While visiting New Mexico from Colorado recently my wife and I had the opportunity to attend a performance at the Santa Fe Opera. It is a nationally recognized venue, which you can also see in the final scenes in the movie Crazy Heart. As I stood overlooking the opera grounds at the hundreds of people there, I wondered who among the crowd was legally carrying a concealed pistol. It being New Mexico, I figured the odds for concealed carry, legal or otherwise, were pretty good.
A Colorado concealed carry permit is recognized by the state of New Mexico, and vice versa. While this is a good thing between neighboring states, there are differences in the conditions under which one may legally carry in different states, and it is the responsibility of the person with a permit to know and abide by those different requirements. For example, I keep a list of restaurants in Taos and Santa Fe, the two towns I am most likely to visit, in which concealed carry is permitted. In New Mexico, a restaurant that gains more than a certain percentage of its income from the sale of liquor is not one in which legal concealed carry is permissible. Not being able to compute that percentage myself, I rely on the list of those restaurants that are considered by the state to comply with that requirement. Before going to an eatery, I check the list I keep stored on my iphone.
Yes, this is a minor pain, but it is my responsibility to comply with the state law. But, the real pain is that permits are not valid in all states. Twenty different states may consider my carry permit to be valid, but the rest may not. Although I pass the background check and that's considered good with some states, it is not with others. The chances are good that I would also meet their permitting requirements, but I'd have to either live there, or apply in absentia. Not all states permit this.
If I were a Federal employee with the right and requirement to carry a concealed weapon and did so, after satisfying the necessary requirements, I would be able to legally carry in all states. If I were an active member of the armed forces with those same requirements and obligations, the same would hold true. But as a citizen of the United States as a whole, but residing in only one of the states, I don't have that right. Being an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Navy, surely one of the most ancient and federal of government organizations, and who was expected to be armed when and wherever necessary to defend the Constitution, I think that right should not be surrendered upon the honorable discharge of a veteran who would still qualify under a state requirements.
In other words, if an honorably discharged veteran of the American armed forces desires to legally carry a concealed weapon, and can pass a standard background check for that purpose, that person should be entitled to carry in any state in the Union, regardless of the vagaries of state law. I can carry legally in Colorado. Yet, when I travel to New York to visit family, I am not allowed to carry my weapon, concealed or otherwise. I am an honorably discharged Navy veteran, trained and experienced in weapons and weapons systems by the Navy, sanctioned by the State of Colorado to carry, yet, somehow in New York, all of this goes by the wayside and I am prohibited from exercising those rights.
I think it is time that all honorably discharged veterans of America's armed forces be able to apply for and receive, with appropriate and timely background checks, a concealed carry permit that is valid in all fifty states. I am going to continue to promote this idea on this blog and in communicaitons with all of my elected legislative representatives and to the White House. I am not a criminal. I am not unstable invididual, liable to go suddenly insane for no reason. I served honorably for eight years, most of that during the Viet Nam war. now, as a citizen and resident of Colorado, having passed the necessary background checks, I am licensed to carry a concealed weapon. I see no reason why I, and other veterans who meet those basic qualifications, should be discriminated against and prohibited from excercising that right in all states.
I will be asking for and promoting what I am calling the National Veterans Carry Permit law, to be passed by Congress and signed by the President which will allow qualifying veterans to exercise our Constitutional right to be armed in all fifty states of the Union.
I hope you will join me.
If you support this idea, or have constructive criticisms and ideas for improvements and support, please comment here or send me email at email@example.com with your ideas.
As regular readers will know, I often review holsters and other gear on this blog. I would like to pass some of this forward to those who have constructive comments and feedback about the National Veterans Carry Permit (NVCP) proposal. I will choose the most interesting and helpful comment or idea every few weeks, post that here for others to read and consider, and send a piece of gear from one of my reviews to that person. The first award will be a new cargo pocket holster from SwapRig Holsters.
Let me hear from you. Even if you don't like the idea, let me know, but be real, cite evidence to back up your objections so that we can evaluate them in a mature way.
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