NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

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NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by rickward on Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:42 pm

I am being told that 2014 will be the year of the gun in our legislature. I have been asked by several political activist groups to help put together legislation for the upcoming session. I have already submitted my Christmas list to a couple of them but thought I would share them with you to consider and offer me comment also. Please, lets don't turn this into a shouting match, but submit constructive criticism as we go. The groups may choose the top 3 of these or may push all of them, I don't know but these are the problems I see.

1. Delete the following from Mississippi Code, Section 45-9-53:

"To regulate the use of firearms in cases of insurrection, riots and natural disasters in which the city finds such regulation necessary to protect the health and safety of the public. However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to the lawful possession of firearms in the home, place of business or in transit to and from the home or place of business."

2. There are a number of problems with 45-9-101:

Paragraph 1, DPS is “authorized” to issue permits for pistols, revolvers AND “Stun guns” but stun guns are non-lethal weapons and do not fall into the deadly weapons statute of 97-37-1.

Comment: I don’t think we should be regulating non-lethal weapons which include, night sticks, pepper spray, even flashlights with intensity bright enough to temporarily blind or disorient, and so on.

Paragraph 13, Any place where the carrying of firearms is prohibited by law. (This sentence should be left out. The state has no authority to restrict carry in federal facilities and it only makes for confusion like the recent Summit City Ordinance that prohibits carrying in a federal building.)

Paragraph 20, The commission is AUTHORIZED to issue rules and regulations. (They should be required to do so). i.e. The commission SHALL….

a.  Issue rules and regulations applicable to the public obtaining a permit.
b.  Issue rules and regulations applicable to instructors teaching permitees.
c.  Utilize the list of instructors to send out blast e-mails of all proposed rule changes.
d.  Post all rules, regulations and changes thereto on the Secretary of State website for public comment in
  accordance with the Administrative Records Act, prior to implementation, giving those concerned a 30 day
    opportunity to submit comments.
e. Evaluate instructor requests for approval of the classroom portion presented online as an option and require
    students to take a comprehensive exam upon arrival for the range portion of the training.

3. 45-9-101 Also a senior member of the legislature told me he is in favor of all new applicants for BASIC permits being required to take the training, grandfathering all those who currently have the BASIC Permit but requiring all recipients to re-take the training after 5 years. If that is done, it will require some language adjustment in 97-37-7 also.

4. 45-9-101 "Any person without a permit who is charged with any misdemeanor crime as a result of a gun charge, may voluntarily take the enhanced course and upon completion of the course, present a certificate of completion to the court for a one time dismissal of charges. That person will then be eligible for the Enhanced Carry Endorsement, if he has, or applies for a regular permit within 90 days of course completion."

5. 45-9-101 We need to do away with the permit all together and just put an endorsement on the back of our driver's license that says "Enhanced Carry" or Basic Carry. Maybe even color the front of it a certain color so police officers stopping you will no immediately without even flipping it over that you are authorized concealed carry. In either case, we DON'T need a permit that looks almost identical to a DL when the DL could do the same thing and save money as well as time...and the cost savings may be passed on to us!

6. Section 97-37-1 needs more work. It was amended this year with “lawyerly written” confusing language in paragraph (4) as to what concealed means. Some of the legislators are saying this is where a great deal of the so-call confusion is coming from according to law enforcement. In my opinion it should read something like this:

“For the purposes of this section, “concealed” means hidden or obscured from common observation and out of the eye of the public. However, if a sufficient portion of the weapon shows that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that it is a weapon, it is not considered concealed. Any firearm may be carried in a visible holster or inside a waistband as long as enough of it is showing to allow identification as a weapon. Further, no weapon carried completely covered in a case obviously designed for that purpose shall be considered concealed, regardless of the fact that no part of it is showing without opening the case.”

7. Also “or deadly weapon” needs to be deleted from paragraph (1) as it leads one to believe any full-length shotgun or rifle falls into this category when the legislature had no intent to make a hunting gun a “deadly weapon” unless it was used as one, in which they would be charged with a much more serious violation making the misdemeanor of carrying a concealed weapon a moot point anyway.

8. Also, we need to either take out “slingshot” and replace it with the original term of “slungshot” or delete it all together.

