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 Essex Town Council meeting kicking the concealed carry permitting process to the RI AG's office (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Last year, I was looking to open a state-of-the-art gun range. The cops were on board. And why not? The Providence po-po need a world-class training facility (i.e., one that doesn’t close in winter) to hone their firearms skills with simunitions, a 360-degree live fire shoot house, separate cleaning and storage areas, classrooms, the works. And then Sandy Hook. The gun range project died on the spot. The post-Newtown push for civilian disarmament claimed another victim. Throughout the country, the Sandy Hook slaughter’s blowback is making us less safe, both as a society and individually. Check this tale from a commentator john B in Warwick, RI . . .

Well, nothing has changed in Warwick, Rhode Island. Last night I went before the Committee on Public Safety to be interviewed about my application for a concealed carry permit. Within a couple of minutes it was eminently clear that the committee had NO intention of approving my request. I was told to “avoid dangerous situations” “modify my behavior” and “call the police” if threatened. I was also all but accused of trumping up the letter of need I had written to support my request. I was then given the opportunity to withdraw my application but, perhaps foolishly, wanted the Committee on record as having denied the request in the event I decide to seek legal redress.

I am a physician, an honorably discharged Air Force officer well versed in firearms and do not have so much as a traffic ticket on my record. If I can’t be trusted with a firearm in the City of Warwick (a “shall” issue city BTW) I wonder who DOES qualify.

No one. My sources tell me that Warwick is turning down all applications for concealed carry permits. (You might say “save for those people with enough political juice to get it done” but I couldn’t possibly comment.)

The Providence police recently denied a concealed carry permit application from a top-notch criminal lawyer of my acquaintance, an active member of the National Guard who’s played in the sandbox for Uncle Sam on several occasions. He has the need, the experience and—never mind all that—the right to keep and bear arms.

Before Newtown, Warwick and Providence issued CC permits. You had to jump over hurdles: a criminal background check, a letter describing your reason(s) to carry a concealed firearm, three references (all interviewed), a personal interview, a shooting test, exorbitant fees ($250 in Providence) and an extra-legal wait (more than 90 days). But issue they did.

After Newtown, at least two cities have denied two law-abiding Americans their Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms; enshrined in both the United States AND Rhode Island constitutions.

Obviously, it’s worse than that.

Thanks to the post-Newtown backlash, over 100 new pieces of gun control legislation are wending their way through local, state and federal governments. None of them—“assault rifle” bans, magazine capacity limits, universal background checks, etc.—will make us safer as individuals. None of them will make us a safer society. All of them put all of us in harm’s way.

State and local police at the Essex Town Council meeting on their concealed carry permitting process (courtesy The Truth About Guns)

Two days ago, my FFL guy and I journeyed to Essex Rhode Island [top and above] to watch the town council defy some 200 gun owners.

Under the watchful eyes of seven law enforcement officers, by a margin of five to one, the council voted to kick the permitting process to the “may issue” bureaucrats at the Attorney General’s office. This despite a RI Supreme Court ruling mandating that RI cities and towns must process applications in accordance with the State’s “shall issue” provisions.

The Essex council claimed they didn’t have the expertise to investigate applicants’ suitability for the “privilege” of carrying a loaded weapon in public. Huh? Three minutes with the FBI’s instant background check system and you’re good to stow—at least in places where politicians respect citizens’ natural or human rights.

Here’s the thing: the diminutive town clerk said that no one—no one—had ever applied for a concealed carry permit in Essex. My experience gives credence to the claim. When I applied for my Providence permit I was one of five people who did so that year; two of whom were turned down.

As Joni Mitchell sang, sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. If 100 of those two hundred Essex protestors had applied for concealed carry permits before Newtown, if the town had been in the habit of issuing permits, local residents’ gun rights wouldn’t have gone bye-bye.

Now that the backlash has begun, now that The People of the Gun have woken from their political stupor, it’s time to take a stand. To protect and preserve what rights we can and then fight to reclaim lost ground.

