Skip to comments.The Courts Advance Concealed Guns
Posted on 08/03/2014 12:23:33 PM PDT by Kaslin
Gun-control advocates are learning the downside of getting their way. Recently, a federal judge struck down the District of Columbia's ban on the carrying of concealed handguns. Anti-gun forces have been losing in legislatures for a long time. Now they are finding that even where they win, they lose.
Washington used to have the strictest gun laws in America. Besides the prohibition of concealed guns, all firearms had to be registered and handgun ownership was forbidden.
The restrictions had no evident effect on crime: In the 1990s, the nation's capital was known as the murder capital. But they invited a legal challenge -- a historic one, as it happened. In 2008, the Supreme Court invalidated the city's handgun ban as a violation of the Second Amendment.
It was the first time the court had recognized that individuals have a constitutional right to own firearms for the purpose of self-defense. It was also a drastic shift in the court's view of the Second Amendment, which for decades had been treated as a forgettable footnote.
No one forgets it anymore. After striking down the law in D.C. -- a special case, being under federal jurisdiction -- the court overturned a similar ban in Chicago, ruling that the Second Amendment curbs the power of the states to regulate gun ownership.
Prohibiting most guns was no longer permissible. Left unclear was what other regulations were allowed. The court said there is nothing wrong with barring gun sales to felons and the mentally ill or with keeping guns out of schools and government buildings. But beyond that was terra incognita.
In most places, the rights of gun owners have expanded in recent decades. Every state now allows the carrying of guns in public, with the majority granting licenses for carrying concealed guns to anyone who meets certain qualifications. But where that prerogative is denied or greatly restricted, judges have begun to apply the Second Amendment logic to uphold it.
First came a federal appeals court in Chicago, which ruled the state's ban on concealed carry unconstitutional. If Americans have a right to use guns for self-defense, the court found, they logically must be allowed to carry them in public. "To confine the right to be armed to the home," it said, "is to divorce the Second Amendment from the right of self-defense" affirmed by the Supreme Court.
This year, a federal appeals court in San Francisco took a similar stance. "Carrying weapons in public for the lawful purpose of self-defense is a central component of the right to bear arms," it concluded.
At least three other federal courts have declined to reach that conclusion, which means that eventually the Supreme Court will have to settle the matter. A court that has gone this far in giving force to the right to keep and bear arms is not a good bet to stop now.
But gun-control supporters shouldn't take the prospect too hard. Concealed carry is the overwhelming norm already; these rulings have added it in just a few places. Even if the Supreme Court said the Second Amendment doesn't mandate the policy, it would persist almost everywhere.
In any case, it's not something to worry much about. One thing we have learned from the spread of concealed carry is that few people take advantage of it. As of 2011, there were about 8 million people with permits -- about 2.5 percent of the population.
And most of them don't pack most of the time. Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck estimates that the average licensee carries a gun only 138 days per year.
Those who do carry rarely misuse them. There was a recent episode in a Chicago suburb when a 56-year-old man with a permit blasted away at a fleeing armed robbery suspect, forcing a cop to take cover. But that's the exception.
Texas has more than half a million active licensees. In 2011, 120 of them -- one out of every 4,325 -- were convicted of any crime, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The state had 699 gun murders in 2011. But only three permit holders were convicted of murder.
In practice, licenses to carry guns in public have allowed law-abiding citizens to take steps they see as essential for their safety, without putting their fellow citizens in danger. It's people who lack licenses you have to fear.
Constitutional Carry should be the Law of the Land.
The idea that as Free Americans we need to ask “permission” to exercise our God Given 2nd Amendment Rights is absolutely insane, but here we are.
We are reduced to asking Lawyers in Black Robes, please Sir, may I have another?
Geniuses started America and Idiots will end it.
"We moved our base camp last night and were now positioned literally
within feet of the river. Have been sitting here watching the border
patrol patrolling in their riverboats all night and all morning..."
The interesting thing about “concealed carry” .... everyone doesn’t have to carry for it to be a major wet blanket on crime. The criminals never know who is carrying ..... some don’t want to find out if it’s their ‘lucky day’ or not and the ones that do, often wish they hadn’t, assuming they’re not taking a permanent dirt nap.
The idea that FREE Americans must PAY for a “temporary” self defense permit is insane too.
Another thought on leftist getting their way and it going haywire regarding firearms: With all these judges now saying that the 14th Amendment forces states to recognize same sex marriages from other states can someone with a Texas concealed carry permit sue to force California to recognize and honor it?
Constitutional Carry should be the Law of the Land!
Implement 50 state Constitutional Carry and watch the crime rate plummet!
Constitutional Carry should be the Law of the Land.
I agree. I don't believe permitting systems do any good. There are those who carry, regardless of whether they have a permit or not, and those who will not carry, regardless of whether they have a permit or not, and there are those who will carry, if they have a permit, and will not, if they do not. Changes to permit laws only affect this last group, and they are by definition law-abiding folks we don't need to be worrying about.
That said, I'll not object to a permit law, if it has objective standards and reasonable requirements. I may not think it will do any good, but I'll not waste effort in fighting it (Not when there are so many other things that are screwed-up that need fighting.)
right to own firearms for the purpose of self-defense
I don’t like the narrowing of this issue to “self defense”.
The Constitution says nothing about self defense.
Obviously, self defense is an inalienable right.
But, I’m sure that the Founders were really speaking about allowing the people to retain the right and the MEANS to change their government, should the need arise.
I “think” I agree with everything you say but I really am more along the lines of IF your going to carry......FINE;
but, IF you carry, you must have on your person NOT A LICENSE but a Certificate. The Certificate simply says that “John Smith has taken the required training to carry a firearm in public”.
In this manner, the only issue is “training” which I believe some folks really do need and I would not personally want to be around them if they had a loaded gun!
But, if they have the “statutory training”, the rest is none of the states business. This would eliminate any possibility of any little wet pants liberals writing last minute little phrases into the law that are really just plain ole anti second amendment in their content. Give em an inch and they will take a mile.
saying the right to self defense ends at a person’s doorstep,
is like saying the right to an abortion ends at a woman’s doorstep.
if you want to make an analogy a liberal will understand, that’s it.
If one states “gay” marriage license must be recognized by another state then the same should follow for a CCW permit.
yea probably but there are some folks out there that want to carry a gun but have no experience with guns.
I have a safe full and grew up with them. I was shooting lizards running across the driveway at 9 years old with my .22 single shot.
We would just have to fight the libs every step of the way on the training statutes like we do the licensing statutes.
If it makes you feel good. However, I have virtually zero fear of a new gun owner as compared to a POST trained LEO.
LOL, I don’t know what exactly what you infer with your “feel good” remark. I suspect it was not warm and fuzzy.
That said, we are just going to have to disagree. If I had my way, I would not require a license for anybody to buy or carry a gun.
However, IF THEY WANT TO CARRY, I would require them to have a few hours training and pass a test............sort of like doctors have to do, real estate agents, drivers, pilots, hair stylists, CPA’s, lawyers and on and on endlessly.
Like you, I am concerned that the libs would worm their way into the legislating process and make the test 5,000 questions long! That’s truly a risk and we are in agreement on that. In fact, upon reflection, I guess I should say that my support of “training and testing” would be conditional upon such “training and testing” be reasonable. If that cannot be, then I would not support it.
In any case, we both can envision liberals sabotaging the testing process with burden and expense. IMHO, CCW permits should be for felons only.