Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Keep Conceal Carry Laws Responsible in Oregon

In their irresponsible push to promote more guns for more people everywhere, the gun lobby continues to attack common-sense legislation regarding conceal carry regulations.

Now they are trying to remove regulation to make it possible for conceal carry holders from other states to have their permits recognized in Oregon, even if those permits don't require competency with firearms, for instance. has published an op-ed letter from Ceasefire Oregon's executive director, Penny Okamoto. 

Here is the link to this:

Here it is, in its entirety:

Last week, the Oregon House of Representatives voted to approve House Bill 2792, which would allow residents of other states who have concealed handgun licenses from those states to carry concealed handguns in Oregon without obtaining an Oregon license.

Proponents would like this bill enacted because if Oregon recognizes concealed-carry licences from other states, those states would be more likely to recognize Oregon's licenses, and therefore Oregonians who want to carry concealed handguns when they travel to other states would not need to request licenses from those states, saving them a small amount of paperwork and a small fee.

But if HB2792 is enacted, it would enable people from other states to carry their concealed handguns in Oregon even though they do not meet Oregon's statutory requirements to obtain a license, set forth in ORS 166.291, including those on criminal and mental health records, handgun competence, and age. Oregon, for example, requires instruction in handgun safety or equivalent experience to obtain a concealed-carry license, but Washington state does not. So under HB2792, Washington residents with no competence in handgun safety could carry concealed handguns in Oregon, but Oregonians without such competence could not.

This bill is an unjustifiable gift to the gun lobby.

Most Oregon concealed-carry license holders would be willing to undergo the minor inconvenience of applying for a license in another state if they realized that by doing so they would help prevent felons, people with recent misdemeanor convictions, and people with serious mental health problems from carrying loaded handguns in Oregon.

Oregon already permits nonresidents to drive through Oregon with their handguns without breaking the law. If they don't have an Oregon license, they must transport the firearm unconcealed or out of easy reach (see ORS 166.250); under some city ordinances, including Portland's, the firearm must also be unloaded. Additionally, residents of California, Nevada, Idaho and Washington who have a compelling business interest or other legitimate demonstrated need may already obtain an Oregon concealed-carry license under existing law, at ORS 166.291(8).

Unfortunately, not all license holders from other states are law abiding or mentally stable. From May 2007 to December 2010, concealed-carry license holders killed at least 282 people in the United States, including nine law enforcement officers. None of these killings have been deemed legitimate self-defense (

In addition, the actual licenses are not always confiscated when a holder commits a crime. An investigation of concealed-carry holders in Texas found that the "largest category of problem licensees involve[d] those who committed crimes after getting their state" licenses ( How is an Oregon police officer to know that the gun license shown to him by an out-of-state resident is still valid?

The mere fact that someone has been able to obtain a gun license from another state should not give him the privilege of carrying concealed handguns in Oregon.

The Oregon Legislature needs to demand accountability and responsibility from the gun lobby and stop playing politics with our citizens' lives. The Senate should reject HB2792.

My thoughts, exactly.  Where there are more guns there is more gun crime.  Let's work to prevent more guns on our Oregon streets and to keep gun owners responsible for competency requirements.

(A somewhat related article from today, regarding conceal carry laws in Illinois: )


  1. "therefore Oregonians who want to carry concealed handguns when they travel to other states would not need to request licenses from those states, saving them a small amount of paperwork and a small fee. "

    This part of the article is extremely deceptive.
    The fees are not all that small--especially if (as you seem to desire) they would be paid to every state you wish to carry in. Many states (including mine) do not offer nonresident licenses, instead recognizing other licenses with similar requirements. Other states simply recognize any state's license, just like a driver's license.

    Is there any evidence that nonresident license holders are any worse than residents, or that licenses that require training results in fewer problems than licenses that do not?

    It seems to me that there's more justification for not honoring nonresident driver's licenses--I am certain that nonresident use of automobiles has resulted in more death and injury than nonresident carry.

    I've looked at other sources for information on some of the VPC "concealed carry killers" list. Some are simply not plausible--In one a mentally-ill janitor with a domestic violence conviction and an involuntary mental health commitment manged to not only pass the federal background check for a full auto weapon, also managed to come up with the $25,000 or more that a legal full-auto AK47 would cost. I strongly suspect that they are using stories as is, even when they know that the reporting is inaccurate.

