Last week’s blog about gun sales stimulated some peripheral discussion about training, concealed carry permits, and liability. This week’s blog is a follow-up to briefly address some of the issues and questions that came from it. Or, simply put, this is Part II of last week’s blog.
Concealed Carry for Law Enforcement
Active-duty or honorably retired law enforcement officers who are permitted by their agencies to carry concealed weapons can legally do so in all fifty states, thanks to the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, known as HR 218. However, there are some requirements that need to be met, and some caveats to be aware of and to consider.
For example, there are restrictions on carrying a firearm in some county, state, or federal buildings or properties. There are also the restrictions set in place by the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1990, authored by two democrat congressmen and signed into law by President George H. W. Bush, which amazingly has no exception for off-duty or retired police officers. Given the fact there have been twenty-two school shootings since the law was enacted, it appears to be—as most pro-gun advocates could have predicted—to have been nothing more than another ineffective feel-good measure. These “gun-free” laws only deter law-abiding citizens, those who might be able to stop a deranged gunman. Clearly, the murderer is undeterred by gun laws. In fact, one could argue that they are encouraged to commit their crimes in just such “gun-free zones.”
There are 10-round gun magazine restrictions in California, Connecticut, and New York, and again, law enforcement officers carrying weapons in accordance with HR 218 are not exempt from them.
The point is, law enforcement officers need to be aware of such restrictions so that they are not unknowingly violating laws. A good article detailing the various restrictions can be found here.
Concealed Carry for Civilians
For civilians, some states allow for concealed carry when certain criteria are met and one becomes licensed to do so.
States are divided into three groups: Shall Issue, May Issue, and Constitutional Carry. USAcarry.com provides details of these classifications.
There are certain states that have reciprocity laws allowing those licensed in other states to be able to legally carry a concealed firearm in the reciprocating state. There are currently 14 states that allow its law-abiding adult citizens to carry concealed weapons without any permit (Constitutional Carry); my home state of Idaho is one of them.
Amazingly (I say in jest), citizens in this well-armed state are not going around shooting one another, nor have the radical elements of our society chosen our cities for their lawless, violent protests. The few protests that have taken place in cities such as Boise have remained civil, likely due to the overwhelming counter-protests of law-abiding, gun-carrying citizens, there to see to it that we do not become Portland.
For details on civilian concealed carry permits and state by state laws and regulations, Guns to Carry is a good resource.
Various State Laws
California is a “may-issue” state, meaning that the police chiefs and sheriffs of the various cities and counties have the ability to issue concealed weapons permits. In Los Angeles County, the odds of a regular citizen receiving a concealed weapon permit are equal to winning its state lottery. Other, more rural counties are more willing to issue—or should I say, their sheriffs and police chiefs are more likely to issue permits.
The laws of carrying concealed weapons while consuming alcohol vary from state to state. Some states mandate that you will not carry a firearm when consuming alcohol, while others are more reasonable and only restrict against carrying a firearm while intoxicated. Essentially, if you can legally drive, you are probably okay (in those states) carrying your weapon. United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) offers a comprehensive list of the various states and their restrictions here.
For law enforcement carrying under the umbrella of HR 218, annual qualifications are required, and training is presumed to have taken place regularly throughout their careers.
As for civilians, there are many classes available where one can be trained and educated, and upon successful completion, the individual will receive certification that will allow the governing agency in their home state and county to issue a permit, according to that state’s statutes relative to the matter.
Concealed Carry Liability
Whether or not you have a background in law enforcement—and even if you are professionally trained in the use of firearms—you need to familiarize yourself with the laws of your state if you plan to carry a weapon for personal defense. This is imperative. I also recommend obtaining liability insurance from one of the several companies that offer such coverage.
I recently joined the USCCA, signing up for their top-tier coverage plan, the Elite package. It costs me $47 per month, plus an extra $13 per month to include my spouse, who also carries a weapon. Sixty bucks a month is cheap insurance when it offers $2 million in coverage along with attorneys at the ready to defend you, should you be charged with a crime if forced to use your weapon in self-defense. With this subscription, I will also receive their eight issues per year of their Concealed Carry magazine, unlimited access to training videos, limited access to experts and attorneys through interactive webinars, guides to training classes, and experts in my area, and more. To me, this is a great value in today’s world.
Friends of the Concealed Carry Community
I encourage everyone who is interested in protecting our Second Amendment rights to join the NRA. My family and I are lifetime members. There is no single greater advocate with more influence in D.C. than the NRA.
If you didn’t know it, Glock (my gun of choice) offers special prices to law enforcement through its Blue Label program. It is simple to buy directly from Glock, or you can search their site to find a local gun dealer who participates in this program.
As for USCCA, after joining I received this link to use for signing up friends. Apparently, if you use it to join the USCCA, you and I both will receive some type of gift. Hopefully, it’s something awesome like a throwing ax or a kegerator.
Be well, my friends, and stay vigilant!
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