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Firearm owners as a group tend to shoot themselves in the foot (mostly metaphorically) now and then. TTAG’s IGOTD winners are a testament to that. We’d offer the gun control crowd considerably less fodder for their reasonable bullshit proposals if some of our poster children used a bit more common sense. To wit: had Adam Lanza’s mother acknowledged that her son was a whack job and properly secured her guns, she might still be breathing as likely would 26 kids and teachers. And as a community, we would be under considerably less fire as well . . .

The question at hand is whether mandated safety training before receiving a carry permit would be an undue burden. Please don’t flame me. I’m trying to ask a serious question here. I understand that there would need to be serious safeguards in place as it would be all too easy for anti-gun administrations to set the safety class requirement bar so high that no one could pass it.  They could do things like only offer the class annually on Christmas or on February 29.

But what if the safety class simply leveraged what was already out there? Maybe the class requirement could be the NRA Home Safety Firearms course curriculum. That’s a four hour class.

There are a boat load of NRA instructors out there and for those folks who can’t afford it, I’d offer it for free. The NRA certainly has the cash to pay for course materials and people like me would be more than happy to donate a half day of our time once a month or so to help educate our fellow prospective gun owners.

The initial reaction of many will be that such a requirement would constitute regulating a right guaranteed by the Constitution, but I don’t know if that’s the right point of view. If the course were offered frequently and at little or no cost, the upside would be better informed gun owners and hopefully fewer gun accidents. I’m not seeing the downside here.  Please let me know what I’m missing.

I would maybe go even further. I personally would like to see people demonstrate some minimum level of shooting proficiency before they take a gun out in public. After all, I have no problem with people carrying outside the home (and wish more people would do it), but don’t you want to know that they have a chance of hitting what they aim at?  I know I do. Yes, this is an even higher hurdle than attending a safety course.  But if it were run entirely by the NRA, would it still be a bad thing? After all, such gun-friendly states as Texas require a shooting proficiency test for a concealed carry permit. If we set aside knee jerk reactions for the moment, does this make sense?

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  1. Yes. Next question.

    If you want more detail, consider this: I’ll accept the same number and type of requirements for gun ownership and carry as I will for voting. Both categories are dangerous activities that we trust good citizens to do.

      • Totally different. Voting registration is to confirm that you are who you say you are, and to prevent someone else from voting in your stead.

      • You register to the state you are voting in. Also the requirements for voter registration differs from state to state. Even the right to vote can only be mandated by each individual state, the Federal government has no constitutional right for voting (believe it or not). What most modern liberals want is a top down, Federal registrations of firearms. Because only some states registering/restricting firearms is not good enough to the liberal mind. So really, not exactly the same.

        • I agree. (Quibble: the right to vote could be said to be implied in the original Constitution by phrases such as “chosen by the people,” and the right was made more explicit by the 15th amendment.)

        • We do not have Constitutional rights. That implies are granted to us by the Constitution and therefore could be taken away by the Constitution or government. We have inalienable rights that are bestowed on us by our Creator. Only a portion of our rights are codified in the Constitution. This was done because our founders new that given power, men would become Tyrannical. Our rights can’t be taken away by man or government unless we infringe the rights of others and only then they must be taken away by due process of law. Once the punishment is served, we reacquire all of our rights. The problem is that we, as a people, have allowed others to infringe our rights for so long, we believe what they are doing is okay. We are currently allowing the public education system to demonize firearms and convince children that firearms are bad. (i.e., suspension for pencil and gun sounds, suspension for photo of air soft at school, suspension for pop tart that looks like a firearm or the state of Oklahoma depending on which way it is facing) They do this so that those children will fear firearms and fear authority. They’ll group up not wanting to possess firearms and thus their rights will be diminished. Our continued inaction sends the message that we approve.

      • Frankly, I’m not even pleased with voter registration. I’ll say who I am, and it’s up to you to prove it if you challenge me.

        But the general idea here is that I can get a voter registration by filling out a form. I don’t have to prove squat.

        I wouldn’t object strenuously to being required to carry one form of ID with my gun, so long as all that’s being done with that ID is making sure I’m not a felon.

      • If you are issued a carry permit, you are in a registry of permit holders. So yes. We aren’t talking about registering individual firearms, or every firearms owner, just a database with a list of permit holders.

  2. I think yes, in general… proof of training is a reasonable requirement for a CHL. Especially if it ever goes to a national license system.

    • Training would help some. It wouldn’t help the extreme cases that we like to poke at in IGOTD. You can’t legislate away stupid and you can’t train it away, either. People get complacent, they do stupid things, they go against their better judgement, they just don’t listen, etc. Nancy Lanza knew her son was dangerous and it seems like she was knowledgeable and proficient w/ her guns. I don’t think gun safety was unknown to her. She turned a blind eye towards her son’s problems by choice. No safety training would have changed that.

    • How about I show up with my DD214 that shows I fired Expert with rifle, pistol AND grenades? Shouldn’t that allow me to bypass some mandatory proficiency test?

      • For National Reciprocity I’ll be ok with a training requirement. DD214, NGB23, current .mil ID card, NRA certified basic class certificate, etc will be allowed to be presented for a waiver of the class.

        Course will be reasonably priced and available to be taught by current training organizations.

        I have always thought that in my mind, if I’m in a Walmart and hear shooting and pop down behind a counter and another guy with a gun does the same thing, I would like to know that his entire firearm training experience isn’t limited to watching the Bourne Trilogy last weekend.

  3. had Adam Lanza’s mother acknowledged that her son was a whack job and properly committed her son


    • All States do require a Proficiency test in handling and firing a handgun now. They created a money Boom, $10.00 Per+fuel & time $100 State + $100 Classroom in my State of La, = about $250.00 to get a license now. How much more is enough??

      • What proficiency test? I have bought 3 handguns since the first of the year, none of them required a test of any kind or any fee beyond the price of the firearm.

        • All States do require a Proficiency test in handling and firing a handgun now. To get a CCW.

        • Georgia has no training requirement. Only fingerprints and a background check for CCW. No requirements for ownership.

        • Yeah just a background check for a CCW in Alabama.

          By the way, my first CCW was a small form (3″x5″) filled in by hand and signed by my county sheriff, folded and placed into an even smaller envelope (maybe 1″x2″) that read “Pistol Toting Permit”.

          If heaven ain’t a lot like Dixie…

      • Pennsylvania doesn’t either. But I still sought out an NRA Basic Pistol and the Home Protection classes anyway. It seemed to be the smart thing to do.

        • Yes, 30 multiple choice questions, only 20 of which are about safety and 70% is passing. Takes about 3 minutes.

        • There is one other part to the ownership issue; you must demonstrate proficiency in clearing and disabling your firearm of choice with an approved safety device (safe handling demo). Most shops will walk you though it one step at a time, so it is impossible to fail.

          CCWs, however, are entirely different kettle of fish, and the requirements vary widely between counties (meaning those counties that will actually issue). My county requires the full 16 hour class allowed by the Penal Code, half of which is shooting with an instructor, but no shooting proficiency requirement that I know of. Others have been trying to institute the equivalent of a POST certification (which would probably be illegal). Some require proficiency at 7 yards, others have proficiency testing at 3, 7 and 15 yards.

      • PA doesn’t require a class or test for a LTCF, only a background check.

        • Colorado requires training for a CHP, but no proficiency test. You don’t have to do anything to buy a gun from a dealer other than show ID and pass the background test.

          Fortunately the legislature is out of session now so they can’t screw this up.

      • Not all states. I sat in a classroom for 5 hours and got my permit 30 days later which also acts as a permit to purchase.
        There is a 30 minute Maryland Department of Public Safety firearms training video with a printable certificate at the end (no test required) that also suffices. Iowa has one of the best permits anywhere as it also covers automatic knives, long bladed knives, saps, blackjacks, mace, open carry, swords, daggers, knives, boxes of angry badgers, and anything else I may choose to use to defend myself with. Thank God for the wording “Permit to Carry Weapons”.

      • I’m sorry, but how ignorant are you that you just decide to say “all states” when you clearly have no idea what regulations are in many states?

      • The only proficiency requirement in Indiana is that which is required to fill out the permit application.

    • NYS doesn’t even let you touch a handgun till you have a CC permit. You can’t get a CC permit unless you own a handgun and have a good reason why you need it. So you have to buy (most gun dealers allow you to handle in the store, loophole?) have them store the gun for months, some counties can take over a year, then pick up your purchased if you were issued a permit. No training is required.

      I would much prefer no permit or a quick turn around permit to own and use on your own property or range and a training requirement for CC. I took the NRA Basic Pistol course (8 hours) and the instructor added extra range time and let us shoot the qualifying test for armed guards so we knew how good/bad we were. I felt it was worth while even though I had shot over a 1000 rounds in practice before I could schedule to take the course.

  4. I know a lot of people don’t like the CHL training but I’ve heard some horror stories about people taking the class.

    I feel like if you can’t pass basic safety instruction and demonstrate at least mediocre marksmanship, I don’t want you carrying a gun in public.

    You can do whatever you want in your own home as long as their is a house between you and me.

    That said, I do think making a minimum number of hours of instruction rather than focusing on actual content is just typical government BS. All the same, asking someone to take a day to demonstrate basic proficiency and understanding is not an undue burden in terms of public safety.

    Do that and you can carry wherever you want as far as I am concerned.

    • Simple: not one more inch. Fortunately, in my opinion, you don’t decide things.

      • Not one more inch. I completely agree. Safety training should have been left in schools, where they were before 1/2 of this country went “gun dumb”.

        • Yep, some of you guys want to sit around and think up new ideas for .gov. I will sit around and think about fewer ideas for .gov.

  5. On one hand, it could be a slippery slope as you point out. I wouldn’t put it past my State (The People’s Republic of Maryland) to make the training fee $500 or only offer it in one location in some warzone part of Baltimore city that no one in their right mind would go to.

    On the other hand, it could cut down on accidental discharges and teach someone you don’t hold it sideways like some early-90’s “hood” movie.

    It could give us leverage against the grabbers as well.

    Still though it is a RIGHT unlike driving.

      • I agree. Not all rights are enumerated in the Constitution. The Bill of Rights was never intended to be comprehensive.

