knowledge no one has discussed whether requiring a permit prevents the poor from exercising the right to self-defense via firearm.

While it is true that crime is not limited to certain times, locations, races, or social classes, it is important to note that a good portion of crime occurs in urban settings, meaning the average city dweller is more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than a suburbanite or rural dweller. From my understanding, the average inner-city dweller is also probably not highly educated or making an incredible amount of money at any available legal job. Given these facts, it is improbable that such a worker would be able to uproot and move to a safer location, leaving them stranded in neighborhoods that seem to perpetually deteriorate in a never ending downward spiral. These individuals are – if one relies purely on statistics – the most likely to need a gun to defend themselves, yet they are probably the least likely to be armed, even if they wish it was otherwise.

For this article, I am creating a fictional scenario where an honest, blue-collar city dweller is a single mother supporting two young kids on a salary of $20,000 per year. I am also presuming that she is trying to cut costs as much as possible and has next to no spare money to sling about, even for self-defense. Throughout the article, I will attempt to tally up the bare minimum of expenses necessary to acquire and maintain a firearm.

The firearm itself, of course, is the biggest expense. Although Hi Point is a love-it-or-hate-it company, they are undeniably some of the cheapest firearms on the market. We’ll presume that Ms. Doe has purchased a 9mm pistol from them and was lucky enough to get one that actually goes “bang” every time she pulls the trigger. Let’s say she got it on sale for $125, including tax (they’re being sold for $200 where I live, pre-tax).  As an aside, she will be carrying off body in her purse, as it’s pretty much impossible to conceal this hand cannon otherwise.

As mentioned in a previous article, one should have at least four magazines for each firearm (I’d personally argue no less than six, but we’re sticking to minimums here). Since Hi Points only come with one, Ms. Doe has to order three from Hi Point at $15 each, costing her $45.

Next up is a good holster. I know I said she was carrying off body, but most agree that one shouldn’t just throw a loaded gun into a purse. We’ll presume she can get a cheap purse holster for $30 (as a male who doesn’t know anyone who purse carries, I just pulled that price out of thin air).

What good is a gun without defensive ammunition? Not much, unless you care to use it as a wall ornament or expensive paperweight. For this scenario, Ms. Doe has purchased a single box of Remington Golden Sabers for $30.

Good to go? Far from it, actually. We mustn’t forget that Ms. Doe needs to clean her gun after her range sessions. While Hi Point says it’s not necessary to clean with any kind of frequency, has anyone here never cleaned their EDC gun? Let’s just say she buys a basic cleaning kit from Wal-Mart, along with a small can of CLP, for a total of $20.  She can skip the wipes, because she’s thrifty and is substituting a cut up t-shirt in their stead (a practice I learned from one of my firearm mentors).

Speaking of those range sessions, eye and ear protection are a must, as any responsible gun owner knows.  A basic pair of reusable ear plugs will be about $3, and basic glasses will be about $8.

In order to avoid range fees and other such nonsense, Ms. Doe drives outside city limits once a month to shoot at tin cans in a gully on a friend’s land. However, Ms. Doe cannot avoid the cost of ammunition. Fortunately, 9mm is relatively cheap and her range sessions are brief out of necessity. Let’s say she just shoots one box of fifty rounds on her monthly sessions. I know, that’s barely anything, but she has no choice, right? It’s marksmanship or cereal and school clothes for her children. If she buys six Winchester White Boxes of 100 rounds, at $25 apiece, that’s $150 for a year’s worth of ammunition.

Let’s tally up all the expenses now, shall we? Pistol ($125), magazines ($45), holster ($30), cleaning kit and CLP ($20), hollow points ($30), eye and ear protection ($11), and target ammunition ($150).  That’s $411.

And here’s where the CCW comes in. A basic class is now eight hours long (down from twelve, thank goodness) and costs $90.  Once that’s completed, Ms. Doe has to go down to the sheriff’s office, get fingerprinted, fork over another $67 for the actual permit, and wait for up to 45 days to receive permission to carry a pistol for self-defense (it only took about ten days in my case, but I have no idea if that’s normal).

The total amount is now $568, after we’ve cut every single corner possible.  Sure, for the average middle class worker, that’s a chunk of change, especially to drop all at once, but if you scrimp here and cut back there for a month or two you can pull it together and be good to go. For a lower class single parent, however, that $568 may as well be $10,000. I happen to know a lady who is in a similar situation as this fictional Ms. Doe.  When I remarked to her that she could get a good self-defense pistol such as a Ruger LCP or Taurus 709 for around $300 at the local Rural King, she scoffed and said, “I’d consider it if things didn’t keep breaking around here!”

That’s something for the middle class to remember. Dave Ramsey may be able to tell you how to become a millionaire by the time you’re fifty, but the average lower class individual will never make $70,000 per year.  And yes, sometimes it’s one’s own fault for poverty. Sometimes, however, one simply has a stroke of extreme bad luck. The woman I know was a stay-at-home mom for most of her life before she found herself – essentially overnight, and through no fault of her own – the head of a household with little in the way of marketable job skills. With no way to go back to school, a family to feed, clothe, and shelter, and a constant rearguard battle against a 100 year old house and a twelve year old car with 300,000 miles on it, how exactly is she supposed to gather $568 for a gun, range kit, ammunition, and a CCW?  Even if she had the funds, how would she take the class?  She’s working full time and has a part time job on weekends as well. She’s caught in an endless cycle that doesn’t look like it’s going to end until her children grow up and leave the house.

I know I’m pounding this point into the ground, but remember this – $568 – is the price of the bare essentials. In other articles and in the comments, folks here have advocated getting a guard dog, a security system, motion detectors, and additional classes on how to operate operationally if one wants to be truly prepared. Also, some people hate Hi Point. (A better pistol, such as the M&P Shield, however, will bump the total price up to somewhere between $743 and $880.) While all these things might be nice for those with money, these are luxuries that the typical lower income individual will never have. A handgun and CCW are already the equivalent of reaching for the moon.

Perhaps the woman I know is the exception to the rule. Maybe not. And even if $411 (expenses sans government permission) were just as difficult to save as $568, does that mean there should be an additional fee to exercise the right to self-defense? Isn’t it hard enough for a blue collar worker to defend himself or herself?

