The Media Will Not Tell You The Truth About The Gun Bill - But I Will

By Rev. R. Vincent Warde

Only 16% Of States (In Tan) Still
Deny Their Citizens The Right To Carry
By the time you read this, a significant gun bill will have been passed by the House and will be under consideration before the Senate.  Without a doubt the information you have and will receive through the mainstream media will be biased, incomplete and intentionally deceptive.

The vast majority of media simply echos - often word for word - the statements of those opposed to gun rights.  There is absolutely zero fact checking - in fact, the most basic fact check would prove that most of the information coming from these groups is simply false.  In fact, the Washington Post fact checker has often found that the claims of such groups and sympathetic politicians to be false.

Additionally, some of the gun rights side are spreading false information.  They are against improving the accuracy of the NICS database.  They are opposed to the background check system on principle and do not want anything done to improve its' accuracy.  However, both the NRA and the NSSF (the firearms industry association) have actually done more on this front than gun control groups.  Most gun owners and most in the gun industry want an accurate database.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Lies Refuted:

Fix NICS Claims/Facts:

Claim: Concealed carry results in more crime.

Facts: We know what the behavior of concealed carry permit holders is because committing a crime results in the permit being revoked.  Two states, Texas and Florida publish detailed records every year, detailing crimes committed by permit holders.  This data reveals that permit holders commit crimes at a rate lower than police officers.  Accusing this group of people of being criminals is a despicable slander.

Furthermore, in the 30 year during which concealed carry expanded to 84% of states, crime rates, including gun crimes. have plunged. 
The murder rate has dropped by 50%.

So, how does concealed carry cause crime when people carry concealed LAWFULLY are committing crimes at a rate 21 times less than the general public?  (Texas statistics).  Answer: It doesn't.

Some honest gun control advocates have actually stopped using this argument, and acknowledge that licensed concealed carry presents zero threat to public safety.

Finally, the number of states that have repealed their shall issue laws is ZERO.  That speaks volumes.

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Claim: Concealed carry causes mass shootings

Facts: The statistical chance of a person who is licensed to carry is less than one in one million.  (.72 per million to be exact.)  This figure is calculated from data compiled by sources hostile to concealed carry - who have been known to count the same incident multiple times.

No one needs a carry permit to carry out a mass shooting.  The fact that the Texas church shooter did not have a permit had absolutely no effect whatsoever on his ability to kill a lot of people.  The overwhelming majority of mass shootings are carried out by unlicensed people.  Nearly all mass shootings are pre-planed.  No one planning mass murder is going to stop because it is against the law to carry a gun without a permit.

Finally, no matter what you have heard in the media, lawfully armed citizens have stopped mass shootings and saved countless lives.  Remember, that the vast majority of public mass shootings take place in phony gun free zones, secured by nothing more than a sign.  Law abiding citizens obey these signs (most of the time - in my state they specifically have no legal authority).  If you don't believe me, check out this post, put together in a couple of hours.  It links to local media reports of lawfully armed citizens stopping mass shootings.

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Claim: Law enforcement is opposed to concealed carry.

Facts: The overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers support citizen carry.  The opposition you hear about comes almost exclusively from politically appointed police chiefs.

How do we know this?  Simple: They have been asked!
80 percent of line police officers feel that legally-armed citizens would likely have reduced the number of casualties in recent mass shooting incidents.    In addition 22 state attorney generals have signed a statement in support of this law.   Even Police Chief James Craig of Detroit - a former advocate of California style gun control and a veteran of the the LAPD - has urged his residents to arm themselves and get permits to carry.  He changed his opinion after seeing how well citizen carry worked in Maine and Michigan.

When you see a police chief advocate for gun control and against concealed carry, remember that it is likely that he was hired by, and can be fired by, anti-gun rights politicians.  Chief Craig is a very brave exception.

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Claim: This bill will place police officers in danger.

Facts: I have been both a first responder and a police chaplain.  I know a lot about how police officers behave.  Any cop who wants to stay alive assumes that everyone they meet is armed until proven otherwise.  Criminals carry illegally - breaking laws is what they do.  Cops know that only law abiding people get permits..

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Claim: Residents of restrictive states (such as New York) will be able to obtain permits from other states (such as Utah) and be able to use them to carry lawfully in their home state.

Facts: This is an outright lie.  The bill specifically prevents this.  The law ONLY affects NON-RESIDENTS.  It does not require any state to recognize a permit issued by another state to any of their residents.  Should someone move into a state and hold a permit from another state, their permit is not covered by this law.

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Claim: Allowing people to carry concealed firearms is dangerous and will turn our streets into the “Wild West”.

Facts: The reality is that we have over 30 years experience with citizen concealed carry involving 42 states - all of which disproves the false claim that concealed carry poses a danger to public safety.  If fact, there have been thousands of cases where lawfully carried firearms have been used to save lives - including many cases where lawfully armed citizens have - in the opinion of law enforcement - prevented mass shootings.

Furthermore, two states - Florida and Texas - keep detailed records on the behavior of CCW permit and license holders.  These records reveal that citizens licensed to carry are slightly more law abiding than police officers and 21 times less likely to commit crimes than the general public.

So far those who have made these claims have been proved wrong 42 times - how many more times must we repeat the same experiment before we accept the results?

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Claim: Concealed carry reciprocity will allow domestic abusers, stalkers and other criminals to legally carry firearms.

The Federal Background Check Form
Facts: This claim is a flat out lie.  All of these people are forbidden under federal law, and the laws of most states, from so much as holding a firearm.  They may not purchase, or possess firearms.  In fact, this bill contains provisions to strengthen the background check system by making sure that federal agencies report such people to the FBI's system and encourage states to do so.