        • So anything we think is a “right” should be a “right”. You wanna throw abortion, gay marriage, healthcare, and education into those “rights” you’re talking about? A slippery slope there…unless the “people” make them rights. Even then…

        • SGC: No, I don’t, and that’s hardly the point. Madison drafted more amendments than were actually approved as part of the Bill of Rights. Are you saying that just because those amendments didn’t get approved at the time, the rights described in those amendments can never be considered rights?

          In fact, are you saying that if it’s not explicitly in the Constitution, there’s no right to it? That would mean there’s no right to keep your children, for instance.

        • Gay marriage is a right just as much as hetrosexual marriage. Heatlhcare is a right, otherwisethe government could stop you from putting a bandage on a wound. Education is a right, otherwise the government could stop you from educating yourself. I can’t use one of my rights to infringe on the rights of others. If I try and force others to pay for my heatlh care, I’m infringing their right to property (money). Two men or two women marrying each other does not infringe on your rights or mine. They are free to make any contract that hetrosexual couples can. If anyone feels that gay marriage is going to harm them, they must be pretty insecure. People really need to eduate themselves on rights. Rights are freedom and liberty.

        • Not all rights are enumerated in the Constitution… However, the 10th Amendment was intended to protect those other rights:

          “Amendment X

          The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

          The founders believed that if the Constitution did not clearly and specifically give a power to the government, then the people would not allow the government to take that power. Turns out that they were wrong about that one.

        • Come on Bob, the Tenth Amendment has nothing to do with rights, it has to do with powers, it says so right in the text . Neither the federal government nor state governments have rights, they have powers. The people also have powers as well as rights. The Ninth Amendment is what deals with enumerated and non-enumerated rights and it says nothing about states. Amendment IX: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” If you’ll notice the Ninth Amendment says “rights …….. retained by the people” while the Tenth says “powers not delegated …. nor prohibited.” This is just more proof that if the BoR were repealed, the people would still retain their rights and only powers delegated by the Constitution can be changed. The powers can be changed, because it was the people that delegated the powers in the first place. Rights can’t be changed because they come from our Creator and not from the Constitution.

      • I disagree. I was hit, and nearly killed, by a driver with a suspended license in the midst of a diabetic coma. I was stopped on a wide right shoulder on the freeway with a disabled van.

        Driving isn’t for everyone. Spend some time investigating crashes, and you will see how often unlicensed and suspended drivers crash in ways that you didn’t even think were conceivable. Who do you want driving behind you when you have to suddenly hit the brakes? I want a sober driver with a license and insurance, with their cell phone off.

        • Right – and those people usually ahve a VERY long list of behaviors that would result in abrogation of that “right.” In a lawful and just manner.

          Sadly, the privilege of driving is “one” test, and that shows lifetime competence? I know 40y drivers who are no better after 40years of driving than they were at age 16.

        • Accur81,

          How would the drivers licensing system have protected you from that driver? He was already violating the law. I guess your one of those progressives that believe just one more law will solve everything?

          I’ve been hit by a baseball thrown by a pitcher. Shall we license pitchers and do background checks on those wishing to purchase a baseball?

          Why the hell are people so eager to take the rights of others and give up their own just because something bad happens every once in a while? We’ve become an nation of cowards wanting the nanny state to protect us from every eventuality!

  6. While we’re at it we should require a blog safety course before you can write an opinion on the internet! After all, the pen is mightier than the sword isn’t not? And better have an IQ test before you are allowed to vote! We wouldn’t want uniformed or unintelligent voters deciding who’s in charge now would we?

    Yes there are benefits to these things, but the costs and risks are far too high.

    • “We wouldn’t want uniformed or unintelligent voters deciding who’s in charge now would we?”

      Don’t look now, but……

    • Well, if we take the typical grabber logic about how there weren’t modern sporting rifles etc. during the Revolutionary War, then apply it to the first.. I don’t recall WordPress being available to the Founders, or TV or radio..

      Also, where else in the Constitution explicitly say that a right shall not be infringed?

      Additionally, people may tolerate infringement on the 1st with the “shouting fire in a crowded theater” argument. However, that’s not complete: the infringement is on “shouting fire in a crowded theater, where there is no fire”. That is, if you shout fire in a crowded theater and there _is_ a fire, then you’re doing the right thing. The 1st amendment doesn’t cover lying that results in criminal injury or damages. Likewise, the 2nd amendment doesn’t cover firearms used for criminal acts.

  7. Ohio already has mandated training class for all CCW applicants. When I was still in the service, and applied for my permit, I thought the only reason I didn’t need to attend a training course was because I was active duty. I’m a bit confused here- are Ohio’s CCW class requirement not the norm? The idea never really bothered me (& I’m not the type to accept any gun regulation as “common sense”), just thought it was how things are everywhere… Wrong, I take it?

      • If you got your CPL in Washington, you didn’t have to do training because we don’t have to deal with that crap.

    • The Ohio class requirement of 12 hours is a bit ridiculous, particularly given that only 2 hours is devoted to range time; the rest is a ten hour course on laws and safety. A current police officer administered my class, and he spent half the time showing humorous gun-related videos because there is not enough material to fill a ten hour block of time.

      • That’s the problem with the Ohio law. There should be a set curriculum. each instructor varies greatly. My instructor was retired military and I found the class to be very informative. I have heard others say their classes were worthless.

  8. How do you know that Adam Lanza’s mother didn’t secure her firearms? The official police report isn’t out, none of us know how he came into possesion of the firearms he used.
    I am all for training, but there are some jacked up instructors out there. Time handling, shooting, and repetition are what it takes to become comfortable in handling firearms safely. That’s not something you can do in four hours of training. It’s a start, but no where near enough.

  9. Firearm safety training SHOULD be a manditory part of public education regardless of whether one should later decide to acquire a personal firearm or not. What better way to “save kid’s lives” than to teach them all to keep their fingers out of the trigger guard and not play with grownups’ tools except when explicity supervised by a responsible adult? Re-training for a carry license should be recommended, but it’s not reasonable to have to qualify for a right.

    • Now that’s an interesting idea. Make it a part of civics class.

      I don’t advocate a solution through the NRA due to the civil rights concerns already posted by others. The 2nd Amendment is already over regulated thanks to activist interpretations of the Constitution. Anything new is just one more infringement.

      • I think it was part of P.E. when I was in high-school. We drew targets to a standard size, pinned them to hay bales out in the practice field, then shot them with the rifles that we were asked to bring to school on the bus.

        Times sure have changed, not for the better.

      • DJ said: “thanks to activist interpretations of the Constitution.”

        You left out part of the equation which always leads to a wrong answer. We, like those activists and the politicians who pass and sign these laws, have a duty to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. When we fail to do our duty, we are just as guilty as they are for failing to do theirs. When we continue to re-elect those politicians over and over again, we are even more guilty!

    • It’s called the Civilian Marksmanship Program Started by Teddy Roosevelt 110 or so years ago. He believed every American, EVERY AMERICAN should know how to shoot a firearm. Clinton “Naturally” Stopped Gov’t funding but it is still thriving today. Go to http://WWW.CMP.Org or NRA website for link. Camp Perry in Ohio has wonderful CMP and NRA program every year.

  10. I don’t defend Adam Lanza’s mother, but I condemn just as much, if not more, his father, who left the household when Adam was a little boy. They weren’t officially divorced until several years ago, but they had been separated for many years already. He went off and married another, younger gal, and was absent from his son’s household.

    Want to prosecute parents for negligence? Forget about the ones who don’t take their kids to the hospital right away or the ones who accidentally leave their guns around the house without training their kids. Instead, start with the parents who aren’t in the home – like the father of Adam Lanza.

    • As somebody who got divorced because my wife no longer wanted to be married to me after she cheated on, FOAD.

        • I am a parent who isn’t in the home, so I am germane to your discussion. I should not be prosecuted for negligence because of the actions of my ex.

        • It is true that no fault divorce complicates things, because one spouse can force another to be divorced – whereas it used to be that no spouse could get a divorce (excepting cases of abuse or adultery) without the permission of the other.

          I do agree that when one parent has been expelled against his will from the home, it’s the other one who should suffer any legal consequences resulting from the broken home.

          That said, even a parent who has been kicked out unjustly can still stay involved from day to day in his children’s lives. That doesn’t seem to be what Adam Lanza’s father did (and I don’t think he was kicked out, either).

    • Yeah Motha: how do you know why Mr. Lanza wa no longer married to Mrs. Lanza? And that the two of them together would have automatically made the shooter a better person? Seriously? WTF kind of big brother, utopian view is that?

      • How do I know? Look at the stats. Children of divorced parents do worse in every single category across the board: more likely to be violent, more likely to go to prison, more likely to use drugs, more likely to commit suicide, etc. The list goes on and on.

        If you want to read a terrific article on this by a leading scholar, take a look at

        Ignoring the absolutely critical role of parents in raising children to become good men and women is just silly – even though it is common nowadays to pretend otherwise.

        Everyone at TTAG seems to want to prosecute parents when there’s a an accidental discharge in the home that hurts a child – something that I have opposed when the issue has arisen – but no one wants to think about what it does to little kids when the parents break up and the father leaves.

        What I’m saying is that it’s inconsistent to support prosecution for the one thing but not for the other thing. In my view, there should be no prosecution of parents in either case.

        • There’s an answer for that, too, Joke & Dagger, based on the news reports, but you’re not responding to the points I’ve already made.

          And I’m not eager to have an argument with you since I agree with you on everything else I have seen you comment on here at TTAG.

          I think you would appreciate the article I linked to above. In part, it addresses the connection between broken homes (or highly negligent parents) and criminals like spree shooters.

        • Motha, hard to disagree that 2 parents > 1 plus 1 parent. How do you know Mom didn’t cheat on Dad?

  11. Absolutely, per your stipulations, an excellent idea. Keep down the idiots. Counter the gun grabbers.

    • How?

      Committed morons will not be deterred by a training course regardless of its comprehensiveness.

      Gun grabbers want us all disarmed, and if it means abusing the training requirement to ensure no one can afford the 10,000 round requirement then that is what they’ll do.

      • I don’t consider myself a committed moron but I decided to get a gun and had to take the Basic Firearms course required in my state and it opened my eyes to how easy it is to be unknowingly careless and when guns are present to have situational awareness.