What do you think? Is this an issue that should be addressed, or is it irrelevant? Am I blowing this out of proportion?

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  1. The people who accuse me of being “classist” for joining a fraternity in college or a country club are the same ones who want to price the poor out of a concealed weapons permit. Hypocrisy at its finest.

    • The license fee in ILLINOIS is $150. The mandatory 16 hour training costs between $200-$300. the ILLINOIS CARRY forum has numerous posts complaining about the poor being discriminated against by the costly fees and classes.

      • I don’t think that high cost is an accident given Chicago and Illinois’ grim determination to keep guns out of anyone’s hands.

      • $150 for the permit and $250 for the classes isn’t class warfare or racism; $10 for a voter ID card is. (/Sarc)

        • If only it were just $10.

          Some of my mom’s friends, all elderly, looked into what it would cost them to get a voter ID under a proposed law. None of them have driver’s licenses any longer, or any other picture I.D., which they’d need in order to get the proposed voter ID.

          For starters, to get that picture ID, they’d need a copy of their birth certificate (or the new “certification of live birth). Doing this, for those without one, would require going in person to the county seat where it was originally issued, with enough documentation to satisfy the county clerk that you really are the person indicated on the certificate. Given travel expenses, plus the fee for the duplicate certificate, the average cost among this group of retired people came to $145. Then they had to go to the DMV to get a picture ID, but just the birth certificate wasn’t enough; they needed additional verification off a long list of options. On average, fulfilling the requirement of two of these other items came to $12. Thus armed, they could go get a picture ID, which, with transportation, cost an average of $18.

          But having a picture ID wouldn’t have been enough. Skipping further details, the average cost to obtain the rest came to $37.

          Finally, they could go to the DMV and pay $20 for the I.D. card, with an average of $3 for transportation.

          Total average to get a voter ID for these faithful GOP voters: $235.

          And that’s the issue: many of these laws would disenfranchise a lot of the elderly, besides a lot of the poor.
          Voter ID is a good idea. It just needs to be implemented in a way that doesn’t dump a lot of people off the rolls — some way to phase it in, perhaps.

  2. If asking voters for I.D. = discrimination, the cost of ccw, or even tax stamps, firearms sales tax, and import tariffs are definitely hurting the poor (creating a class of ‘gun-poor’).

    • The NRA Lobbyist here in Illinois likened the proposed high fee the state was charging to a poll tax. Which is what it is, one “right” costs hundreds of dollars and one is illegal to charge for.

      • Took the words out of my mouth. Even when people’s economic situation is there own fault it still boils down that state governments are making people pay money and certify themselves before legislative standards for a natural right. Poll tax and literacy test. And i get the people that don’t think they should have to subsidize licensing fees but that just means there should be no license.

  3. Okay, so poor people don’t have a lot of money. That’s kinda the definition of “poor,” no?

    The problem isn’t with permits for the poor. The problem is with permits for anyone. Vermont and six (or more) states have solved that problem with Constitutional Carry.

    Yet poor people in VT, ME and other ConCarry states still don’t have a lot of money to spend on guns and ammo.

    • This may be true. Wouldnt it be better to have a gun buyback that donates the useable firearms to poor single mothers? Kinda like that one guy that buys shotguns for the poor in Arizona(?).

      • Yes, that would be a great thing. However, the poor will have angels fly out their asses before something like that happens under government auspices.

        The Armed Citizens Project is a private group. I support what they want to do. I’m not sure that they’ve had any success at it.

  4. so how is the CCW permit causing the hold up?
    Seems the price of a pistol and accessories far exceeds the permit.
    Where I’m at its $20 and takes 10 minutes, no classes, good for 5 years.
    If you cant find $20 in 5 years, good luck getting a decent hand gun.

    Gun owners mandatory insurance is what would really kill the working class, especially if you had to have insurance for each piece!

    If the cost of the permit becomes higher than the cost of the piece, then I can see a burden.

    This scenario also assumes all this is purchased at the same time, but in fact could be spread over a few years, making it much more manageable.
    There are also MANY dealers that allow a lay away program that you can make payments, I have a few that allow payments of any amount any time, and some guns are on consignment and also allow easy pay.

    • In South Carolina, a cwp costs $50 (+ $10 fee for a certified check from a bank), and the cheapest classes are $50 (those classes do the absolute bare minimum, a decent class with good instruction runs about $100). Saving that amount of money can take some less fortunate people weeks. Which leaves them defenseless for a longer amount of time.

      If the price is not as bad as you say, imagine having to pay a poll tax and a mandatory voter education class. A lot of people would just not vote (i.e. Jim Crow Era voter suppression)

      • Oddly enough, because of the the poll tax, white electoral participation dropped to less than a third of the total voting age population.

      • Here in Arkansas its $144 for permit, average mandatory class is $60 and every five years another $65 for renewal and $60 for class. Not to mention the hassle of everything. I’ve paid the state $175 to carry the last 12 years and mandatory instructors $180.

    • “so how is the CCW permit causing the hold up?”

      The other expenses are simply market realities. Guns and ammo aren’t free.

      The CCW permit is a government-imposed barrier. $20 is on the far bottom end of possibility. Even friendly states like Florida have classes and fees that will run you over $100, and less friendly ones like Illinois and California will easily cost you over $500 when you’re all done.

      When someone with low-income is sacrificing all they can to afford a CCW that they may feel they need, quickly, every dollar matters.

      • Since a well-regulated militia is necessary (not useful, but necessary), the cost of one hand gun and one long gun should receive refundable tax credits of $300 each.

    • And what about when father gifts a gun to his son or daughter, husband gifts a gun to his wife, friend gifts gun to friend, etc.? What if the gun is purchased used?

      Also: what about the cost of time and effort to acquire the permit? The time/expense of a training class (4 – 16 hours)? The expense of the permit? The time/effort to make multiple trips to a police/sheriff’s office to go through the process?

      When I and my wife got our Ohio CWPs, we had to have my parents come stay for the weekend, to babysit while we sat through the two-day, 12-hour class/range time. Plus two trips each to the sheriff’s office. Plus the actual expenses.

