More States Accept “Constitutional Carry”
USCCA’s Tim Schmidt joins The Daily Ledger on Defending the 2nd Amendment
In case you missed it, the Washington Times reports today that amid the rising number of Americans licensed to carry a concealed handgun, more states are passing laws that don’t require a permit to carry firearms, embracing the view that self-defense is a “natural born” right.
Missouri became the fourth state this year to approve a so-called “constitutional carry” law when Republican legislators overrode a veto by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon on Sept. 15, making permitless carry legal. West Virginia, Mississippi and Idaho also have adopted constitutional carry laws in 2016, bringing the total number of such states to 12.
“States that focus on freedom realize that if self-defense truly is a natural-born right, and the Second Amendment truly affirms that natural-born right, you shouldn’t have to ask the government for permission to exercise it,” said Tim Schmidt, president of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association in West Bend, Wisconsin. “Kind of like you don’t have to ask the government to exercise the First Amendment.”
Mr. Schmidt, whose for-profit company offers training, education and firearms liability insurance policies, said President Obama’s efforts at imposing gun control regulations, combined with an uptick in violent crime across the U.S., are aiding the rise in people carrying firearms.
“I certainly think it’s helped,” he said of Mr. Obama’s agenda. “It’s the whole fear thing — everybody’s afraid he’s going to pass some action and take the guns away, so they go to the store and buy more.”
The FBI’s latest annual report showed violent crime in the U.S. rose about 4 percent in 2015, including an 11 percent rise in homicides.
“I don’t think people need to read the FBI crime report to realize that crime is a problem,” Mr. Schmidt said. “Everybody wants safety and security for their family. The greatest thing about the increase in conceal carry legislation is that it’s helping people to realize that they can be that first line of defense for their family.”
Mr. Schmidt said regardless of the differences in state laws on concealed carry permits, firearms education and training are still crucial. His association offers webinars with simulated self-defense scenarios.
“I like to say that firearms self-defense training is like eating and bathing — you’ve got to do it on a regular basis,” he said. “It’s not something you do once.”
The U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) is the first and largest, member-owned association designed to educate, train, and insure responsibly armed Americans. USCCA members receive access to a wealth of industry information and insurance protection through its Self-Defense SHIELD program. The USCCA also provides expert advice, product information, and the latest news centered around the concealed carry lifestyle via email, social media, Concealed Carry Magazine, and their nationally syndicated radio program Armed American Radio.