Monday, November 7, 2011

Concealed carry training no longer uniform under new rules

Legislative committee removes four-hour training requirement for concealed carry permit holders

Today a Republican-controlled legislative committee removed the rule established by Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen to require gun owners seeking a concealed carry permit to obtain at least four hours of training.

The new standard will be anything but uniform: any training, for any amount of time (even a half hour or less, conceivably), will be acceptable to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

The move worries even Van Hollen, a Republican, who established the rules to keep things consistent and safe:
The effect likely will be that the state Department of Justice will accept any training certification submitted with an application for a concealed weapons permit, Van Hollen told the committee just before it voted on the matter. Thus, some people could wind up getting permits after a bogus instructor passes out permits after teaching a course that lasts just a few minutes, Van Hollen said.
Emphasis added.

Anyone who reads my posts on this site knows that I'm not a huge fan of concealed carry. Still, if it's going to be the law, I was at least amiable about the fact that a uniform amount of time spent training would be enforced, to require gun owners to have the training necessary to properly carry a gun on their person.

The move by this Republican-controlled committee puts us in an uncomfortable position -- instead of feeling some sense of safety knowing that an individual has had the proper instruction in owning a concealed weapon, many residents of this state will have to wonder privately to themselves whether a person in their proximity has had hours versus minutes of training.

I don't doubt that most gun owners are already going to already know the basics. But I do concern myself with people who don't understand how to properly handle a weapon, who don't take the responsibility seriously.

Gun ownership isn't something we should take lightly; and although a right to own or bear a weapon is one that is protected by our Constitution, it should also be a right that bears restrictions along with it, if necessary, to protect those that abstain from carrying out that right. We have restrictions to other rights -- speech, for example, isn't an absolute right (especially in the Capitol building itself, it would seem). So why is gun ownership considered a sacred cow to some people?

The removal of the four-hour requirement for training is wrong -- setting a specific time amount for training, uniform for gun owners across the state, was certainly within the scope of the law passed, and within the rights of the State Attorney General's office to impose.

1 comment:

  1. Personally, I have been trained on small arms in the service and I feel that 4 hrs of training is nowhere enough. Talking to a few gun advocates from other states, I believe the minimum certification for conceal carry is an average of an 8 hr course but I have not verified this information. ANY accredited certification is much better then none at all.