Both men above—all free men—must man-up. We must appeal, resist, protest and fight the government’s unconstitutional rules and regulations that deny us our human or natural right to armed self-defense.

Meanwhile, the NRA and other gun rights organizations should encourage people—especially inner city minorities—to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. Their apps should flood the Powers That Be with concealed carry permit applications. They should appeal every single denial.

These are dark days for constitutional rights. For our own safety, for the safety of the American way of life, we can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to those who would sacrifice our founding principles for their dystopian vision. If we ever could.

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  1. While not discounting the threat to everybody’s gun rights when any jurisdiction plays fast and loose with our Second Amendment rights this is the price you have to pay when you live behind “enemy” lines. The Second Amendment rights movement has to fight the gun grabbers whenever and whereever they can but some places we are going to lose at least at the state or local level. Unless you have the resources to fight it out where you are, the only recourse you have is to move to a pro-Second Amendment location.

    He who defends everywhere, defends nowhere.

    • You have a point, but moving to gun-friendly states can only work for so long. Every time a state passes an AWB, that’s thousands, if not millions of people who will never see an AR15 in person, which means thousands, if not millions of people who won’t care when a federal AWB is proposed.

      Moving will only work for so long

    • And dont EVER vote democrat AGAIN. Not all democrats are gun-grabbers, but ALL gun-grabbers are democrat.
      Liberalism is a mental disorder.

  2. Making them put it in writing was the right thing to do. They can get away with any number of passive-aggressive verbal discouragements of permit-seekers, but paper will come back to haunt them later.

  3. ” They should mount a pro-active campaign to encourage people—especially inner city minorities—to exercise their right to keep and bear arms. ”

    exactly. empowerment against crime. rampant home invasions here in PG county – why should you have to hide in your own home less than a mile from the police station. police budgets are getting cut.

    too bad they are busy courting Glen Beck.

      • I think he was referring to the NRA. I could think of much more effective and trustworthy “gun guys” than Mr. Beck, or any talking head for that matter. Colion Noir takes the wind right out of their sails about gun owners all being Stormfront-posting, mouthbreathing knuckle draggers.

        PG County is a mess! I feel bad for the Beretta workers in Accokeek who will be screwed over by our wonderful governor and his puppets in Annapolis.

      • Congrats. That’s the single most out-of-bounds comment I’ve seen here. Mikey Numbers would be proud.

    • Cry me a river already. Y’all act like this is the NRA’s first rodeo. You think they don’t know that they need to reach out to inner cities and minority groups? The NRA chose Beck to HEADLINE an event because at this stage in the game they are looking to draw crowds and draw $$$. A headline speaker has to be a proven entity with name recognition, proven public speaking abilities and a clean background. Colion is great and will be a HUGE help to our cause, but before he can headline an event he must be thoroughly vetted. It’s called due diligence. The NRA isn’t just going to hand the reigns over to a rookie no matter how charismatic he may be without first pouring over ever tiny aspect of his background and personal history, ensuring he is properly trained in public speaking and speech delivery, and slowly but surely building up his name recognition. Right now you can walk up to a random stranger on the streets and ask them who Colion Noir is and you’ll get a deafening “Huh???” in response. Being a YouTube personality is far, far different than being the face of the NRA. You can headline all the events you want with Colion right now, those inner city kids you guys are all rabid about still ain’t gonna come running. Why? Because they don’t care. Yet. Inner cities are reached much more effectively at the grass roots level than on a national level. For now, Colion and similar personalities are most useful on a smaller scale basis to personally connect with mothers, councilmen, teens in the inner cities, looking them in the eye and assuring them that the 2nd Amendment isn’t the evil that Democrats have told them it is.

      Now, if a year down the road the 2014 elections close in and the NRA still hasn’t ratcheted up the publicity for Colion then b*tch all you want, I’ll be right there with you. But for now, let the players play the game.

      • Shenandoah +1000 some of these people remind me of liberals with their mood swings. One minute they praise the NRA and want to donate money and the next they are sitting in the corner pouting like a teenage girl who’s not getting her way.

