By Brandon Council
Every new legislative session promises one thing: The constant attack on our Second Amendment will continue. This is true after any mass shooting, and often times whenever politicians have a moment to think about it. We all know that bans wouldn’t work. Red flag laws would be too easy to abuse. Background checks already occur, and criminals don’t buy guns legally. All of this talk about gun control, none of it would work. So, what would work?
Legislation needs to be introduced that would enable gun owners, rather than criminalize them. I have been thinking about this a lot lately and came up with a few ideas. There would be two major bills I would introduce that would prove to be more successful than any being proposed currently.
“The Firearms Deregulation Act of 2019”
First and foremost, and long overdue, this legislation would initiate constitutional concealed carry nationwide. Reciprocity would be in every state. Legal purchasers of firearms would be enabled to concealed carry their firearms. No further background checks, interviews, or fingerprinting would be required. Training courses wouldn’t be necessary under this legislation. Open carry would be dependent on state law.
Training courses normally taken to obtain a concealed carry permit would be offered to every high school student in public schools as an elective course. Safety would be the focus; however, school districts could offer training on handling, cleaning, maintenance, and basic gunsmithing if they chose to do so. In-class training would utilize either blueguns or firearms rendered inoperable. A live fire range would occur at the end of the course where the students spend an entire day at a range with real firearms and live ammunition. This would be monitored by local law enforcement in the form of the school resource officer.
Deregulation would continue re-classifying certain NFA items. Suppressors would be able to be purchased the same as a firearm is. Barrel length and overall length would not determine the type of firearm, so SBRs and SBSs would be able to be purchased as any other firearm would. Accessories wouldn’t change the classification of a firearm either. While machine guns would still be NFA items, the Hughes Amendment would be voided allowing the manufacturing of new machine guns for civilian customers. Not only would this allow gun owners the freedom to purchase what they want without extra taxes and unnecessary steps, but it would help our economy in the process.
“The Advanced Training Initiative Act of 2019”
This legislation would allocate funds to develop and implement a training program that gun owners could attend on a voluntary basis. The course would be a civilian active shooter response course. Those who take and pass this course would be issued a permit to carry concealed firearms in most gun-free zones in the country. In addition, funding would be allocated to develop a mobile application enabling permit holders to communicate directly with law enforcement in an active shooter situation. The idea is for a permit holder to carry where most mass shootings occur and where, under prior law, concealed firearms weren’t allowed. BATF would be the issuing agency.
For an individual to be approved to take this course, a few prerequisite steps need to be completed. The steps are similar to those required to purchase NFA items.
- Forms, which can be downloaded online or picked up at any law enforcement office in the country need to be completed.
- An approval letter from either local or county law enforcement office is required. Approval letters may be granted to whomever requests one, or an interview may be required by the law enforcement agency; dependent on agency policy. Any denial must meet requirements, which are yet to be determined. Denials may be appealed.
- All copies of prior training documentation from any training you have completed.
- Send forms and documentation to BATF office for review.
- Background check must be completed.
Once the background check is complete, and passed, the applicant will be notified of course availability in their area.
The course would free of charge, with student needing to provide only a handgun, ammunition, and other equipment required to complete the course. Coursework would involve classroom training, as well as range time and scenario training. The primary focus would be tactics and tactical decision making. Escalation of force, mass casualty medical, marksmanship, and communication plan with responding law enforcement would all be taught as well. Passing standards would be developed with the training program.
Upon passing the course, a license would be issued to the individual. The license would be valid for a term of four years. A refresher course would be offered to all permit holders to re-qualify. Permit holders would be afforded the ability to carry concealed where others couldn’t.
- Government buildings: Any government building or complex, excluding any area secured with metal detectors and law enforcement presence. This is to include any national or state parks and monuments.
- Airports: Any airport, excluding areas past security checkpoints.
- Any location labeled “Gun Free Zone”.
- Venues hosting large events, such as concerts, sporting events, or anywhere where there would be a large gathering of people. If a security checkpoint is present, permit holder would be required to provide it immediately to the guard at security.
Some other exceptions would exist also. Any location where the President, Vice President, or other high-level politician is speaking, or campaigning would be off-limits. Event details would indicate whether or not your license would be valid.
This law would in no way give permit holders authority over anyone else. Certain criteria must be met for intervention to occur. If a permitted carrier is witnessing an event that would, without intervention, cause death, dismemberment, or life altering injury, deadly force would be authorized. Events would include any active shooter situation, stabbing, rape, and assault. Circumstances would dictate. Criteria for using escalation of force would be slightly different. Examples may include if you witness someone attempting to kidnap someone or witness a robbery of a convenient store. Again, circumstances would dictate. All of these situations would be discussed in the course. Additionally, permit holders would not have the duty to intervene, meaning, they aren’t required by law to use force.
The mobile application development would have a multitude of uses and would be required by all permit holders to download and keep updated. First and most importantly, when you enter a location where the general public can’t carry, it would indicate you’re at that location. This is so if there is a shooting at that location, law enforcement know that a permit holder is present. It’s for the permit holder’s protection and would only be seen by law enforcement if a serious crime is taking place. You would also be notified if any other permit holders are present. There would be a secure way for you to communicate in real time with law enforcement. Depending on the situation, you could either instant message, phone call, or video conference with responding law enforcement via the secure app. In the event of a shooting, the app would notify the permit holder as to the calls coming into the dispatch center. It would give you the ability to send a response, only if you can confirm the event is taking place. In addition, there would be regular updates with information useful to the user.
These laws would prove to have a real impact on gun violence in our country. If every gun owner was permitted to concealed carry in every corner of our great nation, violent crime in the form of muggings, rape, kidnapping, and just about any other crime would be reduced. Either the crime would decrease due to the criminals knowing their prey may be armed, or armed individuals themselves would use their firearm to protect themselves. It is well known that mass shootings generally occur where the shooter knows people won’t be able to defend themselves. By allowing trained and vetted people to carry their weapons in these locations, we would minimalize soft targets. It already happens all over the country, we just don’t hear about it. If ever an event did occur, the mobile application would be a game changer. The situational awareness law enforcement has when responding to these mass shootings is non-existent or minimal at best. Having the ability to communicate one-on-one with someone who at the location would be a vast improvement on situational awareness, especially with the video feature.
Ultimately, this is just a dream of mine. No politician would even consider reading legislation like this. It’s really unfortunate, because more lives would be saved if you enabled citizens to help others and themselves. Time will tell which direction gun control in our country goes. We can only hope it isn’t backwards.