        • I’m glad you had a good experience. That’s no reason to force others to do what you did.

    • How? Some idiots might learn which in of the gun the bullet comes out of (Hopefully). Maybe (key word there) keep down a few of the IGOTD. That alone would give the gun grabbers less ammo to use against us. Every little bit helps.

      For me, I simply would like people to have a basic understanding. That alone might (another key word) improve the overall acceptance of firearms in the poplulace, improve successful self defense uses (another might here).

      For 4 hours? Considering the thousands of hours I have spent in gun related activities, no biggie.

      • What you would like has nothing at all to do with the exercise of a right. You assume that people buying firearms don’t have a basic understanding. Do you have any data to back up that assumption or are you projecting your shortcomings on others?

        A basic understanding of firearms are contained in Jeff Coppers four rules. Every firearm I’ve every purchased new contained a paper with those rules on it. Follow those rules and you’ll never have a problem. I have never personally known a firearm owner that didn’t want to learn more about shooting whether it be tactical, competition or hunting. Those four rules still apply, the rest is just icing on the cake. As others have stated here, you can, but shouldn’t, mandate training but you can’t force people to learn any more than hitting the target the required number of times. Those that want to learn will do it without the mandate. While I think it would be good for our education system to teach firearms safety rather than fear of firearms, the real responsibility in our children’s education lies with the parents. Until we get back to that one basic responsibility, our children will be taught in the public education system my Marxists. I can assure you that those Marxists are not teaching our children about liberty, freedom, work ethic or proper gun handling.

  12. This is a big grey area sadly. I am not against training requirements to own a firearm… In fact, it could be a good piece of leverage against more severe registration and a decent compromise, but on the flipside this -is- a right we are regulating. It’s hard to say, because we can’t trust the Government to actually be decent with this and there WILL be abuses in those 11 states that hate guns..

    Who knows, really.

    • Coming from someone in one of those states I say hell no to the training. It would just be another hoop to jump through and the training would end up being some half assed bs and propaganda.

    • Here’s the ugly truth, the RKBA is already a regulated right. Unless you happen to live in one of the few Constitutional Carry states, you have to obtain authorization to carry a firearm. Shall issue or May issue is largely a semantic difference. The fact is that someone needs to say “okay” for you to do it.

      Even if you live in a Constitutional Carry state, you still need to do the background check thing unless you are buying face to face from another state resident.

    • Some of you guys will be arguing about the level of training necessary for the DHS jerkoffs driving the .gov armored vehicles sent out to collect the gun owners in the future.

      My position, eloquently stated: NOT ONE MORE INCH.

      • It’s a little weird being on the same side as J&D, but truth is truth, and he’s got it on his side. The fact that the right has already been violated is not an argument for violating it further.

        The anti-gunners will not be satisfied with anything but complete confiscation. They will keep pushing. The only path is to keep pushing back and taking territory until they have nothing left. Give nothing. Never compromise.

    • If you’re willing to compromise on “shall not be infringed,” you’ve already lost the debate!

  13. I absolutely agree with this, but I’m also crazy enough to think people should have to take a vehicle handling and performance driving course on a track before they get to take their car out around the public.

  14. Adam Lanza was willing to kill his own mother to get her guns. With that level of committment I think he would have found a way to do carnage even if his mother had melted her guns into peace bricks.

    As for requiring a little safety training for a carry permit. Allow the NRA to establish the program and moniter it and we’ll talk.

    • To get a pistol permit (to own and to carry – it’s all one permit) in CT, you have to take the NRA basic pistol course. Supposed to be all day, but most instructors will have you out by 2pm. Finding a class was pretty easy – almost all ranges offer them. I strongly suspect that the “NRA materials” found in the Lanza home was the take-home package from Nancy’s course.

  15. I dread seeing, and meeting, totally untrained people in possession of firearms; There is SO much ignorance out there, and so few chances to correct a mistake once it’s made. Added to that, every negligent discharge has a lack of familiarity, knowledge and training on the part of somebody behind it as a proximate cause.

    The problem with a government REQUIRING training is that it is one more hurdle to jump placed in the way of a fundamental right; The road to H*ll is always smoothly paved with the best of intentions.

    • And here we have the problem. In a perfect world, responsible people seek out advice and training for anything new. Whether you are talking guns or zero turn tractor mowers that let me zip across my yard with blades spinning at close to 12 mph, it pays to get some help the first time you run one.

      The problem is that humans often overestimate their capabilities and figure that they don’t need help.

      I agree that mandating things is highly problematic and in the end, we are trying to legislate stupidity away. On the other hand, I just wish more people were a little more responsible on their own.

  16. Generically, no. You shouldn’t pose a danger to yourself or those around you- remember, they also have a “right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. However, it needs to just cover the safety basics and be standardized for the entire Union. I’d hate to see it perverted into some hurdle that denies a social or educational class their rights as a citizen.

  17. I think any responsible gun owner should have a basic level of training. As a gun owner you should seek out the training whether it is a requirement or not.

    However, I’m very leery of government requirements on a constitutional right. Once it’s in place, all it would take is one election cycle of stupidity and we’d see those requirements go from what many consider reasonable to batsh*t crazy stupid.

    I’d be willing to acquiesce to this when they get rid of every other nutbrained gun restriction and not a minute before.

  18. Plenty of cops shoot themselves in the foot too… as well as innocent by-standers.

    Training is good, but if it becomes mandatory, they slowly raise the amount of training required so that eventually it become impractical and extremely expensive.

  19. I think a class on gun safety with a recorded shooting score of at least 80% at 15 yards and less is reasonable and not unconstitutionally burdensome. An NRA class would do fine. As a handgun safety and personal protection instructor for 22 years, I do not charge for my class. However, a 3-hour class on state self-defense and carry laws should also be mandatory. It would pull the teeth of some criticisms and dispel many myths. Before some guy stars launching rounds down the mall where my kids and I are, I’d like to know he’s had at least this level of training.
    In 71/2 years as city prosecutor, NOT ONE defendant who claimed self-defense was actually legally entitled to it. As a defense lawyer I had a Mom, sister, and wife crying in my office b/c the defendant(who’d legally carried a .22 revolver for 8 years) was convicted for manslaughter. Not knowing the law, he introduced the gun into a situation that didn’t call for it. The gun went off “accidentally”, and a man was dead. We could reduce these tragedies if all states required a reasonable competentcy in safety and law. My state, Alabama, does not require either.

    • Fortunately, Gregolas, your version of gun safety Utopia is not the law of the land in the incompetent hands of .gov. Keep giving up those inches, you won’t notice the yards of your rights that are being taken.

    • Hell, I also think that infringing on that which shall not be infringed is “not unconstitutionally burdensome. Twelve hour training courses before going to Church would be good also. Background checks on the pastor before every sermon presented would be good too. Let’s make it a twenty-four hour class before you can post on a blog with a twelve hour renewal every two years. If you haven’t taken your weekly Fourth Amendment training, the police no longer need a warrant to search you person or seize your property. Damn, this Tyranny stuff is a blast!

      Firearms ownership is way up and crime is way down. Yes, there are accidents. There always have been and there always will be. You’re far more likely to die at the hands of a medical professional than you are by the use of a firearm, let alone the negligent use of a firearm by an untrained person. Look at the training and licensing that medical professionals go through.

      Liberty and freedom did not come easily to this nation. Both are also very hard to keep. It’s very sad to see so many people willing to give it up on pure crap. Crap that will not change one thing.

  20. M40 gasmask is correct, This can and WILL be abused. The powers that be will do everything to make it harder to qualify. As an example in Boston, they make you use a POS revolver with a heavy wretched trigger they hand selected for that purpose. Then the “qualification officer” is only around every other Tuesday from 1-3. (This alos happens in MA with Lic applications). Then the fee keeps going up when the governor needs quick cash for his cronies on the payroll.

    • Don’t even get me started on the MA licensing thing. As an out of state resident, I have to jump through their hoops every year to keep my license.

      You highlight a good example of what happens when you let the government define the rules for qualification. My suggestion was that industry rather than the government manage the training curriculum.

  21. TN requires 8 total hour course. Class and shooting qualification. I don’t see anyone complaining here and most places are booked several weeks in advance. Also cost for the class is anywhere from 50-125$ again classes are always full.

  22. When will we realize that preventing tragedies like Sandy Hook are next to impossible. Only by facing our fears, been responsible for our own actions and safety by carrying, will we ever prevent such a tragedy. Would Lanza have gone to that school if there was an armed security guard there? How about sign that says, “armed teachers and response on site?”

    So we mandate training and safes. What kind of training and safes? With a crow bar and some effort, I can get into any number of low end safes. As for training, he killed his mother. What kind of training prevents that? I think a safe would have been the least of his worries unless she spent over 2k for a very high end brand. Even then, how hard does a son have to work to get his Mom to spend some quality time with him, “hey mom, lets clean some guns and talk a while, I miss our time together.” Bam, safe’s open and Moms dead, again.

  23. The problem right off the bat, is the word “mandated”. Instantly you’re making a requirement for a Constitutionally protected right. Next, we’ll be requiring licenses to blog or go to church on Saturday instead of Sunday. And if they did push for it, how do you control it to keep it effective? Who runs it? Who funds it? How do you make it available in inner-city Chicago and still available in the backwoods of rural Pennsyltuckey? Suddenly you have folks that cannot obtain training because it it 2+hours drive for them.

    The better option, and something I’m trying to push for myself, is to get instructors to form their own training and education business. Get certified, get the materials, find the ranges willing to rent space and time to you, and start advertising to help get people trained and comfortable. Get people talking about your services, start a clientele base. “Hey, I know this guy that does firearm training at really decent prices. I took his class and it made a WORLD of difference for me. I’ve got his card here, give him a call. There’s no state requirement for training, but the piece of mind I have now versus before. It’s a game changer.”

    As law-abiding, responsible firearms enthusiasts it’s up to us to set the bar. It’s up to us to point out the irresponsible people and correct them. It’s up to us to be vigilant and prepared for that moment when the police are not there and evil turns its eyes on us. I say we fight back at all this government mandates and requirements by improving the gun owner crowd and showing them that we DO know what the hell we’re talking about and doing.

