And the Newspaper wonder why their circulation is down...


Flame Red
April 30, 2008, 09:02 AM
Yet another reason I canceled my subscription to the Orlando Sentinel years ago...

BULL CRAP (,0,2256061.story)

Some of the 500,000 people holding concealed-weapons permits in Florida qualified by using toy guns.

Recent complaints to state officials pointed out that almost anyone who wants to carry a handgun to the movies, mall or church can do so. The shortcomings they cited include training that allows firing bullets without gunpowder, and passing students for merely pulling the trigger once or twice without ever loading or unloading a handgun.

Quickie permit classes had become so common, the National Rifle Association threatened this month to fire any NRA-certified instructor who didn't use real guns to teach students in Florida.

Though carrying a concealed weapon requires a state permit, gun owners need only take a gun-safety course and show they know how to safely fire a real bullet. That's not the case in at least eight states -- where applicants must be able to hit a bulls-eye repeatedly.

NRA memo about teaching gun classes with real guns and real bullets (PDF)
No experience needed: 4 hours to packing pistol no one sees
"Unlike Texas, we do not have to have so many rounds at 10 feet or so many rounds at 15 feet. Florida just doesn't have that," said Buddy Bevis, director of licensing for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The concealed-weapon statute "just says you have to be able to fire and handle a firearm safely," he said. "It doesn't say if it takes one [shot] or 100."

Shoddy training became an issue this month, more than a year after a retired military officer first complained to Gov. Charlie Crist about classes at gun shows.

"You can only train a corpse in 3 hours," Col. James K. Otto Sr., an NRA instructor from North Florida, wrote to the governor. "Our NRA certified instructors take 3 days to a week to make sure their students not only know the law but also know how to handle firearms and ammunition safely with at least a half day firing at a local range."

The letter started a sputtering chain reaction after landing on Bevis' desk with the added detail that some students at these classes trained with toy guns. Bevis called the voice of the NRA in Florida to complain.

"I did call Marion Hammer and say, 'I don't know what you've got going on down there, but you better tighten it up,' " Bevis said in a telephone interview. "And that's it."

Hammer, a former NRA president and one of the state's most powerful lobbyists, alerted NRA national headquarters. Within days, every NRA-certified instructor in Florida was warned they would lose their credentials for not using real guns with real bullets in class.

"Specifically, Air Soft or other air-driven guns are not acceptable," stated the April 14 memo. "Florida law requires that you maintain records certifying that you 'observed the student safely handle and discharge the firearm.' "

Air Soft guns are plastic replicas of firearms, which cost as little as $5 to more than $300. Many are sold as toys equipped with orange muzzles to distinguish them from real guns.

Hammer said the NRA issued the warning to make sure every class it certifies complies with state law. She finds nothing wrong with not requiring concealed-weapon permit holders to demonstrate a minimum level of shooting ability.

"In the 21 years that this program has been in effect, I know of no incident or accident that occurred as a result of lack of training," Hammer said by phone from Tallahassee.

The law "was never intended to make target shooters out of people. It was never intended to make street cops out of them," she said. "This is merely to show that individuals know how to load, unload and safely use a firearm for lawful self-defense."

Florida permit holders can carry their concealed weapons in 32 other states. Fifteen other states do not grant such reciprocity. One of them, South Carolina, cites Florida's low standards as the reason.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence advocates rigorous testing of shooting ability, knowledge of state laws and giving law enforcement discretion over who should be allowed to carry a hidden handgun.

"In Florida, where you're permitting them to legally carry a loaded, hidden handgun in a crowded situation where people may be running all over the place and then you're expecting them with no training to hit their mark -- that's crazy," said Brian Malte, the group's director of state legislation and politics. "Law-enforcement officers . . . miss their mark 80 percent of the time even after all the training they get."

Tighter restrictions on toy guns still don't mean all applicants must show they know how to shoot a pistol.

Concealed-weapon permits are available to graduates of classes taught by state-certified instructors and hunter-safety courses as well as NRA-certified classes. Graduates of the state's 12-hour hunter-safety course fire a .22-caliber rifle, a 20-gauge shotgun and a bow and arrow, but not a pistol, according to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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Phil DeGraves
April 30, 2008, 09:17 AM
In NH, there is no training requirement. You are entitled to your constitutional rights without having to satisfy some bureaucrat's arbitrary standard.

