Gun in hand.

Supporting National Concealed Carry

Congress has, for the better part of the past decade, attempted to get a bill passed that would allow for a “National Concealed Carry Permit” as well as allow active and retired law enforcement officers to carry nationwide. While so far their efforts have been unsuccessful, there is a way to carry across much of the country legally.

A little known fact to a vast segment of the concealed carry community is that many states, 16 to be exact, allow non-residents to receive CCW permits. Combine that with the many reciprocity provisions between states and you can start to see the big picture.

As a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment, I have inserted myself in many areas of the gun debate in an attempt to ensure that I will never have to give up my guns or my right not to have to register my guns. One avenue that I have chosen in order to accomplish this is by obtaining as many CCW permits as possible (ME, NH, ND, TX, UT, so far) and becoming licensed to teach as many CCW classes as possible (ND, TX, UT, so far).

To cover the greatest amount of states with the fewest permits is tricky and can sometimes be expensive. As an example, if you had a Texas, Florida and Arizona permit you will be legal to carry in 20 states (AK, AZ, AR, FL, GA, ID, IN, KY, LA, MI, MS, MT, NH, ND, OK, TN, TX, UT, VT and WY). Not bad considering only 42 states have CCW legislation and many states don’t have any reciprocity provisions or choose to only recognize one or two states. As you obtain additional permits, you could be adding additional states you can carry in. Obviously the major concern in this example is the permit and training costs and the need to do it all again every four years or so.

The point I’m trying to make is that as American citizens we have certain rights that cannot and should not be infringed, denied or repealed. The only way to ensure that we continue to enjoy those rights is to become involved. Now I know that each and every one of us doesn’t have an abundant amount of time to dedicate to this cause. The smart thing to do is to spend only that time that you are able and to choose wisely when deciding how best to get involved.

Organizations throughout the country fight our fight on a daily basis. Groups like the National Rifle Association, Texas Concealed Handgun Association, Texas State Rifle Association, Law Enforcement Alliance of America, etc. Each of these groups could use our help and support. Do some research on the organization, call them, talk to friends, etc. Chances are you will find one particular group that interests you, hits close to home, that you are willing to belong too and that you feel will make the best use of your membership.

Last but not least. VOTE. The importance of your vote cannot be emphasized enough. Many believe that one vote cannot make a difference. Not so. In the past five years I’ve seen one vote decide four different political races in the south alone. It is impossible for those that represent us to know what we want if we aren’t willing to tell them. Call them, write them or vote them out of office. Make yourself heard and counted. As long as those of us that demand that we be allowed to exercise our right to keep and bear arms continue to be heard we will not lose. We can defeat those that try to defeat us.

by William D. (Bill) Slater, Jr., Concealed Handgun, V.4 n.3

Bill Slater is a 19-year veteran of military and civilian law enforcement and security as well as a fourteen-year veteran professional firearms and tactics instructor. He is the President/CEO of Handgun Safety Training Corporation in San Antonio, Texas and currently serves as TCHA’s Executive Vice President and Secretary.