On behalf of the more than 420,000 members of the USCCA, we mourn for the victims (and their families) of the tragic attacks in El Paso, Dayton and Gilroy. As a parent, nothing is more important to me than the safety and protection of my family, and my heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by these senseless attacks.

I also want to thank the first responders who rushed into harm’s way and put their lives on the line to take down these attackers and prevent further loss of life.

‘Safe Cities’

In the days ahead, we will no doubt learn more about the gunmen and the specific details behind these horrific shootings. Predictably, activists and politicians are already rushing in to attack those who support the Second Amendment and push for new laws that would have done nothing to stop these attacks. They do this while ignoring one of the key points running through the media’s reporting of the tragedies: “These were seemingly safe cities, stores and neighborhoods. How could this happen here?”

One thing that should be abundantly clear to all Americans is that there are evil people in this world. These evil people will perpetrate acts of evil on soft targets (where they believe they will encounter little resistance). In these shootings, the attackers ignored and broke laws and regulations already on the books. In fact, the Gilroy Garlic Festival was a so-called “gun-free zone.”

Anti-gun activists also ignore the reality that, at least in the Dayton attack, countless more lives were saved because the police were on the scene and used their own guns to take down the attacker in less than a minute. But more often than not, it can take several minutes for the police to arrive to an active-shooter situation — when literally seconds matter. Too often, tragedy strikes before first responders are able to arrive. That is why an armed, trained, law-abiding citizen with a gun is the best and first line of defense against a bad guy with a gun.

Two Choices

As my colleague, Kevin Michalowski, executive editor of Concealed Carry Magazine, wrote previously:

There is no way, short of creating a police state, that we could rely on anyone other than ourselves for immediate protection. We have two choices: allow for the creation of a police state where the Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments are washed away in order for the government to “keep us safe,” or respect the responsibility of law-abiding private citizens to defend themselves.

When an active shooter is engaged by any armed opposition, even if the defender does not fire his or her weapon, the number of people killed in such an event is, on average, two. When an active shooter is not confronted, the average number of dead rises to 14 per incident. So for all those who say, “If we can do something to save just one life, it will be worth it,” the something we should be doing is seeking training and arming ourselves in the unlikely event we are faced with such a mind-numbing tragedy.

Calls for More Laws and Regulations on Guns

Sadly, anti-gun politicians just do not get it, and many in the national media will echo the call for more failed laws and regulations. In fact, this past week, Gov. Cuomo of New York signed a piece of legislation that will make every single student and teacher in New York less safe. The bill denied local school districts the ability to arm volunteer staff and teachers, effectively preventing a first line of defense for every single New York student.

We hope that no one — teacher or civilian — ever has to fire his or her weapon in self-defense. But the purpose of the Second Amendment is to provide every American with the ability to defend himself or herself (and others). Gov. Cuomo and those in the New York Legislature who support this misguided bill have essentially prevented teachers and school administrators from being able to protect themselves and their students while at work.

We should be supporting those who are willing to put themselves at risk to protect those around them during an attack. Instead, Gov. Cuomo and other anti-gun politicians seek to limit citizens’ ability and right to defend themselves.

Around the Country


WINK-TV (CBS-Fort Myers, FL): Concealed Carry Permits Among Florida Women Doubles in the Last Four Years

In 2014, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported 288,000 women had concealed carry permits. Only four years later, that number has nearly doubled.


Idaho Statesman: In Idaho, You Can Take Your Gun to Town, and to the County Fair

In Idaho, cities and counties cannot ban firearms on public property. So when Idaho Second Amendment Alliance President Greg Pruett heard that Canyon County Fair security was turning away legal concealed carriers, he headed to the fair to tell them they were wrong.


Baltimore Sun: Gun Advocates Challenge Maryland’s Concealed Carry Gun Laws

Maryland Shall Issue, a gun-rights group, is challenging Maryland’s concealed carry laws. A lawsuit filed in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals contends that the state’s laws are unconstitutional and have been superseded by other case precedents, the Frederick News-Post reports.


The Center Square: Michigan Legislation Seeks to Reduce First-Time Concealed Carry Violations to Civil Penalties

House Bills 4200 and 4201, which seek to reduce the first-offense penalty for concealed carrying in prohibited areas, have cleared the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee. Currently, carrying in barred areas is a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment, a $2,500 fine or both. Gun-rights supporters hope to reduce this to a $330 civil penalty.

North Carolina…

The Charlotte Observer: Concealed Carry Gun Permits in NC, Mecklenburg County Have Tripled Since 2010

For the first 42 years of his life, David Yamane never touched a gun. But the Wake Forest University professor is now among North Carolina’s concealed carry permit holders, whose numbers have more than tripled since he first nervously pulled a trigger in 2010. State Bureau of Investigations data shows that the number of permits rose from 177,787 in 2010 to 647,553 this Jan. 1.

Quote of the Week

Florida resident Dawn Eisenhauer said she got a concealed carry permit because “I’m a business owner. […] I don’t want to have to depend on someone else to protect me in a situation.” (CBS-Fort Myers, FL)

Data Point You Should Know

There are 647,553 concealed carry permits in North Carolina — triple the amount there were in 2010. (The Charlotte Observer)