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Taxing Our Rights Away- Government Fees Discourage Concealed Carry- part three

August 23, 2017

Part three of four

It takes commitment to obtain your concealed carry permit.  In particular, it takes time and persistence.  In some states it takes more time than in others.

How do the mandated hours of training vary?  Getting your concealed carry permit requires money, time, persistence and some organizational ability.  Illinois mandates the longest training at 16 hours of classroom and range instruction.  As you would expect, fewer people get their permits as states increase the length of the mandatory instruction.  Let’s put the Illinois mandates into perspective.  

The average amount of time mandated for training and instruction is almost 5 hours.  That number is the weighted average across the US for shall-issue states.  Six states do not impose any mandated instruction.  That makes the Illinois requirements more than three times the national average.  As you might expect, the Illinois concealed carry rate is less than a third of the US average.  Taxes disarm us.

Both time and money are important in determining who will persevere to get their carry permit, though time is the more telling of the two factors.  The number of hours required explains 60 percent of the decline in the carry rate.  Combining the costs of time and money into a composite variable only increased the correlation by one percent.

When summed together, US concealed carriers spent 65 million hours in class to get their permits.  (For perspective, that is about the amount of time that 13,000 students would spend sitting in class during their four years of high-school.)  It is a lot of studying.

Some states waive some training requirements for law enforcement and military veterans, and those waivers were not considered in this analysis.

Who was discouraged from getting their permit?  We can easily collect basic information about the people who successfully received their permits.  It is much harder to gather data about people who chose not to get their license because it cost too much.  Who are the people who drop out as the costs increase?  It costs more than the time and money mandated by the state.  You have to successfully navigate the bureaucratic system.  You might have to schedule an interview with the sheriff.  You might have to get your fingerprints taken and get photographed (and please bring two forms of state issued picture ID.)  You might need certified copies of your birth certificate and medical release forms.  Each trip adds time and inconvenience.  The people with the least time, money, and perseverance stop getting their permits as the process becomes long, complex, and expensive.

Who needs a permit the most?  The poor single mom might have more trouble keeping her paperwork organized.  She is also less able to pay someone to help her with the process.  She has to budget her time and money for weeks-on-end to schedule the separate appointments required to get the state mandated documentation.  Each step costs money in addition to the state mandated fees.  Each trip means scheduling transportation, scheduling a bureaucrat, and scheduling a babysitter.  Some states require hands on training with a firearm.  At the same time, cities outlaw training ranges inside city limits.  The poor have to rent a car and leave the city to get their required training.

These bureaucratic hurdles disproportionately disarm the poor, the same people who typically live in areas with a higher crime rate.    Time and again, politicians impose regulatory costs that disarm those who are in the greatest need of self-defense.  Politicians restrict our rights in the name of public safety.

Are we righting that wrong?  There is a cultural shift changing the face of armed America.  The number of concealed carriers has more than doubled in the last 8 years.  Women and minorities are underrepresented at present, but they are the fastest growing segment of those who carry.  That is a good start.

There is a long way to go.  Despite the rapid growth of armed America, politicians continue to disarm the poor.  Bureaucratic rules that have little bearing on public safety have left the poor behind.

We will talk about how far we can go in deregulating concealed carry in part four of this series.

Part one- state imposed costs to obtain a permit
Part two- the effect of monetary fees on the rate of concealed carry
Part three- the effect of mandated training on the rate of concealed carry
Part four- deregulating concealed carry and the true cost of infringement

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