      You honestly think that isn’t an (often insurmountable) obstacle for the most poor among us?

    • If you live in a lousy area for gun rights the CCW permit application can hold you back by months. My brother in law waited over 10 months for his permit, (Rochester NY area).

      In that time, by state law, one cannot even walk into a gun store and handle handguns to check personal fitment. Nor can you rent one on a range to determine what type of handgun, or caliber, or brand you would prefer. Nor can you even purchase handgun ammunition to use a friend’s firearm on private property.

      The whole process is designed as a disarmament scheme.

      • All true, to a point. I live in a Rochester suburb and the same county. Mine took 9 months. No class is required and the cost is $125 for the permit. Other than that, this area is very good for gun rights. I have no idea why it takes so long, though. I know the sheriff’s deputy who handled mine researched me pretty thoroughly. A judge has to sign off, so it could be some sit on them a while, although the deputy didn’t call me to ask questions until five months after I submitted the application. I just hate the whole “can’t touch a handgun before permit” rule because otherwise I’d be taking all my friends (many of who are liberal) out to shoot.

      • Actually, your point about renting a gun at a range is mostly true, but there are two ranges within 70 miles that do rent. I guess all the guns are on the owners permit. The NY law is that you may use someone’s gun at a gun range. If you’re close to PA then you can drive over the border to rent a gun. Oh, my PA carry permit cost $20, a three hour trip to Erie and back, in the sheriff’s office for 20 min, and I got it one week later in the mail.

      • @Ray-
        “A voter i.d. would be free, and progressives still cry discrimination”

        Isn’t that an amazing admission of truth from the statists, and it only reinforces that gun control is not about guns.

        Voter ID is about avoiding accountability in the election process, which does not say much of half the country, in a country that used to pride itself on the moral caliber of elected officials.

        A person should be concerned when they understand that what is going on in or nation has been tried before. Only the statists have had more time to implement and perfect the framework of Stalin and Hitler. Thankfully in America outright slaughter of citizens by state employed citizens is illegal, and publicly frowned upon, at the moment. Unfortunately, the outright slaughter of citizens by non-state employed citizens is widely condoned, and confirmed by news reports every day in liberal metropolitan areas.

    • First of all, it all adds up. Someone may be able to afford a $200 gun and a cheap $20 holster, but tack on $100 in fees and it’s out of their immediate price range.

      But more importantly, it’s the principle of the thing. Even if the license cost was one cent, it’s still one cent too much. Just like charging money for the privilege of exercising one’s right to vote is illegal, so should be charging money for the privilege of exercising 2A. If states want licensing, training etc, that’s fine, but it’s got to be on the taxpayers’ dime, just as voting booths are.

  5. Yes, however, my state prohibits licensed instructors from charging more than $50. After paying for licensing fees, fingerprints, photos you’re into that permit about $120, then in 5 years another $60 to renew.

  6. In Illinois, it will cost you about $300 minimum just to get your CCW permit, plus all the other expenses described in this article. I doubt many low income individuals are pursuing a CCW permit in this state. After years of squandering precious tax revenue by both Democrats and Republicans, the state is an economic train wreck. Our politicians will go to any length to extract more $$ out of its citizens, including those who just want to protect themselves from those who do not work a legal job to derive their income.

  7. Illinois is one of the most egregious states in this regard. $150 every five years for the CCL, plus a two-day training class that runs about $240, not to mention the $10 FOID card every ten years.

    The law is working as intended – preventing the poorest people (who happen to live in the most dangerous neighborhoods) from exercising their right to self-defense. The per capita rate of CCL holders in low income urban areas is much lower than in more affluent areas.

    • Well, that’s the way it was supposed to work, but it hasn’t actually panned out that way:

      “The top five ZIP codes for concealed-carry permits in Chicago include upper middle-class, safe and predominately white neighborhoods on the Southwest and Northwest Sides — but they also include high-crime, minority neighborhoods on the South and Southeast Sides, the Sun-Times analysis showed.

      “Chicago’s highest concentration of permits is in the 60617 ZIP code — in the East Side neighborhood on the city’s Southeast Side — with 538 permits. According to the census, about 55 percent of the residents in 60617 are black, 34 percent are Hispanic and 7 percent white.”

      • Reality is, the 60617 residents are probably making painful sacrifices in order to afford the Illinois CCW which they (probably rightly) feel they need to survive.

        • Absolutely, and they shouldn’t have to. Nobody should. But the poor are resilient, and they will find a way.

          The real answer is that Constitutional Carry will eliminate some of the costs, but the poor will always have to stretch. Which they will.

      • Ralph,
        The Sun-Crimes only wrote about CCL numbers in Chicago and the near suburbs, but they also published a color-coded map with stats for every zip code in the state.

        The rate of concealed carry licenses is low in poor urban areas and hoplophobic rich liberal suburban areas. The rest of the state seems to be tooling up nicely.

  8. Of course…it sucks to be poor. Buying a decent gun,getting 16 freakin’ hours of BS in Illinois and buying ammo (and a decent holster),shooting your gun at a range. A whole lot less a mile away in Indiana(not even counting lower sales tax). I have no solution-no gun welfare…or can I get an Obama gun AND an Obama phone?(he he)

  9. It depends. In some states the concealed carry permit process disarms almost everybody (see: New Jersey, Washington, DC, California). In states like Texas and Illinois, permits absolutely disarm the poor (the permit process may be shall-issue, but it’s time-consuming and expensive). In states like PA, not so much. (The permits here are cheap and easy to acquire pretty much everywhere)

    • I’d rather pay $500 for a permit and $1000 for a 30 day class than live in New Jersey and be defenseless!

    • If Chicago is trying to disarm the poor, it’s not working. “Chicago’s highest concentration of permits is in the 60617 ZIP code — in the East Side neighborhood on the city’s Southeast Side — with 538 permits. According to the census, about 55 percent of the residents in 60617 are black, 34 percent are Hispanic and 7 percent white.”

      The poor are resilient. They will find a way.

