Permitless Carry - the Norm in the USA


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Werewolf
June 14, 2006, 12:42 PM
What percent of the public in states where concealed carry is legal actually know that they can get a permit?

Based on my experience I'd have to say the percentage is very, very low. Heck - I've been a shooter for 35 years and to be honest I never imagined that a citizen could carry a concealed weapon legally until 2003 when I decided the times had changed enough to look into getting a permit - if such a thing was even possible. It turned out that CCW had been law in OK since 1995!

From talking to folks at work and casual conversation elsewhere not 1 in 10 that I've spoken to know that they can legally carry a concealed weapon and OK is a gun friendly state! Of the 1 in 10 that do know at least half don't see the need (each to his own) and the half that imagine there is a need won't make the effort to get a permit.

So where exactly am I going with this train of thought?

In another thread it was mentioned that if the current generation grows up with CCW that it is entirely possible that permitless carry in all the USA could become the norm.

Maybe...

Maybe Not(!) - especially if the general population is unaware that concealed carry is indeed legal and that folks they associate with daily do carry.

Over the past three years I have observed that for many if not most of us here who have a CCW permit discussing with others the fact that we do have one is a definite no-no. Should that be the case? If we don't discuss it how are folks supposed to learn that law abiding citizens go about armed on a regular basis - and - that, that is a good thing? The media sure isn't gonna tell'em.


If we want the current generation to grow up comfortable with concealed carry and thus make permitless carry in the USA the norm don't they have to know that a percentage of the population does in fact carry a concealed weapon? If we don't tell them how will they know?


What can be done to make the general population more aware that concealed carry and why we do it is indeed legal?


Should the general population even be made aware of the legality of concealed carry? Maybe if more of them knew, more would wonder why carry is legal, and petition their legislatures to repeal it?

What say you?

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Hawkmoon
June 14, 2006, 01:21 PM
If we want the current generation to grow up comfortable with concealed carry and thus make permitless carry in the USA the norm don't they have to know that a percentage of the population does in fact carry a concealed weapon? If we don't tell them how will they know?

What can be done to make the general population more aware that concealed carry and why we do it is indeed legal?

Should the general population even be made aware of the legality of concealed carry? Maybe if more of them knew more would wonder why and petition their legislatures to repeal it?
Your problem is that your question is limited to "concealed" carry, when the issue is "carry."

This is one of the primary arguments in favor of carrying openly where and when it is legal -- to acclimate the next generation of yuppies that not every person carrying a gun is a gangsta or a mafia hit man. Carrying concealed and then making a point to announce everywhere you go that you are carrying a concealed handgun sort of defeats the purpose.

But the Constitution does not place any limitations on mode of carry. In fact, when you cut to the chase the Constitution actually says that any laws or regulations which do impose limitations on mode of carry are not allowed (what part of "infringed" do lawmakers not comprehend?).

If we want people to be comfortable with the reality of guns in public, we need to (a) push for wider acceptance of open carry in addition to concealed carry, and (b) we need to practice open carry more often when and where it is legal.

geekWithA.45
June 14, 2006, 01:32 PM
The central issue to which you are speaking is the overall percentage of the population that is

A) aware of and
B) willing to excercise

their right to be armed for their personal defense.

You are entirely correct:

The number is far too low , AND
the cultural "center of mass" still weighs against us.

That being said, there is a BIG FACTOR that is rarely discussed here, in part because it speaks to a vulnerability that we just don't like.

True, we're nearly unanimous in our animosity towards "permission slips" for what should be practicable as an ordinary human right,

BUT,

I don't think that we, as a group, fully understand or appreciate just how much those "permission slips" get us in terms of PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE.

It provides a fig leaf against a LOT of people who'd otherwise bestir themselves to object out of ignorance and fear, by providing them with the "oh, at least they're trained and licensed" escape valve.

The practical import is that we're going to have to tolerate "permission slip" carry, while we muster the weight of the cultural center of mass to our side of the coin.

To do that, we're stuck in the bad tactical situation of having to proselytize...quietly.

Sam Adams
June 14, 2006, 02:04 PM
The practical import is that we're going to have to tolerate "permission slip" carry, while we muster the weight of the cultural center of mass to our side of the coin.

To do that, we're stuck in the bad tactical situation of having to proselytize...quietly.

I couldn't agree more. I don't like having to pay for the permission to exercise a basic right (think about having to pay the government for permission to attend a house of worship, or to write a letter to a legislator)...but at least then I won't get hauled into jail for having the means to defend myself and my family.

We lost our ability to exercise our RKBA one salami slice at a time, and we'll have to get it back the same way - like it or not.

As to the proselytizing, we should all do it, as much as possible. Take non-shooters to the range, show them what is really involved, show them the (hopefully) courteous and safe actions of fellow gun owners that you don't even know, and talk to them about the politics of the matter.