  4. I don’t understand how you can encourage “free men” to “resist, protest, and fight” against “unconstitutional rules and regulations” but then in almost the same breath tell them to seek permission to exercise their rights.

    Submitting to governement permitting validates their position of power.
    Fvck their rules and Live Free Now!

      • I’ve been carrying freely for 11 years and counting. As a lawyer, you know that “All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution, are null and void.” Why should we bother pretending that CCW has any validity?

        • “I’ve been carrying freely for 11 years and counting.”

          Where? Are you carrying freely in a place where it’s legal, or extra-judicially?

        • VA, D.C., RI, MA, MI, CA, FL, NC, SC, TN, MS.

          There’s nothing “extra-judicial” about it. As I quoted above, those “laws” are “null and void.”

          I do not require permission to be free.

        • I will contribute $1 to your defense fund if you setup a case in DC. If you win then my wife can carry to work.

        • No bubba, the bill of rights says you and your cellmate can’t bend me over like this and make me an unwilling participant in prison sodomy! I shouldn’t even be here! All laws are null and void

        • Henry:

          As I posted below, there were laws against concealed carry in virtually every state in the early days of the Republic when the Second Amendment was a given. I cannot believe that if the Amendment covered concealed firearms that the judges of the day would not have tossed those laws.

          I go with Virginia Supreme Court’s reasoning on the right to keep and bear arms. They meant that the open carrying or arms was a protected right. Concealment was option left to the States. I am getting the sense that you actually don’t believe in the authority of Constitution.

    • Good for your Henry. I have never applied for my CCW because I don’t think it’s the governments business but that hasn’t stopped me from carrying. All the responses to you are exactly why we are losing this fight and why Democrats will beat us into submission. Everyone wants their rights back but no one is willing to put in the necessary work. They think this can be done without spilling a little blood and getting your hands dirty. The founding fathers would be disgusted with Americans. George Washington would have thrown in the towel if he had to fight with the people of today.

      People always have an excuse as to why they can’t fight for what they believe in. The basketball game is on that night, or I would have gone to the protest if I didn’t already have prior plans. What is more important, your golf game with your buddies? Dinner plans that you can do any other day of the week? Pathetic! If it’s not that excuse it’s the “I don’t want to go to jail”. Can you imagine people telling General George Washington they would fight butttt they have a family and well, I could possibly go to jail over this so I have to pass, but you go out there and fight hard and please win because I really want my freedom. If everyone joined in and flipped the bird to the government and said we are carrying anyway, what are you going to do about it? We will not register our guns or use an FFL. I don’t care if your state law says 7 or 10 is the limit, I am using 30, 60 and 100. Do you honestly think they could put millions of us in jail? This is the only way to get through to these people that hate us and they will do anything they can to take away our rights away because you people are perfectly content to sit back and let them. The biggest threat they get from you is “just wait till 2014”. Yeah, that will scare them! Although I don’t care for liberals I will give them credit for their will to fight. They aren’t afraid to go out there and get physical when necessary. This is why they now run the country and why they will continue to make the rules for the foreseeable future.

  5. Reminds me of MN in the pre-shall-issue days. The Chief of Police for my town was quoted (except I’m gonna hafta paraphrase because it was over a decade ago) quoted as saying “I don’t care if you are being chased down the street by a man with a bloody knife; as far as I’m concerned no civilian[sic] needs a concealed carry permit.”

    • “I don’t care if you are being chased down the street by a man with a bloody knife; as far as I’m concerned no civilian[sic] needs a concealed carry permit.”

      That could be taken two ways (i.e. 1. nobody gets a gun or b. nobody needs a permit because the bill of rights is your permit.) Of course we all know what he meant was A.

    • A chief of police that says “I dont care if you are being chased down the street by a man with a bloody knife: as far as I’m concerned no civilian needs a concealed carry permit” should be assassinated on the spot.
      Better judged by twelve than carried by six.

