Carry a Gun—Without a Permit

Remember it is “The Right to Keep and Bear Arms” not the privilege. Because it is a right and not a privilege that right extends to all including women, LGBT people, people of color, atheists, Jews, Muslims, folks with long hair and tattoos, people who ride motorcycles instead of cars.  When you start infringing on rights because someone doesn’t like the politics of another person or anyone of a number of things then you have pointed your skis down the slippery slope of changing a right to a privilege.

One of the more insidious elements of gun control is well documented by Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, who have numerous articles documenting how many of the anti-gun laws were aimed at limiting the ownership of guns by members of minority communities.

From Reason:

If you have to ask permission, it’s a privilege, not a right. And maybe you shouldn’t bother to ask.

Well, the philosophical rationale should be clear; if you have to ask permission, it’s a privilege, not a right. Permission can be rescinded, and is always exercised at the sufferance of whoever is empowered to say “yes” or “no.” A license to speak your mind granted in place of First Amendment protections, or an annual fee to keep the cops from tossing your house as a substitute for Fourth Amendment restrictions on search and seizure, might give you a little breathing room, but each breath would be drawn in the shadow of fears about lost paperwork or pissed-off officials. Owning and carrying the means to defend yourself is no different, with the rights embodied in the Second Amendment at odds with any requirement that their exercise requires a stack of forms filled out and filed.

May 2, 2017

“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” President Trump claimed on Friday while addressing a National Rifle Association gathering in Atlanta. “No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners.”

Well, that’s a relief. I was afraid the feds were risking repetitive strain injuries. It’s time for them to change things up and bash on some other freedoms. Somehow, I’m sure we can count on them to do just that.

But relief for self-defense rights might well be a thing, especially outside the nation’s capital. Look, for example, at the growing ranks of states recognizing people’s right to discreetly carry weapons without first seeking government approval.

That’s a practice I sometimes jokingly call “New York carry,” though I inevitably confuse people when I do. New York doesn’t encourage carrying a gun without a permit, they protest! Well, actually, it kind of does. When I worked in New York City in the 1990s, getting permission to just legally own a handgun was an ordeal (which I’ve described elsewhere), and a carry permit was out of the question for anybody who wasn’t well connected. For a while, I worked a job that had me returning to my apartment at 4th Street and Avenue B—a gentrifying but still sketchy neighborhood at the time—in the wee hours of the morning. The criminals, along the route, it seemed, had never received the memo about the city’s restrictive gun laws. Believe me, I carried.

I met others who did the same. With the city’s tight restrictions, most of the guns they owned were already off the books, putting carry permits that much further out of reach. But people still felt the need for protection for themselves and their families. And so they did what they considered necessary and right whether lawmakers liked it or not: New York carry.

When done legally, as is increasingly possible across the country, toting a gun without a permit is often called “constitutional carry” based on the argument that the Constitution is all the license Americans need to exercise their rights. Texas, which loosened some gun restrictions in recent years, may be the next state to drop requirements for concealed carry permits. But if Texans don’t move fast, Alabama could beat them to the punch. Or South Carolina could do the honors. Even Wisconsin is considering eliminating permit requirements for concealed carry, with the endorsement of State Attorney General Brad Schimel.

But they’re all laggards. New Hampshire eliminated the requirement for concealed carry permits in February. North Dakota did the same a month later. Missouri had them beat, with a measure passed last fall. South Dakota would have followed suit, if the governor hadn’t vetoed the bill while insisting that threatening people with arrest and confinement to a cage for carrying the means of self-defense constitutes “protecting the lives of our citizens.”

In all, 14 states now have some form of constitutional carry—starting with Vermont, which never imposed any restrictions to begin with. Montana eliminated restrictions in 1991, with other states following. Note that some of those 14 states limit full enjoyment of the freedom to state residents, according to

Complete article and comments at:

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