    • Well put. I would say the ‘gun owner crowd’ (you, me and anyone looking at this site) is actually pretty competent. It’s the ‘non-gun owner crowd’ that now happen to be gun owners that are the issue. I live in a Northern California city, and won’t go to most ranges here due to the yet to be felon gangsters (gangstas?), non-English speaking immigrants (from various parts of the world, mostly Eastern Europe and Vietnam), 19 year old COD fans, and the ‘just because I can’ people. The ranges here scare the $hit out of me, no basic firearm safety or skills (or shooting skills). Yes it’s a right, but I don’t really see an issue forcing people to receive basic skills on anything that can screw up my pursuit of happiness by staying alive.

    • This, very much this. If not actual shooting practice, at least gun safety. It wouldn’t take long, and everyone, whether they own a gun or not, should know how to handle one safely so they don’t do something stupid if they ever end up holding one.

      However, as long as the teacher unions control the schools and the Dept. of Education has this much influence, it’s not going to happen.

  24. Private pilot license, 40 hours. CHL 8 hours. Drivers ed, 16 hours, Static line parachute jump, 4 hours. Why not a few hours to prove basic knowledge of gun use and safety? It would be best if the NRA would take the initiative on this before the states start re-inventing the wheel and shove it down our throats. I’m talking a short basic course, readily available for minimal cost.
    BUT, I have my CHL, but wanted some pointers from an instructor. She wanted $90 per hour. Being disabled and on a fixed income that’s a big chunk out of my food budget.

    • So you either want free $hit or more government involvement in our lives? And I’m certainly not criticizing your disability. Put out the word among your local gun people. If they are anything like my local gun people, free and friendly training advice is easy to find. Gun people love to help out the interested.

  25. This really is a slippery slope. While there are lots of folks taking their right to possess/carry seriously, and train accordingly, there are probably just as many who don’t. My dad is one. I know he hasn’t pulled a trigger in years.
    I think if a slope is slippery, one should avoid it. You won’t slip that way.

  26. I’d like to see lots of testing requirements and conditions placed on people’s right to vote. First question on the test: Cite the names of the authors of the Federalist Papers. Explain what the Federalist Papers were.

    Second question: Name the source of the quote “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.” If the respondent thinks that this quote is lifted from any of the Founding Fathers or their works, then said applicant loses their right to vote, own guns, collect any government welfare or work in any government job.

    And while we’re at it, I’d like to see journalists be forced to take (and pass) a test in high school mathematics to write anything in the newspaper (or flap their gums on TV), and I’d like all journalists who cite statistical studies be forced to take both probability and stats, which both require calculus I and II to teach properly.

  27. I’m all for a gun safety class… in the context of being in school. We already have sex ed taught in several different years, starting in 5th grade. Why not put a component inside health class about gun safety?

    Guns aren’t going to leave this country (and liberals need to get that through their heads), so there is NO downside to teaching EVERY kid in EVERY school proper ways to stay safe.

    This, instead of schools demonizing guns and suspending kids for L-shaped poptart pieces, is the logical thing and the safe thing for everyone. Hey democrats… “If it just saves one kid”

      • So you’re against it being free for everyone and taught in the same context as everything else is taught in school?

        Sex is in our nature and, regardless of your views on sex ed, it’s taught in school. You don’t need it to have sex, but it’s there, and kids get taught it in a uniform fashion.

        Requirement for a gun? No. Requirement for graduation? Yeah, why not?

  28. If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand time: firearm training in public school gym class. We take troops of boy scouts out on the rifle range all the time; don’t tell me this isn’t feasible.

    • That’s not going to happen, and you know it. So you need to re-think your answer.

  29. I think the only correct answer is no. _Requiring_ training is too easy of a way to turn shall-issue into impossible-to-issue. You’re opening up the discussion to all kinds of regulation that you don’t want. In states not interested in issuing CC permits, they’d just have to create requirements on the instructors that make it impossible to actually teach a class and make a profit. If not that, you make the accuracy requirements beyond what most people can reasonably perform.

    Can you really tell a person that they aren’t allowed to protect themselves because they’re not able to shoot X number of times in X sized circle? In my mind, the only answer is no.

    • Exactly.

      And it punishes non-wealthy citizens by imposing yet another significant cost on exercising one’s right to self-defense.

      It could also delay a person who needs a gun from getting one.

    • “Can you really tell a person that they aren’t allowed to protect themselves because they’re not able to shoot X number of times in X sized circle? In my mind, the only answer is no.”

      Depends. If while protecting themselves, they fire a gun a dozen times and miss with every single one because this is the first or second time they have ever fired a gun, and one of their stray bullets hits my five year old daughter, putting her in a wheelchair (or worse) for the rest of her life, then yes, I can tell a person that.

      And yes, I think cops should be held to the same standard. If you are going to carry a gun in public, you need to have a certain level of competency. If you have the maturity to realize this and seek out the training, then by all means do so. Unfortunately many people lack that level of maturity.

      • But the point is that it’s not appropriate to restrict someone BEFORE using the gun, although it may be appropriate to restrict (and even severely punish) someone AFTER using the gun badly.

        • This is the biggest distinction that none of the legislation loving liberals seem to get. Assuming someone is incompetent before the fact is much, much different than punishing them afterwards. A CCW class which is mostly about the rules of using self defense would like requiring someone to take and pass a US Government class before being allowed to vote.

  30. I am fine with training requirements as long as the cost doesn’t get crazy and there are no catch22 type requirements (e.g. – must train with own gun to get gun-permit, must have gun-permit before buying/owning gun)

    This is why. Most people who own guns fall into three categories:
    1. Hunters.
    2. Target Shooters.
    3. CCW folks.

    These three categories all end up getting training one way or another.

    1. Hunters need a Hunter Safety certificate to get a hunting license.
    2. Target shooters almost always are members of a club and or organization like CMP, NRA etc. They often volunteer for precision markmanship classes etc. People into Sporting clays, Trap, Skeet are also almost always members of a gun range and get training there.
    3. Most states require a training course to get a Concealed carry permit.

    Requiring training would not change the status-quo very much, if at all.

    Having nation wide common training requirements could also be used as a way of heading off the Anti’s arguments against National Reciprocity.

    • Except for the many thousands of poorer folks, like Mr. McDonald (of McDonald vs. Chicago fame) who buy guns to defend themselves and for no other reason. They would have to fork over more cash and spend more time just to keep themselves safe.

      • Well, that is a potential issue. As i said, need to keep any fees, training costs reasonable (there’s a loaded term).

        But let me ask you this: How may “poor” folks do you know that don’t have a driver’s license, hunting license, etc because of poverty? In my experience – Not many.

        • In my experience, most “poor” folks don’t have drivers licenses, hunting licenses, etc.

          They live in cities, not necessarily big ones, and walk to or take public trans to work and don’t have the time or money to spend on hobbies like hunting/fishing, etc.

        • Many, many folks who live in the cities are like that. Just look at all the folks who take the buses and trains inside Chicago every day. Not all of them are too poor to afford what you’re talking about, but many of them are.

        • A HiPoint is $150 or there abouts. You can get a box of self-defense ammo for $30 – $35. Cheap holster for $25. That’s $210. Let’s call tax 10%, so another $21, taking us up to $231.

          For someone of limited means, that could already be a significant amount of money, and all they have right now is the necessary equipment. Is it right to pile on a bunch more cost in order to get the permit? I don’t think so.

  31. In my opinion this is a reasonable recommendation. I’ve been around guns for many years and seen numbers of mistakes in weapons handling from very experienced and educated gun owners. Unfortunately most people are idiots and common sense and good judgement are rarely seen “in the wild”. Stupid people with guns doing stupid things can provide some level of entertainment (e.g. IGOTD) but unfortunately people can and do get hurt. This aside, it is everybody’s God given right to be stupid and a gun owner. Don’t get me started on my tangent that human beings are the only species that defies natural selection…The gun owning community allows the anti-gunners to jump on the “seize guns” bandwagon because we fail to hold ourselves (and our idiots) to higher levels of accountability.
    Anyways, as a community, we should champion gun safety and education at the same levels as our advocation for our 2nd amendement rights. It should be us gun owners holding ourselves to higher levels of safety and accountability not the govt. When this becomes a “requirement” you slowly lose control of your freedoms and, justifiably so, you run into the “infringment” issue. Besides, I’ve work for and with the govt; I don’t trust these @ss clowns to run anything effectively without screwing it up in 60 seconds or less.

    • +1 We do need to be as vocal about safe handling practices and marksmanship training as we are about 2nd Amendment issues. I would rather see us self-regulate by creating this expectation among our community than have a government imposed requirement.

      My club is hosting an NRA First Steps class next month and our pistol team is assisting with the training. I’m glad to have the opportunity to help. I think it’s important for us who feel strongly about gun ownership to find ways to help new shooters become safe shooters.

  32. For carrying in public it’s worthwhile to require knowledge of the legal responsibilities of the carrier and some basic safety. This can be done with a study booklet and test similar to what is required for a drivers license. A realistic expectation will be that the booklet will be written by anti-gun bureaucrats and therefore the right answer can be reasonably guessed by looking for the one that most discourages carrying. However for proficiency it’s impossible to provide worthwhile training that is not overly burdensome in time and cost. 4 or 8 hours is not enough to be proficient in anything but a classroom setting and that is already getting pretty burdensome for a fundamental right. The best one could hope for might be a proficiency test and provide recommended practice drills and third party training providers to pass it. This would allow the shooter to train on their own or find a suitable instructor that offers a range of training options.

    All of this would be done with the understanding that it probably won’t accomplish much except get some nanny statists off our backs, but honestly it might be worthwhile for that anyway.

    • Appeasing the nanny statists with regard to one requirement only encourages them to impose yet more requirements.

  33. Have every public high schooler, as part of either the health or civics curriculum, take a basic firearms safety class, publicly financed. Whether they choose to use or not upon coming of age is up to them. While we’re at it, make it a graduation requirement that they be instructed in basic and advanced first aid and CPR.

  34. I don’t think it should be required but I like that ccw classes are offered. Most people who carry (even open carry) are very familiar with their firearm. You have to be proactive to want to carry a gun, it isn’t like a cell phone or a purse. And while lots of people who carry aren’t Annie Oakley, I accept that other drivers aren’t Mario Andretti.

