Reasons To Keep Your CCW

So, you live in one of the great states which recognize Constitutional Carry. You are tickled pink that you can finally dump your concealed carry permit. But does that mean you should do so? No, and here are four (4) reasons why you should keep your permit.

Reason 1. Reciprocity. Many states recognize concealed carry permits from other states. Of those that do, not all of them (yet) are Constitutional Carry states. So while your state may be Constitutional Carry, a state you need to travel into may have a reciprocal arrangement with your home state, but may not be a Constitutional Carry state, so a concealed carry permit will be required.

Reason 2. NICS (Background Checks) is often bogged down. Gun owners are getting background checks performed at a record setting pace between concealed carry permit applications and gun purchases. So, often the system is slow to respond. In nearly 50% of the states, a concealed carry permit qualifies as an alternative to the NICS background check requirement. If your state’s carry permit laws qualifies as a NICS exemption, the process is streamlined and sped up dramatically. It can mean the difference of walking out of the gun store with your new purchase versus having to return later after NICS responds.

Reason 3. Reality. If you ever had to use your gun to defend yourself or a loved one, inevitably the prosecution will raise the issue of your qualifications, training and experience. Then it will come down to the jury. You need just one juror to have the perception that if you have a permit, you were probably following the law. That singular juror could make the difference between you showering at home and you showering with Bubba. Imagine a prosecutor during closing arguments saying “And the defendant did not even have a license to carry that handgun…”

Reason 4. Reality, part 2. Law enforcement. Imagine during a routine traffic stop, being able to start the interaction with “officer, I have a concealed carry permit and am carrying. How do you want to handle this?” rather than “I’m carrying a gun.” This is especially true if your concealed carry permit is tied to the car owner’s registration (like Pennsylvania is) and the officer already knows that you have a permit, if you are the driver. That officer will already know that you passed a background check and that you probably are law-abiding.

So, the decision is yours whether or not to keep your concealed carry permit if your state goes permit-less. Here in PA, the only benefit you get is the savings of $20, the cost of the permit every five years.