concealed carry

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Concealed Carry Laws

Concealed Carry Laws
There are many different kinds of violence in the United States, and interpersonal violence is extremely common. This includes violence against any people who know each other. This can include couples, family members, and parent-child relationships. For many, the answer to reducing this kind of violence, and other criminal activity is to increase the power of law-abiding civilians. This includes liberal gun restriction, and especially, the promotion of concealed weapon carry. It is widely believed that arming civilians will reduce crime because they will have greater opportunity and resources to protect themselves when police and other law-enforcement officials cannot. However, there is much evidence that civilians are not well trained enough or skilled enough to adequately protect themselves and that the liberal use of concealed carry can actually do more harm than good. This paper will examine the history of concealed carry laws as well as present arguments from both sides as to whether or not they reduce interpersonal violence. Laws that govern the licensing of private citizens to carry concealed firearms vary greatly among the states, but they generally fall into two broad categories: 1) “may issue” licensing systems which allow legal authorities to grant licenses to carry concealed firearms to citizens who establish a compelling need for doing so; and 2) “shall issue” licensing systems which require authorities to provide a license to any applicant who meets specified criteria (Cleary 1999). According to Cramer and Kopel (1995), there were laws in place in the years before the Civil War that addressed the issue of concealed handguns. Some states banned the carrying of concealed handguns, even including on-duty law enforcement agents. In the 1897 Supreme Court case Robertson v. Baldwin, the Court decided that laws regulating concealed firearms were not a violation of the Second Amendment. In the 1920s and 1930s many states adopted "A Uniform Act to Regulate the Sale and Possession of Firearms." This law prohibited unlicensed concealed carrying of a firearm. Most states understood the need for law enforcement and some others to carry a concealed weapon and adopted provisions that allowed concealed carry for certain individuals. There are several supporting reasons as to why there should be right-to-carry gun provisions. To begin with, it is argued that citizens should have the right to carry a concealed weapon, because the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution protects this right. David Kopel wrote an interesting article reviewing state constitutional laws regarding concealed carry and five Supreme Court cases that have influenced these laws and decisions. Kopel examined the interpretations of the Second Amendment, finding that although it is generally believed that citizens do have the right to own and bear arms, it becomes a gray area when deciding the legality and acceptance of concealed weapons. While unconcealed weapons are more constitutionally sufficient, licensed concealed carry is a better deterrence of crime (Kopel 2005:335). Gun rights and gun control are controversial issues, but several state laws and Supreme Court cases have given way to the acceptance and legality of concealed carry. Concealed carry is argued to be means of protection. Criminals always will find a way to acquire illegal items, such as guns and other weapons. Without a concealed carry permit, law-abiding citizens do not have the legal ability to carry a gun for defensive purposes. A perfect example of this is Chicago, a major city with a ban on guns and one of the highest murder rates in the country. Many of these murders are committed with handguns, illustrating that guns are illegally acquired to cause harm. The murder rate of Chicago in 2014 was at .15 per one thousand people, while the United States had a murder rate of .04 per one...
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