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Insight Firearms Training Opposing Constitutional Carry?

I have in my possession an e-mail from a reader that would appear to be from Insight Firearms Training Development, which asks folks to express to their elected representatives to oppose removing the requirement to have a permit to carry a concealed firearm. That’s right, it would seem a prominent training house is selling out the Second Amendment for their own financial gain. Click on the link to see the header for yourself. Here’s the letter they suggest people send:

RE: Vote NO on House Bill 2347 & Senate Bill 1108

Dear Representatives:

I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.  Nevertheless, I strongly OPPOSE House Bill 2347 & Senate Bill 1108 which would authorize Arizonans to carry a concealed weapon without the permit that is currently required by Arizona law.  I have recently taken the 8-hour CCW course required by  current law and I can tell you first-hand that it is invaluable and necessary for anyone who plans to carry a concealed weapon. I realized when I took the CCW course offered by Insight Firearms Training Development in Prescott Arizona that there was much that I did not know (or remember as the case may be) about the safe handling of firearms and, importantly, the law applicable to their use for purposes of personal protection in real life (and death) situations.  Persons who carry concealed weapons who are not properly trained and educated will be hazardous to you, me and all of the residents of this state.

The argument often offered in support of allowing a person to carry without proper training is that “criminals do not worry about CCW permits, so why should we require it of good, law-abiding citizens”.  That may be true, but the argument is disingenuous.  Our laws apply to all people – good and bad.  The fact that some choose to violate the laws of our society does not constitute good reason to modify them in a manner that will be injurious to the safety of our communities.  Should we modify every law in our society because the criminals don’t follow them? Should we base all laws of our society on the behavior of the criminals?

The Second Amendment, as interpreted by the US Supreme Court, does not proscribe reasonable governmental restrictions on an individual’s rights with respect to firearms.  To restrict individuals from carrying a handgun in a concealed manner under any circumstance would be unreasonable.  It is not unreasonable, however, to require that person to demonstrate that he has obtained the proper training and education in the use of that concealed weapon.  With every right comes a corresponding duty an responsibility!  We need to retain that requirement.

Vote NO on House Bill 2347 & Senate Bill 1108

I agree with Insight that training is a good idea, but coming from a state that doesn’t require it, I don’t think it needs to be a legal requirement. I also fail to see how we have a right to “bear” arms if we have to get state permission before we can exercise that right.

I don’t appreciate members of the community crapping on our rights so they can continue to use force of law to extract money us. Has anyone else gotten this e-mail? If so, and you are an alumni of Insight, I would be sure to express your displeasure.

UPDATE: Please don’t confuse Insight Firearms Training Development with InSights Firearms Training of Seattle, Washington. They are separate companies. InSights has nothing to do with this controversy.

29 Responses to “Insight Firearms Training Opposing Constitutional Carry?”

  1. Rev. Paul says:

    After reading that Insight commercial disguised as a political letter, two words come to mind: “slimy” and “disgusting”.

  2. Mike says:

    Of course CCW training instructors/companies oppose it. It cuts into their revenue.

    Do you think that if we managed to somehow get the Congress to repeal the GCA ’68 and let anyone sell firearms that FFL-holding businesses would be happy? Probably not.

    Businesses that depend on gun control to thrive are just as dangerous as the Brady/Joyce/VPC folks are.

    What was it that Sam Adams said about those who love wealth more than they love liberty?

  3. RC says:

    Reminds me of the NFA guys who are opposed to reopening the machine gun registry because it will devalue their collections.

    Bunch of Quislings, all of ’em.

  4. Eseell says:

    Despicable. I’ve never trained with them, but I sent them a letter explaining why I never will. Gunsite is not far from there, and is extremely pro-2A.

  5. Matthew Carberry says:

    Again, anyone who makes such claims needs to be publically asked to explain why states that do not require any training (permit, backgroundcheck, etc) to carry have similar rates of criminal misuse and accidents to those that do.

    If they can’t explain why they their state’s citizens are somehow less responsible or more dangerous than the citizens of those states they need to shut up.

  6. Carl from Chicago says:

    Sebastian:

    It makes financial sense that they would support training requirements. But did you write or call Insight to confirm that this position is theirs?

    There are plenty of “internet shenanigans” floating about.

