Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Arkansas Law Maker Looks to Expedite Permits for Domestic Violence Survivors

In an effort to protect survivors of domestic violence, Arkansas senator Trent Garner (R-27), has begun drafting a bill that would expedite concealed carry permits for this group.

Although the bill will not be up for review until lawmakers are back in session, the intent of the bill is to provide a mechanism for these survivors to quickly obtain a concealed carry permit so that they can protect themselves in the aftermath of the violence they experienced.

“I’ve seen a lot of other states do this, and the thing that jumped out to me – we want to make sure these brave women and survivors don’t become a statistic, that we don’t come back and see that they were gravely injured or murdered when they could have protected themselves,” said Sen. Garner.

The bill would allow domestic violence survivors to participate in an expedited process to obtain their permits. While a background check would still apply, as would the associated fees for a permit, the required concealed carry training would be given a 45-day grace period. This would allow survivors to begin protecting themselves quickly, while also maintaining the standard of concealed carry training.

Sen. Garner points out there is some evidence to support the idea of providing survivors with guns in an expedited manner. “In testimony in Indiana, a firearm expert said that he had trained hundreds and hundreds of women and they all said the same thing, ‘He stopped coming for me when he saw the gun.’”

The will is likely to see some opposition from survivor advocates groups. The concern, as Angela McGraw, Executive Director of Women and Children First, comes from the willingness and ability of the survivor to protect themselves, and the reaction of the attacker.

“They get the gun, and the person that’s the perpetrator comes toward them or whatever, they’re going to beat the crap out of them just trying to get the gun from them. It’s going to be a worse beating than it was beforehand,” said McGraw.

Sen. Garner, however, is sensitive to the need for adjustment and open discussion around the bill, which is why he started drafting it so early. He has indicated a desire for feedback, and an openness to adjusting the training grace period if needed.

The article Arkansas Law Maker Looks to Expedite Permits for Domestic Violence Survivors originally appeared on Clipdraw

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Wisconsin Sees Surge in Concealed Carry Permits in 2017

As the state legislature continues to consider permitless concealed carry, Wisconsin sees an increase in the number of permits being applied for across the state.

So far in 2017, the Wisconsin Department of Justice has processed 68,000 concealed carry permits. More than 24,000 of those applications were for new concealed carry permits, while the remainder were for renewals of existing licenses.

According to the state’s Department of Justice spokesman, Johnny Koremenos, the state has 331,323 active permits for concealed weapons as of August of 2017.

Nearly 65% of this year’s applications come from renewals, which should be expected. The original law allowing for concealed carry in the state required license renewals every five years. That law was passed in 2011, putting many permit carriers at the 5-year mark.

Gun shop owners across the state report that those seeking permits come from all walks of life, despite the time commitment involved for the current training required.

Under the existing laws, those looking to carry a concealed weapon must complete associated training as part of the permit process.

While the current requirements for training have many supporters, there are those who feel that the stipulations for licensing and training are too restrictive. Since the original concealed carry permit law was passed in 2011, new laws pushing for permitless carry within the state have been introduced twice.

The first law was failed to pass during the 2013 legislative session. The second attempt is currently being considered by Wisconsin state law makers.

As previously reported, the new law would allow anyone legally allowed to own a gun to carry it as a concealed weapon without additional training or licensing. The permitting process, however, would remain in place. This would allow residents who wish to transport their weapons across state lines to do so into states that recognize a Wisconsin permit.

Exceptions to the current training requirement include individuals who have completed hunter safety training and those who have served in the military.

The article Wisconsin Sees Surge in Concealed Carry Permits in 2017 originally appeared on Clipdraw

Monday, August 28, 2017

Utah Doubles Concealed Carry Permit Fees

Utah Increases Concealed Carry FeesMembers of Utah’s Administrative Rule Review Committee began reviewing a recent fee increase by the Bureau of Criminal Identification regarding fees associated with concealed carry permits in the state. The fee went into effect on August 1st, 2017.

The addition to the cost for fingerprinting and background checks as part of the permit process effectively doubles the cost of these checks, adding $20 to what was previously a $25 fee.

The Bureau of Criminal Identification believes that the increase is within their authority based on a law based in 2015 regarding fee increases for background checks for school teachers. However, critics claim that stretches the meaning of the law and oversteps the bounds of the bureau.

Under review is the “legislative intent” of the 2015 law, which legal review by the bureau claims includes the ability to increase the costs of background checks for concealed carry as well as teacher checks.