1 at a time is how we're going to win this thing. It will be a long battle, but we'll win if we persevere.

xd9fan
June 14, 2006, 02:59 PM
Great posts guys.....My hope is that someday americans will understand that ,reguardless of what the two parties/Federal Govt say or do, you dont need a permission slip from them for your Rights or to practise them.

I am very vocal to people at work and family/friends about the fact that I have a permit and explain the reasons why. I then go about my life and try my damnest to be a good citizen and father. and I know this has turned a few around and has made more NRA members to boot. The new gunowners discover a self-relience that they never thought possible before. I'm sure all of you have had similiar experiences. I think en mass this is how "change for the better" works. (at times its just too slow)

Autolycus
June 14, 2006, 03:44 PM
For a few years I did not know that CCW was even possible. I bought my first gun when I was 21 at a local gunshop. FOr awhile we heard that you could carry in Texas or in your car but not on your hip. As I got more into the gunworld I learned that it was entirely possible.

Many people I knew did not know that it was possible for everyday people. We always thought only with permission from someone up on high like the governor it was ok. Like in the movie "Untouchables" where Frank Nitti has his permit signed by the mayor.

Then I called a buddy who was in Georgia with the army and he mentioned he got his permit. I was floored and I learned that Americans still have the ability to CCW legally. It blew my mind.

We need to get the message that it is not abnormal to CCW. We also need to break down societies fear of guns. Everyone thinks guns are bad and forgets it is the criminals. Societies fear of guns is the bigger issue.

Marshall
June 14, 2006, 04:01 PM
What percent know they can carry legally but decide to carry concealed without a permit, on purpose? Anyone have a guess?

cambeul41
June 14, 2006, 04:23 PM
Discussion of self-defense, home defense, concealed carry, and the law come up in class discussion – I make sure it does.

I just prepared two copies of a CD on the subject. Tomorrow one goes to a cop for whom I will tailor homework aimed at increasing his understanding. He will be allowed to do the regular work if he chooses, but he can choose, if he wishes, 2A and CCW topics.

On Saturday, another copy goes to a young woman who told me of being beaten nearly to death by a “boy friend.” She told me she has thought of self-defense, but did not know where to seek information.

I try to do my share towards getting the word out.

Brian D.
June 14, 2006, 04:28 PM
Wow, you've been a shooter for 35 years, and something of this nature went unnoticed by you, for eight years?? Hmm, don't think it's ever taken me eight years to know about a large change in the law, such as the passage of legal CCW. Can't believe that the mainstream media kept it under the radar that completely.

No disrespect intended, but they passed CCW in your state in 1995 and you knew nothing of it until 2003?:confused:

Jim March
June 14, 2006, 05:01 PM
State-level RKBA groups need to do "get out the CCW drives" with the same enthusiasm that political parties put into voter registration drives.

That means advertising above all. Billboards, newspaper ads, what have you. Do it in conjunction with local gun shops.

If the CCW issuance percentage is down near 2% or whatever, that needs to be seen as a crisis that needs solving.

Werewolf
June 14, 2006, 05:20 PM
No disrespect intended, but they passed CCW in your state in 1995 and you knew nothing of it until 2003?Well - I wasn't paying attention and no one was really trying very hard to get my attention which goes right to the heart of my point.

The state didn't make an issue of CCW - it just passed (strongly democratic controlled house and senate at the time - democrats in OK would be Republicans anywhere else but as Dems I imagine that they had to toe the party line and keep a low profile about the law they were gonna pass - or they were just keep'n up with the Jones' - TX). I don't remember CCW being in the news at the time either, though undoubtedly it was, probably buried way back in the depths of the the local pages which I hardly ever read.

My other excuse - I didn't feel the need to carry a weapon until one day I woke up, thought about the fact that my home had been broken into 3 times in 10 years, the theatre I regularly took my family to had turned into a gang banger hang out, cars blaring out gangsta rap were starting to show up in the neighborhood in the wee hours of the morning blaring that horrible crap for all to hear and my daughter's car was broken into while she sat on the front porch in plain view of the action. The times - they had changed since I was young - it was time for me to change with them. I looked into CCW - actually called the local PD and asked if a private citizen could get a permit to carry a gun and if so what I had to do to get a carry permit. They told me - I did and the rest is history. There haven't been 5 times I've left home unarmed since Nov 2003 (and one of the times I did leave home without it if I'd arrived 5 minutes earlier at my destination I would have definitely needed it - the big guy upstairs is looking after me I guess).

pete f
June 14, 2006, 05:43 PM
I think it depends on the location too.

My grandfather had a business in Massachusetts and was of the old school and paid IN CASH every friday. 25 -30 guys making 3-400 a week, that was some serious cash in 1960's, He would go to Rotary and then stop at the bank, pick up the envelopes, (someone there would put each workers pay in exact change into the pay envelopes) and then he would dry back to the shop and hand out pay as the guys finished up for the week. One day when I was maybe 10 I asked him if he was afraid of getting robbed, he smiled and said, "yes, but they should be afraid of me too." He would keep his pay in his left breast pocket of his suit, and directly under it, he showed me another little pocket that held a little Savage pocket hammerless. He never had a permit, never did my uncle who worked in the same town. Permits were virtually unobtainable. but no "upstanding citizen" ever needed one.