      • Ralph,

        Here’s a different look at that data:

        “The report’s analysis of permit data within the city of Chicago also was flawed. The author concluded that zip code 60617 — a primarily black neighborhood on the city’s east side — ranked highest, whereas if you control for population, none of the zip codes in the city have more than 15 permits per 1,000 residents. Once you control for population, the Chicago neighborhood with the most concealed-carry permits is Mount Greenwood (zip code 60655), a primarily white neighborhood with a median income of $80,505: the fifth highest income of all the neighborhoods in the city of Chicago.”

    • Texas has a program for indigent persons who apply for a chl that cuts the license fees in half.

      • And, TX can be used to shame the other States.
        Incrementalism works both ways. As soon as we get a concession in one State we can use that precedent to bid for the same concession in another State.

  10. Gun laws were originally passed to keep slaves, their descendants, and other poor minorities from owning and carrying guns. Concealed carry permits are simply an extension of the original intent.

    I originally bought a $125 Hi-Point, $20 holster, $20 mag and a couple of boxes of $12 ammo. I then took a $20 concealed carry course and spent $50 for a 5 year concealed carry permit. I was in business for under $250 before I started buying 6 more and more expensive handguns.

    • Actually American gun laws were originally passed to keep French fur traders from trading guns with the Native Americans -Indians. In 1619, the Virginia House of Burgesses passed a law making the transfer of guns to Native Americans punishable by death. When you are trying to jack somebody’s happy hinting ground it is better they be disarmed. Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia from the First Session of the Legislature in the Year 1619 (New York, 1823), vol. 1, pp. 126–8.

  11. Depneds on what you’re comparing to.

    If you’re comparing a permit system to a no-permit-needed system then certainly it makes it more difficult for the poor to legally concealed carry. It makes it more difficult for everyone. But the poor are more likely to be unable to handle the added cost.

    If you compare a permit system to making carry illegal, then having a permit system in place makes the poor no worse off than they were before, and makes those not-poor better off than they were before. (Given the amound of envy in the world, some of the poor might actually prefer for everyone to be unarmed if they cannot be armed themselves.)

    Needless to say I prefer the no-permit system. (And in most parts of my state, Open Carry is legal without a permit, the exception being a place (City and County of Denver) where it’s not legal at all except for cops.)

    • If you compare a permit system to making carry illegal, then having a permit system in place makes the poor no worse off than they were before, and makes those not-poor better off than they were before. (Given the amound of envy in the world, some of the poor might actually prefer for everyone to be unarmed if they cannot be armed themselves.)

      Where is this magical unicorn utopia where everyone is unarmed merely because laws make carry illegal?

      You and I both know that making carry illegal results in criminals being armed, and the law-abiding being the only ones disarmed. In that scenario, the poor are even worse off, because they will be victimized even more.

      • Everything you said is true, but you forget that (for the duration of that paragraph) I was assuming THAT crappy situation was the baseline. The honest poor start out with no guns, the honest wealthy start out with no guns, the thugs have guns, because only the crooks are armed. After the expensive permit is introduced, the honest poor still have no guns, the honest wealthy have them, and the thugs have them. The poor are no worse off than before…though I should have made clear that that situation they are in, given this scenario, sucks.

        In other words, I think you misconstrued what I was getting at. If a lack of clarity on my part was the cause, I apologize.

  12. I won’t go so far as to say “disarm” but they certainly inhibit.

    When I was in CT it $200 for an 8 hour class (I became an instructor to teach for free) another $150 in fees to the state and feds, scheduling time to get fingerprinted (sometimes at a charge).

    So you’re looking at roughly the cost of a decent handgun just to get the permit. Factor in time loss (most poor folks arent working jobs that grant paid time off) and you’re missing a day and a half or more wages.

  13. A bit off topic, perhaps, but does the picture accompanying this article happen to be of the classroom at SimTrainer in Dayton, OH?

  14. CCW permits do not price out the poor anymore than an IPhone 6 does or a Samsung Galaxy. What I see in the purses and on the hips of people with EBT cards tells me where their priorities are.

    • If they have an Xbox, cable tv, big screen tv, and smart phone with a data plan I have no sympathy. If they need to take the time to save up $500~$1000, then rent a uhual and move to a friendlier, cash wise, permitting state/county. Possibly better job prospects and cost of living as well.

    • The difference, of course, is that a CCW permit regulates activity that is explicitly a protected right. Xbox, on the other hand, is a luxury that no-one is specifically entitled to. Comparing the two is meaningless.

  15. Some states are worse than others. Washington has no training requirement, so the $55.25 (if I recall correctly) is the total cost of the permit. Bad, but not as bad as a lot of places. If I understand correctly, Pennsylvania’s permit is $10, with no training required. Is that correct?

    • The fee in WA is hardcoded in the text of the law as follows:

      “The nonrefundable fee, paid upon application, for the original five-year license shall be thirty-six dollars plus additional charges imposed by the federal bureau of investigation that are passed on to the applicant.”

      I’m not sure if those additional charges vary from county to county, but in King County the total is currently $50.75. That gets you the license for the first 5 years. Renewal is $32 for the same 5 years.

  16. What counts here is the optics. In my State (PA) the CWP is $21 and no class. In some other State the CWP can be $100+ and the class $250+. We have just one 45 second sound-bite, how can we use it best/worst?

    As an OFWG I’d sound pretty petty complaining about the $21 and the drive to/from the court-house. How many converts could I get on that count? How about if I spend 30 seconds of my sound-bite on the importance of a difference between a right vs. privilege.

    Wouldn’t we get more sympathy for the Right-to-Carry by making a plea based on poor single mothers having to pay the top few States’ fees and training costs?

    Often, our representative single mother can get a sympathetic neighbor veteran to teach her how to use her gun as well or better than she would learn in a formal class. What does the CWP card do that the police inquiry to the FBI’s NCIC database (e.g., on a traffic stop) wouldn’t do? And, by the way, 6 States have dropped their CWP requirements because they didn’t find that they contributed enough to public safety to justify the cost to the carrying public.

  17. Really want a kick in the pants.

    Ive paid out of pocket more than $2000 and taken HUNDREDS of hours of classes, just to be a VOLUNTEER firefighter and EMT.
    Volunteer, that means work for free.
    Before we got grants I purchased my own turnout gear at $2500 and my radio was around $1200, but that wasn’t as much forced upon as it was just safer, since the donated stuff we did have was from the 70’s and was very unsafe.