    Even if we were to accept the VPC's numbers as accurate, it is also necessary to consider the total number of license holders, and compare that to the overall population. If you run those numbers honestly you'll find that license holders are safer and more law abiding than either the general population or even police, by any objective measurement.

  2. More guns, more gun trouble. What could be more obvious.

  3. "should not give him the privilege of carrying concealed handguns"

    Let's see, the 2nd Amendment is part of the Bill of Privileges. No wait, that doesn't sound correct; I believe it's called the Bill of Rights for a reason. Could just be me though...

  4. Anonymous, It is just you. The 2nd Amendment, as judged by the supreme court, grants the right to a gun for self defense, but leaves it open as to details such as who may lose that right, what kind of guns may be purchased, how guns are regulated, etc. The ability to carry a concealed weapon, and how that is regulated, is therefore not a "right" but a "privilege" which may be regulated.

  5. Oregon CURRENTLY doesn't require ANY reasonable competency with a firearm to obtain a Concealed Handgun License. The requirement is just that the person applying has proof that they attended a course where handgun safety was a component of the course. It's possible to meet that requirement without even handling or firing a handgun.

    So what's the problem with recognizing other states concealed carry licenses? Can't be any less trained than our state requires.


  6. Orygunner, one would assume that any legitimate course in gun safety and proficiency would involve actually handling a gun, but sadly I guess you are correct. You don't see a problem with this?

    Proof of safety training and proficiency should be mandatory for gun ownership, yet it is not in most places in the U.S. But at least many courses do involve said training. Washington and many other states, however, do not require even that possibility. All the more reason to block this irresponsible bill.

  7. @Baldr

    What part of "keep and BEAR arms" is so confusing for you guys? If we can't carry them around for self-defense, we're not exactly "bearing" them now, are we? Also, I believe the SCOTUS decisions mentioned that there could be regulations on "sensitive places" where people couldn't carry firearms, not whether they could carry firearms or not. We may have differing definitions of those sensitive places, but I think it's pretty clear what the 2A says about carrying firearms. As for the specific issue at hand, states recognize each others' drivers and marriage licenses across imaginary lines on a map, so I'm not sure how we draw this distinction for CC permits (ever heard of "full faith and credit?").

    BTW, we just added another Constitutional Carry state, I think we'll get concealed carry for WI and IL here pretty soon and I think the "shall issue" writing is on the wall for places like NY and MD. By all means keep tilting at windmills though.

  8. "The 2nd Amendment, as judged by the supreme court, grants the right to a gun for self defense, but leaves it open as to details such as who may lose that right, what kind of guns may be purchased,"

    The Supreme Court did not leave it entirely open as to "what kind of guns may be purchased" -- it ruled that people may purchase guns that are "in common use for lawful purposes."

    I look forward to gun control advocates complying with that.

  9. Another consideration is that states in which a gun owner would be required to do some training, shouldn't be required to accept permit holders from other states where the training is voluntary or non-existent. That makes sense. But, even the states which do require training, it's terribly inadequate. Carrying a gun is a serious business and should be treated as such. Much more training as well as mental health screening, and of course, the approval of local law enforcement, which is in a unique position to know who's fit and who's not, should be the minimum national standard.

  10. Perhaps Mikeb is on to something might solve both problems: A federal law that establishes CCW reciprocity between all states, but sets standards for all states. Here is my idea:

    Unlike AZ, VT, & AK now, a license would be required, including proof of training (type & amount to be determined).

    Local police may deny applications, but only for reasons specifed by the national CCW law (also TBD). These reasons are not limited to felony conviction -- but no more making up any reason they want, different in every juridiction in the country.

    Police must also divulge their evidence for denial -- if denial is appealed to an impartial arbitrator (such process also TBD).

    And perhaps something similar for mental health standards and disqualifications. Unacceptable example: "An anonymous neighbor said that applicant was weird."

    True compromise: something from each side.

  11. Baldr, I live in Oregon and have a current CHL. I never touched a gun during the class.

    The is no competency requirement in Oregon.

  12. Hey Baldr, are you going to be up in Portland this Saturday 4-9-11 for CFOs gun "buy back" by any chance?

    Got any thoughts about me setting up a booth next to yours and offering people cash for their guns instead of your gift certificates?