  6. Screw the government and the state ! It’s MY life I seek to protect. I will cary no matter what the frekin so called unconstitutional law says. IT’S MY LIFE !

  7. So, RF, are any of those you mentioned going to start a lawsuite against the cities in question?

  8. I don’t understand how some of you all live where you do. I’m not trying to be a smart ass I just don’t know how you do it. Thank God I live where I do!

    • For many of us it is family, work or a combination of both. While I am in CT I will fight. It is almost a requirement. Look, the libtards move about and make where ever they move a libtard haven, someone will always have to fight. Fight here, fight there some place or another these libtards are there to fight. If you think this will soon be over, you are mistaken. They are organizing for 2014 elections and 2016 elections.

      The fight never stops. If you think you are safe, look around you, someone is always there to undermine your freedom, because that is what libtards do.

      Even after Brady, DiFi and Bloomberg are six feet under, there will be someone to take there place.

  9. Nothing will change till it it gets costly for them(or the nuclear option, force). It is starting to go that way in NY. We can cost them jobs, lost revenue & hopefully jury awards in the future. When the attorneys take on the civil rights cases with just contingency payment they are done, extra crispy,Randy

  10. Don’t pay any attention to the law. Better to be tried by twelve than carried by six. If you don’t tell anyone you are “carrying”, they won’t know. Unless you do something incredibly stupid or negligent, no one will ever know unless you have to defend yourself (see above).

  11. 7 police officers ” on duty” for a town council meeting? If true it is a ridiculous waste of man power. I assume the stated purpose was crowd control but intent was intimidation? In case the Police don’t know, criminals don’t go to town meetings to air their concerns with their town government. Get in your cruiser, patrol the streets, and go get real bad guys.

    • “… and go get real bad guys.”

      To the ruling elite, independent and self-sufficient citizens are the bad guys. The police were simply doing the bidding of their masters.

  12. Thankfully once a couple of key cases move it through the SCOTUS May Issue CC will be unconstitutional and Rhode Island, along with New York and California will be FORCED to “give” you back your rights. Just hang in there. It is always darkest before the dawn but we are on the cusp of some key court rulings that will finally begin to restore the 2A.

    • I doubt that the SCOTUS will decide that shall issue is protected by the Second Amendment. Concealed carry was generall illegal in early days of the Republic, i.e., no honest man needs to conceal his gun, and this was during era when the Second Amendment was unquestiioned.

      The Virginia Supreme Court, which is very pro-Second Amendment or more properly pro Article 1 Section 13 of the Virginia Constitution, ruled that only open carry is protected under the Federal and Virginia consitutions. That is a good indication how the current SCOTUS would rule on concealed carry. I would love the SCOTUS to come down the same way that Virginia did. It would drive Bloomberg crazy if he had to let New Yorkers walk around visibly packing heat.

      • Well most of these may issue states also prohibit OC. I suppose may issue CC for Constitutional Carry OC would be a worth while trade off. I think that will be the result of some lawsuits from California(cant remember the name of the case) basically California won in the past by saying that they permitted OC…then they banned OC after the ruling by the state court…so yeah…I imagine that might frost the SCOTUS a little bit.

        That would be amazing, SCOTUS ruling that open carry of handguns or rifles had to be permitted…

        • I think they would see concealed carry as State’s rights issue. If the court came down with an either or decision I thnk you would see every jurisdiction move to shall issue for concealed carry. Most anti-Second Amendment politicians would prefer that guns not be seen and further normalized.

        • I agree with tdiinva … I cannot imagine any of the current anti-freedom states allowing default constitutional open carry. I think they would implement may-issue concealed carry or at best “shall-issue” concealed carry with a bazillion restrictions, caveats, and provisos.

          Of course we cannot overestimate their obstinance and stupidity. The anti-freedom states may just stick to open carry only assuming that peer pressure would reduce open carry to practically zero. And if peer pressure didn’t reduce open carry to practically zero, then law enforcement would harass anyone openly carrying and frequently charge open carriers with brandishing, menacing, and disorderly conduct. In other words the anti-freedom states would count on peer pressure and extralegal law enforcement intimidation to eliminate open carry in public.

