Saturday, September 17, 2016

Constitutional Carry in Missouri

In the press of important things to mention, and of course, with the news media calling the horse race between Trump and Hillary, one of the things overlooked recently was the passage of Constitutional Carry in Missouri, over riding Governor Nixon's veto.

I have noted elsewhere that I am a concealed carrier, but only because my state does not recognize Constitutional carry, or in other words, permitless carry of your handgun.  This is not in fact new, but a return to a historical mode of bearing arms.  In reality, the State's only real interest in making you attend a course, and then putting you through yet another background check, is to make sure you don't harm or injure someone else.  That's it.  The fact that you had to get a background check to buy the gun should be enough background check.  It is on you, the individual, to know the law, ignorance of which is no excuse.

Charles C. W. Cooke over at National Review has a short piece on the Missouri law at Missouri Becomes eleventh Constitutional Carry State. He writes:
When VerBruggen suggests that permitting systems don’t do anything at all, he means, of course, that they don’t do anything at all to the crime rate. Naturally, they do a number of things to the people who have to obtain them. Depending on the state, a permit can cost up to $450, it can involve time-consuming prerequisite steps, and it can delay for months the exercise of a constitutional right. If there were evidence that these impositions did something worthwhile, they might — might — be defensible. But there’s not. So they’re not. Good on Missouri’s legislature for acknowledging that. Let’s hope that others follow suit before long.
Exactly so. These permits, which require you to take a certain course of training, requires you to apply with variously the Sheriff, the County Clerk of Courts, or the State Police, pay a fee, and may require fingerprints and other so called "proof" don't do anything in terms of preventing crime. Here in NC, required training costs $125, my application fee for first time is $90, and $75 for renewal every five years. Then there is a fingerprint fee for first time permittees. Do you think a poor person without extra disposable income could afford that? NC is a fairly reasonable State.  After all that, it can take up to 90 days for the State to run a complete background check and issue the permit.  This in a "Shall Issue" State.

In point of fact, the Constitutionality of States requiring a permit to carry a concealed weapon is dubious at best.  Historically, people carried flintlock pistols, and later revolvers concealed with no permit.  The popularity of pocket pistols like the Colt Pocket Hammerless Pistol in .32 Auto at the turn of the last century shows that a lot of people still carried, if not daily, at least on occasion.  Hopefully, more States will come to recognize that keeping a permit system in order to provide an income stream for Sheriffs' departments provides no added benefit for the public.  In the interim, we find ourselves with a less than ideal system that is nonetheless better than it was.

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