  7. Sebastian says:

    I did not try to verify it with Insight directly, but the source is credible.

  8. ExurbanKevin says:

    I know of another CCW training firm in Arizona which privately opposes permit-less concealed carry because it would severely impact their business.

    For the record, I like the proposed changes to concealed carry law as they mimic Alaska-style carry and allow for reciprocity and other benefits for CCW holders, rather than walling off Arizonans from traveling outside of the state with their guns.

    However, I also understand the human cost of this law: There will be a very real economic impact from this law, and while it will be great for a large number of Arizonans, it will be catastrophic for others. There are a number of people in the state who make CCW training their full-time job and this law will probably put the majority of them out of business and looking for new jobs, therefore, I can understand them their opposition to losing their livelihood in this way.

    I don’t support it, but I can understand it.

    • Bitter says:

      Kevin, we understand the economic concerns. We actually had a conversation about the private/public aspect of this last night. It’s not unreasonable that in these less-than-certain times, people would want to look out for the bottom line. However, privately hoping this dies and publicly trying to divide the community and throw other gun owners under the bus is a very different matter. It is very similar to the Zumbo affair. If he was privately not a fan of “EBRs” and kept that to private conversations, that would be one thing. When he went public with an attack on those who do use them, well, that took it in a completely different direction.

      There are plenty of training facilities that exist in states with no training requirements. If they have a good program, then they will build business without having the government force business to them.

  9. Mike says:

    ExurbanKevin,

    Restaurants w/ liquor licenses will still be off limits except to those with the permit (and probably universities/colleges too, if and when the legislature gets around to changing that particular law.)

  10. Mike says:

    Err… I also forgot to add that those are the primary reasons why I (and many other people, I assume) chose to get the permits (otherwise, I would just be fine with open carry — it’s accepted as normal in my neck of the woods.)

  11. Sebastian says:

    IIRC, Arizona and New Mexico were one of the late states in the right-to-carry movement because both states had legal open carry, and no rules about guns in vehicles like we do up here. And because open carry was acceptable, there just wasn’t that hard of a push for reform.

  12. Jujube says:

    Why would any business support legislation that undermines it’s bottom line? That would be stupid.

  13. Sebastian says:

    Why would any gun owner patronize a business that threw their rights under the bus?

  14. Jujube says:

    Speaking of training, read this story and tell me what you think:

    http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0310/715520.html

  15. Eseell says:

    Re: Jujub’s link
    “Neighbors say Randall is a retired Marine, who wounded himself in the first Gulf War, and is a well-loved neighbor.”

    This man had better training than any CCW class would have provided and still managed to have at least two NDs. That’s not a particularly convincing argument for mandatory training.

  16. Sebastian says:

    I’m not speaking out against training. Training is good. What I am opposed to is making it a precondition upon exercising a right, namely to bear arms.

  17. JJR says:

    Seb,
    You guys can carry concealed w/o mandatory testing/training in PA?

    Wow–wish we had that in Texas! Here we have to be tested and demonstrate basic firearms proficiency as well as do a written test on the relevant laws governing concealed carry.
    (and submit to fingerprinting that goes to Texas Dpt of Public safety and the FBI for a background check).

  18. Nathaniel says:

    JJR: Walk into the sheriff’s office, fill out some paperwork, get a letter a few days later, go back, take a picture, and you’re done. Some places in PA are less complicated than that. No fingerprints, no training. No wonder about 5% of the state’s population has a license.

  19. Sebastian says:

    What Nathaniel said. It’s basically just filling out an application and turning it into the sheriff. If you can pass the background check, you get your license. Usually takes about a week in this county for the license to arrive.

    Of course, our transport laws suck compared to Texas, so to transport a pistol in a vehicle, it’s a good idea to have an LTC even if you never carry a loaded gun in public.

  20. Xrlq says:

    “I also fail to see how we have a right to “bear” arms if we have to get state permission before we can exercise that right.”

    The same way courts decide marriage is not only a right but a “fundamental” one, yet no court on the planet has held marriage licenses unconstitutional. Ditto for the right to travel; are driver licenses unconstitutional, too? And how on earth could we justify requiring licenses for broadcasters if the First Amendment guarantees a right to free speech?