9. There are a couple of problems with 97-37-5:

    (1)  It shall be unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a felony under the laws of this state, any other state, or of the United States to possess any firearm or any bowie knife, dirk knife, butcher knife, switchblade knife, metallic knuckles, blackjack, or any muffler or silencer for any firearm unless such person has received a pardon for such felony, has received a relief from disability pursuant to Section 925(c) of Title 18 of the United States Code, or has received a certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to subsection (3) of this section.
Comments:  Maybe we should define the word “possess.” Here’s the problem. A man gets convicted of a felony. He can’t possess a gun, not even a butcher knife in his house. A snitch tells the cops he has seen 3 weapons in the house. They get a search warrant, find the weapons and charge him with them. Maybe he owned them before his conviction. Can he not give them to his spouse? Maybe they are new and were purchased by his spouse.  So do his transgressions transfer to the spouse or other adult members of the household? Do they lose their right to self-defense because of his conviction? Can a spouse or other member of the household possess a weapon? Maybe the term should be “possess on his person.” Further, I am not so sure every felon should lose his constitutional rights to defend his person, home or property. Maybe it should be violent felons. For example, a little old lady bookkeeper embezzles $1,200 from a small business she works for.  Should that take away her right to defend her life? What about the murderers and other violent criminals that the governors have pardoned that can own guns? I know this would be federal issue especially with buying guns.

10. Also, I think we need to throw law enforcement a bone here. Since they are worried about not even being able to question someone openly carrying to determine if they are a felon, why don’t we double the punishment (now up to 3 years) of a felon carrying a firearm with no possibility for early release. With the criminal facing twice the punishment and no parole, if he gets caught with a gun, he will be less likely to carry (in theory anyway).

11. Also, we should consider throwing LE another bone by including authorization for them to carry statewide off duty since LEOSA doesn’t help in this state and they currently are not authorized by statute to carry 24/7 like we are with a permit. They could get a permit, but is that necessary? Maybe we could use this last two for bargaining chips to get them to cut the crap with the signage thing.

12. I believe either 97-17-97 or 97-23-17 should address the trespassing issues further:

If police are called to enforce a trespassing violation, over a NO GUN sign, the owner, operator or senior employee must sign charges alleging the violation of trespass and provide the court clerk with a list of names, addresses and phone numbers of all witnesses, to include employees and patrons. The person signing the charges and all witnesses will be subpoenaed to appear in court and offer testimony to the offense when the trespass is based on carrying firearms unlawfully.

Comments:  This will take the burden off the police for having to serve as the businesses’ bouncer or security guard. If they know they have to sign the charges themselves and appear in court, they will be less likely to call the police.

13. There are a couple of problems with 97-37-9:

Under the Defenses for carrying concealed weapons (add)

That he was a retired law enforcement officer from another state carrying in accordance with the Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act (LEOSA).

Also do away with the language in the last paragraph about permits issued by the Secretary of State prior to 1974. They aren’t valid now anyway.

14. NEW STATUTE: I am also working on a new statute that would force cities and counties to justify making a building “Sensitive” (No Guns), listing certain criteria while defining “sensitive” and conducting a Threat Assessment, Vulnerability Assessment and Risk Assessment/Threat Analysis with a requirement to bolster security where we are disarmed.

I would like to know your thoughts about these specific statutes or any others that are gun related that need to be changed. We have to get through this other hurdle in the Supreme Court for now and may need other legislation depending upon how that is ruled on.

Rick Ward

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by rcowanjr on Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:27 am

Rick,

Here are my thoughts:

1. AGREE

2. Paragraph 1: AGREE

2. Paragraph 13: DISAGREE- The code actually says 'federal law'.  While I understand that the state has no authority to restrict carry in federal facilities, I don't see a problem with that fact being spelled out.  I don't think it would have made any different in the Summit City Ordinance.  If they want to pretend that they can restrict carry in a federal facility, more power to them.

2. Paragraph 20: AGREE

3. DISAGREE - This is a tough one.  While I believe that every responsible gun owner/carrier should know how to handle a gun correctly and be aware of the laws regarding it's use in a self defense situation, I am against a mandate to require it.  This is mostly because if we submit to training now, what will they want next?  I didn't mind the training requirement to relax the restrictions on concealed carry.  I thought it was a smooth way to encourage training, while in no way penalizing those who weren't interested.  Another way to encourage the training is to reduce the cost of the permit if you take an authorized course.  For instance, when you renew or receive a permit for the first time, how about paying for the fingerprints and you're done? Wink

4. Without more information, I have to DISAGREE.  If you do something stupid with a gun, maybe you should have received training to learn how to not be stupid, thereby avoiding the charge.  Gun carriers should be responsible from the moment you walk out the door -- not allowed to be stupid one time and then get a mulligan.  If you were more specific on a misdemeanor as it relates to guns, I might change my mind.