April 30, 2008, 09:28 AM
So, this is being brought up by the paper becasue...what? Have there been a lot of permited ccw'ers involved in murders? bad shoots? spraying rounds randomly into crowds while defending themselves? hitting innocents due to the "poor training" they site? Cause, while I admit I dont live in FL, I havent read about any of the above being an issue, and I'm confident people here, especially members from FL, would be posting the articles if it were happening....

anti-gun B.S. and fear mongering, as usual.

While I pesonally think people who are going to CCW should get training, and practice A LOT,but it's common sense that one would want to VOLUNTARILY, if you want to be safe and effective, but it doesnt sound like thats the law there, and it doesnt sound like theres a problem. I think smart, safe people will and do get training and practice, and I think thats good, but, I dont think it should be REQUIRED, as the 2A, nor the law in FL, based on the article, says you HAVE to to execrcise your RKBA. If its a non-issue, then theres nothing to worry about....

that simple.

April 30, 2008, 09:34 AM
OHMYGAWD! If we let people cary concealed weapons it will be just like the wild west with shootouts at every Circle K and the streets will run with blood!
Oh wait, never mind that didn't happen either.
Sounds like just another anti-gun rant brought to you by the brady bunch in an effort to stir up fear and loathing.

April 30, 2008, 09:36 AM

I cancelled my subscription to the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, a couple of years ago, for similar reasons.

The editorial columns are written by people with whose views don't even come close to reflecting anything like the mainstream or the attitudes of the general population. The BIAS is so evident that I could no longer tolerate the "news".

Anyway, newspapers are a dying medium. They are noticeably thinner. The classified ads costs are astronomical, at a time when we can post Buy/Sell ADS for free on the Internet, so I think its fair to say we are seeing a general failure of newspapers as an industry. The Internet is faster.

Look at how Gun Advocacies and 2nd Amendment or RKBA (Right to Keep and Bear Arms) groups have the power of INTERACTION in the Intenet media. Why wait for a newspaper to suggest how I ought to think according to some bias?

I can create and publish my own opinion. We have bypassed the dictatorial power of the newsprint media, if not in actual fact, the erosion of the dominance of newsprint is only a matter of time. :) It's a good thing, too!

I am so tired of reading FEATHERHEADS with college degrees in journalism, telling me how to think about things. The American people are arguable more literate, more sensible, more keenly aware of fair handling, than any of the newsprint outlets.:) The American people are not as uneducated and illiterate as they are shown in film and press.


another okie
April 30, 2008, 03:56 PM
I don't understand why you're so upset at the newspaper.

Are you upset because they are reporting something that's true and upsets you?

Or are you upset because you believe that it's not true and that they're lying?

The NRA was apparently upset enough at the "training lite" to issue an edict about it, which indicates it's not a "nothing" issue.

April 30, 2008, 09:52 PM
so I move to florida and apply for a permit,they give me an air soft gun to test I know how to handle a firearm?how can you tell?I was a compeditive pistol shooter for 40 NRA member since AOM3C.I guess I dont know how to handle a gun.I dam well can shoot and handle a gun better than 80% of the about the rest of you???:fire::uhoh::rolleyes::D:D:D

April 30, 2008, 10:21 PM
i'm must apoligize up front. i didn't see the anti gun tinge to the article. and i agree with Phil DeGraves, ccw applicants shouldnt have to jump through hoops or meet some politico's arbitrary accuracy requirement, but if a states laws require testing to some extent then shouldnt those tests be conducted with a real firearm?

April 30, 2008, 10:51 PM
The shortcomings they cited include training that allows firing bullets without gunpowder

I am a little fuzzy about this one, if they get this part wrong how many of their other facts are just made up as well.

Standing Wolf
April 30, 2008, 10:52 PM
When do we start making people pass tests before they can buy books and magazines and sign up for internet connections?

Ooops! I wrote that sarcastically, only to realize there are probably leftist extremists in Washington, D.C. who are working on that very idea this evening.

Aw, nuts.

Robert Hairless
May 1, 2008, 12:51 AM
Here is a link to the NRA memo:

May 1, 2008, 01:15 AM
what about weaponized airguns?

They don't make many of them, but my FFL had a few.

May 1, 2008, 01:22 AM
I sent an email to the writer of the article questioning the validity. You guys should do the same.

May 1, 2008, 02:44 PM
So many errors here, since some can't see them I'll pick my favorite:

NRA doesn't employ instructors, so they can't fire them. Pull their ticket yes. Fire no.

May 1, 2008, 02:47 PM
This is already under discussion:

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