    The answer, of course, is that government can and does license rights all the time. Whether it should license a particular right is an interesting policy discussion, but as a constitutional argument it’s a non-starter.

  21. Sebastian says:

    Ssssh…. don’t say that too loud :)

  22. otropogo says:

    Up here in Canada, we have a legal, if not constitutional, right to carry firearms, including handguns, for protection. Yet the police bureaucracy here manage to prevent almost anyone from exercising that right by means of Byzantine regulations and procedures.

    For example, yours truly had a permit to carry handguns for protection in the bush. It had to be renewed every two years, and one also had to have another permit to transport the handgun to and from the bush.

    After having twice renewed the permit, the authorities refused a further renewal unless I took a qualifying test with a range officer. The course of fire they stipulated was one clearly intended for armoured car guards, and had no relevance to stopping a charging bear or cougar. Worse, these authorities refuse to define the qualifications of an acceptable “range officer”, and they refuse to publish the wilderness uses for which a permit application might be granted (from experience in British Columbia, hunting, hiking, mushroom picking are not accepted, while big game guiding, prospecting, and photography are – however, this may vary from province to province as none of the provincial licensing authorities publish their criteria for issuance).

    In effect, the bureaucracy denies the vast majority of Canadian handgun owners (already a tiny, highly screened and tested minority of firearms owners) the right to carry their registered handguns for protection in the bush, and issue permits to a favoured few in a manner that is totally opaque to the public and thus highly conducive to corruption and high-handed behaviour. There is no avenue of appeal.

    I have nothing against competence testing, so long as the process is capable of verification for relevance and fairness by the public. That’s never been the case up here, even in the last few years under a government that pretends to support gunowners’ rights.

    Police here are not held to the same standards of competence and care that civilian firearms owners are, yet they’re trusted to wear their loaded firearms everywhere, while those few handgun owners permitted to carry a handgun in the bush must carry with them multiple licenses and permits, transport the weapon to the bush and back in a locked container, and are permitted to remove the firearm from its holster while carrying only when the protection of human life justifies it.

  23. Maddmedic says:

    I do believe all they see are dollar signs.
    Apparently protecting our Rights is secondary to their bottom line.

  24. Alex W says:

    I wrote and asked what was going on…received this self-serving diatribe today:

    Dear Responder,

    Please accept our apology for not responding sooner to your response to our
    email. We are out of state on a training seminar and have been in session
    daily for long hours. Today was our first opportunity.

    We’re sorry if we offended you. Protecting our rights is also a concern of
    ours. We just have a different opinion as to why our rights are at stake to
    begin with and how to protect them.

    We train in many areas, from Civilian, Military, Law Enforcement, Security
    and NRA (Instructor Level), as well as develop curriculum for all types of
    firearms training, not just the CCW. Therefore our income is not dependent
    solely on the CCW Training we provide, nor is our business dependent on the
    actions of the government either way.

    We are supporters of the Second Amendment and are not against people
    exercising that right. We also believe that every Right has a corresponding
    Duty. We believe training may very well be a key factor in retaining or
    losing the very right our Second Amendment provides. We applaud those who
    have willingly sought out training on their own to become educated on gun
    ownership.

    That being said, as firearms instructors we see many students come into our
    courses for training who have no clue or idea what the laws (both State
    Statutes and case law) are in regards to owning or using a firearm in self
    defense or any other purpose, let alone how to safely and properly handle or
    store their firearms. We feel that it is the informed and knowledge gun
    owners who will play an important role in allowing us to protect our Second
    Amendment Rights, not those who choose to remain ignorant of the
    responsibilities that come with that right. It¹s sad to say, but there are
    many in our society who will not seek appropriate training on their own.
    It¹s those who choose not to get training, act negligently and make stupid
    careless mistakes, who are the greatest threat to protecting our Second
    Amendment Rights. Mandated training is not the enemy, yet, it could play a
    very important role in saving our rights in the long run. Therefore in order
    to protect our rights we will support mandated training whenever it is
    available. Just because we have rights doesn’t mean it always makes sense to
    exercise those rights without more thought in the process. Additionally,
    though AZ is an Open Carry State, we do not support “Open Carry” That is
    like putting a target on your forehead or back and inviting trouble!