    Now we’re being told that (at our own expense) we have to keep our certifications up to day more often, with longer classes.
    Just recently it became state law that if anyone comes in contact with children you need a child abuse background check and FBI fingerprint, that came out of my pocket before PA’s Gov Wolf voted to have the background check fee waved for emergency services… so far. But that’s just here.

    I can barley keep up with the required hours of training and constant paperwork, all just to work for free.

    Now THATS a raw deal.

  18. I see no need for a poor person to have more than one magazine. And when are they going to find time to go to the range or to drive out of town to the friend’s place ? I would think that one magazine and an hour or less at an indoor range in the City once every 3-4 months would suffice. I do like the idea of some kind of training in gun safety, legal issues, maintenance and proficiency with their weapon. Perhaps a local range could put on a special once or twice a year ? Saw that in Nevada and it seemed to work out well.

    • The Gun Store in LV provides the state-required eight hour class for free. Gratis. Zero. No charge. I took my Nevada training there, and the team of instructors were very good.

      My local range in MA charges $100,which includes the four-hour MA class, gun rental and ammo.

      My first instructor in MA charged $60 for men, women paid $40. I thought that it was reasonable.

      I’m nationally certified and also certified by the MA state police. I charge nothing for the four hour class, but people usually tip.

    • Were I strapped for cash, I’d buy the gun, get the permit, start carrying the gun immediately, then worry about saving up for extra mags. The gun is certainly usable (in the short term) with one mag, though more is obviously better. I’d even consider holsterless carry for the interim IF the gun had a manual safety, or going with the absolute cheapest holster if not, until I figure out a better one.

      Holsters are a bitch, you pretty much have to buy one, find out it doesn’ really work, toss it, buy another, and repeat. If you’re lucky you only have to repeat once or twice. (If you already have experience with holsters, enough to avoid this, then you probably have multiple guns already and this whole topic doesn’t really apply to you.)

  19. I have a service dog. The law says it is my right. Because it is my right, the Department of Justice and the courts have said that I cannot be required to have papers for my service dog, and that states cannot require registration or licensing of service dogs. Further, they have ruled that service dogs cannot be required to have a uniform. Businesses and other places I go may not ask for proof in any way that he is a service dog, or even proof that I need one; they may only ask if he is a service dog and what service he performs.

    In a rational world, the rules for guns would be exactly the same as they are for service dogs: no papers, no registration, no licensing, no special identification, and others may not ask if I “need” a gun.

    Of course the same issue with guns and economics applies to service dogs: it’s very difficult for the poor to get one and even support it (though generally far, far cheaper than any medical paraphernalia that doesn’t even do the job as well). But the courts have declared repeatedly that any “artificial” costs for having a service dog are impermissible, because they burden the poor. Yet when it comes to guns, the needs of the poor are set below the “needs” of the government.

    Having a service dog and having a gun are both now regarded as rights. Both involve caring for one’s health and safety. The question is, how do we get them treated the same?

    • “. . . they may only ask if he is a service dog and what service he performs.”
      That’s interesting. So, I take it that the way the service-dog “right” works is that you are constantly subjected to an interrogation into your personal circumstances to justify your exercise of a right.

      I imagine that most businesses take-for-granted that you have a justification and leave you alone. However, I take it that they have a “right” to interrogate you.

      I think I would prefer the handicapped parking placard system where the person claiming a special right/privilege follows some formal process once, gets a placard, and then is free from any further challenge.

      In any case, I think your service-dog introduces an interesting argument that you didn’t raise. What is the “social utility” of baring animals from stores, restaurants, etc.? Is it:
      – sanitary considerations (e.g., in restaraunts)?
      – giving offense to other patrons who may be afraid of animals?
      – a sense of decorum?
      – something else?

      Of course, we don’t have an enumerated right to have our livestock or pets on someone else’s property. So, why do you enjoy this special privilege? Does your “right” to a service-dog overcome the public health considerations of contaminated animals? Or, on the other hand, are these public health considerations purely speculative and without scientific basis? In the latter case, whatever laws barring pets are unfounded.

      What about other patrons’ fear? Does your right to have a service-dog trump their phobia? If so, then my right to bear arms might trump their hoplophobia.

      What about some public sense of decorum? If your right to have a service-dog trumps any public sense of decorum then my right to bear arms might trump this decorum consideration as well.

  20. Of course the cost of a CCW is a deterrent to anyone, but especially working poor.

    In CA, you are looking at $70 for the FBI fingerprints at local PD, $200 in range fees and ammo minimum to practice for the test, $200 for class, $100+ for permit fees, and dont forget the time out from work to do at home, or time off from work for class – 16 hours, and test at Sheriffs range- 2-4 hours depending on your drive. Thats a lot of time for a person on a budget, supporting a family, or a younger person saving to get ahead, lets say the young woman working hard in one of those jobs that puts them in rougher parts of town, living in low cost getting started in life type apartments, working late shifts, having to stop by the ATM, grocery store, late at night, etc.

    And thats if you can even get a permit. People forget that one of the plaintiffs in the Peruta v San Diego case (now under deliberation in 9th CA:

    is Michelle Laxson, some info here:

    Makes you wonder where all the SJWs and feminists are, from the left side of the culture, who should be supporting this young lady, in her simple 2A civil right to self-defense. (sarc)

    The Progressive Plantation Owners would only stoop to notice her, to throw her under the bus, if she dared to disobey the Narrative.

  21. People at any level of wealth tend to have money for the things they value.

    Drive to a housing project and count the satellite dishes if you doubt it.

  22. It is a Concealed Handgun License in Ohio… CHL and not CCW. Carrying concealed (CCW) is a throwback law enforcement shorthand term from before Ohio began issuing concealed handgun licenses in 2005.

