The requirements vary by state. In Washington State you simply visit your local police department and fill out a form, give them your fingerprints, pay a fee, and wait for the results of a background check. If you pass, you get your CPL (Concealed Pistol License). When your CPL arrives it’s just a piece of paper with type-written information listed, so if you want it to survive for five years you need to laminate it yourself. In Kentucky you do paperwork and also must take a class, part of which takes place in a classroom and part on a range. You show proof of having passed said class to the sheriff’s office, which may be some distance from your home. When (if) you get your CCDW, Concealed Carry Deadly Weapons license, it’s in the form of a hard card not unlike a driver’s license, complete with full-color photo. In Wisconsin…well, you get the idea. The requirements vary by state with some requiring a class – or proof of successful completion of hunter’s education – and some requiring only the background check. They even have different titles in different states. Reciprocity varies widely. If you’re moving or traveling, you’d better know the laws in each and every place you will cross.
So what’s the question? It’s actually a multi-faceted question. Do you think there should be a nation-wide standard for the requirements for getting your concealed carry permit? Even better, do you think there should be – forgive the humor – one card to rule them all? As in, a national concealed carry permit rather than state-specific permits. Ignore the political ramifications. This is not a political discussion, this is a discussion regarding details such whether or not some sort of training should be required for a permit. And if so, whether or not it should be the exact same training in every state.
Colonel Jeff Cooper once said the first rule of a gunfight is to have a gun. I happen to agree with that sentiment which makes it quite painful to be denied my legally-obtained firearm in states where I either have no permit or no reciprocity.
What do you think?