    Additionally, our forefathers didn¹t have to worry about the negative
    effects that every form of media has on our newer generations and the
    reality it has provided. Many of the current beliefs associated with guns
    come from this medium and it has severely impacted the reality people have
    today. If you have not done so please read Col. Grossmans book On Killing
    or On Combat. We work closely with numerous police and prosecutors and have
    been told that close to 90% of gun cases are related directly to people’s
    ignorance of the law or gun safety responsibilities. This type of behavior
    is what jeopardizes our Second Amendments Rights. Mandated Training is a
    solid solution to people who don¹t understand the importance of their
    responsibilities with regards to gun ownership and a potential way to
    protect our rights. With every Right comes a Corresponding DUTY and most do
    not accept that DUTY willingly. There are many other additional factors that
    need to be considered, aside from the right itself.

    We hear on a consistent basis from our students that they had no idea the
    responsibilities and liabilities they faced while exercising their Second
    Amendment Rights until after taking this course, including post law
    enforcement, military retirees and life long gun owners. Over 90% tell us
    after completing the training that if they knew before, what they learned in
    class, they would have had the knowledge to be much more responsible gun
    owners. They also tell us they couldn¹t imagine carrying a gun without the
    new knowledge they gained in our class. The majority also support not only
    our efforts to train and enlighten those who have been in the dark for so
    long, but continued mandated training.

    Our training is significantly different in numerous aspects. The teaching
    process we use allows our students to actually retain the information they
    receive unlike other training programs. If you are really concerned about
    our position on mandated training, and have not done so previously, please
    attend our class and allow us to introduce you to the un-informed CCW
    applicants who come to us for training. Maybe if you see things from their
    perspective before and after our class you will understand why we are so
    committed to this program and assuring mandated training continues.

    We also realize there are those who use Alaska and Vermont as an example of
    why this law should pass, since they have not had any issues. That may be
    so, yet they are not comparing apples to apples. Example, those states are
    very different from other states. They are extremely rural in nature, have a
    different population number from other states and most brought up in those
    areas are raised with guns from early on. There is a big difference in that
    and those from urban or metropolitan areas. We know because we see it on a
    daily basis.

    Please understand that though we respect your beliefs we do not hold them as
    our own, hopefully you will do the same. It will be up to each individual in
    our society to voice their own opinion to their legislators and fight for
    their rights in the way that seems appropriate for them. I’m sure there will
    be many who stand on both sides of support for this issue.

    Sincerely,
    Sherrie & Matt Seibert

  25. Eseell says:

    Cool, I thought that was a form letter. Now I don’t feel guilty for blogging it without their permission.

  26. Tim Norris says:

    Prejudice means “pre judging,” or judging something or someone you don’t know, which is the essence of being Un American. Anyone who criticized the Insight Program as anti-gun has simply not experienced the astonishing, life altering “aha” you get after taking Matt and Sherrie’s classes– you walk out understanding you own potential, your responsibilities, disparity of force, and most importantly, how to use your skills within the law, as well as precisely and accurately. You can only miss the work Insight is doing to promote our Second Amendment rights if you’ve never taken one of their classes– please don’t succumb to prejudice.

    Gun rights activists, of which we are national leaders as the operators of the MoreBans dot org website, which gets millions of hits, have to understand as we do that eliminating training for the ccw plays right into the hands of the banners. Good training is one of the few things they can’t argue against, and is one of our strongest arguments in States fighting ccw rights. We’ve all seen in the recent DC shenanigans that nothing happens in government without horse trading, and if we were to eliminate all ccw classes tomorrow, the bargaining chip that we who are on the front lines trying to get carry laws passed would be gone, and the banners would win many more of these battles.

    Even Governors supportive of ccw rights need some “gimme” to the rest of their moderate, independent constituents on the fence about concealed carry, and we find every day that ccw training is the ONLY chip that really works State by State in the trenches. Get rid of the trainers, and you can kiss our gun rights goodbye. If you are ever arrested for a righteous shooting, and experience the lawsuits, the conflicting witness reports, being wrongfully accused, and staying up night and day trying to defend your actions, then you will finally see that the only thing that stands by you in front of the jury, and between you and prison, is that you DID have training and DID act with knowledge and prudence. Those who say different have never been through it.