    Hell yes, CHL fees and training costs are a burden to impoverished people! I am one of them. Someone graciously pays the renewal fee for me since they know I cannot afford it. I paid for the class, the instructor was an old friend of mine, over a very long period of time. I have carried a firearm all of my adult life and I’ve had at least a handgun and a rifle since I was a minor. My groups of friends give, loan, or sell handguns cheap on payment plans to other friends and family who cannot afford to go right out and purchase one. My favorite holster was custom made for me at material cost by another friend. Just the other day, yet another old friend laid a box of .45 ACP on me so I would have some spare ammunition. I live in the country on a farm so places to practice isn’t a problem. When I lived in Cincinnati, we could always go to a secluded spot along the river outside of the city to practice. It is do-able for the poor but practice is not a requirement to bear arms, no matter how prudent regular practice might be. Lastly, who is to say that charities might not start collecting firearms to give or sell at low cost to the poor? Once the RKBA is re-normalized in our society, I could reasonably see charities engaged in such aid or even some based around making sure that the poorer members of society can exercise their right.

    I’ve been arguing for years (even before 2005) that requiring fees to exercise the right to bear arms is an unconstitutional burden upon the poor. I don’t want to see tax money paying the fees either. There shouldn’t be any licensing requirements. I can overcome most monetary issues related to concealed carry except that damned fee for a license. Fortunately, my friend was an instructor so I could get around that cost. Everything else is legally obtainable for the poor. It was this way before licensing in Ohio when many of us carried concealed. I wasn’t impoverished then and could help others out who were less fortunate. I did. We all did. I’m ever thankful for my good friends who care enough about me to ensure that I can still bear arms.

    Remember, without a valid CHL, one cannot legally be in a motor vehicle (or on one: motorcycle, scooter, etc) while in possession of a loaded handgun. That means no sleeping in your car without a CHL if you are homeless and want to exercise your right to bear arms. That means no accepting rides without a valid CHL. Also, if one is wearing a garment that the wind blows over the handgun, one must have a valid CHL to not be in violation of Ohio law. Concealed handgun law in Ohio makes the already difficult life of a poor person that much more difficult.

    • “I could reasonably see charities engaged in such aid or even some based around making sure that the poorer members of society can exercise their right.”

      OK, so here is an argument for disposing of guns collected at “gun buy-backs”. I’ll grant that a widow might want to get rid of her late husband’s heater. Her property; and, maybe she doesn’t want to learn to shoot. So, why not have it go to a good cause.

      Each time there is a “gun buy-back” we should advocate that these guns be donated to be re-cycled by being given to the poor? Are the hoplophobes against re-cycling? Isn’t this the green thing-to-do?

      We probably need to get some local FFLs involved. Wherever there is a poster announcing the gun buy-back we put a poster up for the FFLs saying that they will have a rep at the venue taking donations to go to the poor. They take the gun into inventory; repair if warranted and feasible; and, give it to a needy customer who can show an EBT card (or some such arrangement). The FFLs get some good-will that attracts patronage.

      Most importantly, such a “re-cycling guns for the poor” will cause the public to view guns in a different light. Instead of thinking about “getting guns off the street” (as if crime is caused by widows) we might get them thinking about getting guns into the hands of poor people who don’t live in gated communities.

      • I agree with you but I doubt that the progressives would ever sit still for it. Places like Goodwill, St. Vincent DePaul (?), and the like could start dealing with firearms. I think that the FFL infringement is the biggest initial impediment to any RKBA based charity.

        • There is little/no question that FFLs would need to be involved. Non-FFLs might be able to collect the guns from donors but they would probably have to turn them over to FFLs for distribution. This might be a reasonable sharing of responsibility. The FFLs couldn’t afford to send employees to stand in front of the buy-back station. But OFWG who are retired could do so. If these volunteers are not making any money they wouldn’t be dealing without a license.

          Need to figure out how to fund such a program. Suppose 10 volunteers each kicked-in $100 to have a kitty of $1,000 that could buy 20 guns at $50 each. Could be that 2 in 20 guns bought would be valuable; maybe worth $400 wholesale. So, the cooperating FFL would give the 10 volunteers their $1,000 taking a write-off of $200. The dealer could sell the 2 valuable guns and throw-in a couple of cheap used guns to replenish the pool of 20 donated guns.

          I don’t see any charity – apart from one that might be formed from PotG – running such a program. I see FFLs volunteering their licenses, running the guns through their books and doing NICS checks, as a public service offsetting their costs by gaining some publicity.

          That the Progressives wouldn’t stand for it is a feature, not an obstacle. The more they scream the more publicity the program would get.

  23. I had to use my tax return, and I mean all of it, and was still short 50 or so dollars. I was single at the time and was alright, but I ate ramen noodles for WEEKS to save the rest. I’m in Florida and we have CWL’s,one could argue I could have carried some other form of weapon till I saved. All said and done took about a year. Worth it though. Glock 19 Gen 3, 2 extra OEM mags, holster and CWL. Maybe 800.00ish. Got screwed on Glock price think I paid 600 something. I was new and knew no better. Screw you Shoot Straight. <–The gun store I bought from. WAY overpriced.

  24. Firearm (Ruger 9E) $395
    Magazines (2) $54
    Cleaning Kit $25
    Holster $35
    Range Ammo (500 rounds) $110
    Carry Ammo (100 rounds) $52
    Virginia Open Carry (Total) $671
    Virginia CHP $75
    Virginia Training $75
    Virginia Concealed (Total) $150
    Year 1 Total $821
    Annual Range Ammo (1000 rounds) $225
    Annual Carry Ammo (100 rounds) $52
    Miscellaneous $50
    Annual Upkeep Costs $327

  25. Lets not forget the many thousands of dollars (along with loss of her freedom/job/kids/etc) it would cost said single-mother if she got caught carrying without a CWP.
    Assuming she’s a law-abiding citizen, that potentiality would likely figure pretty largely into her budgeting thought-process. IMHO the fear of being prosecuted as a criminal would generally override the fear of violence from criminals, especially if they’re of the mindset that said violence only happens to other people.

  26. It’s wrong if you have to ask the government permission and pay to exercise a Constitutionally protected right. Tax numbers are granted to institutions of faith by government. There are carve outs for the “only ones”. I can’t think of any other examples, but it does set a precedent.

    What would the result be if your choice of religion were subject to taxation, scrutiny and approval by government?

    • It is a privilege and not a right granted by your ever so helpful government who knows best.

