Currently Browsing: Carrying / Self-Defense
Jun 17, 2013
ExurbanKevin has a story out of north central Massachusetts that highlights the issues with may issue concealed carry laws. The Fitchburg, MA police chief takes pride in the fact that he denies carry permits to about 90% of new applicants. To those 90%, he adds the restriction that they may only use their firearms for hunting and target practice.
What’s interesting about the story that isn’t explicitly stated is that the other town he mentions, Leominster, will issue a concealed carry license without restriction to new applicants, or at least they would 10 years ago. I know because I got mine through Leominster.
In fact, due to the Massachusetts gun laws, I couldn’t look for housing after I graduated college like most recent grads–finding the cheapest place with the fewest possible roommates in the neighborhood least likely to result in a stolen or damaged car.
My first step was drawing a circle around the city in which I would be working to encompass any city within reasonable driving distance where the gas wouldn’t make me go broke before I even took home a paycheck. Then, I checked with the local gun community about all the cities within that circle. The cheapest and closest apartments I could find were in a city that refused to issue concealed carry licenses. That was off the list. Eventually, after taking several other options off the list either due to the unknown issuing policies or because it was widely known they add restrictions to licenses, I found a place that I could just barely afford in Leominster.
I admit that I really liked Leominster. My apartment wasn’t in the greatest of neighborhoods, but the crime rate was sure as hell better than the neighboring Fitchburg (which does not issue for carry, and, according to what I’d heard, did not issue then, either). It was a cute apartment; my car remained safe, as did my boyfriend’s when he came to visit. The times I did have a scare–when there was a domestic dispute involving some death threats outside my bedroom windows and when maintenance accidentally left my door partially open after fixing the a/c–I didn’t have to worry about restrictions on my license getting me into trouble. I could grab my gun out of my purse and have it ready if needed. As a woman living alone in an area where family was a good 14 hours away, a boyfriend who lived about 4 hours away, and my closest good friends were back in Western Massachusetts a good hour or more away, I appreciated the fact that I had a tool to defend myself if needed.
But the fact remains that I had to spend substantially more money in rent and living expenses in order to have that peace of mind. That single decision by the police department to issue or deny my right to self-defense changed the entire equation about my lifestyle choices. At least I had the economic freedom to have a little wiggle room that would allow me to choose a jurisdiction that recognized self-defense. For those less fortunate, they still don’t have those options, and that’s a problem we need fix.
Jun 13, 2013
Despite the state making an effort to standardize the LTC application process, Philly is still wants to do things their own way.
The application itself is 4 (four) pages if you print some of them front/back. Doesnt that go against what is outline in:
18 Pa.C.S. § 6109: Licenses (c) Form of application and content.–The application for a license to carry a firearm shall be uniform throughout this Commonwealth and shall be on a form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police. The form may contain provisions, not exceeding one page, to assure compliance with this section. Issuing authorities shall use only the application form prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police.
Or am I just dense?
You’re not dense, no. But the law doesn’t honestly mean anything to these people, and it’s always just been cheaper to go get yourself a Florida license that to try to challenge the system. Kathy Kane might have just changed that equation, however. In every jurisdiction except for “cities of the first class,” which Philadelphia (and only Philadelphia) is under PA law, the issuing authority is the sheriff. For Philadelphia it is the Chief of Police. One bill I’ve seen would allow applications to be made to neighboring jurisdictions. This would be a useful first step, on the way to fixing this issue by not requiring permits, and may be useful for people who live in sprawling counties where the neighboring sheriff may actually be closer.
Jun 7, 2013
Two Pennsylvania state lawmakers are hosting a concealed carry-related course later this month. Reps. Seth Grove and Mike Regan are hosting the non-live fire course that will focus on the legal elements of carrying concealed in the Commonwealth.
Attorney Matt Menges will discuss concealed carry laws and will touch on the Castle Doctrine. An officer from the Northern York County Regional Police will discuss how to safely interact with the police while exercising the legal right to carry a firearm.
This sounds like a great opportunity for folks around Wellsville, PA in York County. You certainly don’t hear about lawmakers doing events like this very often, and I think they deserve credit for providing such a class that helps people understand how to carry lawfully.
May 22, 2013
[UPDATE: Article is a year old. I'm pretty sure I got this one from Google, which sometimes resurfaces old material. I usually catch it, but sometimes if it was a year ago, similar date, I miss that the year is off. This is one of those cases.] Via Human Events:
As Dershowitz points out, the evidence released in this case means Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law isn’t even a factor in Zimmerman’s defense. Much political hay has been made out of this law, but if Zimmerman was on the ground getting beaten to a pulp, withdrawal from the encounter was physically impossible for him. “A defendant, under Florida law, loses his ‘stand your ground’ defense if he provoked the encounter,” observes Dershowitz, “but he retains traditional self-defense if he reasonably believed his life was in danger and his only recourse was to employ deadly force.”
