The nine-month wait to apply for concealed carry licenses in Detroit, Michigan, is “an abomination” and “unconscionable” in the words of one longtime local firearms instructor and Second Amendment activist. Rick Ector joins me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. to talk about why he believes that Wayne County’s lengthy wait times are the result of an anti-gun ideology in the county government and an infringement on the rights of gun owners in the Motor City.
I have to say, Rick’s a pretty affable and sedate guy, but he’s fired up about what’s happening in his backyard, and rightfully so. While Ector’s concealed carry classes are still full and demand is high, those hoping to lawfully carry in self-defense are being told they can fill out their application for a carry license in July of 2021.
“If it was a priority to them, they would make it happen,” Ector asserts. “They’re attributing increased demand, so-called furloughs and displacements from enabling them to process these applications in an expeditious fashion, but neighboring counties like Oakland and Macomb are experiencing increased demand. They don’t have the population base that Detroit does, of course, but they’re getting these applications processed in two to three weeks at the most.”
Ector notes that, like it or not, the fact that the largely white suburban counties are processing applications in a timely manner, while Wayne County, which is split almost 50-50 between white and non-white residents, is forcing gun owners to wait for months simply to apply. Once again, supposedly color-blind gun laws seem to be having a disproportionate impact on minorities, unintentionally or not.
What about the idea that some folks are going to start carrying regardless of the fact that they’ve been unable to apply for a concealed carry license thanks to Wayne County’s COVID restrictions? After all, Detroit had the highest violent crime rate of all large cities in the United States last year, and violent crime has only increased in 2020. Aren’t some people likely to decide that it’s better to run the risk of being judged by a jury of your peers than being buried by family and friends?
“If you’re delaying individuals from being able to lawfully get their concealed pistol license, it does increases the odds that some might be tempted to carry concealed without a license and risk suffering some of the things they could face,” Ector agrees. “For instance, to carry concealed without the concealed pistol license is a five-year felony in this case.”
The firearms instructor says he’d love to see Second Amendment organizations file suit in Wayne County over the delays, as we’ve seen in cities like Philadelphia, where Gun Owners of America recently sued over a concealed carry backlog that has applicants waiting for more than a year.
Ector says, however, that he also would love to see a full accounting of where the fees paid by concealed carry applicants in Wayne County have gone in the past, arguing that the program is supposed to be self-funding and that there should be no financial reason for any furloughs of county employees tasked with doing the background checks.
Be sure to check out the entire conversation with Rick Ector above, including his efforts to bring real political change to Wayne County in addition to his grassroots work to support and strengthen the Second Amendment rights of all of the people in Michigan.