The recent mass murders in Texas and Ohio raise the questions: How can we reduce the death toll of tragedies like these? How can we stop tragedies like these? One possibility is the use of security guards. Another is the increase in police presence. However, another more subtle and possibly efficient solution is allowing people to defend themselves, allowing citizens to be armed. One case in California where an armed homeless man intervened in a robbery shows us what armed citizens can do.
On Tuesday, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin signed Kentucky SB 150 into law. This bill extends constitutional carry into Kentucky to concealed carry. Prior to SB 150, Kentucky limited constitutional carry to open carry. As a result, the list of constitutional carry states now rises to 16.
Tom DiGennaro | United States
Less than two weeks ago, South Dakota joined the ranks of constitutional carry states. Oklahoma may be following suit. The Oklahoma House Public Safety Committee passed HB 2579, which allows for constitutional carry, nine votes to two. The Oklahoma State Senate is also working on a similar bill.
Last year, both houses of the Oklahoma State Legislature passed a similar constitutional carry bill. Former Governor Mary Fallin vetoed it. However, current Governor Kevin Stitt states he is absolutely going to sign the bill if it passes. In that case, Oklahoma will be the 15th Constitutional Carry state in the United States.
Constitutional Carry allows for the unlicensed purchase and carry of a handgun. This legislation removes the government mandated training which is part of the carry permit process. Many supporters in Oklahoma have expressed that the government mandated training is unnecessary, as most people will get training regardless of any law.
Stitt has expressed that business owners will still retain the right to ban the carry of firearms on their property. Obviously, carry will also be prohibited in public buildings, professional sporting events, casinos, and schools.
The growing number of states that are allowing constitutional carry is very promising for gun rights advocates. One of the most appealing features of Constitutional Carry is that it eliminates the government’s power to pick and choose who can carry. It also eliminates their power to discourage people from purchasing and carrying through application fees, mandatory training, and waiting periods. Constitutional Carry has its obvious benefits and hopefully, more and more states will allow it.
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Indri Schaelicke | United States
I had the amazing opportunity to interview the founder and current President/CEO of Open Carry Texas, CJ Grisham. We discussed the organization’s goals and feats so far, as well as some of the current gun-related issues in the news today.
By Clint Sharp | United States
The popular outdoor brand YETI Coolers has made headlines over the past few days over allegations regarding their relationship with the National Firearms Association. The notorious right-wing interest group posted a letter to one of their many NRA sites Saturday morning, stating:
“Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with the NRA Foundation, saying they no longer wish to be an NRA vendor and refused to say why,”
(Read the full statement here)
Impacts of the Statement
This statement has caused great uproar amongst YETI consumers as many of them are sympathizers, if not full-fledged members, of the NRA, resulting in calls to boycott the brand entirely for their alleged actions. This is not the first call to boycott as other companies such as Delta Airlines and Enterprise Rent-A-Car have confirmed that they will cut their ties with the NRA. This sudden abandonment of the association is due to the association’s recent stance regarding guns following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida two months ago.
YETI had yet to release a comment on the NRA accusations until Monday afternoon when it posted this statement on the company’s Twitter page:
The aftermath of YETI’s statements have yet to be seen, however, it is uncertain if the proposed boycotts will continue to follow through, or if YETI will retain its position as a sporting goods giant. Until then, the National Rifle Association has a bit of explaining to do regarding their vicious and unchecked libel, bringing to question their motives and goals as an interest group.