      • I’d kind of spooge is SCOTUS mandated open carry w/out a permit be allowed in TX. 1911 here I’d come 😀

    • But they’ll be back; they ALWAYS come back. It’s their MO. They count on US to give up. But I think the public mind, to whatever extent it may exist, is beginning to tip, ever so slightly, towards our direction.

      Don’t give up the fight. Never stop trying to change minds. Though I realize that some minds are totally resistant to change. Try anyway.

      I recently lost a friend of nearly 45 years over this. I know how much it hurts when someone you’ve known nearly your entire life suddenly declares you to be “right-wing, anti-choice, conspiracy theorist gun nut.”
      I think I got that right. There’s a tiny bit of truth in every one of those accusations, but he damn well knows I’m a LOT more complex that that!

      • I’m with you. I am a rightwing, pro-choice (drugs, sex, and large capacity sodas), generally anti-aborton, don’t do conspiracies, gun nut.

  13. How much of it is Newtown and how much is having a 2nd term anti-gun president?

    I think Newtown only served as a springboard for an anti-gun agenda that was years in the making.
    The president was able to use it as a means to get on camera and rile up those that may support gun control. Clearly they were asleep as well and were just idle until they got called to action.

    I suspect that the mass shooting came a few weeks earlier than they intended to launch this campaign, but it was too perfect to pass up. Especially after Illinois was about to lose its ban on conceal carry.

    • Newton let the President take the spotlight off of the rest of his failed Presidency and finally allow him to “try and do something”. The President is looking for something, ANYTHING to keep everyones attention from the disaster that has been both his first and second term. The media is only all too willing to play along with this.

    • “How much of it is Newtown and how much is having a 2nd term anti-gun president?”

      I think it’s about 60-70. By which I mean this has become a LOT larger than life.

      “I suspect that the mass shooting came a few weeks earlier than they intended to launch this campaign, but it was too perfect to pass up.”

      That’s an excellent comment, and you just may be right. But here’s where my lil “conspiracy theorist” steps forward to say he believes they’ve ALWAYS got a few guys – Lanza, Holmes, etc., etc., on a mind-control leash that can be turned loose exactly when they need him the most.

      • Part of the problem is that anyone who questions the official narrative is automatically labeled as a cook and conspiracy theorist. Do I think all conspiracy theories are true, or hold some truth? No, and most probably aren’t all that accurate, but I absolutely think it’s healthy and wise to consider all possible explanations given they are supported by some semblance of fact.

        Do I think the government was really behind Newtown and Aurora? No…but I am open to that possibility. Who really knows what our government is capable of and what its intentions are? None of us do, which is why we must always be skeptical.

      • A friend of mine said that he found embedded in the HTML on the original Newtown relief website that it was created a week before the actual shooting. That original site has been since taken down and replaced. Does anyone know how this could possibly be verified?

    • “They (mass shootings) are also among the toughest to prevent, unless one is willing to go for a total gun ban.”

      Whoa hoss! I beg to differ. Mass shootings are not so tough to prevent. The way to prevent mass shootings is for the people to be prepared to protect themselves. Further, gun bans make the situation worse providing helpless targets. The only way to eliminate shootings altogether is to wave that magic wand and vaporize all firearms in the world. Of course assaults of other sorts will soar but everybody knows it’s better to be bludgeoned with a claw hammer than to be shot, right?

      I know it was probably just an oversite Dave but you gotta get your head and your arguments in the right place.

      • Well, there are two ways to try to reduce mass shootings. The Australian “ban everything” way and the concealed carry way. I happen to be for liberty, just like about everyone in this blog, but some folks aren’t. What I will not claim, however, is that massive gun bans may not reduce mass shootings. They may, it’s just too high a price to pay for loss of liberty and the ability to defend oneself against other type of crime, which are much more common than mass shootings.