  35. How about this: Every CHL holder is required to shoot 50 rounds a month, on his own time with no supervision required. If he NDs or shoots somebody and the prosecution proves he didn’t do it, then he’s in hot water. Heck, they could even mail you a dated target once a month and you’re required to shoot it and toss it in your filing cabinet.

    I definitely think there should be more training required. The Texas test is a joke, you could literally do it with your eyes closed. BUT if the gov gets involved it’s going to get stupid. For example you’re not allowed to use reloads for the TX test. Luckily everyone I know already takes the personal responsibilty to train frequently, but I’m sure some CHLs never shoot again. If it actually makes people safer while appeasing the gun grabbers, it’s a win. Provided you can keep the gov from ruining it.

  36. Louisiana accepts the NRA Basic pistol class as sufficient training for a permit to carry concealed. If not that then a course syllabus must be sent to the ST popo for review and OK and the instructor must be a POST or NRA cert instructor.

    The issue I have is the to faced BS of the grabbers- the ones that want “reasonable restriction” point out that the people should be formally trained to carry arms are also the ones that believe the NRA is evidence of the Devil’s work on earth and members of the NRA are demons. So when the NRA offers instruction the anti’s view it as indoctrination into the cult.

    I’d like to see 1/2 hour of firearms safety taught to every school kid 2 x a year- every year- K-12. We teach stop drop and roll, we teach fire drills, we teach CPR is some PE classes, why not firearms safety. Graduate from High School w/o being an otherwise prohibited person then you get nation wide”constitutional carry.”

  37. this sounds like a good idea, if we could only incorporate this into the school system, make it unbiased and teach kids starting young the dangers and fun firearms can be. then when they get older they should be better knowledgeable. i.e. the 4 firearm saftey rules. (really 5 if you include know your target and what is beyond it)

    if the schools would teach it unbiased then i think that would be great, the only trouble with be the potential biastey of teachers and schools that could screw it all up in some places or make it great in others.

  38. Before I started riding motorcycles I took a MSF safety course. The knowledge gained has saved my life (and my passenger) several times. For CCL in Kansas, you have to take an eight-hour course before applying for CCL. Basic firearms safety, some situational discussion, but lots of good information, especially regarding legal liability as a CCL holder should something go down. GAVE ME LOTS TO THINK ABOUT! $50 for the course taught by retired LEO (included lunch) was well spent and will make me a much better CCW holder.

    I vote yes, but also can see how slave states would use the requirement to discourage CC by making it so difficult to take the class (high fees, limited offerings). Kansas is just slow with record number of CCL applicants. Had to wait a month in line to get fingerprinted at the sheriff’s office, and then send paperwork and check to AG’s office. The processing is now taking the full 90 days as allowed by law to conduct the bacground check. I am on day 62…

  39. I love firearms training, but all the training and education in the world can’t prevent foolish or immoral behavior. It may help, but by no means can it stop the Lanzas and Holmeses of the world. And making it a requirement to keep and bear arms is inherently unconstitutional.

    We don’t need more marginally effective requirements to exercise our natural rights to satisfy those who won’t stop at anything less than disarmament.

    End of line.

  40. The short answer to Jim’s question is yes….
    Ok now let me explain.
    I think most of us who are active in shooting sports, or take our shooting and CCW seriously probably train more than your average American gun owner. That being said there are a couple of things I worry about.
    1. Discrimination. Here in California, New York and other places the courses, are expensive. We should not have to pay $500 plus to exercise our rights. There needs to be either free, or a standard fee which is reasonable, whether you earn $28,000 a year or $100,000 a year. We are may issue for much of California, so we need to change that. Having courses in schools for all kids is something I am 100% behind.
    2. I am all for the NRA hosting the classes. They have the infrastructure to do so and in a way that is uniform. I also think we should have exemptions for active military who receive firearms training, as well as citizens who are members of a shooting sports organization like GSSF, or IDPA. They clearly are enjoying a sport which involves the practical handling of a firearm and are up to date on safety. So as an example if I am an IDPA member and compete in one or more tournaments per year, I am exempt. LEO qualify as we for exemption, but that is due to their work.
    3. National reciprocity. Right now we have a patch work of state laws, which is nuts. I get it, there are constitutional carry states, and that is fine. I still think we can offer courses in those states regardless. Safety and training is never bad thing, period. I think we can all agree on that. So if you take the course and have a valid drivers license from that state you are GTG.
    4. Jim, really.. when was the last time the federal government did anything that was common sense or practical that didn’t wind up causing all sorts of unintended consequences? I mean this honestly. If I felt we could get this done and have it be truly common sense I would be all for it. The government tends to create waste and red tape at every turn. As much as I would like to think we could do this and have it be reasonable I am not going to hold my breath here.

    • My thoughts is that this could potentially be part of a larger deal that grants nationwide carry rights to people who complete a minimum competency level. This would in no way interfere with a state’s ability to set requirements for their residents. Instead, if you hold a permit from your state and you have met the qualification requirements for the national reciprocity license, then you get the right to carry in all states

      • this could potentially be part of a larger deal that grants nationwide carry rights

        You sound like one of those passionate baseball fans who propose incredibly idiotic trades. “Let’s trade this guy and this guy (usually two mediocre players) for that guy (the other team’s superstar).”

        National carry is never going to happen. It makes all anti laws untenable. How can you tell some guy from NYC that he can’t carry in the city but some guy from Tennessee can? It’s absurd.

        • No kidding Jim. If you are just authoring a thought-provoking post, fine. But if you really believe the antis are ready to deal in good faith like Ralph’s baseball team analogy, you are woefully naïve.

        • Jim: please list out the gun-grabbers who, over the last 6 months, have shown any proclivity to “deal” with us gun people and why these non-existent compromisers would strike “deals” with us in the future. Deals require compromise. I have seen zero willingness to compromise from the gun grabbers.

  41. The second amendment doesn’t say “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed as long as you receive training and pass a shooting accuracy tests”.


    • Neither does it say “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed unless the state you live in decides to infringe on it.”

      But that happens. D.C. vs. Heller affirmed that the rights granted by 2A are not unlimited. States and the Feds already limit gun rights, so that argument really is not relevant.

  42. “The question at hand is whether mandated safety training before receiving a carry permit would be an undue burden.”

    No, it is NOT and undue burden for the carry permit – the CARRY PERMIT is the undue burden.

  43. Yes training should be required for a CCW permit only. I live in PA and even though its a shall issue state i still though it was a little to easy for me to get my permit. Most NRA basic pistol classes really dont cost that much in all things considered. NRA basic pistol should at least be the basic when getting a CCW. I am an RSO at a range and you would be appalled at the gun handling skills of most of the people that have CCW permits.

    • Everybody in MA has to take a course and many of them exhibit the same poor gun handling skills.

  44. Maybe Adam Lanza’s mother knew he WASN’T a “whack job”; but that’s way above your head, I know.

    Training? If someone grew up with guns, the training requirement should be waivable.

  45. As may have already been pointed out . . . Adam Lanza’s mother was not in the habit of taking her guns out of the home. True w/ many/most spree killers.

    I think a mandate would create some questions like:

    How/Would it apply to states that allow open carry?

    How/Would it apply to retired cops?

    If it is a mandate, and it is violated, what would be the punishment?

  46. The basic safety rules do not require training. They only require adherance.

    Shooting well requires training. Being safe is simple, is this breaking one of the rules or isn’t it?

    The idea that a person needs loads of training to be safe with a firearm only serves to push the idea that a firearm is not suitable for most people.

    Most accidents I have heard of had nothing to do with someone not having learned the rules of firearm safety but with them knowingly deciding not to follow them. A training requirement would not fix that.

  47. As much as I hate paying taxes and always emphasizing the costs of inefficient government services pushed on the people which would be better handled by private industry, I would actually not mind paying a tax which was used 100% for training all citizens in gun operation, handling, and safety.

    Let’s be honest. Just as going to the range to improve your skills is rewarding and fun, training with firearms would also be.

  48. It is an undue burden if you can’t afford the time (working multiple jobs, inflexible work schedule, obligation to family/children, a new threat to you or your family has just materialized into your life), the money (living paycheck to paycheck, food, children, daycare), or the other resources (don’t have transportation to the training facility, practice ammo, etc).

    Now consider a not-untypical scenario (If you talk to anyone with a gun store near public transit):

    A single mother working a full time job or two who just had to relocate to a bad neighborhood because that’s all she could afford and/or it’s close to work/public trans and she doesn’t have a car. She recently left an abusive ex she’s afraid of but hasn’t hurt yer yet so the police can do nothing to protect her. Or maybe she has a PFA. Or not. Or maybe the ex has no history of violence but has come back into her life after getting back on drugs/booze. It’s the next morning and she’s got 250 bucks that she and the people who care about her chipped together and is standing in front of a gun store “used” case on the way back from daycare with her kid. Yeah, mandatory training is an undue burden.

    You have measure the burden on who needs to protect themselves the most and the most suddenly. Not on the average.

    • Also, regarding the worth of training… Something that is lost on the gun-samurai community is that guns exist and are good weapons because they are pretty darned simple to use effectively. Optimally is great, but effectively is good enough. Of course it is fun and good to always be trying to take it to the next level, but most SD shootings don’t look like an IDPA match and don’t need to. That woman can be shown how to load and use a used Charter, Rossi, or Taurus DA revolver, she can be told how to keep it away from people who shouldn’t have access to it right at the counter of the store she’s buying it in. She can be told to read the “children and gun safety” pamphlet they hand out with sales. She can point the thing at her attackers chest/belly and pull five times and it will save her life.

      • She’s likely going to carry that gun too, without a permit. Or while waiting for it to come through. And in her scenario that’s the smart thing to do, and she’ll never damage society even!

  49. Is it a stretch for anyone to imagine someone like Charles Schumer or Dianne Fienstien setting the training requirements so high no one can obtain a weapon? No, people should be trained on how to safely handle a gun, but I think the NRA is doing a fine job of teaching gun safety without any “help” from Washington DC.

  50. Most training requirements are stupid. In “hoplophobic” MA, I took a 4-hour class and an easy written test. No shooting was required. The class was $60 and it was less comprehensive and duplicative of the Hunter Safety Course I’d taken many years before, but MA wouldn’t recognize it.