5. AGREE

6. Slightly DISAGREE - I think the new language in paragraph 4 is clear enough.  I don't think it is confusing to the legislators (they approved it) or law enforcement.  I believe their argument about paragraph 4 is a smokescreen to try to prevent folks from carrying openly.  Having said that, I do like the first two sentences of your alternate text.  But sentence 3, which starts with "Any firearm" does not, in my opinion, belong in the text, as the entire sentence relates to open carry, and not concealed carry.  

Maybe if it was reworded to something like this: "Any firearm carried in a visible holster or inside a waistband/pocket, where enough of the firearm is visible allowing a reasonable person to identify it as a weapon, is not concealed."

As for the last sentence in the alternate text, I think it could cause problems.  So maybe there is another way to describe what you want.  I'm thinking of the holsters like the 'Bulldog', which might be obvious to other gun owners, but not to the general public.  A person could use that sentence in its current form to justify concealing inside a 'Bulldog'.  That could create a mess, legally.

7. AGREE

8. I'm definitely ignorant on this one.  I don't understand the significant difference.

9. AGREE - This is another tough one.  I think we all know that if this is the case, then the felon will just say the weapons belong to another member of the house.  However, as long as he can't leave the house with them, then they can only be used in the defense of the home, which should be every person's right.  The argument will be that if the felon is allowed to be in the same house with the guns, then he doesn't have to work to find a gun to commit another felony.  While I see that as true, the law shouldn't punish other law abiding folks who live there by limiting THEIR right to bear arms.  I mean, isn't that all that gun control will accomplish?  To punish law abiding citizens when those who choose to be criminals will just ignore the laws anyway?

10. AGREE.  Why not up the penalty to 5 years or 10 years?  I wouldn't have a problem with that.

11. AGREE.  To be honest, I didn't realize a police officer couldn't carry while off duty.  Of course, as a result of HB2, they can carry openly off duty.  I like the idea of using the language as a bargaining chip.

12. AGREE

13. AGREE

14. AGREE

As for other suggestions, I would like to see language that specifies law enforcement may not stop a person for just carrying a weapon, or ask for proof that they are not a felon.  I know it is in the AG's opinion of 13 Jun 2013, but having it codified would be better.

Thanks for all you do for the gun owner community.  You ARE appreciated!  clap

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by rickward on Sat Jul 20, 2013 5:23 am

rwcowanjr:

Thanks for your quick and detailed response. I will keep your suggestions in mind as we move forward and discuss these matters. I understand your concerns about some of them. As for number 8, somewhere around the turn of the 20th century a clerk didn't know what a slungshot was and changed the u to an i making it a slingshot. A slungshot is still found in a lot of state codes. It is an old weapon like a bolo with 3 balls woven into twine with a wrist attachment, used to swing and hit somebody in the head. There was no other purpose for it but a head bashing weapon, made by sailors in the 19th and maybe earlier century. An Ole Miss law professor approached this subject years ago with the legislature and didn't get anywhere because other states, as they often do, had copied our statutes and had slingshots in their codes.

Rick

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by Dave1289 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:36 am

rickward wrote:
11. Also, we should consider throwing LE another bone by including authorization for them to carry statewide off duty since LEOSA doesn’t help in this state and they currently are not authorized by statute to carry 24/7 like we are with a permit. They could get a permit, but is that necessary? Maybe we could use this last two for bargaining chips to get them to cut the crap with the signage thing.

All of that looks good Rick but, I thought LE could already carry off duty.

45-9-101 Paragraph 13
A law enforcement officer as defined in Section 45-6-3, chiefs of police, sheriffs and persons licensed as professional bondsmen pursuant to Chapter 39, Title 83, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be exempt from the licensing requirements of this section.

Also, didn't realize that LEOSA didn't cover home state.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by rickward on Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:11 am

They are exempt from the permit statute that you mentioned and many of them think they are cops 24/7, but any of the statutes you read about them refers to in the line of duty. I made an earlier Supreme Court posting about that titled Shirley v State.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by sand_man on Sat Jul 20, 2013 7:48 am

Would it be possible to lower the costs involved in the permit process and the enhanced class? Could the permit process be sped up instead of waiting 45 days? You can get a DL in one day so why not a permit? Some of us have to drive for an hour or more to a location that accepts permit applications. Can't a regular DL office print them up?

