Constitutional or permitless carry is where anyone who can lawfully own a firearm is free to carry that firearm. It’s a simple concept that’s completely in line with the idea that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed and all that.
It’s a measure that Ohio is considering right now.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that, of course, not everyone is a fan. This isn’t surprising. Also unsurprising is that one of them is the chairman of the state FOP.
Ohio lawmakers are working to remove the licensing and training requirement for people to carry a concealed weapon.
Some call it “constitutional carry,” and assert that the Second Amendment is all that’s needed for citizens to take a hidden gun out in public.
Ohio’s concealed carry law is a prime example of modern-day legislators following the example of the founders. It’s a clear nod to individual freedom, embedded in the gun rights of the Second Amendment as well as similar protections in the Ohio Constitution.
But it also takes seriously the government’s responsibility for public safety and, in that equation, it’s the ever-present compromise.
Except, it really doesn’t.
Constitutional carry is the law in almost 20 states, last time I counted, and many of those also happen to be among the safest states in the nation. If carrying a gun without a permit were somehow a threat to public safety, how can that be the case?
What the author, Gary Wolske, is that it will make things a bit more difficult for law enforcement. I’ll concede that point. After all, they can’t just demand someone show them a permit for the gun they noticed, arresting anyone without the permit.
However, despite having ample room to make a logical case based on statistics, Wolske doesn’t. He provides one statistic. This one:
In 2020, Ohio sheriffs suspended or revoked 2,047 licenses. Over 1,700 license applications were denied. The system works. Those who believe they’ve been wrongfully denied gun rights can appeal the decision. In the meantime, bad people with bad intentions are restrained.
However, what he doesn’t tell the readers is that those who have been wrongfully denied their gun rights must jump through hoops in order to exercise their based, constitutionally protected rights, all while criminals are continuing to do as they please.
What constitutional carry does is acknowledge this reality and allow law-abiding citizens to carry from the moment they decide they need to.
Wolske’s whole argument seems to stem from the idea that the system in place is working just fine. Well, it’s not. Law-abiding citizens are having their rights–rights he acknowledges–delayed. A right delayed is a right denied.
Further, some of those who are being delayed are at the mercy of criminals until and unless they’re deemed worthy of exercising their rights. How many people have been victimized during this time due to the system Wolske says is working fine?
The truth of the matter is that our rights should never have been allowed to be circumvented in the name of public safety, especially since our rights actually do more to preserve public safety than the restriction of them ever has.