Monday, July 24, 2017

Florida Fast Tracks Concealed Carry Permits for Active Military and Veterans

military veteran

In the midst of heavy demand for concealed carry permits, the state of Florida has been fast-tracking permit applications for active-duty military and honorably discharged veterans. In the last two years, the state has provided over 82,000 permits to current and former members of the military.

The focus to push through these permits came as a reaction to the attack on a Chattanooga military base two years ago. The attack resulted in the deaths of a Navy sailor and four Marines, as well as the gunman.

The attack, which took place on July 16, 2015, motivated Florida to change the rules for military personnel seeking a permit. National guard and other members of the military can receive their permit prior to the age of 21, unlike civilians applicants.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam cites the extensive training members of the military receive as reasoning for the separate rules. “When I look at the firearms training, the discipline and the character of the 82,000 men and women who have served this country, and continue to serve this country, they are a force multiplier for law enforcement,” Putnam explains.

Under Putnam, the state has seen an increase in the number of concealed carry permits applications. Since first winning a state-wide office in 2010, the number of permits has swelled from 800 thousand to more than 1.78 million.

The rule changes for active military, combined with the fast-tracked application for current military members and honorably discharged veterans, continues a commitment by Florida to those who commit their lives to serving our country.

“This is just one example of what we do through our department to make Florida the most veteran and military friendly state in the nation,” Putnam said.

The article Florida Fast Tracks Concealed Carry Permits for Active Military and Veterans originally appeared on Clipdraw

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

No Crime Increase in Idaho After One Year Permitless


In the first half of 2016, Idaho dropped their century long concealed carry permit requirement. Much like the process that Michigan is now going through, Idaho sought to remove the danger that a legal gun owner could be charged with a felony for putting on a coat.

Under the new law, gun owners 21 and over are allowed to carry their weapons concealed without an additional permit and training.

Concerns around the bill were called out in a number of ways. But two of the most significant concerns – that permits would decrease, and that crime would increase – seem to have been disproven to this point.

No Apparent Increase in Crime

A concern from Idaho police chiefs while the new law was being considered was the removal of a significant tool in keeping firearms out of the hands of felons – the concealed carry background check.

In a letter last year on the subject, Ada County police chiefs Bill Bones, Jeff Lavey, and Rick Allen said: “We believe dismantling the longstanding and effective permitting system without taking additional precautionary steps will weaken public safety.”

Yet to date, this concern doesn’t seem to have materialized. Some law enforcement officials acknowledge the concerns in removing the background check, but also haven’t found there to be an increase in crime as a result.

“It hasn’t been a topic of discussion,” said Detective Jared Reneau from Coeur d’Alene. “We haven’t noticed a significant increase.”


No Decrease in Permits

Other concerns centered on a decrease in the number of permits sought, but that is another concern that hasn’t proved out.

Concealed carry permit trainers have, in fact, haven’t noticed a drop in the number of permits being sought. “We’ve actually seen an increase,” says Ed Santos, owner of Center Target Sports in Post Falls.

Santos and other trainers speculate that the permitless concealed carry law has led gun owners to become accustomed to having their weapon with them. Because the Idaho permit is recognized by several other states, owners are seeking their permits so that they can legally carry when leaving their home state.

Training Still Recommended by Police

Still, there is some concern around the removal of the training requirement.

In Post Falls, the police department offers free concealed carry training to residents intended to encourage responsible gun ownership. Their concern is that inexperienced gun owners may carry their weapon in unsafe ways because of their lack of training.

“People get complacent,” Police Chief Scott Haug said. “They don’t understand how quickly that gun can be used against them in a matter of seconds.”

The article No Crime Increase in Idaho After One Year Permitless originally appeared on Clipdraw

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ohio House of Representatives Reviews Several Concealed Carry Bills

ohio flag

If you are a current concealed carry permit holder in the state of Ohio, and you carry your weapon into a gun-free zone, you face considerable jail time, a stiff fine, and a felony on your record.

But if a new bill is passed, all that will change.

A legislative committee has reviewed and decided to advance House Bill 233, a bill sponsored by Republican John Becker of Union Township, Ohio.

HB 233 Reduces Penalty for “I Forgot” Scenario

According to the current law, concealed carry permit holders who enter a designated gun-free zone could face up to 12 months in prison, a $2500 fine, and a fifth-degree felony on their record.

But if the new bill should become law, those who enter a gun-free zone but have a legal concealed carry permit will be given the opportunity to leave – without any penalty. This allows a permit holder who forgot they were carrying their weapon to remove themselves from the property without facing a felony charge.

If the gun owner refuses, they would face a disorderly conduct charge – a misdemeanor – as well as a $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Opposition to the Bill

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce opposes the bill, stating that it removes the owner’s private property rights in deciding if concealed weapons are allowed in their establishment or not. Don Boyd, of the Chamber of Commerce, pointed out that the bill protects those who forgot about their weapon, as well as those that knowingly bring their weapon into a gun-free zone.

