Friday, April 28, 2017

"... Get that gun from those who shouldn't have it"

Why do police need a CHL to justify carrying concealed carry?

If they find someone "who shouldn't have" (a firearm), don't they have means to determine whether that person "shouldn't have" it?   If it was legal to carry a concealed firearm without a license, couldn't the police do a background check in the field.

It seems that the police facing this policy change are upset because it means they will do more work to check whether that person would qualify for a CHL, if it was required.     (And that would be a valid reason to oppose the CHL movement .... if it had been cited!)

Police flood Alabama Capitol, ask lawmakers to keep concealed carry permit requirement | WBMA:
 A debate at the Alabama State House centers on this question: Should people be required to have a concealed carry permit in order to carry concealed firearms? Law enforcement from across the state filled the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee meeting in Montgomery Wednesday. Most were there in opposition to Senate Bill 24

(The bill would make it legal to carry a concealed firearms without the requirement of buying a CHL: a"Concealed Handgun License")
"I think it's a vote against the safety of our citizens," Mountain Brook Police Chief Ted Cook told the committee.  Cook spoke on behalf of the Police Chief's Association, where he serves as vice president."We can't measure the lives we've saved using this law to get in there and get that gun from those who shouldn't have it," Cook said.
The benefit of a CHL is that the carrier has already been vetted to carry.   That means the person is not a felon, not wanted, not insane, not an 'alien' and is of legal age.

Chief Cook is obviously worried about using his officers to check backgrounds of people found with a firearm.   His statement makes it sound as if there is no other way to vet these folks.   
(Perhaps he should encourage this measure.)
It's easy to sympathize with Chief Cook; he doesn't want his officers to spend 10 minutes (or hours!) running a background check on a citizen when they find a concealed weapon.  Unfortunately, the Constitution acknowledges the right of citizens to "... keep and bear arms ..." 
If he had simply stated: "It will impose an intolerable burden on my officers to require them to run a background check in the field on everyone we found with a concealed firearm",  that would be understandable.  Instead, he implied that the lack of a CHL would make it virtually impossible to determine if the person in question is one of "... those who shouldn't have it".  That's disingenuous, and misleading.
I actually agree with Chief Cook.   It would be civil to require a CHL to carry concealed. I just don't like the manner in which he stated his case.)

A policeman's lot is not a happy one.

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