Legislative Proposal: Current Concealed Handgun Permit (CCW) Requirements in the state of Virginia (Research Paper Sample)
Why is your policy change a good idea? Here, you should back up your proposal ideas with arguments about why it is a good policy change to make. This should be very similar to any argumentative paper you have written. Use information from your academic sources to make the argument why this change is a good idea.
-Consider: Have other states made similar policy changes? If so, it would make a strong argument if they have. Especially if there are statistics or evidence that it has been successful in other states.
-Are there interest groups that agree with your policy recommendation? If so, they may have statistics or other useful information you can utilize to help bolster your argument as well.
Legislative Proposal to Adjust CCW Requirements in the State of Virginia
14 April 2016
Table of Contents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u Legislative Proposal is to Adjust the Current Concealed Handgun Permit (CCW) Requirements in the State of Virginia PAGEREF _Toc448435862 \h 3Background of Study PAGEREF _Toc448435863 \h 4Literature Review PAGEREF _Toc448435864 \h 5Legislative background PAGEREF _Toc448435865 \h 5Political Views PAGEREF _Toc448435866 \h 8Mandatory Training PAGEREF _Toc448435867 \h 9Management of the Training PAGEREF _Toc448435868 \h 9The Training Cost PAGEREF _Toc448435869 \h 10The Extent of Training and its Length PAGEREF _Toc448435870 \h 10Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc448435871 \h 12Works Cited PAGEREF _Toc448435872 \h 13
14 April 2016
Legislative Proposal is to Adjust the Current Concealed Handgun Permit (CCW) Requirements in the State of Virginia
Concealed Handgun Laws define how handgun owners can carry guns either loaded or not and in which specific areas i.e. in public or in a vehicle. Concealed carry denotes the fact of carrying a gun in a manner that it canâ€™t be viewed in a public setting. Different states have different concealed gun regulations. These states can be classified as per the U.S Government Accountability Report, into states that do not issue, may issue, shall issue or a permit not required (10). Additionally, states regulate the carrying of handguns in public places or restricted zones such as schoolsâ€™ national parks etc.
Different state jurisdictions have different reporting standards for crimes committed by concealed gun holders. Therefore, it is difficult to accurately estimate the deaths due to concealed guns permits. Nevertheless, it is prudent to look at ways that might mitigate these crimes. Mandatory training of Concealed Handgun requests should be included before individuals are offered the permit. This research paper will try and evaluate the legislative proposal of adjusting CCW requirements by including a mandatory initial and annual training for CCW permit holders in the state of Virginia. It will start by discussing the relationship between crimes and concealed gun owners as reported by different state medias. A further analysis of the legislative background, political views on gun control and the mandatory training requirements will be done to help in understanding this problem.
Background of Study
In America there has been a multitudinous discussion of gun rights and public well-being. Many reports have cited an increase in gunshot fatalities caused by individuals with CCW permits. Concealed gun laws have been debated often with many states liberalizing laws that will reduce the requirements for carrying a gun and even afford access to areas that were previously restricted.
In the US, 118 million handguns are reported to be ready for sale or already in the hands of its citizens. This is according to approximate figures reported by states to U.S Government Accountability Office in 2012. Out of this 8million are active concealed gun-holders with permits. The debates of concealed gun holding range from who can carry, where they can carry and conditions to allow the carrying of concealed guns. States and county authorities regulate the issuance of CCW permits and the federal government does not have control over this issue (U.S. Government Accountability Office 11).
Many states do not keep a tally of deaths that are associated with CCW permit holders. This has opened a door for gun-lobbyists to fill this information void with their own rhetoric. But the Violence Policy Center has shown in a study released that states with openly permissive gun ownership and concealed gun carrying in public have had a very high per capita gun fatality as compared to other states with strong legislation on concealed gun permits ("States With Weak Gun Laws And Higher Gun Ownership Lead Nation In Gun Deaths, New Data For 2014 Confirms"). The gun safety group also released data on the number of causalities due to increase in concealed gun permit holders. In their research they found that only 16 cases of gun fatalities out of 722 were ruled as self-defence by the courts. Out of this cases the fatalities of law enforcement officers were found to be 17 and 705 for civilians all committed by individuals with concealed weapon permits. The number of mass shootings has also increased to 28. Gun lobbyists use the increase in number of mass shootings as a defence for increase in number of concealed weapon owners as a protection measure for individuals. This study did not cover the whole 50 states hence the death toll could rise considerably ("Concealed Carryâ€™s Body Count").
