Concealed carry & The Law

All states allow individuals to “open carry”, or, “concealed carry” a firearm and most individuals are familiar with the ruling in their state after receiving a license, however, legal requirements change frequently.  For example; it is possible to carry in some states without a license, or training, whereas other states and cities have strict laws and registration requirements that discourage acquiring a permit.

There are also restrictions on weapon types being transported, including high capacity magazines. It’s advisable to clarify gun regulations with state local officials, due to complexity, interpretation and continuous changes. A quick, easy source of general information for checking requirements in your state is found at: http://www.handgunlaw.us/  

Concealed carry travel between states is a law-abiding citizens “nightmare”. For example; in Mississippi, rules for guns in an automobile are very liberal, whereas in Nevada; it’s illegal. It’s also good to know the “Castle Law” applies to your automobile and in some states such as Ohio, North Dakota, Texas and South Carolina.This roughly states; a person, when in their abode (automobile, home, hotel…), is allowed to by law to use deadly force against life threatening intruders.

“Brandishing” is another vague term, roughly defined as exposing a weapon to others in a threatening manner. Depending on what state you’re in; improperly displaying a firearm could send one to jail, or, cost your life if correct precautions aren’t taken as noted in the following case. Police were notified about a young couple, shopping in Vegas, by a terrified clerk reporting a man with a gun in the store. It’s not clear who was responsible, but, police arrived and apparently overacted by shooting the individual. He had a license to carry, but, his weapon was not totally concealed thus noticed by the frightened store clerk.

An attorney was arrested in New York City because of not being aware of ridiculous “city laws” differing from “state laws” having an unloaded gun stored in a special case. This kind of chicanery is “nuts” and don’t do anything to help catch bad guys. It only helps special interest groups attain their goal to discourage concealed carry.

Automobile “passengers” with a concealed carry weapon should also be aware, in some states; they must immediately inform an officer when carrying a concealed weapon even though the “driver” is being stopped for a violation. Any avoidance of state, or city, regulations regarding “gun storage” in an automobile can also get you arrested.

When planning a trip; check each state involved; some will have “may issue” or “shall issue” laws. Shall issue laws basically indicate grantors of a license have no authority to reject a permit request while applicants are acting within regulations.   May issue laws declare applicants may only receive a permit based upon “approval” by local officials which, at times, can be highly subjective.

These are a few examples of what’s going on due to the explosive rate of concealed carry growth nationally. Federal legislation is continuously proposed for reciprocity agreements to carry in all states; however, has not gained sufficient traction to date. Having a “universal” gun carry license should allow one to travel between states with the same recognition as a driver’s license.

Another Federal legislation proposal was introduced by Rep. Nugent, Richard B. [R-FL-11] (Introduced 01/16/2015) H.R.402 – National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015. This issue should become more important due to growing concerns about protection from increased terrorism in this country. In the meantime; write your congressman in support of National Right-to-Carry. We will all rest easier when practical legislation is enacted to help “good guys” from getting into unnecessary trouble. Hang in there dudes and keep on “packin”.

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