Concealed Carry: Right or Privilege?

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. Notice it does not limit bearing arms in any manner whatsoever. Here in North Carolina, as in many other states, a person can carry a firearm legally as long as it is visible. Carrying a concealed firearm is a different matter in that it requires a Concealed Carry Permit issued by the local law enforcement authority i.e. the county sheriff. This requirement places North Carolina in the category of “may-issue” states as compared to what is called “constitutional carry” states where carrying a concealed firearm does not require a permit. Currently, there are 25 states that are designated “constitutional carry”. In my opinion, North Carolina needs to join this group. Let’s look at some reason why.

First, as stated above the Second Amendment does not permit the infringement of the right to bear arms (i.e. carry). It does not say anything about limiting carrying concealed. So, therefore, states requiring a permit are, de facto, violating the U.S. Constitution.

Second, the permitting process, allows states to include any requirement that they choose to impose; for example, limiting the type or firearm or the capacity of magazines. Third, how many people do you see carrying a firearm that is not concealed? In my experience, it is very rare to see someone carrying a firearm where it can be clearly observed. Given the increasing crime rates in many cities, this reluctance diminishes the right of the individual to self-protection. Fourth, but not least, how many criminals do you think bother to get a concealed carry permit? So, what we do is impede law abiding citizens from self-protection knowing full well that criminals are under no such impediment. Fifth, if you were a criminal seeking a victim wouldn’t you prefer to assume the person is unarmed than to assume the opposite? It is like the absurdity of announcing a location is a gun free zone which only encourages criminals to select those places to commit their crimes. Sixth, some may argue that the required training to carry concealed is a safety factor for all concerned. This is also absurd, since no such training is required for open carry. Are they saying that carrying a firearm under your shirt, sweater or coat makes it more dangerous than carrying in the open? Nonsense.

If you believe that North Carolina should become a “constitutional carry” state let your elected representatives know. Your safety and that of your loved ones may depend on it.