    In”gun friendly” Nevada where one may open carry without a CCW, it was an 8-hour CCW class and a not one but two shooting practicals, one with a semi-auto and one with a revolver. The class was free. But since I was already an NRA and MA State Police certified pistol (and rifle) instructor, and an NRA certified CRSO, why was I taking the class in the first place? To say it was a monumental waste of time is really being kind.

    Moreover, is open carry safer than concealed? Because there’s no training requirement for open carry in Nevada. Does this make sense to you?

    Let’s face it. The G can’t p1ss straight, but we have to toe the mark anyway. What a crock.

    • @Ralf,

      We have to take the NRA Basic Pistol Class & exam in CT plus you must do a practical. I am also a NRA Instructor. I have had close to 200 people go through my class.

      Many come to my class who have never touched a gun before coming to my course. Many have never loaded a magazine, held a gun properly, many have never fixed a jam and you would feel comfortable with them CCW or even next to you at the range?

      While I agree that a license or 1 course does not make one competent, for all the students you have seen in the course you teach you feel all of them would have been safe even not knowing the NRA 3 rules or Coopers 4 rules?

      • I’m in favor of training or I wouldn’t have gone through the time and expense of certification. I’m not in favor of government infringing my rights or anyone else’s “so we’ll all be safe.”

        • This is called the “If you take one thing home from this class, let this be it” moment.

      • “comfortable even next to you at the range?”
        Nope, that is why most of my range time is with ladies shooting
        league. Husband & wife team are acting range masters, new shooters are “bird dogged” by one or the other. Plus we have separate range reserved for our league’s use only. About as safe as you can get, without concrete barriers between each shooter.

  51. If you insist on training, you would probably oppose Constitutional Carry in your State.

    And yet, a few States have Constitutional Carry and don’t seem to have a lot of problems related to the lack of mandatory training. Or do they have problems I am just not aware of?

    • What most of the Constitutional carry states don’t have is a lot of people. This does make a difference. The more people there are, the greater the chances of problems.

      It just seems silly to me that in my state, you have to take a full day hunter safety course to get a hunting license, but no training at all to get a CCW permit.

      • While hunting you are actually out discharging firearms in various directions at various living things, among other hunters, on a seasonal and weekly basis if you are lucky.

        Most CCW will never draw or fire their weapon ever, and if they do they’ll be contact distance to their target and their target will be really obvious in that they’re trying to kill them.

      • @Jim – Arizona is the more populous of the Constitutional Carry States, and Phoenix is a major urban center. It doesn’t seem as pedestrian as some of the other big cities in the US, but it is big. Constitutional Carry took effect in the summer of 2010 in Arizona, so at least some of the potential problems should have surfaced by now. I don’t know if any have, I haven’t really been following, but it would be a useful case study.

        I can say one thing, freedom as well as, unfortunately, lack thereof is something one gets used to after a while. When Constitutional Carry passed in AZ, my first reaction was, why do we need such a thing, the State is already a heaven for gun owners, and do we really want just anyone carrying a gun in public? Coming from someone who was introduced to firearms in upstate New York, even if many years ago, the reaction was perhaps not surprising – “shall issue” was heaven on earth as it is, while Constitutional Carry felt like “too much freedom” and thus a bit scary and, furthermore, “unnecessary”. Now my attitude is more like, this is what true freedom looks like and why can’t we have more States like this. At this point I would need solid evidence that Constitutional Carry leads to serious problems before I would support mandatory CCW permits.

  52. You know how I learned to safely handle a firearm when I was 18? By reading. I read Cooper and learned the four rules by heart before even touching the 1911 that my father gave me. No one in my family were or currently are gun people. I read everything I could get my hands on to learn how to operate firearms safely and efficiently.

    I have no use for people who want to force me to attend some class to be able to own a gun. You want to attend a class? Fine. Go do it. But don’t force me to waste my time.

    I took my state’s hunter’s safety course and the basic rifle portion of Army ROTC training voluntarily, but I would never want to force people to do these things in order to exercise a right.

    Stupid people are going to be stupid regardless and antis are always going to despise us. They are our enemies, we shouldn’t cater to them.

    Leave me alone, Barrett et al.

  53. My high school ran everyone through a week long Hunter’s Safety course taught yearly by one of the regular teachers with material from the state game management department.

    We didn’t need to own a gun or fill out a 4473, just be the right school-year.

  54. I think requiring anything beyond passing the existing NICS check to own a firearm is an undue burden.

    That said, I wouldn’t be opposed to a training requirement for carry – and would probably even be for it (whether open or concealed) with the following considerations added:

    1) Honorably discharged veterans are exempt from mandatory training.
    2) The safety course can either be through the NRA, or through an NRA approved trainer/company, and should never require more than 4 hours to complete. This process needs completed for an initial carry license/permit only, not for renewals.
    3) Basic safety concepts and education points that must be covered in the class cannot be subject to government change. Currently existing basic courses would be the template for the required training.
    3) Legislation requiring the training for carry also carries full national reciprocity. Every state, every town.

  55. Is training a burden on the system?

    Training is never a bad thing. More is almost always better.


    To slide down the slippery-slope a bit……

    If the training becomes a requirement then there is an opportunity to control the system by controlling the training. Back-door gun control.

    If the training element gets controlled in a such a way as to prevent, or at least minimize, the back-door gun control, then they can control it by regulating who can provide the training, or when, or both. Still back-door gun control.

    No, requiring training becomes gun control eventually. Better to reward those who get trained in a similar manner to safe-driving programs. If your State has a waiting period on the purchase of guns, that waiting period is shortened if you can prove you have had training.

    Find and offer benefits for training and you will increase the amount of people receiving training. Make it a positive thing overall, not something to be put up with as simply one more step in a potentially multi-step process.

  56. Safety in our schools??
    Would it not be a smart thing to give a thorough course of instruction on gun safety in high school, since it is of such a national concern.
    A safety class that would educate and turn low knowledge individuals into at least those with some knowledge.
    How could parents not want their children knowing enough to be safe. (But then again, wasn’t there a sex ed controversy?)
    An optional live fire training outside the school for additional cost for those interested or for those living in states that require live fire for CCW.
    Hell, If the state of Wisconsin was going to honor my Hunter Safety certificate from 1968 as training for my CCW in 2012, (did you expect me to find it after 40 years)
    these kids should then be good to go for their CCW as soon as the age into it.
    Imagine these 3 million educated kids each year nationwide contributing to the neutralization of the current NO knowledge voters in this political environment.

    As if the Left would not see this coming, but what would they use as an argument against it and not be looking at a mirror image of the anti sex education Right wing.

    If you want to argue against Cops in schools go ahead, but how are you against education in schools? (don’t answer)

  57. So, I have to pass a language course to exercise the 1st amendment? A law course to exercise the 4th and 5th? Hotel management to excercise the 3rd? No. And no to mandatory safety course to exercise the 2nd. It’s smart to do so, but legistating smart things into manditory things is what got us to the nanny state we have now.

  58. There shouldn’t be a training requirement to carry a weapon. Even well trained police officers miss more than half the time in SHTF situations and negligently discharge their guns on rare occasion… It doesn’t hurt, though, to encourage people to get such training of their own free will.

  59. Yes, everyone should be required to take a free safety course and be given free information packets about safe gun storage. Let each individual choose how they want to store their gun in their own home.

    Proof: Sent. Feinstein concealed her firearm in her purse. No one should ever leave a firearm in their purse. Training could prevent such an error.

    • Feinstein concealed her firearm in her purse

      She also tucked a lot of your money in there.

    • There is no such thing as free. Somebody is paying the tab.
      If your free safety course and handouts are provided by the .gov, we’ll still be paying for it.

  60. I think as gun owners we should encourage other gun owners to take training. And shame those that don’t. Because it is a good idea to do so.

    However, I’m not in favor of REQUIRING it in order to do something that is your legal right to do already.

    Consider driving: We currently require people to go through a year of Permit Training, then pass a written test, and then pass a proficiency driving test before they can get their license.

    But take a look around at the people driving around you. How many of them do you think are competent drivers? M.A.D.D. says 1 our of 7 on the road are drunk. Another percentage are suspended, revoked, have no license, are texting, eating, putting on their make up, beating their kids, or are just plain jerks, speeding, cutting people off, cutting in/out of traffic, driving too fast on ice/snow/whatever.. passing on the shoulder, and on and on and on…

    Having a license does not make you competent. And/Or safe.

  61. “To wit: had Adam Lanza’s mother acknowledged that her son was a whack job and properly secured her guns, she might still be breathing as likely would 26 kids and teachers. “

    Haven’t we as the pro 2A community been standing by the statement “evil people will do evil things regardless, they WILL find a way.”

    So to say that had his mother properly locked up her firearms (which no one knows for sure if she did or not), does not in any way shape or form mean she or those poor children wouldn’t still murdered. If Lanza’s intent was to commit those horrible murders, he would have found a way.

    I would support a basic firearm safety course in schools. Not to take the responsibility away from the parents, but to support the responsibility of the parents.

  62. I already pay enough in taxes, including the $100 permit to carry application fee.
    Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

  63. Isn’t open carry prohibited in Texas? I’m not sure Texas is as gun friendly as it is portrayed to be. I am not sure I want Texas to be my example of how to do things.

    Last I heard was that in Texas, their Conceal Carry law was so strict that if it you’re deemed to be “printing” at all (even an inkling of it) you are in trouble. That’s hearsay of course, from a friend of mine around the Killeen area. I used to think of Texas as this great friendly state too, until I met people from Texas that told me this.

  64. It’s a dangerous precedent.

    How about this: a written test covering a gun safety booklet, will get you a CCW for the cost of processing, or some otherwise nominal fee. Elect to take the test, which would be free-of-charge and administered regularly in the same way that drivers’ tests are, and save a pile of money. One could choose not to take the test (maybe they’re very busy, or live far from the county courthouse) and still get a CCW, but it’d cost $250 instead of $75.

    Not too onerous, insures that the vast majority of CCWs have at least a basic understanding of safety and how a firearm operates, and wouldn’t be financially burdensome for the applicant.

    LEOs, vets/active military, shooting club members exempted.

  65. Let’s put all other questions and objections aside for a moment, and focus on what this would mean in terms of information.

    If all gun owners must take a class to own a gun, if all those who carry must take a class to carry, there must be a record to verify that an owner has completed the correct training.