  27. My dad’s not poor financially, but he doesn’t have a lot of free time. His state mandated a two-day, 8 hour course. That’s full-time job hours. On a weekend. For someone who has to work all week, take care of his house and his mother and her house on the weekend, he cannot commit the time to the course. That is why he’s never gotten his CCW.

  28. I live in Illinois and it is appalling how much of the law is set up to prevent poor people from carrying.

    $10 FOID card
    $250 class
    $150 application fee ($300 if you are trying to get a nonresident permit)
    $50 fingerprinting fee (with out fingerprints, it will take over three months to be approved)

    The class is 16 hours so you have to take 2 days off of work.
    You can’t carry on public transportation, so you need to own a car.

  29. As Tom Gresham says, “If you have to say ‘mother, may I’, then it’s not a right but a privilege.” Here in the People’s Republic of MA, an LTC application (whether or not it is approved) is $100. North of the border (my goal state), their permit is $10 for 5 years, it’s “shall issue”, and it’s processed in less than 14 days.

  30. Bona fide disarmed poor person here. The local cost of a CCW isn’t what’s keeping me defenseless. The price of a firearm + ammo + cleaning supplies + holster is beyond me. If I could afford the gun and upkeep then not having a CCW wouldn’t prevent me from owning a firearm and carrying it when I felt it necessary.

    • The upkeep isn’t bad… minimum is just a can of CLP and a Bore Snake. A well designed handgun will still function with a bunch of crude. All of mine do. 🙂

      You aren’t in Ohio by any chance, are you?

  31. If people can’t sort their shit out well enough to spring $1k on ‘life or death’ then they have disarmed themselves by their poor choices.

    I say that as a guy who is living well below the defined ‘poverty’ line. Share a house in a cheap suburb, drive a cheap car or ride a bike, be smart with what you eat and all around make economical choices; and $500 a fortnight goes further than you think. Hell I used to have money left over from $200 a week!

    • Some people make poor life choices for sure. But it’s not poor decision making on the part of the individual when the .gov puts mandatory, and often expensive, barriers to the exercise of a right in their paths.

      Constitutional carry for the win. Anything else is bogus.

    • I’m sure some folks have made bad decisions that ead them to this point. However, it doesn’t justify the government making things more difficult.

      • Aye. Besides, government doesn’t even have legitimate authority to do it in the first place. Infringing upon the right to keep and bear arms wasn’t delegated to government and is specifically forbidden in the federal Constitution; shall not be infringed. Yet, government still does it.

  32. These licensing fees are absolutely a regressive tax that prevents people in need from exercising their rights.
    Constitutional carry is the way to go, and I am glad we have it in my state. I am doing better than most financially, so the permit (got it for out of state carry) cost didn’t matter to me, but I am glad that those in less fortunate circumstances are able to protect themselves without worry of arrest for conceal carry.

    As others have mentioned, it is absolutely akin to a poll tax and a good judge would treat it in the same fashion.

    • I raised four children (alongside two nephews and a niece, off and on) with no lock boxes and we weren’t poor then. Fortunately, none of them were stupid.

      • Amen. Nobody had safes or lock boxes for their guns in my childhood. Guns were kept in closets, wall racks, cabinets or dresser drawers for the most part.

        From the time I got my first gun til I left home any guns that were mine were kept in mine and my brothers room along with the ammo.

  33. Anybody else here notice this instructor’s finger position re the trigger and the trigger-guard?

  34. This is why cheap Saturday Night Specials should be banned and expensive and extensive classes and permits should apply and only be offered at ridiculous times and places so that we can have “gun safety” coupled with “gun sense” for total “common sense” gun laws so as to prevent “gun violence”. If it saves one child in a “safe passage” “gun free” zone….

  35. I’ve said it for years. If the poor and minorities can’t be expected to get a voter i.d. then why should we expect them to get a carry permit?

  36. In Va, the absolute maximum fee is $50/5years (It can be less in some counties). And a one time class that MAY average around $50 (i can’t be bothered to look.) So, about $100 and then $50 every five years thereafter.
    In an area where every single-wide trailer has a 60″ TV, i really don’t give a shit.

  37. Interesting article, but as is usual with either side of the gun debate it detracts from the basic issues.
    NO right is absolute without restriction, requirement or responsibility. And guns are dangerous particularly in the wrong hands.
    You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater and you would not allow a 5 year old to carry a loaded pistol.
    Permits should be required.
    They should be shall issue.
    Proof of competency should be required. ( I didn’t say training so don’t bother commenting on the cost of training.)
    Fees should not exceed $25.00 (or twice the average hourly pay or your average store clerk)

    • NO right is absolute without restriction, requirement or responsibility. And guns are dangerous particularly in the wrong hands.

      What law, regulation, restriction, or requirement has or will ever keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous people?

      You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater and you would not allow a 5 year old to carry a loaded pistol.

      Actually, yes you can yell “fire” in a crowded theater. Nothing prevents you from making such an utterance.

      Permits should be required.

      Where do permits fall under “shall not be infringed”? Should permits also be required for speech? Religious exercise? Voting?

      They should be shall issue.

      Then what purpose do they serve?

      Proof of competency should be required. ( I didn’t say training so don’t bother commenting on the cost of training.)

      Who determines the definition/standard of “competent”? How is it demonstrated?

      Should similar proof of competency be required for speech? Religious exercise? Voting?

      Fees should not exceed $25.00 (or twice the average hourly pay or your average store clerk)

      What should the fee be for speech? Religious exercise? Voting?

    • “. . . it detracts from the basic issues.” But what ARE the “basic issues”? I presume you (John) mean that your enumeration is exhaustive. But, yet, someone else might discount one of your issues and argue for some other issue.

      “NO right is absolute without restriction, requirement or responsibility. And guns are dangerous particularly in the wrong hands.” There are many here who regard the 2A as absolute; but, as a practical matter, judges and legislators will likely agree with you. “[S]hall not be infringed” speaks to me as calling for strict scrutiny; and, this is the standard I think we should argue for. Does a “restriction, requirement or responsibility” infringe beyond a “strict scrutiny” standard? We should never conceded that “restrictions, requirements or responsibilities” can be imposed with no standard of scrutiny.