Only recently did the bureau realize that the law could be applied to both. And while they agree that the original bill’s author may not have meant for the law to be used this way, the language doesn’t preclude it. In fact, according to Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, the law explicitly allows for a concealed carry fee increase.

Opponents, on the other hand, claim that Rep. Steve Handy, R-Layton, who originally authored the bill, only meant to give the bureau the power to increase the fee for teacher’s background checks.

Rep Brian Greene, R-Pleasant Grove, spoke with other lawmakers about the original law and said that despite being sympathetic to the bureau’s financial needs, this isn’t the correct interpretation of the law.

NRA lobbyist Brian Judy also opposes the hike. Judy said that the NRA would be interested in working with the bureau to ensure the correct fees are paid, but not more. “If the fees are necessary, we will pay the fee that is required to conduct the entire process,” he said.

But according to Lt. Ryan Van Fleet, the fees will be put to good use. The additional funds will help pay for the bureau to place background information in a multi-state identification system known as the Western Identification Network.

The article Utah Doubles Concealed Carry Permit Fees originally appeared on Clipdraw

Monday, August 21, 2017

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Agreement Reached Between Wisconsin and West Virginia

In an announcement made over the weekend, West Virginia and Wisconsin now have concealed carry reciprocity for permit holders from both states.

In a statement released on August 20th, 2017 from West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the states have agreed to recognize concealed carry permits from the other. This is an extension of the existing recognition, whereby West Virginia permit holders were allowed to carry in Wisconsin, but Wisconsin residents did not enjoy the same privilege when visiting West Virginia.

“I take protecting the Second Amendment rights of legal gun owners seriously,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Residents of West Virginia and those who visit here should be able to exercise their right to bear arms.”

The two states recently began talks to consider a reciprocal agreement for concealed carry permit holders. Statutory notice was provided to West Virginia from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, formalizing the request for reciprocal recognition of permits.

The agreement points to the importance of a concealed carry permit, even in states which do not require permits for residents. Residents of West Virginia are allowed to carry a concealed weapon within the state without a concealed carry permit. Similar legislation is currently being considered by Wisconsin lawmakers.

Both states, however, still have an optional permitting process specifically for residents that desire to bring their weapon with them while visiting other states.

West Virginia has had a progressive stance on allowing residents of other states to carry within their borders. The state has full reciprocity agreements with Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming, and now Wisconsin.

In addition, West Virginia residents can carry their weapons in Montana, but a mutual agreement does not exist between those states. Some residents may also carry without a permit in Maine and Vermont.

Wisconsin, however, is catching up to West Virgina’s 37 states, with a current total of 32 states with permits honored in Wisconsin. Those states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Permits from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are also recognized.

The article Concealed Carry Reciprocity Agreement Reached Between Wisconsin and West Virginia originally appeared on Clipdraw

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Fastest Growing Group of Concealed Carry Permit Owners May Surprise You

Concealed Carry permits increase for womenA recent study conducted by the Crime Prevention Research Center had some interesting data on the subject of concealed carry in the United States. Of the statistics the CPRC reported was the rate at which Americans are applying for concealed carry permits and the crime statistics associated with CCP holders.

Possibly the most surprising and enlightening part of the report is which group is quickly growing as those seeking CCP permits. The study found that women, and in particular, black women, were far outpacing other gender and ethnic groups in their interest in acquiring permission to carry a concealed weapon.

Continued Increase in Permit Applications

Despite recent reports that concealed carry permits are declining in places like Illinois, the CPRC study showed a continuing increase in permit applications across the country. From 1999 to 2007, permits increased by close to a quarter of a million a year. But from 2008 to 2011, there was a huge surge in issued permits, increasing to roughly 850,000 a year.  The years following saw record increases in permits, with 1.69 million in 2015 and 1.73 million in 2016.

Demographics and Speed of Permitting

Because some states have moved to permit-less concealed carry, while others don’t record demographic information from CCP applicants, the study was able to extrapolate the groups who are seeking permits in greater numbers than before.

The study found that women, and in particular black women, are applying for concealed carry permits in greater numbers than ever before. According to the study, today women account for roughly 36 percent of permit holders. From 2012 to 2016, women were obtaining permits 326 percent faster than men.

In the same time period, states that record race as part of the permit process showed blacks obtaining permits 30 percent faster than white applicants in areas where permits were not up to the discretion of a politician.

In these discretionary regions, some were noted to show bias based on race or gender.

“There are also significant differences in not only the number of permits issued but also who gets them when politicians have discretion in granting them,” CPRC President John Lott Jr said. “Los Angeles County provides a vivid example of how women and Hispanics are given few permits when politicians decided who can defend themselves.”

