Many states require a training component before they allow someone to obtain a concealed carry permit. In theory, it makes sure that those who are carrying a firearm on them have at least some education in how to properly deploy a gun should the need arise. Of course, like most training requirements, people pay attention long enough to get what they want then forget it within days of finishing up, but the theory is that it works.
However, it’s kind of stupid to require veterans–people who tend to have far more extensive training with firearms than even many of the instructors–to sit through a few hours of training they already have.
On Monday, while we were all focused on the midterm elections, one state made a move to change that particular brand of stupidity.
A new gun law took effect in Ohio Monday. Current and former servicemen and women can get an Ohio Concealed Handgun License without paying the fee or going through a concealed carry class.
The bill sponsor, Ohio State Senator Lou Terhar, said it’s another step in making Ohio one of the most veteran-friendly states in the nation.
Senator Terhar is a veteran himself. He said it’s not a gun control law, but rather a way to say thank you to arguably the most responsible and best-trained gun owners in the country.
“Why is it that we have to pay to go do this when we did all this stuff in service?” Terhar asked.
That’s the question he said veterans at the VFW posed to him a few years ago.
“I thought to myself that’s an excellent question and there isn’t a good answer,” he said.
Senate Bill 81 waives the concealed carry permit fee for active duty military and retired and honorably discharged veterans. It also allows them to skip the CCW class by showing discharge papers with proof of military firearms experience.
Of course, a better solution would be to kill the training requirement completely. After all, despite the shrieking from anti-gun activists, there’s no evidence that training somehow makes anyone safer. It doesn’t, as evidenced by the ridiculously low number of cases of concealed carry permit holders using their firearms inappropriately anywhere.
It’s just not an issue.
However, if you’re going to have a requirement for firearms training, it makes sense to exempt military veterans who show Uncle Sam trained them. I suspect that these days, that’s most veterans.
So is this a burst of sanity, or something else?
Honestly, I don’t know. It’s a smart move if you want to appease veterans, and after more than a decade and a half of war in the Middle East, there are a lot of veterans out there. Making them happy is a good way to get ahead in politics. A pro-veteran stance is unlikely to hurt you in most cases.
But I still can’t help but wish the law going into effect ended training requirements instead. Then again, I’m not an Ohio voter, so I’m pretty sure no one up that way cares what I think.