New Gun Laws Introduced In 2015 & The Impact On Concealed Carry
This past year, 2015, was monumental in a lot of ways for concealed carriers. We saw an expansion in of the number of university and college campus carry. Maine became one of the newest additions to the permitless “Constitutional” carry movement. But we've also seem some very heavy backlash, politically. Mass shootings perpetrated largely by criminals using illegally obtained firearms have created quite a stir, leaving room for anti-gun political organizations to leverage that fear towards implementing more draconian policies that have no bearing on criminals who aren't afraid of the law to begin with.
Executive Gun Control
Executive gun control refers largely to the set of mandates submitted unilaterally by President Barack Obama and without the consent of Congress – the legislative body that makes law in this country. This means that the controls can only extend to existing laws on the book. President Obama can't magically create new laws but he can fundamentally change how those laws are regulated. And in this case, he sought to increase background checks for gun purchases and close several “loop holes” in the purchase process at gun shows and private sales.
This is fundamentally pointless but we'll be forced to leave that opinion in the bin of history because these executive actions will last until the next president removes them (or doesn't renew them).
Texas Open Carry
Texas law changed fundamentally in this past year. From public universities accepting concealed carry in limited parts of their campuses to municipal buildings being forced to go back on their “gun free” policies, Texans have come a long way in a year. There's more to go, however, because with the addition of open carry for those with concealed carry permits, more shops have to post signage stipulating who and how one may carry inside their storefronts. Campus administrators, famously anti-gun for no logical reason, are also fighting back by trying to effectively blockade entire sections of campus from law-abiding concealed carriers. Good thing criminals don't care about “gun free zones”, right?
Seattle Gun Violence Tax
The City of Seattle did probably the most insane thing it could to buck the trend of Washingtonians having access to legal guns and ammunition: it imposed a ridiculous tax on every gun sale and every round of ammunition sold through a legal dealer. This has forced gun stores to strongly consider moving to the edge of Seattle's jurisdiction to avoid paying such a ridiculous tax that has absolutely no grounding in reality.
Ultimately, when any gun owner is under indictment, charged with a felony, involved in domestic violence, or even found to be an addict to drugs, most states prohibit that person from carrying a concealed handgun. Furthermore, they prohibit the purchase and possession of those guns. This doesn't really come up unless that person is pulled over for a seperate matter and the police officer finds out that person is carrying or is in possession.
In California, the state's authorities actively keep track of who has legally registered firearms. This means that when that person falls out of favor with the law, there's a program to go and collect their firearms. That program, however, has become extremely expensive.
There's a second part to this confiscation, however, because the City of Los Angeles has imposed its own restrictions on magazine capacity. Henceforth, thirty round magazines for rifles are considered illegal. No one has turned in a single thirty round magazine during the “amnesty period”.
In conclusion, as much as we'd like to pat everyone on the back for standing up and fighting for our Second Amendment right to carry concealed, the reality is we still have a long way to go. This fight will be ever-present as the people arguing the other side of this conversation seem to have absolutely no ground in realistic conditions. So, for those of us carrying concealed – keep up the good fight, carry everyday, and carry responsibly.
About The Author
James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.