Dear state legislatures,
If Covid-19 has done anything, it’s shown us just how vulnerable our entire system is. Hospitals are overwhelmed, schools are shut down with no idea when they’ll reopen, colleges and universities are shifted to online-only, and many of us are housebound for the foreseeable future. It’s downright annoying, to say the least.
One area we’ve seen a problem has been in concealed carry licensing.
It’s understandable, really. Sheriff’s departments–the very people often tasked with some portion of the permitting process–are trying to protect their people from infection. While it’s an infringement on our right to bear arms, I get it. They’re in a tough spot.
But you, as lawmakers in your respective states, can fix that. You can take this burden off of them.
You can pass constitutional carry.
Constitutional carry eliminates the need for a permit to carry a firearm either concealed or openly. While many states already allow open carry without a permit, still others do not. Constitutional carry, though, would permit the carrier to decide which method of carry best fits his or her needs regardless of whether they have a permit or not.
The truth of the matter is, constitution carry–also called “permitless carry”–is the method of carry that most closely aligns with the plain text of the Second Amendment anyway. After all, it says the “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Of course, I understand that you and your constituents may not be swayed by that argument. So instead, I point to the many states who have already enacted permitless carry. Over a fairly long time span, we’ve had states that haven’t required a special piece of paper to carry a firearm but absolutely no corresponding increase in violent crime.
That’s because the criminals are already carrying without a permit. Only the law-abiding have been hamstrung by the requirement to have a permit in order to carry a firearm on one’s person.
The very same requirement that now is almost impossible for many to comply with thanks to the Covid-19 virus.
While I may not agree with the departments shuttering their permitting offices for the time being, I do understand it. I’m sure you, as lawmakers, can too. That’s why it’s on you to fix this problem for your constituents. It’s time you use your offices to address this problem once and for all.
Removing permitting requirements will take the pressure off of county sheriffs dealing with any future pandemics and preserve the rights of ordinary Americans simply wishing to exercise their constitutional rights lawfully, particularly during a crisis. Right now, things are tense. It may be only a matter of time before things turn very, very ugly. The current rules mean some will not be able to carry a firearm to protect themselves if that particular balloon goes up while they’re out and about.
Pass constitutional carry either now or when you return to session. The people of the United States of America deserve it.