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

August 24, 2017

Part four of four- deregulating concealed carry and the true cost of infringement

What do we know about the number of people who want to be armed?  States treat the right to bear arms in very different ways.  Eight states enacted regulations that effectively banned concealed carry for the common man.  30 states issue permits, but they limited the number of people who are legally allowed to carry concealed by imposing fees and mandating training.  These are called “shall issue” states where a permit is issued to you if you have a clean criminal record.  Another 12 states allow unrestricted or constitutional carry.  These unrestricted states allow people who are legally allowed to own a gun to carry that gun concealed in public without a permit.










We can learn a lot from this laboratory of freedom.  Figure 2 and figure 3 show how the rate of concealed carry is effected by the fees and hours required to receive a permit.  We see that higher costs lead to a lower fraction of people exercising the right to bear arms.  In shall issue states, 6.6 percent of US citizens were licensed to carry concealed in public.  That is approximately 9.7 percent of eligible adults.  The charts also indicate that approximately 10 percent of us would obtain permits if they were free.  That would boost the average concealed carry rate to 14.7 percent of eligible adults.  That rate is also a good approximation for the rate of concealed carry in unrestricted states.  Ten percent is also a good approximation for the number of people denied a permit in may issue states.

We would double the number of responsible adults carrying concealed if constitutional carry were the law of the land.

That would be ideal, but we don’t have to wait for perfection.  We can take important incremental steps by lowering the licensing requirements.  Even the average costs have a profound effect.  In shall-issue states, the  population-weighted average fee is 283 dollars.  There are also 5 hours of mandated class time in order to obtain a permit.  Those costs may sound reasonable, but they are sufficiently burdensome to disarm approximately 8 million eligible adults.  You know who they are.

We’ve presented you with a lot of numbers, but we’re really talking about human lives.  State imposed fees aren’t disarming the senior partner at a law firm.  We’re disarming the hourly wage earners who are struggling to make ends meet and to keep their family safe.  The poor are not living in gated communities.  In fact, the people most likely to be disarmed are at higher risk of violent crime.

That isn’t fair.  That isn’t just.  Please don’t accept this anti-rights bigotry from politicians.

Do not go silently.  Speak up for those who’ve been disarmed and marginalized.  Please be their voice.

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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6 Comments leave one →
  1. MarkPA permalink
    August 25, 2017 6:41 pm

    Thank you for this series of essays. I hold that the most important infringement on carry is one that you did not cover: Won’t-Issue. There remain about 10 jurisdictions where it is IMPOSSIBLE to obtain a carry permit unless one is a substantial contributor to the Democratic Party. In these 10 jurisdictions there is no notion of equal protection of the law. The right to bear arms is rationed to men-of-means and their hired guards. A few celebrities, politicians and government workers (judges, prosecutors) who are privileged. No matter how clean one’s record may be; no matter how well trained one might be; in these 10 jurisdictions one need not apply. I paid $21 for my PA License to carry. I also have permits from: FL; MN; SC; and UT. The FL and UT permits can be acquired “mail-order” with training in one’s home-state. MN and SC require travel to those States for training, testing and range qualification. Expensive; but I don’t begrudge these expenses. Alas, I am surrounded by DE, NY and NJ where I can’t get a permit. DE and NY will not issue a permit to a non-resident. NJ does issue non-resident permits; but, in practice, only to hired guards for men-of-means. I would submit to ANY training and testing regime NJ might impose; pay any fee NJ might demand. Because I live 2 miles from the NJ border I am regularly at risk of inadvertently carrying in NJ – a FELONY without a permit. If caught, I’d face a MANDATORY 3 year prison sentence. Google Shaneen Alan’s case. I see no viable alternative to National Reciprocity. Whatever “States’ rights” issues may be debated, however “reasonable” a training regime might be, the fact remains: these 10 jurisdictions DENY absolutely any means for a law-abiding trained citizen to carry. The “Right” to “bear arms” does not exist in in these jurisdictions; places where 40% of America’s population lives. What do we make of this? What would we think if the Rights of the 1’st, 4’th, 5’th, Amendments did not exist in 10 jurisdictions where 40% of the population lives? Would we accept State-“established” religions? Warrantless-search and seizure? Forced-confessions? All at State discretion? As one modest step toward enforcement of the Right to bear arms, I would settle for Shall-Issue in every State, DC and the territories. Under fees, training and qualification dictated by each jurisdiction. Because they would not acquiesce to Shall-Issue, Congress MUST give us National Reciprocity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • August 26, 2017 1:15 pm

      Thank you for your comments. I agree. I hope to talk about that in another article.



  1. Government Fees Discourage Concealed Carry- summary | SlowFacts
  2. Taxing Our Rights Away- Government Fees Discourage Concealed Carry- part three | SlowFacts
  3. Taxing Our Rights Away- Government Fees Discourage Concealed Carry- part two | SlowFacts
  4. Taxing Our Rights Away- Government Fees Discourage Concealed Carry- part one | SlowFacts

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