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Whoever ends up taking the White House, the best defense is a good offense, and gun-rights advocates need to start thinking now about pro-rights laws to preserve, protect and defend the right to keep and bear arms, according to leading experts.
Chief among these is the nationwide effort to move beyond government-issued permission slips, often called CCW permits and so-called "right" to carry laws for discreetly bearing arms, and on to Freedom to Carry laws, or Constitutional Carry, now fully or partially effective in six states -- Vermont, Alaska, Montana (outside city limits), Texas (to, from and in vehicles), Wyoming (residents only) and Arizona (complete freedom for anyone legally in the state from anywhere on Earth).
NOTE: Read the background on Constitutional Carry, and talking points, here:
and a good Q&A about the system here:
You will hear scare tactics about blood-in-the-streets when you raise the issue, just like you heard when CCW was introduced, and it will be just as bogus. The Dodge-City myths are a bunch of baloney, fear and loathing from a cadre of haters who suffer from hoplophobia or just detest your rights. Ignore them and forge ahead.
Some Tips For Implementing Constitutional Carry In Your State
Although Constitutional Carry adheres closely to the Founding Fathers intent, we have moved so far from those fundamental principles that this law, which ought to be basically automatic, can be a struggle from the start. Don't be disheartened, it is the moral high ground and the right state of affairs. With persistence you can have this wonderful freedom in your state, while watching individual rights increase and crime drop.
For starters, getting as much law enforcement buy-in as you can from the beginning is helpful, virtually essential. Like it or not, LEO lobbyists tend to have a lot of influence at state houses, and especially in the Governor's office.
Getting them to the table at the start is a big plus. Even if you can't get them to cooperate or concede anything, it makes a difference when you go to legislators and staffers and can say that you tried to negotiate with them and address their issues. The fact that they were uncooperative or even refused to talk to you shows the right effort on your part. It puts the onus on them to concede something or deal with the bill as is.
This is a position they are not usually accustomed to being in, and even if they are, it can motivate them to start to deal. If you had reached out your hand in a good faith effort, and they slapped it away, that's a talking point, and will work in your favor. It could even take the edge off and make them marginally friendly.
If you're an independent grass roots person or group, you certainly want the NRA on your team as well. The NRA state liaison (who you should naturally have a relationship with before you even begin) will be a big help, depending on the person, and you should never run a gun bill without their buy-in or at least knowledge, that's just plain common sense. Constitutional Carry may or may not be on their busy agenda, so check first.
They have a lot of influence at state capitols, even in traditionally anti-gun legislatures, and if you don't have their cooperation, you probably won't get very far. You may find they'll want to simply take a hands-off approach to this issue and let you run on your own, it depends, and you need to know that as you gear up. At the very least, keep them informed.
As a citizen or lobbyist, remember that facts are paramount. Never be caught in a lie or a half-truth. If you don't have an answer on any particular question, simply tell them you don't have it, but you will get it -- and then do so. Leave the lies to the other guys, it catches up to them in the end. Constitutional Carry doesn't need embellishment -- it is the principled, righteous moral high ground. Possession of private property, especially constitutionally protected property like arms, should be permit free, without fees or expiration dates.
Be prepared to have many people who you'd think are "on your side" come out against Constitutional Carry, particularly from the ranks of instructors and training schools. They will argue that no one should be able to carry a gun without permits and training -- from them. Understand that constitutional arguments, despite their validity, will mostly fall on deaf ears -- when the government mandate for classes forces people to the trainers' rice bowls. It's hard to make a person see facts when their livelihood depends on not seeing those facts.
The stark reality is that, from a purely statistical standpoint, there is no evidence that shows that training results in a safer society. We can have a wonderfully energetic debate about that. You can contact Prof. John Lott for technical factual confirmation of this principle. While this seems counterintuitive, and many will argue exactly that, the numbers don't lie. There are many states that issue permits with no training requirement, and they are as safe as those that require training. Ditto for those states that don't require the little permits at all. In most cases, open carry has been legal for centuries with few problems. The introduction of carry under your shirt or in a handbag doesn't change this. In stark contrast, and you already know this, states and cities that severely restrict carry are crime ridden.
Now this doesn't mean that you or anyone else should be anti-training. Instructors everywhere encourage everyone to be trained and competent, regardless of government forcing you to do so. I support this totally. I don't think a high school diploma should be issued without at least one full credit in marksmanship. We have a statute in Arizona that provides for that as an elective, and we're looking into it as a requirement, you should too. Half of all American homes have a firearm, yet kids graduate and have no idea what sort of gun they should get, that's a national travesty.
What you should oppose, and what you should focus on, is the bad idea of one-size-fits-all government training mandates. And government licensing a fundamental right, which has been uniformly rejected by the courts in other areas -- like for voting, or religion, or speech. Just as we don't hammer on a square peg to make it fit a round hole, we shouldn't make everyone fit into a government marksmanship class and call it good. The free market can, and should, decide. Freedom to Carry laws do this.
And don't be surprised when gun-rights activists themselves tend to balk, at least initially, to the idea of being free enough to bear arms without government oversight. Between the "news" media, the government-run school system, and the culture in America these days, large chunks of the population that ought to know better think things need to be government approved to be OK. Many will fiercely argue that without forced training from government masters, your friends and neighbors are unfit to exercise their rights responsibly. This statist mentality is at the heart of many problems we face today. Fighting back with Constitutional Carry laws helps people see the light.
Pressing for Constitutional Carry will force the next president to deal with the public from the people's perspective, and that's a good thing, no matter who wins the White House.
Reprinted by permission.
Yours in Freedom, The Liberty Crew at JPFO
Protecting you by creating solutions to destroy "gun control"