I know in the seventies, it was the same way in Chicago. There a "permit" was likely to be a business card from an alderman or precinct commander with a little note scribbled on the back, something along the lines of "please treat my friend ________ with all due consideration" If you saw "The Untouchables" with Kevin Costner, you saw a Chicago permit in the courthouse scene. But even without, many many business owners and upstanding people had guns and rarely if ever did a person get charged unless they crossed the line.

I think this changed after Mayor Daley the 1st, as bad as he was, he was not in the habit of making decisions he knew to be unpopular with the voters. A liquor store owner who shoots a robber was never the bad guy. Same with probably any Voter who had a reason to defend his life and property. After Richard the first died, things really changed politically, I think Byrne was the first who really decided to vilify the weapon instead of the criminal and Washington extended this, as it was easy for him to get votes by blaming guns and not bad parenting.

I do not have percentages or data. I only have anecdotal evidence, but I believe that a great many people carry without a permit. Perhaps less than before, but many many do today.

Standing Wolf
June 14, 2006, 06:39 PM
I got my first carry permit in 1979.

I doubt I'll live long enough, but I'd dearly love to see the day when keeping and bearing arms, irrespective of method, requires no government permission or paper work whatever.

ConstitutionCowboy
June 14, 2006, 08:45 PM
Used to be that no permit was ever required. With the introduction of gun control laws, it became "possible" for states to issue permits, as exceptions to the unconstitutional laws originally forbidding carrying guns(open or concealed). It is a matter of going back to the way it was - the way it should be - in line with the Constitution.

Oklahoma has a unique statement in its carry laws that says, and I quote, " ... The Oklahoma Self-Defense Act shall be liberally construed to carry out the constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense and self-protection. The provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act are cumulative to existing rights to bear arms and nothing in Section 1290.1 et seq. of this title shall impair or diminish those rights..." To me, that says Oklahoma law does not prohibit a person from exercising his or her constitutionally protected right to bear arms, and that this provision in the law(extracted from Title 21, Paragraph 1290.25 LEGISLATIVE INTENT) would be an affirmative defense in Oklahoma court if one were to choose to carry without a permit.

Woody

The underlying problem concerning the law that "allows" or "requires" us to get a permit is law that makes carrying a gun "unlawful" to begin with. It starts there, then laws are passed that create exceptions to the original law, to allow carry under certain conditions after you jump through a few hoops and pay a fee. It is that original law that is unconstitutional. Eliminate that original law, then there is no opportunity to require permits. B.E.Wood

vito
June 15, 2006, 07:36 AM
Reading this thread makes me really depressed. I wish my biggest concern was that not enough people know that they can carry concealed. Here in Illinois, one of only two states remaining with no provision for any type of carry, and not much hope for the immediate future in getting that changed, I can just dream about having the rights that the rest of the country enjoys (more or less). From casual conversation at my local gun club I know that many in Illinois carry concealed, but risk arrest and imprisonment to do so. The state is dominated by Chicago, where handguns are banned and the political leaders who run this state would love to extend Chicago gun restrictions to the entire state. But maybe if you who live in other states make it known that honest citizens can carry a weapon and the world does not collapse, someday Illinois will see the light.

Pilgrim
June 15, 2006, 12:00 PM
No disrespect intended, but they passed CCW in your state in 1995 and you knew nothing of it until 2003?
This is not surprising. I worked part time in a CA gun shop and for years after CA passed its terribly restrictive Roberti-Roos EBR ban, and later SB-23, people continued to come into the store either to buy a banned EBR or to transfer their 'illegal' EBR to another person.

In the latter case, the owner of the 'illegal' EBR had no idea he should have registered it so he could keep it. He was equally astounded there was no way he could keep it legally after the registration deadline was now passed. We hustled the guy out of the shop and told him hide his EBR until he figured out what to do with it.

While I no longer live in CA, I do visit there and end up in the gun shop helping the owner. We still get customers who are astounded they need a Handgun Safety Certificate to buy a handgun, even a private party transfer. These are not novice customers, but people who have owned handguns for years.

These experiences have led me to believe the average gun owner just doesn't pay much attention to what is going on in his or her state legislature when it comes to anything, much less firearms legislation.

Pilgrim

another okie
June 15, 2006, 04:09 PM
Many shooters don't have handguns and aren't really interested in them. As far as Oklahoma, because it had passed and been successful in Texas there was little controversy about it here, so there was little publicity. We also should give some credit to some highly skilled legislators who worked it through, pacified their anti-colleagues, and had appropriate responses ready when the newspapers called with the standard Brady quotes.

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