With the upcoming Senate vote on the the Reciprocity Bill, the usual suspects are raising the hysterical volume to Occupy Drum Band levels. The main argument appears to be that cops and local governments cannot verify if a concealed weapon license is valid and that it is a risk to LEOs who might stop a car or a person with a concealed gun and this puts their lives at risk. The other argument is that out of state visitors will run amok and kill innocent people because the requirements vary too much from state to state.
Let’s clear the air, shall we?
1) Police Officers are trained to treat every stop they make as if they were dealing with a dangerous subject. Basically, if they do not know you, you are a suspect until proven otherwise. I am still amazed that Police Chiefs go on camera insinuating that their officers are dumb enough or untrained on how to approach a person. And if they are not trained in that particular subject, the blame lies with the Police Chief, not on legal gun owners carrying a gun with a permit. It only takes watching several episodes of COPS and hear the rank and file officer comment on how they approach every single call to realize the Richter magnitude scale of rubbish in the assertion that LEOs will become lambs to slaughter because they might stop a Law Abiding Citizen carrying a concealed weapon.
2) If you are stopped, the officer will run a background check on you anyway. So, if you are a criminal and manage to get your hands on a carry license or have a fake one, the standard background check will show you are not allowed nearby a weapon and your license to carry is invalid in any and all states. And if you are packing, you are going to jail or get shot on the spot if your hand goes anywhere near your gun.
3) Under National Reciprocity, the Citizen MUST abide by the laws of the state he is visiting. I have seen hints and even outright accusations from the sophisticated people fearing that “weirdos” from Florida or Arizona are not good enough to have a gun in their more “advanced” states and follow the law. First of all, comments like that reek of unadulterated prejudice and I am tired of idiots that consider themselves superior because they live in a zip code that begins with 10 and thinks the rest of his fellow citizens are to be considered mentally retarded fools that should be put in pens unless they are taking a vacation in Boca Raton visiting the In-Laws and he might need somebody to valet park his rented Caddy of fix them a Mojito.
There are plenty of CCWers that have already traveled to other states where there is reciprocity without problems because we are the must Law Abiding segment of the population. If there was an actual problem, they would have data showing problems with Out Of State CCWs and that data would have already come up and be used by the Chiefs of Police that oppose National Reciprocity, but since we behave, their only recourse is to lie about what might happen.
4) States that do not require a license to carry still issue a license at the request of the Citizen. With the exception of
New Hampshire Vermont, states with Constitutional Carry will issue a license to those who apply for it. That way if a citizen of those states wants to travel across the nation with his/her gun, he/she will be complying with the law.
5) Antis complain that some states requirements are too lax and will endanger people in states with more stringent requirements. This is a veiled accusation to instill in minds that Criminals can get permits easily in supposedly lax states. As far as I know, all states that issue licenses have the same basic pattern: Fill a form with your personal data, have a picture taken, have your fingerprints taken, have a NICS (federal) background check done and proof of safely being able to handle a firearm which requires a certificate from a firearms instructor (Note:Georgia and Alabama do not require training to exercise a Constitutional Right). There are some minor variations per state but that is pretty much the minimum. Some states add different things such as longer training, some restrictions as who can obtain a permit and even some use the old Jim Crow standard of “Good Character determined by Law Enforcement” and getting recommended by 2 respectable people. Now, remember that Gun Control is not about guns but about control; with that in mind, what the antis are afraid of is to lose the control they have on their local citizens because somebody from other state would be able to carry a gun and defend himself whereas the residents of such state have an incredible hard time getting a permit or not at all. Can you imagine the storm of controversy that would result at the headline “Florida Tourist Attacked by Gang Members In NYC Subway Uses His Gun And Defends Himself.” Or “Arizona Woman Shoots Would-Be Rapist in Trenton, NJ.” These are two states that have concealed weapons permits in their laws, but it is almost impossible for the local Joe or Jane to obtain one. But if they happen to see that somebody from other state can carry a gun and defend himself where he or she can’t would will be too much to bear and you can bet people will demand that the process to get weapons permit for the citizens of those states be expedited.
And again, there are many states with supposedly “lax” requirements that have reciprocity agreements with states with more “stringent” ones and, if there are problems, they are not being reported (fat chance, media would love to bash on that) or they are so miniscule as to be inconsequential.
I think I covered the gist of it and the post in itself is getting to long. Please feel free to comment or add to my rant.