Crime Rates Among Concealed Carry Permit Holders

The study also revealed that concealed carry permit holders were an exceptionally law-abiding group. The CPRC study reported that the number of permit holders charged with felonies or convicted fell even further than the previously recorded data. In 2015, a mere 0.0123 percent of CCP holders were charged or convicted. That number dropped further in 2016, down to 0.0092 percent.

The article The Fastest Growing Group of Concealed Carry Permit Owners May Surprise You originally appeared on Clipdraw

Monday, August 7, 2017

Concealed Carry on Campus Begins in Two States

Both Ohio and Texas saw the expansion of concealed carry last week as universities and community colleges in both states began allowing weapons on campus.

Ohio – Cedarville University

In December of 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law a bill that allows college campuses to permit concealed carry on their campuses. The law leaves up to the college’s board of trustees whether or not the campus will allow weapons, where they can be carried, and who can carry them.

As of August 1st, 2017, faculty, staff, and trustees of Cedarville University who have a concealed carry permit will be allowed to bring their weapons with them on campus, after being granted permission from the college’s president, Thomas White.

Many public universities in Ohio have come out against allowing weapons. Cedarville, a small, private university of 3,300, was the first in the state to grant access to any part of its population.

While administration members with concealed permits can carry their weapons, students cannot. The college isn’t ready for that step according to White, especially since permit requestors must be 21 or older. The trustees and White have a concern with only half of the students being allowed the opportunity to carry, while the other half wouldn’t have access to equal measures.

Texas – Community Colleges

Following in the footsteps of their 4-year university brethren, students, staff, and faculty of community colleges across the state of Texas can carry their permitted weapons with them on campus as of August 1st, 2017.

Texas Senate Bill 11, also known as the Campus Carry Law, was extended last week to include the 2-year institutions. The law went into effect for universities one year ago, in August 2016. The law allows private universities to opt out of allowing weapons on campus.

The institutions are allowed certain gun-free zones, specifically places like science labs, patient care facilities, individual offices, intercollegiate athletic events, and child care centers. Libraries may be gun-free during children’s events.

A valid concealed carry permit is required to be able to carry on the campuses, meaning only those 21 and over are allowed to do so. However, weapons must be concealed, placed in a backpack, purse, or under clothing. Openly displaying a handgun anywhere on a campus will remain illegal.


The article Concealed Carry on Campus Begins in Two States originally appeared on Clipdraw

Monday, July 31, 2017

Federal Appeals Court Overturns D.C. Concealed Carry Law

Last week, the D.C. circuit court blocked the District from requiring that Washington D.C. concealed carry permit applicants provide a valid reason for requesting the permit, following in the footsteps of the previous 2008 landmark D.C. v Heller ruling.

Until last week, residents seeking a permit to carry a concealed weapon were required to provide a reason that the weapon was needed. The D.C. Metropolitan Police had received 606 permit applications as of the beginning of June, but only approved 125, or roughly 20% of the applications.

Living and working in a dangerous part of the District did not count as a valid reason to receive a permit.

The 2-1 ruling was made by the U.S. Court of Appeals, and ordered lower courts to issue permanent injunctions against enforcement of the limiting law.

In the majority opinion, Judge Thomas B. Griffith said “At the Second Amendment’s core lies the right of responsible citizens to carry firearms for personal self-defense beyond the home, subject to longstanding restrictions.” The opinion continued, saying, “These traditional limits include, for instance, licensing requirements, but not bans on carrying in urban areas like D.C. or bans on carrying absent a special need for self-defense.”

Furthermore, the majority opinion pointed out that requiring a good reason for a permit “is necessarily a total ban on most D.C. residents’ right to carry a gun in the face of ordinary self-defense needs, where these residents are no more dangerous with a gun than the next law-abiding citizen.”

In essence, the ruling said that the restrictive application process was similar to the ban struck down by the Supreme Court in 2008.

In the dissenting opinion, Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson agreed with previous court rulings on the subject, believing that the Second Amendment does not protect the right outside of the home, and further that because of the number of federal buildings and unique nature of the District the decision should be left to the judgement of the D.C. council members.

While the Supreme Court has previously turned away similar cases, it’s likely that the higher court will now hear a “good cause” case due to the division on the subject in the lower courts.

It is expected that the D.C. council will request the Supreme Court to review the lower court’s ruling.

The article Federal Appeals Court Overturns D.C. Concealed Carry Law originally appeared on Clipdraw