Constitutional Carry Opponent Has Strange Theory About the Cost of Firearms Training – Bearing Arms

Constitutional Carry Opponent Has Strange Theory About the Cost of Firearms Training – Bearing Arms

Debate continues over a Constitutional Carry bill in South Carolina, but based on the online comments from one state senator I’m not sure we can call what the Senate is doing an informed debate on the issue. Sen. Deon Tedder, a criminal defense attorney and the youngest member of the state Senate, has made a flurry of stupid statements about the issue in recent days, starting with his assertion that permitless carry would turn the state into the #WildWest.

More than half the states in the Union have already adopted permitless carry, and not one of them have repealed the law because it led to anarchy in the streets. In fact, as we’ve previously reported, homicides declined by more than 20 percent in Atlanta in the first year Georgia’s law was in place, while Miami had the lowest number of reported homicides since 1947 in 2023, the first year for permitless carry in Florida. A study of Ohio cities found that violent crime declined in six of the state’s largest municipalities in the first year after Gov. Mike DeWine signed a Constitutional Carry bill, and permitless carry Oklahoma City had half the number of homicides as gun-controlled Oakland, California last year, despite having more than 250,000 more residents.

Tedder’s first argument was bad enough, but the worst was yet to come.

Say what, now? Does Tedder realize that not every gun store has a range attached or offers firearm instruction? Even if Tedder wanted every gun purchase to come complete with a concealed carry course, that’s simply not possible. Claiming that a training mandate doesn’t increase the cost of bearing arms is even more asinine. Does he honestly think that firearm instructors work free of charge or on a volunteer basis? Any gun store that includes training in the purchase of a firearm is likely going to pass that cost along to the customer by factoring it into the price of the firearm that’s being sold. That would be an extra cost, no matter how much Tedder might like to think otherwise.

I find it hard to believe that Tedder seriously thinks that there’s no cost for formal firearms instruction, but maybe he didn’t want to come right out and say that he doesn’t think his constituents are as trustworthy or responsible as the residents of Atlanta, Miami, Toledo, or any of the other cities that have seen a decline in violent crime after permitless carry took effect. I’m not saying that crime went down because of permitless carry, mind you, but it’s pretty evident that putting permitless carry in place doesn’t automatically lead to more violence on city streets.

If anything, I would have thought that Tedder would object to the provision in the permitless carry bill that prohibits lawful gun possession after a conviction for any crime punishable by more than a year behind bars. As a criminal defense attorney, I’m sure that Tedder has had plenty of clients who would be impacted by that change to the law, but I guess his desire to erect or maintain barriers to lawfully bearing arms outweighs any concern he might have about stripping people of a fundamental right for minor violations of the law.

Do I want gun owners to have access to firearms training? Absolutely. Should “x” number of training hours be required before you can exercise your right to keep and bear arms? Absolutely not, any more than I’d be in favor of requiring folks to take a course on libel law before they can exercise their freedom of speech? I want training to be widely available and affordable for as many folks as possible, including informal training from friends or family members who are gun owners and can at least pass on the basics of firearm safety. We’ve all seen, however, how training and licensing mandates can be used for abusive purposes and to dissuade people from exercising their Second Amendment rights; requiring an unreasonable amount of training hours, imposing live-fire training mandates when there are only a handful of ranges available for instructors and students to use, or forcing applicants to fork over more than $1,000 in costs and fees to receive a permission slip to carry in self-defense.

If Tedder wants to encourage firearms instruction, great. Maybe he can introduce a bill that would provide subsidized instruction for those who can’t afford it. Insisting that only those who’ve received training are allowed to carry, however, is absolute nonsense and a recipe for infringing on a fundamental civil right.

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