    Every single gun owner would be recorded. Every single carrier would be recorded. I don’t care that the firearms I own might not be in those records, why should I be on these lists?

    While the intent of the post is surely positive (I really believe that) there is a downside that the author of this post didn’t consider. Requiring training for all gun owners is registering all gun owners, this is unavoidably true. Were it not so, I think the proposal has merit, but it is so. If you don’t agree with registration, I know of no way that you could construct these training requirements without creating a registration system.

  66. yes. no. it depends.

    While i strongly support as much training/practice as possible, what passes as a training requirement in most states is just back-door gun control. Maryland requires training for handguns – which until oct 1st is just an online video. After, it needs to be a 4 hour course, except that the $10 hunter safety training class will be a substitute.

    Now, if this were really about safety and proficiency why would it be limited to handguns? My wife trained on an m16 back in high school, but never knew how to handle a shotgun until I showed her. Shotguns have their own issues like using 20 ga ammo in a 12 ga rifle. oops. I have both, but i have my stuff organized so that in an emergency situation it’s pretty clear which ammo you are grabbing. Did shotgun Joe Biden cover that in his self defense advice? Also, many of these “safety” training classes/videos do not go over stuff like a jam or a dud. I consider proper maintenance part of safety… do they teach how to disassemble a rifle and clean the gas system?

    When i think of all the really important stuff about safety, it seems to me that the mandatory “safety training” is nothing more than a state imposed burden. On the other hand, bona-fide safety guidance should be practical and not a burden at all, and yes everyone should obtain as much as possible from a parent, family member, or a class. the worst thing imaginable though is a gun grabber setting the syllabus.

  67. Is the training requirement an undue burden? Yes. In Missouri an 8 hour course is required and you have to show proficiency with both a semi-auto and a revolver. So if you own one but not the other, you have to rent one. This is on top of the course cost which is generally $100. And there is great variety in quality depending on who teaches. Not to mention that your name gets put in a data base and is turned over to the Federal Government by the idiots in the state bureaucracy while the existence of such a data base is poo-poohed by the idiot governor. I say just go nationwide with Constitutional Carry and drop the concealed license requirement.

  68. I don’t support mandatory training. One only needs to look at California to see where that leads. Oh, you want to buy a handgun? Take a test ($25) and pay the DROS fee ($25). Want a CHL? ($300+ if you can actually get it) It has to be renewed every 2 years. Oh, by the way, we are going to add unlawful requirements to get a CHL (Psychological testing, insurance) and there is nothing you can do about it until a group sues for change ($$$).

    These requirements all come down to money. Anti-gun people haven’t had success actually banning all firearms, so the tactic has to changed to making owning firearms ridiculously expensive and legally complicated.

    I would support vouchers or coupons to lower or negate the cost of training, to be issued issued by the .gov for voluntary training. Same idea with safes. You don’t have to get a voucher if you don’t want to.

    Second, people don’t like being told what to do, in general. Most people do like saving money.

    • Remember a few years ago, when California required a BFSC (Basic Firearm Safety Card, if I remember correctly) to purchase a handgun, but it was a one-shot thing that was good for life?

      Well, “good for life” turned out to be too good to be true, so now we’ve gone to the “Handgun Safety Card” which is good for, I think, 4 years . . . if your local retailer has them in stock (they must be pre-ordered from the state) . . . otherwise, no handgun purchases for you, even if you’ve already got a safe full of them, just because your old card expired and the state didn’t get around to printing/selling new ones, or your local gun store ran out because of unexpected demand. (And the stores pay $20 each to buy them, so they’re not going to order hundreds of them in advance just in case.)

      And Retailer A won’t necessarily give you the test/sell you a card if you’re not buying an gun from them – otherwise, they’ll be out of stock when one of their customers needs one, so if Retailer B runs out of/can’t get HSC cards, they’re out of the handgun selling business* until they get more cards. Not kidding. Not theory, this is already happening.

      *People with CCW’s, LEO’s, and I think people with hunting licenses or non-dishonorable DD-214’s can still buy; but the average person who just wants/needs a handgun can’t get one when there are no cards, even if they pass a background check and wait out the 10 day cooling off period.

  69. I think training should be mandatory, at least for conceal-carry. I would also endorse the NRA/SAF to develop basic a program, good for all states. This would promote safety, increase ownership and camaraderie – while potentially reducing accidents, increase defensive gun use and reducing crime…not to mention, help keep our Second Amendment rights intact.

    If we need to have a license for automobiles (also deadly weapons) why not firearms?

  70. As an attempt to divert gun-banning energies in a less harmful direction, I’m concerned that this would pretty easily turn into an effectively impossible hurdle for ordinary people – it’s not likely to be a great burden to people who shoot daily or weekly and have ammunition/training budgets in the thousands or tens of thousands, but it would be a significant imposition on people who keep an old .38 Special or 12 gauge around the house “just in case”. I don’t want to see them disarmed or criminalized. Once those people lose their guns – or lose the right to use/discuss them publicly – they will lose their motivation to vote to protect *our* right to use guns more frequently/enthusiastically, and then there goes the 2A.

    As an actual safety measure, I’m skeptical – but we should have pretty good data available about this, given that we have a lot of states that require training and a lot of states that don’t. California has had one form or another of mandatory training/testing for handgun purchases for decades, and we’re certainly not seeing an absence of idiots or idiotic behavior here.

    To be meaningful, the training would need to be at least somewhat weapon-specific, with periodic retraining/retesting. And, frankly, given the example of law enforcement training/qualification and field performance, I’m not sure this would improve things. I honestly don’t mean to bash LE by saying this – but their training and firearm qualification regime is typically promoted as some sort of high water mark for gun competency qualificiation, and there are many examples where LEO’s don’t use their weapons correctly/competently/effectively, or where they store/maintain them so badly that others are injured. If the proposal is that all gun owners be trained/tested to current LEO standards, that’s not going to solve our safety problems, and requiring even that level of qualification would effectively deny gun rights to a vast majority of the current gun-owning population.

    If we adopt a watered-down version, I would expect to see little or no improvement in safety – which, in the minds of the gun haters, won’t lead to “we should abandon this law, it’s not working”, it’ll turn into “we need to be more restrictive”, and 4 hours of class every 10 years for $10 will turn into 50 hours of class, every year, for $2000.
    When we tried an assault weapon ban and magazine size limits, and they didn’t work, the gun haters didn’t give up, they just said that the evidence showed the current rules weren’t restrictive enough, and we need more. I don’t see any reason to expect this would work differently for training.

  71. The drive thru ATM I use has braille letters and numbers on it. Do we really want to chance the gubmint getting involved in firearms training? Braille markings on my Glock? With the NRA’s help, local ranges could sponsor low cost or even free gun classes at ranges all over the country. We’re on the defensive now. Let’s get pro-active for our own cause. Take the mystique out of guns, educate people so they don’t elect idiots based on panic. We can do a lot more for our own good.

    • Drive through ATM with braille isn’t a bad idea. Put your blind relative/friend in the driver’s side back seat, pull up to the ATM so that he can reach the machine. Of course a blind person won’t be driving.

  72. To require a course to exercise a right i problematic.

    Would think that any licensing agency should provide info on training and encourage it.

    Any testing should be performance based and challenge able.
    For example an experienced person who can pass the knowledge test and demonstrate
    safe handling, the training should be waived.

  73. Yes. You can operate a vehicle on private property without a license, but to do it in public you have to prove you know how to safely operate one. The same should apply to guns. You shouldn’t need a permit or license to buy one and keep/use it on private property but if you are going to go out in public, you should have proven that you know what you are doing. I know the whole “driving is a privilege, keeping and bearing arms is a right” argument and I understand where it comes from.

    “and for those folks who can’t afford it, I’d offer it for free.”
    That is a personal decision but in my mind, if a person can afford a gun, ammo, holster, and licensing fee, they can afford to pay for a basic safety class with a proficiency test at the end.

    • “you have to prove you know how to safely operate one.”

      No you don’t, you just have to pass a written test and a driving test. The written test just shows you’ve memorized the book. The driving test proves nothing.

      You do not have to pass any test to purchase an automobile and thus you can easily drive in public without a license or registartion.

  74. Sadly, so many idiots can’t operate guns without shooting themselves because they left one in the chamber while cleaning it. Training is pretty necessary for those morons.

    • Tell you what – I’ll accept the training requirement, against my better judgment, if we have universal single-payer gun care (free guns, free ammo, free gunsmithing, free accessories, free free free). 🙂

    • When training is talked about by the anti-rights people, and sadly there are many here, they use officer training as the standard. I can show plenty of cases where cops have fired dozens of rounds and not hit their target. I can even show ND’s by these “well trained” officers. One guy was the only one professional enough to carry a glock shoot himself in the foot. Most firearms owners that I know personally are trained far better than the officers I know.

    • Has it occurred to you that these are the exact types who would get the least out of training?

      As they say you can’t fix stupid.

      • No, it hasn’t occurred to them. These type of people only care about controlling others. The feel themselves to be incompetent and project that incompetence on others.

  75. I’m in one of those ‘mandatory training’ states. It’s useless. Now, might someone get something out of it? Maybe, but EVERYONE needs to spend hours and a good chunk of change on ‘training’ that could easily be done in an hour on the internet.

    States that don’t like guns will use it to further disenfranchise people (that’s how it works here). Not a good idea.

  76. To wit: had Adam Lanza’s mother acknowledged that her son was a whack job and properly secured her guns, she might still be breathing as likely would 26 kids and teachers.

    Question: Has this been proven? Last I knew, there was no evidence one way or another about how her guns were stored and as such we have no proof that he didn’t force her to open the safe (under fear of death) before killing her.

  77. When LEO’s who have to requalify each year can’t hit their intended target without hitting bystanders *coughNYPDcough* what good is forcing regular citizens to train?

    • Regular citizens aren’t immune to consequences.

      Hence, they’ll take the trouble to learn their weapon and will bother to aim at their intended target.

