On behalf of everyone here at the USCCA, I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Fourth of July holiday. Independence Day is a great reminder that our Founding Fathers made it a priority for all law-abiding Americans to be allowed to protect themselves and others. They affirmed that right through the Second Amendment.
While there are some in this country who are working to undermine our freedoms, there are even more who are fighting to protect them. We saw that in several places across the nation these past few days.
The bureaucracy involved in obtaining a concealed carry permit serves as a barrier for law-abiding gun owners, forcing them to delay what is a fundamental right. South Dakota is the most recent state to enact constitutional carry. Now, responsibly armed citizens who want to be proactive in protecting themselves, their loved ones and others will not have to wait on the government. A South Dakota police captain from Pennington County is excited about the development because it will “lighten the workload for [the] office.” It seems South Dakota has recognized that local law enforcement has more important things to do than paperwork.
The Ongoing Fight to Protect Our Kids
Pennsylvania took an important step forward to protect our schools, acknowledging the problem with gun-free zones. Gov. Wolf recently signed legislation that clarifies the options both public school districts and private schools have regarding hired guards. If the officials meet a standard set by the legislation, school districts and private schools are free to contract armed guards to defend students and staff. While the legislation does not allow teachers themselves to be armed, we are hopeful that this is a step in the right direction.
Arming teachers is an immediate step we can take to ensure the protection of our children. No one understands that better than the father of 14-year-old Alaina Petty, one of the victims of the Parkland shooting. In her honor, her father has been lobbying extensively in favor of having armed teachers in school and will now become an honorary school guardian. Mr. Petty will undergo the classroom training and firearms qualifications that teachers can voluntarily sign up for if they wish to be armed under new legislation signed by Florida Gov. DeSantis.
“We have the ability in Florida to secure our schools, so why wouldn’t we do that?” said Petty.
This comes in the wake of the Parkland Shooting Panel Report, which calls for the arming of teachers to prevent future attacks.
The addition of these new laws encourages law-abiding Americans to fully access their right to self-defense. We continue to be excited and positive about the future for responsibly armed citizens across the country.
Around the Country
The Needles, California, City Council voted unanimously to declare itself a sanctuary city for the Second Amendment. Though there will be “no immediate practical impact on how guns are treated in the city,” it plans to resist some of California’s restrictive gun laws.
- Associated Press: Teen Concealed Carry, Many Other Laws Now in Effect
The age to legally carry a concealed handgun without a permit in city limits was lowered from 21 to 18. Previously, those between 18 and 21 could carry a concealed handgun without a permit in rural areas but would be breaking the law if they crossed into city limits. Signed by Republican Gov. Brad Little, the law aligns urban and rural areas in the state. About a half dozen other states have similar laws allowing 18-year-olds to carry concealed guns without a permit.
- The Owensboro Times: Constitutional Carry Law Impacts DCSO, CCDW Trainers
In the 2019 legislative session, 200 laws were passed. One of those, Senate Bill 150, allows anyone 21 years and older who can legally possess a weapon to carry concealed without a license. The law, which went into effect in the last week of June, doesn’t require a background check or safety training.
- The Banner-Press: Concealed Carry for County Employees OK’d
Employees for Washington County are now allowed to carry concealed handguns at work. Commissioners voted Tuesday, July 2, to add a concealed handgun policy to the personnel manual. Licensed employees are allowed to carry, but open carry is prohibited.
Quote of the Week
In response to recent steps taken by the Virginia government to increase gun restrictions, Virginia Beach State Sen. William DeSteph Jr. said, “But I will tell you right up front there’s no piece of legislation, there’s no piece of any law we could’ve done to stop what happened here.” (Washington Post)
Data Point You Should Know
Studies have shown that Americans use their firearms for self-defense or defending others between 500,000 to 2 million times a year. (Heritage.org)