The WUTT Model for Concealed Carry Laws
A friend of mine is seeking a CCW license in Maryland. I took notes on our discussion of the pros and cons, and invite him to guest-post here about the experience when it's concluded. He is concerned, as many others are, that seeking a license to carry, in a way undermines our collective position that concealed carry is a right.

I'm ambivalent about this, and here's why. For your examination is my model for how, or where, CCW may be a privilege rather than a right. I'm not a Constitutional lawyer any more than I'm a nuclear physicist, but I firmly believe that constitutions, big and little "c", were written to be accessible to the layman, and that Occam's rule applies to their interpretation. Of course, all 18 of my readers are free to email me or comment below that I'm full of shit and ought to shut up.

I have a pdf of Colorado's CCW application on my desktop and have been toying with filling it out and walking it into the Sheriff's office. Colorado's constitution specifically denies that there is a right to concealed carry, which to me means that the legislature has the power regulate it (as long as the US 14th and 2nd are not violated, there's equal protection, etc) but may not outlaw it completely.

The regulation of concealed carry is a legitimate State power when Constitutionally reserved and when impartially carried out, considering that States should have relative freedom in legislating against crime, to find the best results and compare them with those of their neighbors---the "laboratories of democracy" argument.
States' rights don't exist: "As our Constitution is written, governments have 'powers' but no 'rights.'" (see Kozinski's dissent, page 5991, second paragraph in Silveira v Lockyer, and my brief comment on it).

In comparison, Vermont not only doesn't have a CCW permit law, Alphecca (who is not a lawyer either) explains that it can't, by her own Supreme Court's interpretation of her constitution. In Vermont, concealed carry is a right, out of the reach of Vermont's police power. This is how it ought to be with all states, except those whose constitutions explicitly deny a right to CCW, such as my present home Colorado. Last summer it looked like Ohio might end up like Vermont, swinging from one pole, no concealed carry by private citizens, to the other pole, a right to carry concealed simply because their Constitution protects an RKBA and doesn't reserve a power to regulate CCW, and their legislature has failed to pass a CCW law. I'm not following this matter (James, any news?). Alaska legislated both a CCW license system, and unlicensed carry in a very broad range of circumstances (scroll down to "Carry without a permit").

By this model, if a state has reserved the power to regulate but her legislature fails to or chooses not to regulate it, it is still not a right but it can't be prosecuted either. Colorado has a "traveling" exception to the permit requirement (CRS 18-12-105.2(b)).

Lest anyone think Colorado's constitution's CCW clause is unjust and violates the US Constitution's RKBA clause, well, Kentucky's has a CCW clause, and no less of a gun nut than Thomas Jefferson held the KY Constitution up as a model for the rest.

By my reckoning, if a state's constitution does not reserve to that state the power to regulate concealed carry, they can neither require permits nor prosecute those who CCW without them. The state's RKBA amendment or clause rules, statewide; if the state's constitution doesn't have an RKBA amendment or clause, then the Federal one suffices, and it is mute about CCW, unless you want to split hairs about the right to "bear" meaning "in plain view." Then you can run up against rulings that the RKBA does not apply to persons openly bearing arms in terrorem populi. The populi of Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, and a few other Front Range cities seem to be easily terroremed, and are frantically passing laws against open carry.

I ask these bozos: which would you rather have, because you have to allow at least one: open carry, or concealed? If both are outlawed, then the "bear" part of the Federal RKBA is violated.

So the foregoing is my model of how CCW ought to be. Of course that's not how it is.

This is one reason I'm toying with the app for Colorado: under their constitution, I see less problem with the new system than with the old (how can discretionary permits be legal under an equal protection clause?).

Take that same law to a state whose constitution doesn't reserve a CCW-regulating power, and does guarantee an express RKBA for the purpose of defending self (Pennsylvania?) and I get heartburn again. The blow was softened somewhat by the low cost, $13.50 for 5 years, and that it was ready in a week (this was 1993, much can have changed since then).

Don't get me started on New York.

So then, EB, don't kick yourself for duplicity in the System Breaking Us Down. Go for your CCW in Maryland and good luck, your constitution does not guarantee an RKBA so you have the Fed guarantee to rely on.

Many thanks to packing.org for concise and well-organized reference material.

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