      As to “wrong hands”, you seem to open a broad range of potential disqualifications. Bloomberg apparently regards young Black males in this category. Of the dis-abling criteria I see just one that is clearly Constitutional; but it is also clearly foolish. The remainder are debatable as to their Constitutionality – with arguments that are relatively strong – to – weak. These too need to meet a test of strict scrutiny.

      “You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater and you would not allow a 5 year old to carry a loaded pistol.” You are mixing – here – a couple of distinct issues. You can yell “fire!” in a crowded theater without prior-constraint; you must simply stand to pay the consequences for the resulting injury. The provenance of that judicial opinion is troubling; it probably wouldn’t stand today. Minors have traditionally been deprived of some rights; guns are not different from any other right in this regard.

      “Permits should be required.” This is a troublesome issue. I personally don’t have a strong objection to the existing “permit”/”license” scheme for gun possession; national registration of guns is, for me, a non-starter. I view this scheme as-if-it-were a certification that the bearer is 2A-qualified. In the event a carrier has contact with the police, it serves to disambiguate the bearer from a disqualified person who might have a similar name and other identifying characteristics. The police run a “BC” on people they detain using most of the same databases as are used for NICS. It would be extremely awkward to be encountered carrying when the FBI says it has a record of a violent felony on you.

      There is a difference between “should be required” vs. “might be a very good idea”. E.g., a person might not bother to acquire a carry permit for keeping a gun in her home; but, suddenly, be faced with a stalking thread and need to carry on short notice. To make her a felon or misdemeanant for carrying without a permit is unjustified. A citation wouldn’t bother me.

      “They should be shall issue.” Here I agree with you. If we are to have a permitting system at all then the presumption should be in favor of the citizen/resident. The history of police abuse of power is so brought with abuse as to be intolerable under a strict scrutiny standard.

      “Proof of competency should be required. ( I didn’t say training so don’t bother commenting on the cost of training.)” – My willingness to concede proof-of-compentency is inversely proportional to my confidence in legislatures; which, at the moment, is pretty low. In principle, it smacks of a literacy test for voting.

      There is no empirical evidence that competency is a public safety issue. Absent a body of persuasive evidence I’d argue that there is no basis upon which a legislature can establish a standard that overcomes strict scrutiny. A 2A-able person should be presumed to be prudent; and, prudence would inspire her to study, train and practice before she may have occasion to use her gun.

      Admittedly, this presumption is no guarantee. Very recently a young woman was attacked – and killed – by an ex within a few days of acquiring her gun. She succeeded in discharging her gun just once – hitting the perpetrator in the leg – before it jammed. To your point, arguably she should have been better trained. To her point, it wouldn’t have changed the outcome; she would be just as dead if unarmed as she was under-trained. Should the State deny her the natural right of self-defense until the State satisfied itself that her training were adequate?

      Apart from training for militia service there is no tradition for a training or competency mandate in US history. To the contrary, when drafting the 14A Congress specifically intended to arm mostly-illiterate freedmen for self-defense.

      The major point here is that training requirements – and possibly even competency requirements – serve as a barrier for the lower-classes to exercise their right to self-defense. Legislatures must first acknowledge the importance of this issue; until they do, I would argue against training and possibly against competency tests. Once they give full-throated acknowledgement to this issue than I would cooperate in seeking the least inhibiting means of achieving a measure of assurance that carriers are competent.

      “Fees should not exceed $25.00 (or twice the average hourly pay or your average store clerk)” I don’t object to a fee that barely covers the cost of processing provided that there is a waiver for all those who lack means. Again, fees serve as a barrier to the lower-classes. And, they are the easiest issue to dispose of.

      Once we achieve agreement that the State should recover only its costs then the fee ought to be very low; as you suggest $25. At that point, the State law could waive this cost for the poor. I suppose that it could also wave the fee to an applicant who checks a box objecting in principle. If most applicants wind up paying $30 to offset the costs of those who pay nothing, our principles will be adequately served.

    • You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater

      I really wish that this myth would die off already.

      Ninety-three years ago, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote what is perhaps the most well-known — yet misquoted and misused — phrase in Supreme Court history: “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.”

      Without fail, whenever a free speech controversy hits, someone will cite this phrase as proof of limits on the First Amendment. And whatever that controversy may be, “the law”–as some have curiously called it–can be interpreted to suggest that we should err on the side of censorship. Holmes’ quote has become a crutch for every censor in America, yet the quote is wildly misunderstood.

      Please consult any search engine for a plethora of other articles on the subject.

  38. The supergau worst case is an public transportation prohibition – thats the perfect classwar against poors in another dimension as the ccw coast. my map about worst case

    Utah = HB 350 not passed so only for permit holders official

    Colorado = Status white explosive on board whiteout ccw looks an felony / white ccw legal / no unlicensed in denver and open carry ban in anti gun communistic denver

    Oklahoma FELONY looks only open carry worked after legalized in grey zone !!

    New Mexico Bus = Misdeamor

    Missouri = FELONY no expetion !!

    Montana = Misdeamor Train Bus looks legal

    South Carolina = Public Charter Bus Misdeamor

    Wisconsins = Madison Metro Bus AntiGun Court see no Preemption

    Correct map / me if wrong

    best regard

  39. Something I haven’t seen in the comments (I may have missed it) is to consider the cost of the agency you are getting a CCW from. Part of your fee (it should be all of your fee, but the world isn’t perfect) covers the actual cost of getting you a CCW (background check, finger prints, the salaries of the people processing everything for the time they work on your permit, etc.). I can also understand a desire for some kind of training before obtaining a CCW, if anything just to make sure the applicant understands the laws in their area. This kind of training, and even some basic firearms handling, could very feasibly done for free (at the cost of the participants bringing their own equipment/ammo) by qualified volunteers if they were motivated. In short, I agree that some states are charging way too much for a CCW, but you can’t reasonably expect the state/county to give you a free CCW without any training and at the same time charge you for a driver’s license that you have to pass a test to obtain.

      • It’s even worse than a poll tax. A poll tax potentially disenfranchises a voter, a relatively longer term, generally correctable consequence. Charging for concealing a handgun potentially deprives an individual of the ability to bear arms for defense of self, property, and liberty. It can have some immediate, uncorrectable consequences.

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