I am on fixed income and by the time I spend gas driving to Hattiesburg or Gulfport and then paying for the permit, that is money I need for a bill or something else. For some spending $300 on getting a permit is no big deal but for people like me that's 1/4 of my monthly income.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by bucmeister on Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:53 am

Good work Rick.  Have not digested it all yet though.  One thing did reach out to me though in the proposed wording in item #6

"However, if a sufficient portion of the weapon shows that would lead a reasonable person to conclude that it is a weapon, it is not considered concealed." 

That will still end up being a judgement call with "sufficient portion" and "reasonable person" being grounds to put it into court nearly as easily as the "in part" of the old law did.  I have had concerns about that type of wording even in HB 2 as it exists now.  Your intent is is clear to me, but then I do not find HB 2 vague, so maybe I am overly reasonable or rather maybe I just have a good dose of common sense!  Not sure how to define it otherwise though, so this may be as good as it can be gotten.

As far as requiring the training for all permits I see good and bad in that.  The main good is that our permits would be accepted in more states and the arguments I get from many about no training necessary to have a permit would be negated.  Of course, those that are going on about no training want mandatory training for OC also, then when you ask how that would be verified they either don't know or say the law should be able to stop and verify at all times, that that would be the price for exercising open carry.  I then ask them how many driver's license checks a week would they be willing to go through in order to have those driving without a license taken off of the road?  Vehicles kill more people than guns and a number of the deadly crashes involve people that are unlicensed or driving under suspension.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by oO_Rogue_Oo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:12 am

Probably not a popular opinion but I think that LEOs SHOULD be required to go through the same permit process as we do for off-duty concealed carry. Perhaps at reduced cost or even better, department / employer sponsored. This is especially true when you include bondsmen etc in the mix.

As far requiring training for a permit goes I have lived in states that had that requirement and it opened the door for them to restrict permits by way of changing who was authorized to give the training and when and how often the training was available. So although I feel strongly that anyone who carries a firearm (be it open or concealed) should have training I would rather not see it be a requirement.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by Q-Tip on Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:22 am

Very in favor of suggestion 1. Cities should not be able to touch firearms at all. I would add that cities cannot ban firearms in any of their own property as well (unless they follow my last suggestion).

I would be in favor of allowing off-duty police to carry IF they were still limited to the places that IC permit holders can carry. I.e, they still can't carry past signs.

I love the idea of the DL and FP being on a single card. The IC endorsement could also be on that card without being a sticker. This should lower the price too.

I'm opposed to a training requirement, unless the only permit has the same limits as what is now the "Enhanced" permit.

This is my own addition. I believe there should only be two limitations on where we can carry firearms, whether openly or concealed. One is a private business that posts a sign. The other is a place (referring to government buildings specifically) that provides sufficient armed security, AND stores your weapon for you as you enter the building. If a state, local, or federal government is so worried about "sensitive" places, they need to fund armed security, and there is no reason they can't store weapons safely while a person is doing their business inside.


Last edited by Q-Tip on Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:43 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by TheGreatGonzo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:40 am

[quote="Dave1289"]
rickward wrote:

Also, didn't realize that LEOSA didn't cover home state.

LEOSA does cover a LEO's home state as far as general carry goes.  I may have not made that very clear in another thread and I tried to correct my wording in an edit.  However, a LEO in his/her home state (or any other state) is still restricted by state law in two specific areas.  LEOSA does not  supersede a home state law regarding:

     1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or
     2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.

However, under LEOSA, a LEO may carry off duty in any state (including his/her own) while observing the above restrictions as cited in state law.
Gonzo


Last edited by TheGreatGonzo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:47 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by Sluggo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:45 am

It should not matter whether the person who sees your weapon is "reasonable" or not, if they can recognize it as a weapon then it is not concealed. The reasonable person phrase can be misused by law enforcement who might claim that only they are professional enough to recognize a pistol by seeing just the handle. Therefore, a reasonable person would not notice it so it is concealed.

This is exactly the same crap they pulled with the "in whole or in part" phrase.

