The right to bear arms discreetly
should not require government-issued permission slips
It's time for "Freedom To Carry" to replace "Right To Carry"
No tests. No taxes. No paperwork. No fingerprints in the criminal database.
No photographs. No expiration dates. No plastic-coated permission slip.
Just rights. For all law-abiding adults.
Carry permits have helped educate the public about the value of firearms,
the safety and crime deterrence that an armed public represents,
and have helped destroy the blood-in-the-street myths the "news" media
and hoplophobic officials and others spread like a disease.
Now it's time to get back to the "culture of marksmanship" our Founders
envisioned, a nation trained to arms, where even young lads and ladies
take their place as knowledgable and safe firearms owners.
Constitutional Carry is the next step in this logical progression
as America regains an uninfringed right to keep and bear arms.
READ: Background on the principles of Constitutional Carry
READ: Arizona enacts Constitutional Carry, a model for the nation
States planning to introduce
or that have already introduced
Constitutional Carry laws in their legislatures:
Indiana • Iowa • Maine • Montana • Nevada • Ohio
Rhode Island • South Carolina • Texas • Utah • Virginia • Wisconsin
(If your state has plans for Constitutional Carry let us know.)
Vermont has had Constitutional Carry since the nation's founding in 1791--
they never enacted any law banning the right to discreetly bear arms.
Montana enacted Constitutional Carry in 1991, for all areas
outside city limits (99.4% of the state), and is working on the rest.
Alaska enacted Constitutional Carry in 2003.
Texas enacted Constitutional Carry "light" in 2007
as the "Motorist Protection Act," freeing people to carry in their vehicles,
and to and from their vehicles and their homes, land or business.
Arizona got full Constitutional Carry in 2010,
and the sky has not fallen, despite desperate fears to the contrary.
Wyoming enacted Constitutional Carry for residents in 2011.
Is your state next? Breathe the air of freedom!
Make it so:
TIPS ON GETTING THIS FREEDOM IN YOUR STATE
From a first-rate field-tested lobbyist:
My best advice would be to try to get as much law enforcement buy-in as you can from the beginning. Like it or not, the LEO lobbyists tend to have a lot of influence at state houses, and especially in the Governor's office. If you can get them to the table at the start, that's a big plus.
Even if you can't get them to concede anything, it makes a difference if you can go to legislators and staffers and be able to say that you tried to negotiate with them and address their issues, but they refused to talk to you. It puts the onus on them to concede something or deal with the bill as is, a position they are not accustomed to being in. If you reached out your hand to them, and they slapped it away, that's a talking point.
Same goes for the NRA. The NRA state liaison can be a help or hindrance, depending on the person, but I do not recommend that you run a gun bill without their buy-in. They have a lot of influence at state capitols, even in traditionally anti-gun legislatures, and if you don't have their cooperation, you probably won't get very far.
Not being sure how much lobbying experience you have, I hesitate to tell you how to do the job. However, always keep in mind that facts are paramount. Never be caught in a lie or a half-truth. If you don't have an answer on any particular question, simply tell them you don't have it, but you will get it, then do so. Leave the lies to the other guys, it catches up to them in the end.
Also, be prepared to have many people you believe are or ought to be "on your side" come out against the bill, particularly from the ranks of instructors. They will argue that no one should be able to carry a gun without training and permits. Understand that constitutional arguments, despite their validity, will mostly fall on deaf ears.
The stark reality is that, from a purely statistical standpoint, there is no evidence that shows that training results in a safer society. You can contact Prof. John Lott for confirmation of this thesis. While this seems counterintuitive, and many will argue exactly that, the numbers don't lie. There are many states that issue permits with no training requirement, and they are as safe as those that require training. Ditto for those states that don't require permits at all.
Keep in mind that this does not, and should not, mean that I, or you, or anyone else, should be anti-training. On the contrary, gun-safety training and marksmanship should always be front and center. I am a certified firearms instructor, as are several of my colleagues, and we all encourage everyone to be trained and competent. What we oppose, and what we recommend that you focus on, is one-size-fits-all government-knows-best mandates. Just as we don't simply hammer on the square peg to make it fit the round hole, we shouldn't make everyone fit into the mold of a standardized government training class and call it good. The free market can, and should, decide.
Name withheld on request.
And let me add -- The government-prescribed class had weird elements and omited a lot, so people everywhere felt it missed the mark. Forced to obey the standards, instructors avoided material they considered crucial. (In AZ, the lesson plan allocated insufficient time to various segments, so adding material wasn't possible, and omiting "approved" material was prohibited). Now, classes are run by professionals who decide, based on their experience and the students they reach out to, how to properly structure a class.
Many of these government "cartel" trainers became a problem. They only went into business because the government mandate forced people to take their classes, and they recognized that free ride. They would never have been able to be in business if they had to attract customers based on merit or marketing (or they would have been doing so already). The threat of losing their government rice bowl turned them into a lobby against gun rights. We understood this would happen even as we pressed the early permission-slip system into place in 1994, 16 years earlier.. It was a price we had to pay, and slings and arrows we had to endure, to advance our rights one step forward at a time. The virulence with which government-licensed trainers fought us surprised me. So, don't you be surprised. You're an American. You can do this.
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