  78. Coming in after more than 200 instances of commentary wisdom, I feel completely safe in airing my own gaseous pronouncements without endangering any other minds.
    Gun training, yes, absolutely, mandatory but NOT for gun owners. Everyone. Starting in preschool if feasible. Start simple, graduate, next level lessons. You don’t graduate, you don’t even get to drop out if you don’t complete and pass each course. Gun safety, gun history, gun care, gun facts, self-defense uses,hunting, etc.
    And no, Piers, you’re not going to see classrooms full of little kids shooting each other accidentally or otherwise. You don’t need to fire guns to learn about them. Just like (I presume) you don’t copulate in sex education classes or climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Geology 101. And nobody. No. Body. Nobody gets anything, not a driver’s license, not a library card, not a job, not a coupon for 10 percent off, nothing, until he/she/it passes all the courses.
    Everyone. Yes, even media elites. It won’t help them report facts. I understand that. I’m just saying, real inclusive like, everybody.
    As for shooting proficiency, them that wants it should get it, privately, buy their own ammo (I know, I know, but let’s assume there’ll be some by the time this no-chance idea becomes law of the land), pay for their targets and so on. If the mandatory gun courses are done right, I’d guess most people would want to at least fire a gat a few times to see what it’s all about, a la sex ed class, I reckon, sorta maybe.

    • I completely agree. I would add one requirement to obtain a concealed carry license. A one day class covering the legal issues involved with carrying concealed and armed defense and a practical competency test at a range. The test would involve loading and unloading the firearm and drawing, firing, and holstering the firearm, all with no safety violatins

    • Perfect. The only thing I’d add is the government subsidizes it. That would be one thing it actually has a duty to spend money on.

      Come to think of it, we could put Janet Napolitano’s 1.6 billion rounds to good (and constitutional) use with the training.

  79. Here’s the hurdle: any limitation on gun ownership must have the same level of intrinsic feedback against restrictions as a driver’s license.

    Restrictions on driving create tremendous backlash. Everyone has to be *able* to drive a car, *able* to get a license, or people get pissed off. Stupidly restricting driving get people un-elected.

    So, I’m for any training requirement for gun ownership that has the same kind of *intrinsic* push-back built in. For example, if hunting supplied a good fraction of the food for most people we’d have a built in regulator on the regulation. Make it too hard to fill the larder and you’ll get un-elected.

    With guns, we have mainly people who don’t use, and have never used guns very interested in regulating somebody else. It doesn’t hurt them (they think), so there’s no check on doing stupid stuff.

  80. I’ve always advocated a training requirement.

    Yes, the right to carry is in the Constitution. However, minors don’t have constitutional rights. They are not generally legal entities until they reach majority.

    So, sall we restrict the rights of kids to hunt, go to the range or defend themselves and their families? No? What about the Constitution? You cannot have it both ways.

    I’d very much like to see an amendment making the right to vote contingent upon demonstration of an understanding of this country – a constitutional, representative republic. I doubt I’ll get it, but I’d like it.

    Free travel? It’s a Constitutional right. Realistically, that takes a car – licensing, tests et cetera. Bus or train? A photographic I.D, then.

    To build and operate an aeroplane? That’s actually a right, but if you want to broach public airspace…

    A reasonable limitation to RKBA would be the requirement to prove one’s competence.

    That’s not an infringement, by the way.

    Some developmentally delayed persons never reach majority. Think of someone not guaranteed fit to bear arms as having reached limited majority, akin to “you may vote, but not drink.”

    To deny weapons to the incompetent is no different from denying them to felons or (Constitutionally) to minors.

    Remember, firearms safety is about safety with firearms, and someone ignorant enough to play Russian roulette with a 1911 (an actual call from my EMT days – he was IIL*) should not bear them.

    I do understand that many of you will speak against me for this, but that’s your right – and I’ll die if necessary to defend it.

    Russ Bixby, Kansan

    * IIL is a classification necessary to first responders. Only a doctor can legally pronounce someone dead, but EMTs need a way to legally say “Yeah, I can ignore this guy and work on that guy instead.” This term, so necessary to triage when there are multiple victims, is IIL – Injuries Incompatible with Life. If someone’s head is overhead stuck in a tree and their torso is down the block, an EMT can’t pronounce ’em dead, but they’re permitted to back off and let the coroner deal with it.

    There now; don’t you feel all edjamicated?

  81. I hate the SPAM filter on this site. No swearing, no questionable phraseology and STILL the cursed thing ate my comment. Thrice-cursed hunk o’ Windows-based trash. *

    Screw it. I made a good argument for proof of competence, but apparently noone’ll ever get to read it. Or argue against it.


    * I actually don’t know what the server runs, and use Windws strictly as a pejorative.

  82. There’s nothing wrong with the government restricting rights, as long as the restrictions are just and necessary, and only so long as the government’s restrictions are limited to those consistent with due process. Our freedom of speech can be curtailed to prevent harmful or malicious speech (Shouting ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater is the classic example), or to protect the nation’s vital interests (The typical example of this would be banning the publication of troopship schedules in time of war). Voting rights are taken from many convicted criminals, international travel often requires government authorization, and the government regulates who can broadcast on the frequencies used for radio and television transmission. If gun control decisions were based solely on these standards, I would have no objection to the government establishing some “common sense rules” about gun ownership. Some minor inconvenience would be well worth the benefit of keeping guns from the hands of fools, criminals, and madmen.

    Sadly, that’s a pipe dream. When they act to restrict firearms ownership, governments routinely prove that they can’t be trusted to honor due process and the basic human right to defense. They base their decisions on popular hysteria instead of social reality, credulously enact laws on the basis of ‘crank’ science, and utterly disregard the rights they swore to uphold when they took office.

    • There’s a lot wrong with government restricting rights. There’s a fundamental difference between making a harmful action illegal, and punishing the perpetrator afterwards (i.e., a fine or jail time for yelling Fire in a theatre and getting people trampled), and presupposing that harmful actions will ensue if rights are not restricted (you’re not allowed to drive without a license, you might run someone over). I believe in ‘presumed innocent until proven guilty’, including being innocent of mishandling firearms until proven otherwise. Don’t tell me I’m too irresponsible to carry until I screw up. While it’s possible that sort of thing will end up with a higher pure number of unfortunate incidents, it also restricts a lot less rights for the peaceful and law abiding.

      • Historically, American courts have been hesitant to allow the government to exercise “prior restraint” of free speech: There’s just too much temptation for members of the government to restrain speech that makes it look bad. Corrupt or incompetent officials have tred to use their power to hide their misdeeds.

        Despite my confusing “there’s nothing wrong with restricting rights” opening, I do indeed think there’s something wrong with the way the federal government attempts to limit people’s rights. The second half of that sentence is key: We can’t rely on the government to be open and just or to restrain itself from seeking additional power and control. If authorization to purchase firearms were as simple as picking up a driver’s license, I would have no objection to such registration. As it is, I’d expect to see something more closely resembling New York’s byzantine licensing system, with substantial costs and needless bureaucratic delays.

  83. “The question at hand is whether mandated safety training before receiving a carry permit would be an undue burden. ”
    I say having to get a carry permit is an undue burden.
    Training should fall on our side of the equation and frankly it mostly does now anyway. The states that require training don’t provide training do they? If it’s required by the state, the state should offer to provide the training. My CC course could have easily been handled by an on-line e-learning experience coupled with a visit to the local range. The gun community typically goes out of their way to help newbies, as it should.

  84. This feels like one of the longest comment threads in a while! My $0.02 answer : “yes because I’m not convinced it’ll work.”

    Those that need training the most (present and future IOGTD just for starters) will not benefit from mandatory training because either:
    — they will never admit that they need it
    — won’t give a darn and won’t learn if they’re forced to take it.

  85. The person most likely to suffer as a result of bad gun handling or bad shooting is the gun owner, or a family member or friend. That suffering comes in the form of an unwanted injury or death as a result of negligence, or getting hurt/killed in a criminal attack because of inadequate gunfighting skills.

    Between classes, videos, books and DVDs everyone has access to quality training information. Dry fire is free and can be done at home.

    Those that choose to be armed but untrained and ignorant certainly have the right to do so, but should not be surprised when they are held accountable (in criminal and civil court) for their choices.

    • KR,
      You are correct, everyone should be held accountable for their actions. However, please provide me the stats that show untrained firearms owners are a serious problem in society? According to the CDC, “unintentional firearm” is not even in the top 10 list of causes of injury or death. unintentional MV traffic is number one and we have mandatory training for that. The next in the list for unintentioal causes are 2 – poisoning, 3 – fall, 8 – suffocation, 9 – unspecified and 10 -drowning.
      4 is suicide by firearm. 5 is homicide by firearm. 6 is suicide by suffocation. 7 is suicide by poisoning. With respect to unintentional, before we do mandatory firearm traing, we should maybe think about training to prevent poisoning, falling, suffocation, unspecified and drowning.

      Why must people always search for an answer to a problem that doesn’t even exist?

  86. Keeping and bearing arms is a fundamental human right, like engaging in amorous activities with your wife, writing a letter to the editor, or teaching your children your religious faith. If permission OF ANY KIND is required from a third party, that is an abrogation of the right, full stop.

    I should not have to ask for anyone’s permission in order to exercise a fundamental human right.

    Do I encourage newbs to get some training? Sure. Might someone be found negligent and liable for damages if they don’t get basic training and then engage in some foolishness? Sure. Those are very different questions from whether or not prior restraint on the exercise of a fundamental right is okay.

  87. In theory, I don’t think it’s a terrible burden, and I know quite a few people who could use some training. But I will not support any concession mandating training, for hte simple fact that we’ve given enough. All the little pieces we “agreed” to and the lage chunks we did not. NOTHING is ever good enough for the antis, They always want more. And as with all “requirements”, the training will only benefit and be utilized/followed by the folks who are law abiding. Meaning the people who are *not* doing most of the killing.

  88. the government doesn’t grant me the right to carry a gun, and neither does the Constitution. it merely protects a right granted to me by my creator, so why would i request permission from the government to carry one, open or concealed, especially seeing that same government has proven time and again that it wants to see me completely disarmed?

  89. People too often confuse “making sense” with the power to place barriers to the exercise of fundamental rights.

    Clearly, any cost/benefit “interest balancing” test cannot legimitately be used in the application of any fundamental right.

    Yes, it makes sense to encourage such training (“encourage” being the operative word), and having everyone properly trained would give us more peace of mind.

    But mandating training to exercise a constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right crosses the line, whether we believe that it makes sense or not.

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