  27. otropogo says:

    Tim Norris Said,
    March 19th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    “…eliminating training for the ccw plays right into the hands of the banners. Good training is one of the few things they can’t argue against, and is one of our strongest arguments in States fighting ccw rights.”

    Certainly good training is always desirable. But when government functionaries, or their private sector proxies can arbitrarily decide what is “good” and what isn’t, things quickly go bad.

    No specific training regimen should ever be a prerequisite to accessing the tools for defending yourself, your family, and your neighbours. The necessary skills should be verified by means of a simple, reasonable, objective, and universally accessible and affordable test, ALL users of sidearms should be required to pass the same test, and the public should be able to verify that this is the case.

    To cite a single egregious case of shooting skill double standards – a few years ago, the then Chief of Police of Calgary, Alberta failed her handgun qualification test, and this was the source of some considerable merriment in the local press.

    Yet only a few years later, under her successor, one Calgary Tactical Team member shot another member of his team dead while reportedly engaging in unsanctioned, unsupervised dry-fire “practice”, with other team members.

    The accident was explained as being due to the shooter having had to reload his pistol to get something from the parking lot (!), and subsequently forgetting that his pistol was still loaded.

    Since they were not acting in the course of their police duties, all of the participants were in violation of the Criminal Code of Canada, which mandates a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment for unlawfully pointing a weapon (loaded or not).

    Yet no charges were ever laid, nor were any of the surviving teammates subject to any disciplinary action. They all remained on the force and on active duty. The shooter’s access to firearms was not even suspended temporarily during the “investigation”.

    It was the first “friendly fire” fatality in the history of the Calgary police force.

    Perhaps not coincidentally, the victim was a certified paramedic who had been lobbying to have all tactical teams accompanied by a paramedic in the field. And the then Chief of Police, visibly shaken, in his first public comments on the incident, promised to personally see through the victim’s vision.

    That police chief has also been replaced, and nothing more has been heard about the victim’s initiative.

    Had the participants been civilians, the shooter and all surviving participants would certainly have been charged criminally. All of their firearms would immediately have been seized, all of their licenses and permits to possess firearms automatically canceled, and most likely the shooter would have been prosecuted for murder and the others as accessories to murder. The shooter would certainly have been convicted of manslaughter at the very least.

    If Americans want to create a police state, just look North to see exactly how it can be done without so much as a hiccup in the mass media. My own feeling has long been that Canada is just the testing ground for gun control and social control policies ultimately intended for application in the USA.

  28. Keary Lutz says:

    I am an NRA Life member, and a retired Sheriff’s Dept. Corrections Officer. I have been around firearms almost the whole of my life. I agree with the new law, and cannot wait for it to take effect. I will continue to carry openly, but will be glad to have the option of conealment, if I choose to do so.
    Also, I believe that MOST of the “Training Academies” will be affected some, but not as bad as they may think. They will have to rethink their business model, and do a lot of creative advertising! However, I believe it is probably too late for Insight! Word travels FAST in our community, no?
    My other thoughts are these; Most of us have been trained from a very early age, either by a Parent, Grandparent, older sibling, or family friend, the SAFE way to handle firearms. Am I correct? So, I feel that it is now OUR responsibility to train others, EVERY CHANCE WE GET! It does not even have to be a child. Could be a co-worker, neighbour, whatever. We just need to do it. As they say, “Take somebody shooting”! We should have been doing this all along, but now, it is imperative. I cannot stress this enough! PLEASE, do this!
    Also, regarding the comment by Mr. Norris of being, “wrongfully accused, and staying up night and day to defend your actions” Mr. Norris, Arizona now has a “Castle Doctrine” law, (signed by former Governor Napolitano, believe it or not!), that states we no longer have to “Run Away” (?!) from a criminal with a gun, but more importantly, we DO NOT have to defend our actions if we were to shoot somebody in a self defense situation! The “Burden Of Proof”, now rests with the State!
    And lastly, we had better HOPE and PRAY that there are no instances of some moron, or a juvenile with a concealed weapon, shooting someone where it was obvious that they did not have to! THAT alone, even ONE INSTANCE, will give the Banners all the ammo they need! I shudder to think of what will happen then!
    So let us all be proud of our state for doing the right thing! YAY!
    Thank you, and happy shooting!

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