To some, it is a crazy notion: carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, but to others, it is seen as a constitutional right. While only a couple of decades ago it was rare to have a permit to carry concealed, now the trend is toward Constitutional Carry – concealed carry without a permit. Yesterday, Idaho joined 8 other states (Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, West Virginia, and Wyoming) that recognize Constitutional Carry for its residents.
Today, more states are taking the view that not only can they trust their citizens with concealed firearms, but they also encourage it by removing many of the hurdles. In other words, more guns in the right hands are actually a good thing. The governor of our state of Idaho agrees. Yesterday, March 25th, he signed into law SB 1389 which recognizes Idaho resident’s right to carry concealed without a state-issued permit.
Governor “Butch” Otter writes:
“I’m a gun owner, a hunter and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. I have consistently championed our citizens’ gun rights throughout my years in public office, and I do so again today in signing Senate Bill 1389 into law. H__owever, in considering the implications of this measure I am reminded of the plain language of the Second Amendment: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
“While S1389 is consistent with the U.S. Constitution, Idaho values and our commitment to upholding our constitutional protections from government overreach, I am concerned about its lack of any provision for education and training of individuals who choose to exercise the right to concealed carry. Such a safeguard would seem to be part of the Second Amendment’s ‘well-regulated’ standard. What’s more, the addition of a simple training requirement in this bill could have addressed the concerns of our valued law enforcement leaders and others who cherish both the shooting culture and the safety of shooters and non-shooters alike.
“In the absence of such a provision, I encourage anyone considering concealed carry to take advantage of gun safety training opportunities available from many reputable sources throughout Idaho. I also encourage the Legislature to monitor the exercise of this new law and respond appropriately when and if the lack of statutory education and training requirement undermines public safety.”
The governor signed the bill because he recognized the protections afforded the constitution for gun-owning Idahoans but also had reservations that there is no training requirement. Training is our responsibility as gun owners. There are shockingly too many gun owners that skip over this part or think that a few hours a year at the practice range is enough. It isn’t. To be fair there are many uniformed police officers that have a similar mindset, but that shouldn’t be the norm for anyone that carries a firearm on a daily basis.
As a private citizen, what stops you from training or practicing more with your firearm? If you are like us, the availability and cost of ammunition are high on your list. In fact, as we relate to us About Us page, the 2012-13 ammo shortage caused us to not shoot at all during that time. We still strapped on our preferred carry firearms of course. When you think about it, this could have been a recipe for disaster…
Imagine not driving for a year and then suddenly being thrown into a road race where your skills will be tested to the limit – that is what someone not practicing with their firearm would face if they were in a life or death encounter that required they draw their weapon.
The availability and cost of ammunition have improved considerably since 2013, but there is another bogeyman that keeps people from training more often: Inertia.
Maybe you are in the habit of watching TV or playing video games on Saturday afternoon (with the northern parts of the country just coming out of snow season, this is no surprise). Or maybe you are the active type and love to get out each weekend, but your activities don’t involve shooting. If either is the case, you could be setting yourself up for disaster. Even after you have decided to brave the elements, get all your gear together, find your earmuffs, get some targets, etc., you still need to have enough ammunition on hand to even go out shooting.
Let’s face it, once you have mustered up the desire and energy to get out and do some shooting practice, you could be like us in 2012-13 and face a “low stock” situation and decide it is just not worth it to use up what little ammunition you have.
To train regularly you need to have enough ammunition on hand. Regardless of how you do it: whether you pay hundreds of dollars at a time to buy cases of ammunition, pick up a box or two every time you hit a Walmart, reload your own, or subscribe to a service like Ammo² which takes some of that hassle and expense out of buying ammunition, you still need ammunition. Breaking the inertia and having everything ready so we can practice our shooting skills regularly is something we must do as gun owners.
If you carry a gun, whether in the line of duty, with a CCW permit, or under one of the new Constitutional Carry laws, it is your responsibility to be adequately trained and to practice regularly. As Governor Butch Otter points out when he signed the new permitless carry bill for Idaho:
“While S1389 is consistent with the U.S. Constitution, Idaho values and our commitment to upholding our constitutional protections from government overreach, I am concerned about its lack of any provision for education and training of individuals who choose to exercise the right to concealed carry.”
So don’t be “that guy” that makes the rest of the population think that gun owners are an untrained rabble that needs government oversite. Be the guy that practices with his pistol/rifle/shogun regularly and makes the news when he expertly dispatches a bad guy about to do harm to innocent people, and in doing so, helps usher in even more public support for gun ownership and concealed carry rights across the country.