  13. That's pretty sad, Kaveman. It illustrates all the more why conceal carry is a bad idea. We are allowing people with potentially no hands-on training at all not only to possess guns at home but on the street as well, ready to shoot. Do you not see a problem with this??

  14. Well, Kaveman, can't say I made it this time. It was a worthy cause. Haven't heard yet how many were turned in. Lots of people know that owning a gun is wrong for them, such as one old woman I know who's husband died and now she doesn't know what to do with his weapons, but doesn't want to sell them back into the market.

    Of course, your crass offering of buying back the guns with cash, for your own benefit, goes against the spirit of the buy back event, which has at its core the removal of guns from our homes and streets while at the same time giving families gift certificates for food and other necessities.

  15. @Baldr, the question is, if we require no real proof of competency in Oregon to get a CHL, how many incidents involving CHL holders are there?

    Yeah, I thought so. You're concerned about something that isn't even a substantial problem here in Oregon. Even if you look nationwide, those that get a CHL are more law-abiding and SAFER than the rest of society in general.

    Reciprocity with other states would be great. Just completely doing away with the CHL and allowing concealed and/or open carry nationwide will hopefully come, eventually.


  16. mikeb302000 said: Another consideration is that states in which a gun owner would be required to do some training, shouldn't be required to accept permit holders from other states where the training is voluntary or non-existent< SNIP>
    I happen to believe that all states in the union should allow the citizens of these United States of America to exercise their rights as they see fit, and should not have to ask any level of government for permission to do so! a permit should not be necessary for the carrying of a personal defense firearm either concealed or openly anywhere in the free world. If this right is restricted in any way, we are no longer a free nation, and tyranny can overcome us all. The same argument applies to machine guns and rocket launchers, if they are restricted to government use only, then the government can enslave us all at their whim, and we can only put up a minimal fight before being overtaken by superior firepower!

  17. Anonymous, luckily, our government and it's constitution were not formed under the premise that it should be overthrown. Instead it is well-regulated and meant to be an authority of and by the people. The rights that you cite were laid out nicely in the Bill of Rights, but not as a mechanism to overthrow the government. That would simply be anarchy, and rule by the most armed. We'd be no better off than Somalia or Yemen (which, by the way, are less-armed per capita that the United States). Furthermore, the second amendment, as currently interpreted(but as originally intended) allows for a gun for self-protection, but also allows for reasonable limits to be set so that, thank goodness, not everyone is able to tote around rocket launchers and machine guns to exert power over others. Your desire for such only defines you as an extremist.

  18. I would also add that we have recently seen overthrow of governments in Egypt and Tunisia, by the people, without the need for arming the common citizenry, even with handguns, and those regimes were true dictatorships with full military control.

  19. @Baldr, don't forget Libya, and their successful revolution against their dictator... Oh, wait.

  20. You think a document written by people who just engaged in an armed revolt did not intend to leave that last resort option open? This is not for when we lose an election, it is for when elections are ended.

    It seems that you think it ok for the giovernment to put significant restrictions on guns. What then would be a violation of the second amendment?

  21. That's right, Sevesteen, the framers of the bill of rights did not intend to leave it open for the people to overthrow their government. The 2A was written to give states (not citizens) the right to protect state interests, through militias, out of distrust of a standing federal army being misused. Since militias were manned by volunteers using their own arms, it therefore became necessary to allow those potential volunteers to own firearms.

    The most recent supreme court ruling re-interpretted this to allow at least one firearm for self-protection for law-abiding adults, but it also allowed for states and federal government to restrict that as it saw fit. So, yes, as our highest court interprets it, significant restrictions are okay (what guns and ammo allowed, costs and taxes, conceal carry, where allowed), and I advocate for some. The only violation of the 2A, therefore, would be to ban all guns for all people in all places -- something that no modern gun control advocate is calling for, including myself.

  22. Orygunner, the war in Libya isn't over, but it's still likely that Ghadafi will be overthrown -- without widespread gun ownership of its people. The weapons they have are primarily provided by governments like us.

  23. I commend you for having the least obfuscated statement of your interpretation of the second from any anti gun blogger I've seen so far.

    Of course if your view were true, neither Heller nor McDonald would have won--there were people in DC and Chicago with guns, and there were some guns that Heller and McDonald were allowed to own--Neither ban was complete, both were struck down.