The Huffington post also reported in 2011 of an increase in gun casualties caused by concealed gun holders. Out of the 85 that were reported 10 were murder-suicides while 8 were mass shootings. Many states with lax gun laws registered the highest casualties of law enforcement officers. For instance, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania reported two law enforcement deaths. This information helps to counter the NRA rhetoric on gun deaths by concealed gun owners. Many state systems are arming the wrong people with a means to kill and do not give them necessary training on when and how to properly make use of their guns. The background checks done on individuals by the states are also wanting (Sugarmann).
As the years go by most states in the US now have laws that permit individuals to have a CCW permit. Lott, Whitley and Riley observed that Washington DC also started issuing permits after the Heller case with Illinois being the last to do so in 2014 (5). Today all jurisdictions are allowed to have a concealed weapon permit but the regulations vary from state to state with others not requiring one to get a permit altogether e.g. Alaska, and others demanding training before a permit can be issued (6).
In Virginia a resident is issued a concealed weapons permit for five years by the Circuit court. The court charges a small fee for processing the application. Non-residents of Virginia can also apply for a permit through an amendment made to the law in 2004. The non-resident must be 21years of age and must apply to the Virginia State Police for a five-year permit. The state police will also charge a small fee that will cover the cost of conducting a background check. If the permittee is later found to be disqualified they must return the permit to the state police. In Virginia they conduct a National Instant Criminal Background Check to determine eligibility. In the law the length of stay for one to be considered a resident is not defined. The state also requires an individual to demonstrate some competency in handling a gun by either providing proof of a hunter education safety course, a National Rifle Association training course, a law enforcement training course for security guards and special deputies or military training with honorable discharge etc. The law also stipulates that individuals must carry the permit attached with a passport photo at all times when they are carrying a concealed gun ("Code Of Virginia"). As of 2010, the concealed permit is not required if the gun is kept in a secure place within a private motor vehicle ("Virginia State Police - Transporting Firearms Through Virginia"). However, there are certain prohibitions when it comes to the carrying of a concealed weapon. For instance, on private property, places of worship, courthouses, school premises and the airport ("Virginia Concealed Carry Permit Information").
A federal regulation H.R 822 talks about reciprocity of gun concealment in different states. However, problems arise due to the different state regulations that govern concealment of guns. Some states have a moral clause requirement while others have a live fire training requirement, a mental health evaluation requirement and others have different eligibility ages i.e. 18 years (Congressional Research Service 48). Different state jurisdictions recognize each otherâ€™s permits through recognition or reciprocity. 44 states allow concealed gun owners to possess a gun in their jurisdictions without proof of live-fire training. Six states namely Maryland, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Connecticut all require training for all applicants of concealed weapons permit.
Some individuals are evading their state controls by applying in other states with lax laws. For instance, individuals in North Carolina evaded their live training requirements for concealed gun permits by applying for the same in Virginia where the acquisition of permits is more relaxed ("Online Applications Bypass NC Concealed Carry Permit Process: WRAL.Com"). in 2016 Attorney General Mark R. Herring posited that they would dissolve the recognition agreements with 25 states including North Carolina but the Governor overturned that position in recent weeks (Mascia).
Recently in Texas the legislature passed a law that permitted college students to carry guns in the campuses. They also added a requirement that applicants for concealed gun holders had to undergo training and demonstrate a shooting proficiency. This demonstrates the increasing danger that concealed gun holders possess and that training is a basic requirement for all applicants which helps reduce the risks posed by unfamiliarity to guns (Stone). But the requirements of Texas are still too lax and need to be bolstered.
The 2nd amendment of the constitution guarantees the right of American citizens to bear arms. This right has been consistently applied by gun enthusiasts in support of lax laws regarding gun permits. Many gun violence prevention activists believe that the presence of a modern police service un...
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