What we need is to follow the Arkansas model of constitutional carry. Having a weapon, open or concealed should not be a crime. It should only be a crime if you harm or threaten to harm others. Arkansas law will handle people carrying guns the same way many state laws handle possession of “tools of burglary”. Normally, you can get away with carrying common hand tools anywhere you otherwise have a right to be. But if you are caught trying to use them in an attempt at breaking and entering or even trespassing you can be charged with a crime based on obvious intent to use that tool in furtherance of a crime. This is an excellent way to deal with people carrying guns. As long as you are not harming, or attempting to harm others with a weapon then possession alone should not be a crime.

The burden of proof has shifted to the accuser (the state) who now has to prove that you are up to no good rather than you simply have the POTENTIAL for crime based on ready access to a weapon. This is the model Mississippi should follow.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by TheGreatGonzo on Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:48 am

rickward wrote:They are exempt from the permit statute that you mentioned and many of them think they are cops 24/7, but any of the statutes you read about them refers to in the line of duty. I made an earlier Supreme Court posting about that titled Shirley v State.

Rick,
Just so I'm clear, it is your contention that any local, county, or state law enforcement officer in the state of Mississippi that is currently carrying a concealed firearm off duty is doing so in violation of state law?
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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by bar306 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:33 am

This may be getting slightly off subject, but just wondering as it popped into my simpleton mind - What might be the legalities involved with uniformed (on-duty or off-duty) military law enforcement (MP)/military installation civilian contractor security personnel carrying openly off military installation as well as out-of-uniform military law enforcement/military installation civilian contractor security personnel carrying concealed while off the military installation?  

I'm sure military reservation regulations supercede state law while on the installation, but wondering about when a military law enforcement officer leaves the installation in performance of official duty and also when not on offical duty?  

Are MP and civilian security contractor personnel allowed to carry personal firearms in addition to any that may be issued to them for duty purposes?  

Few military law enforcement personnel and none of the contractor personnel actually reside within the installation where they are assigned or perform their official duty.  I think there are a few military police types among the membership here who might provide some interesting comments.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by bbenea on Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:36 am

Military police on duty are treated no differently than any other LEO.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by jackruff on Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:46 am

Interesting comments about off-duty law enforcement officers carrying concealed weapons. A friend of mine is an officer in a large city in another state. He says it is his department's policy that he be armed at all times no matter where he is, although I guess a law in this or another state could trump that policy.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by bucmeister on Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:03 pm

One potential issue with combining the concealed carry/IC and Driver's license revolves around the duration of each.  At my last DL renewal I opted for the 8 year license so if the concealed permit were added to it while still on a 5 year cycle there could be complications.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by Jarrado on Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:50 pm

How would that relate to military members as far as conceal carry then?

And I have a slight issue with number 12. Requiring a business owner to file charges if they call the police is going to far, it could be seen as discouraging or intimidation as far as calling LE. I think that making the business owner post a sign for open carry and a different one for concealed, so as to completely make their intent known, would be best. I mean, if they don't want guns inside, we shouldn't be in there anyway. Its just pushing the issue in a bad way. I do find it a bit 2 face, in a sense, to allow yourself [business owner] or your employees to carry but not your customers. If guns are the problem, the entire premises should be devoid of firearms. If its people then permit holders should be allowed.

I'll agree 100% that CC/EC permits should be easier and cheaper to obtain. Its one of the reasons I haven't applied. I simply do not have the ability to do it right now.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by Glock1701D on Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:59 pm

The combined license brings up a discussion brought up before. Do you hand over both on routine traffic stop or only "on demand " by LEO?
I do think required training, while a good idea, and permits are a way that can be used to discourage carry.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by bucmeister on Sat Jul 20, 2013 1:03 pm

As it relates to trespass, I absolutely think the owner/manager should have to do the filing just as I would have to do on my hunting or house land.  If I am unwilling to file an affidavit against a person for trespass the law officer will not file on my behalf.

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Re: NEW PROPOSED GUN LEGISLATION FOR 2014

Post by rmse9 on Sat Jul 20, 2013 4:45 pm

Lot of good discussion on this. I agree with several others about required training for the basic permit. I feel as a law abiding citizen that passes a background check I would not like to see any additional constraints in the process of obtaining a permit. I also agree with others that everyone should properly know how to use a firearm, but making training a requirement to obtain the permit should not happen.

Read an article in NRA America's Freedom today that Texas previously required training prior to issuing a permit and now they passed amendment to remove that requirement.

Don't think the framers of our State or National Constitution had any inkling of requiring training to keep and bear arms.

I also do not think a certified law enforcement officer active or retired should have a requirement for a permit for off duty carry.

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