That’s what we’ve been saying all along. The whole “stand your ground” nonsense was ginned up by political opportunists.
May 20, 2013
Sorry for not noticing this, but it would seem our anti-gun Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, has revised our reciprocity agreements with Virginia and Arizona. If you hold a non-resident permit from either of these states, you can no longer carry in Pennsylvania. If you’re from out of state, and not a resident of a reciprocal state,
or you’re a PA resident in Philly [Looks like Utah requires a license from your home state before they'll issue], and you can’t get an LTC because you forgot to pay a parking ticket or had a gun stolen once (two real cases), I would suggest looking into the Utah permit. Utah is recognized by Pennsylvania through statute, meaning Kane has no power to dinker with any agreement. You need to find a Utah certified instructor, but the State of Utah provides a convenient list. There are a number of instructors in Pennsylvania, and it’s a very widely recognized permit by other states.
May 20, 2013
Slate has a picture of Eleanor Roosevelt’s carry permit issued by Dutchess County. Of course, being well connected and wealthy, I doubt Eleanor would have had any issue getting a carry permit from the City of New York. Average joe’s? Not so much.
May 15, 2013
Joan Peterson, our favorite Brady Board Member, brings up the topic of concealing while bowling. Been there, done that.
Would you expect that there would be people at the local bowling alley carrying guns for self protection? I mean, what could possibly go wrong? There’s a lot of moving around when you bowl and a lot of families with kids at a bowling alley, depending on the time of day. Also, most often, beer and other alcohol is served at most bowling alleys.
Personally, I don’t drink when I bowl. Bitter will tell you that I take my bowling very seriously. It’s a family thing. I learned to bowl from my mother and grandmother. I even have a big trophy in my living room I won with my mother. I think I cracked 200 in the only game I’ve ever bowled with Bitter, and I hadn’t bowled for a while. I sometimes miss it, but just don’t have the time. But I have been bowling several times since I started carrying, and I don’t find it to be a particular challenge.
Either way, the story Joan links to tells the tale of a man who hit his pocket revolver with a bowling ball in it went off. To our opponents, guns are just bad, you see. There’s no way to do anything with them that’s responsible, especially not carry them. If you carry a gun you are being reckless. That’s just all there is to it. They regularly point to “trained” people who also do stupid things. What they don’t accept, and will never accept, is that there are people on this planet to revel in ignorance, and that no amount of training will relieve them of. To our opponents that means no one should carry, but how is that any way to run a free society? By that standard, we should absolutely, positively never give anyone a license to operate a motor vehicle on public roads. Just today, Bitter and I were on our way to a meeting, and noticed a guy swerving wildly on the road. I figured it might be a drunk, but upon very cautiously passing him, we noticed he was reading a magazine — literally staring down at a magazine he had propped open on the steering wheel. At that point we both were so very glad that our state legislators, in their infinite wisdom, chose to protect the public from the dangers of texting while driving. What Joan Peterson wants is the same kind of “every problem is a nail that requires the hammer of legislation,” that lead to our legislators trying to outlaw a symptom of “some people are morons and there’s just not a whole hell of a lot you can do about it.”
May 15, 2013
I might need to start carrying my Smith & Wesson 629 if this kind of headline keeps appearing in my neighborhood. Maybe open carrying long arms in the ‘burbs isn’t such a bad idea after all.
May 10, 2013
Here in Pennsylvania, our governor is just terrible. I mean terrible. His administration directed publicly funded colleges to review their rules and regulations and–gasp–make sure they are all constitutional! Oh, the horror of making sure that government agencies/departments/institutions aren’t violating the state constitution!
The directive that prompted Kutztown University to allow people to carry guns on campus came from Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration.
Corbett’s office of General Counsel directed all 14 state-owned universities to review their policies restricting guns on campus to determine whether the policies would withstand constitutional muster, said Kutztown University spokesman Matt Santos.
If I see an attack ad on this issue next year, I’m going to probably hit my head against a desk. I don’t care what side of the aisle you’re on, you should support a directive to make sure that the government isn’t violating rights. If anything, from a liberal perspective, it makes it less likely that these institutions will be sued.
Apr 25, 2013
Around these parts, they seem to work just fine. Elkins Park is just outside of Philadelphia. I also note that this was an apartment, and it doesn’t appear that the shot over-penetrated. Interesting to note that the homeowner’s Congressman is a staunch advocate for banning his rifle, and is the likely candidate to go up against Governor Corbett in 2014.