  14. Texas isn’t perfect, but compared to a lot of places in the nation, it’s pretty much heaven.

    • Except for that hellish weather in the summer, but other than that I’ve enjoyed every visit I’ve made to the Lone Star State.

      Regarding open carry prohibitions in whatever state, they’re just bizarre. Here in NC it’s even a little crazier than that. We are technically open carry (except in certain towns and cities) but we also have a law against “going armed to the terror of the public” which means I guess you can open carry unless we decide we need a reason to arrest you.

      • NC has some really warped gun laws. Nowhere near the same level as CA or NY, just…weird. Paying $5 for a Pistol Permit for the sheriff to call NICS instead of the gun store doing it.

  15. Bloomberg has 22 billion at his disposable
    his aim is to become the first total dictator of America.
    Yes, he has competition, but he is behind much of the Progressive’s drive to disarm America

  16. Sure, there are some areas where civilian disarmament advocates have momentum. Of course there are other areas where they have zero traction.

    Just a few short years ago, I acquired a concealed handgun carry license mostly on a whim. As I started carrying, I began to notice and think about various scenarios, restrictions, and politics. About a year ago, I contacted my state representatives to share my desires about firearms legislation. Last summer, I attended my first ever political rally. Early this year, I contacted every elected person — state governor, representatives, and senators as well as our president, federal representatives, and federal senators. And for the last year I have posted simple, clear, verifiable, compelling gun rights posts on various blogs and even newspapers.

    The game changer in all of this is the Internet. I am able to learn, verify or invalidate arguments, and see what is happening thanks to all of the information that is readily available via the Internet. This would have been almost impossible just 10 years ago.

    People advocating for gun rights have logic, data, reason, truth, and even emotion on our side. It is spreading. If it were not, there would not be record numbers of people carrying concealed in our nation. And people like my mild mannered neighbor would not have stated just a week after the Sandy Hook school massacre that we need armed parents and teachers in our children’s schools.

    Keep reaching out. Keep presenting clear, compelling, simple truths AND emotions. And most importantly, keep trying to bring new people to a gun range to shoot — especially your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews!!!

  17. RF is so very right. Pro 2a groups need to reach out and be inclusive of minorities. Especially in the inner cities. As a black man that grew up in NYC, I can assure you that there are many wonderful law abiding citizens that would be happy to have a legal means to defend themselves from the criminals that prey on them. Unfortunately , growing up in the city we received no info about bearing arms or 2A.
    It was only after I left the city that I found out about my right to bear arms and now legally do so. So anything pro 2a groups can do to enlighten and educate folks in our cities would benefit us all. Imagine if an organized group of millions began demanding their rights …..oh yeah that has been done. We called it Civil Rights. Well this is just another chapter in that struggle. We shall overcome indeed!

    • Leon,

      Thank you for your post. You make a point that I would have never imagined: perhaps millions of people in densely populated urban centers quite literally have no idea that they have the unalienable right to both keep and bear arms. For whatever reason, I figured many people in urban centers simply wanted nothing to do with firearms which always baffled me. My intuition has always told me that, as you stated, many citizens “… would be happy to have a legal means to defend themselves from the criminals that prey on them.”

      I learned of a similar situation: many children in urban centers have never seen a forest or a farm. All they have seen are “concrete jungles” and assumed (understandably) that the entire world was like that.

      Maybe a simple education campaign is all that we need? Would it be effective if someone distributed testimony and photos of citizens who legally carry concealed or openly. How about if we point people in urban centers to simple videos on YouTube showing real, every day people carrying concealed or openly — and even having a friendly exchange with a law enforcement officer while carrying?

  18. Uncommon_Sense thank you.
    Anything that can truly inform and educate all people about 2a and their rights can only help our cause. Truly inform means not Fox or MSNBC! As someone said earlier in the cities it is often a grass roots approach that works best. Perhaps a 2a group meeting with a civic group to share information would be a good start.

  19. It was Exeter, not Essex. Only in Rhode Island! This is why I’m writing a paper about RI’s concealed carry laws for college.

    Mr. Farago – I’ll send you a copy.

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