But the bill’s sponsor responded that “It’s tough for a prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone intended to enter a gun-free business with a handgun”.

The Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association also opposed the bill but were more open to the possibility of working with lawmakers to adjust the bill and further define the distinction between those who knowingly carry their gun where it’s not allowed, and those who have done so unwittingly.

Additional Bills Delayed Until After Summer Recess

Two additional bills, however, created more controversy, and won’t be reviewed until after the summer recess.

HB 142 removes the requirements that those with a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon inform the police they have a weapon when stopped. HB 201 also drops the identification requirement while expanding concealed carry without a permit. Both bills require additional review and debate before moving to the House floor.

The article Ohio House of Representatives Reviews Several Concealed Carry Bills originally appeared on Clipdraw

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Florida to Reduce Concealed Carry Permit Fees – Again


The state of Florida has announced that effective July 1st, 2017, they are reducing the concealed carry permit fees by $5 for both first-time applicants and permit renewals.

The office of Adam Putnam, Commissioner of Agriculture for the state of Florida, released a statement regarding the fee change, which Putnam’s office worked on with state legislators.

For new concealed carry permits, the fee will drop from $60 to $55 at the beginning of July. License renews will now cost $45 instead of $50. The fees are the same for active law enforcement, correctional, and correctional probation officers according to the statement.

Additional fees associated with applying for a permit will stay the same. These fees include a $42 fingerprinting fee, and a convenience fee for tax collectors that process licenses that could be up to $22.

Putnam, who is planning a run for the governor’s office in 2018, expressed his support for the fee reduction. “I’m a proud supporter of the Second Amendment and am dedicated to making our concealed weapon license application and renewal process as convenient as possible,” he said. “By reducing the concealed weapon license fee yet again, we can put the savings back in the pockets of Floridians.” Putnam’s campaign platform will include support for gun rights.

This is not the first year that Florida has dropped the fee for concealed carry permits. The permits cost $75 in 2012, dropping by $10 in 2016, and another $5 this year. Previous fiscal analysis by state budget officials noted that even with the budget cuts the program could still be fully funded.

Some of that can be assumed from the sheer volume of permits. As of the end of May 2017, there was roughly one permit for every 13 residents or over 1.7 million permits.

The costs of permits are directly related to the number of permit holders, according to a 2016 survey completed by the Crime Prevention Research Center. According to the survey, every $10 increase in the cost of a permit results in roughly half a percentage point fewer adults who have concealed carry permits.

The costs of permits vary greatly from state to state. Florida’s permit fee sits roughly in the middle of the range. On the low end, a concealed carry permit in South Dakota costs $10, where on the other end of the spectrum an Illinois permit costs $150.

The article Florida to Reduce Concealed Carry Permit Fees – Again originally appeared on Clipdraw

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Delaware Bill Aims to Speed Up Concealed Carry Process with New Commission

delaware state flag

In an attempt to alleviate the workload on the Delaware Department of Justice and speed up the application process, the state of Delaware is currently considering a bill that would remove consideration and issuance of concealed carry permits to an independent commission.

As the process currently stands, the DOJ reviews each application and then forwards that application on for final approval from a local county judge. Under the new bill, the Commission on Concealed Weapon Licensing would be created to take over the responsibility of vetting applicants.

Thanks in part to an increase in concealed carry permit requests, the legislation calls the current situation “unsustainable” for the DOJ. There were 8,500 permit requests in 2016 alone.

For those that have completed concealed carry training and the associated application paperwork, the wait can be exasperating. Under the current system, some applicants are waiting months to get word on the approval or rejection of their application.

“People do complain because they have invested money in the training … they have all their signatures ready and then they don’t hear anything for months and months, and it is frustrating,” Thomas D. Shellenberger, spokesperson for the Delaware State Sportsman’s Association, said.

The bill also moves to protect the identity of those applying for a permit. Currently, under Delaware law, those seeking a concealed carry license must have their intent posted in the local paper, including their name and address.

While opponents raise concerns over the lack of transparency this would create, supports of the bill say the current publication requirement makes it easy for criminals to target gun owners when looking to steal firearms. They also point out that some officials and judges have refrained from applying for concealed carry licenses because they do not wish their home addresses to be published publicly.

The DOJ supports the idea of moving the permit process to another department or entity, and the bill itself attempts to make the commission self-funded through increased application fees.

DOJ representatives, however, do feel some of the language in the bill changes Delaware from a “may issue” state to a “will issue” state. The concern of the DOJ lies in wording that could be interpreted as removing discretion on the granting of a permit. The current process requires concealed carry training, a written reason for requesting the permit, and five witnesses who can vouch for the moral character of the applicant.

But Shellenberger disagreed that the language implied the removal of discretion on the part of the commission. “(The commission members) have the right to say no if they feel you don’t have the appropriate character to carry a weapon,” Shellenberger said.

The article Delaware Bill Aims to Speed Up Concealed Carry Process with New Commission originally appeared on Clipdraw