Don't believe me?  The federal background check form lists all people forbidden to own or possess firearms.  Read it for yourself.  It includes, at the bottom pf page one, the list.  In fact, lying on this form is a felony punishable with up to five years in prison.

Obviously, such people cannot obtain carry permits - or lawfully carry firearms.  Simply running a computer check would reveal their prohibited status.  The background check for a carry permit includes a NICS check and much, much more.  No state issues firearms permits to, or allows them to legally carry firearms - those who make this claim are lying.  EVEN IF THEY DID GIVE SUCH PEOPLE PERMITS, THEY WOULD BE UNABLE TO OWN OR CARRY GUNS UNDER FEDERAL LAW - AND THE LAWS OF MOST STATES!!!!  A police officer running a check on a subject would quickly learn that they are prohibited and simple arrest them.

Furthermore, those against reciprocity never talk about the fact that many victims of stalkers and domestic abuse obtain firearms and carry permits because of threats to their life and safety.  Under current law, these victims are disarmed at many state lines.  Under our current system, these victims can be denied the ability to defend themselves when outside their home state.  It should also be noted that there have been many cases in which victims have defended themselves against such people with firearms.  In spite of what you have seen on TV, firearms are indeed the great equalizer.  A 120 pound woman have the same chance of winning a gun fight as a 250 lb man.  People with disabilities have also successfully used firearm in self-defence.

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Claim: The bill will allow anyone to carry anywhere without a permit.

Facts: This statement is also false.  Here are the details.

1) The bill does not in any way affect how states regulate carry for their residents.  It does not force states to change how they issue permits, nor authorize residents to carry without a permit.

2) The bill does not permit anyone to carry anywhere, unless they are authorized to carry in their home state.

3) 30 states require a permit to carry a concealed firearm and issue permits on a "shall issue" basis.  This simply means that if you pass the training and background check requirements you will be issued a permit.  Should the bill pass, residents of these states will only be permitted to in another state if they have a permit or license from their own state.

4) 12 states, mostly rural states with strong cultures of gun safety, do not require a permit to carry a firearm.  This is commonly called "constitutional carry".  When traveling in another state, these people would be able to carry without a permit in accordance with the laws of their state - provided they can produce proof of residency.

Without question, permitless carry is the most controversial provision in the bill.  That said, none of these states have experienced any more problems after removing their permit requirements.  It could be that this will not prove true for residents of all states, but decades of experience in Vermont and Alaska has proven that residents of these states do not pose a problem or threat when carrying firearms without a permit.

However, I completely understand that people in other states are uncomfortable with this.  I have no problem with the provision, neither do I have any problem should it be removed.

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Claim: Concealed carry reciprocity is "a race to the bottom"

Facts: This might be true, if the bill forced states to recognize permits issued to their residents by other states - but, unlike some other bills, HR 38 does not do this!!!

Yes, if HR 38 required states to recognize permits issued by other states to their residents, everyone, in every state, could shop around for the easiest permit to obtain.  However, since states are only required to recognize permits issued to non-residents by their home state, this is not possible.  In order to lawful carry in a state that is not your home state, you must be able to lawfully carry in your home state.

The reality is that the average person's competency with firearms does vary significantly from state to state.  Some states have a vigorous gun culture that results in most people being taught safe gun handling and use before they graduate high school.  In others, such as the urban areas of California and New York, this is much less likely.  That is why, while Idaho and Wyoming allow there residents to carry without a permit, non-residents are required to have one.  Both states will recognize a permit from any state.

The real question is: If someone's home state trusts them to carry, and they are likely carrying frequently in their home state, why should anyone fear that they will somehow turn into mass murders when the spend a few days in another state?

Additionally, in my experience, people who carry frequently tend to get training and a great deal of practice (often more than many cops) - even though it is not required.

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Claim: There is no constitutional right to carry firearms outside the home.

Facts: There almost certainly is a right to carry outside the home.  While the Supreme Court has not yet decided this issue, and appellate courts are split, the actions of Illinois and Washington D.C. are quite revealing.  When ordered to issue permits on a shall issue basis by appellate courts, both of these highly restrictive jurisdictions chose not to appeal.  Why did they choose to accept these decisions?  Simple: They feared that they would lose an appeal to SCOTUS and a national precedent would be set.  In fact, the handful of restrictive states begged them not to appeal.  Clearly, the very people claiming there is no right actually believe that there is a right to carry.  They just want to continue to deny this right to their citizens.

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CLAIM: The bill will enable every branch of the administration to submit thousands of more names to the NICS background check database to deny gun purchases.

FACT: The bill requires that federal agencies submit the names of anyone who is already prohibited by law from possessing a firearm to the NICS background check database. This differs from former President Obama’s efforts, in which he attempted to administratively create new categories of individuals who were prohibited from possessing a firearm. H.R. 4477, by contrast, is aimed squarely at individuals like the perpetrator of the recent murders in Texas, who should have been reported to NICS because of his disqualifying criminal history.

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CLAIM: The bill is being rammed through, without a hearing, and would not pass on it's own.

FACT: The bill went through a very thorough and public markup session of its own. And like the concealed carry reciprocity bill, the Fix NICS bill would also have enough votes to pass on its own.

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CLAIM: It spends over half a billion dollars to collect more names to include in a list of people who will never be allowed to own a firearm.

FACT: The bill incentivizes states to transmit the records of individuals who, under current law, are already prohibited from possessing a firearm. It does not create new categories of restriction.

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CLAIM: It compels administrative agencies, not just courts, to adjudicate your second amendment rights.

FACT: Since 1994, administrative agencies have been required to report individuals who are prohibited under current law from possessing a firearm to NICS. Fix-NICS merely adds additional layers of transparency and accountability to the process, as a well a new 60-day deadline for the government to resolve claims of records that have been erroneously included in NICS.

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