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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Utah's Gun Permit Popular With Nonresidents

James Roe, a 64-year-old computer consultant from rural Pennsylvania, spent a recent Saturday in a Pittsburgh suburb learning about riflings, hangfires and powder charges. The gun safety class was for people seeking a concealed-firearm permit in Utah, some 1,500 miles away. Never mind that Mr. Roe has not been to Utah in 20 years and has no plans to visit anytime soon.

Like thousands of other gun owners who will most likely never set foot in Utah, Mr. Roe wants a permit there for one reason: It allows him to carry his semiautomatic .45-caliber pistol in 32 other states that recognize or have formal reciprocity with Utah's gun regulations.

"I think that all states should be as broad based with reciprocity and as careful as the state of Utah is," said Mr. Roe, who wants the option of taking his handgun with him when he visits his son in Ohio, both for protection and for target practice. (Ohio does not honor Pennsylvania's firearm permit.)

With the Supreme Court ruling last week that the Second Amendment's guarantee of an individual's right to bear arms applies to state and local laws, Utah is a popular player in Americans' efforts to legally obtain firearms. The state is issuing what has become the permit of choice for many gun owners.

Fifteen years after the Utah Legislature loosened rules on concealed firearm permits by waiving residency and other requirements, the state is increasingly attracting firearm owners from throughout the country. Nearly half of the 241,811 permits granted by the state are now held by nonresidents, according to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification, which administers the permits.

In 2004, Utah received about 8,000 applications for the permits. Last year, 73,925 applications were submitted - with nearly 60 percent coming from nonresidents.

Laws for carrying concealed firearms vary widely by state, as do issuing standards for permits. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut do not honor other states' permits. Some states, like Florida, allow nonresidents to qualify for permits. Utah stands out because its permit is relatively inexpensive and is broadly accepted, and the requisite safety class can be taken anywhere.

By passing the class and the background check, and paying a $65.25 fee, the applicant receives what many consider to be the most prized gun permit in the country. Permits are good for five years and cost $10 to renew.

Some Second Amendment proponents argue that people with permits are more likely to be law abiding because they have undergone at least some form of background check.

"The spirit of self-defense should not stop at a state's border," said Clark Aposhian, a Utah gun lobbyist who sits on the state's Concealed Firearm Review Board, which helps regulate the permitting process. "Not once has there been a pattern of problems with Utah permit holders in other states."

But Utah's permit program has its critics. Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, asserted that Utah's policy was dangerous because many states were lax in submitting felony and mental health records to the federal database used for background checks.

"I think it's absolutely shameful and ludicrously irresponsible to say that anybody anywhere who wants one of our concealed-carry permits, and thus will be able to carry legally in dozens of states, can just log on to our Web site and pay 60 bucks and that's all she wrote," Mr. Hamm said.

As more people have turned to Utah for permits, the demand for instructors who teach Utah's gun safety class in other states has increased. Of the 1,097 instructors certified by Utah, 706 are in other states. Advertisements for classes held throughout the country appear widely on the Internet.

Another source of contention is that the class does not require any actual shooting. One could conceivably obtain a Utah permit without ever having fired a gun. Nevada and New Mexico recently stopped honoring Utah permits because the class does not meet its live-fire requirements.

"Residents of other states should be aware that people who have a Utah concealed-weapon permit may not have actually fired a weapon," said Dee Rowland, chairwoman of the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah. "I think that would be quite shocking to members of the public."

Supporters of Utah's policy counter that the state's 50-page curriculum on gun safety, and background checks that are updated every 24 hours, ensure that the system is safe.

"We teach passive defense in Utah," said State Representative Curtis Oda, a Republican from Clearfield.

"We have no idea what could have happened had there been an armed defender at Columbine and Virginia Tech," Mr. Oda said, "but we know with absolute certainty what happens when there's not."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/us/06guns.html?_r=1&src=mv
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Utah's Gun Permit Popular With Nonresidents

James Roe, a 64-year-old computer consultant from rural Pennsylvania, spent a recent Saturday in a Pittsburgh suburb learning about riflings, hangfires and powder charges. The gun safety class was for people seeking a concealed-firearm permit in Utah, some 1,500 miles away. Never mind that Mr. Roe has not been to Utah in 20 years and has no plans to visit anytime soon.

Like thousands of other gun owners who will most likely never set foot in Utah, Mr. Roe wants a permit there for one reason: It allows him to carry his semiautomatic .45-caliber pistol in 32 other states that recognize or have formal reciprocity with Utah's gun regulations.

"I think that all states should be as broad based with reciprocity and as careful as the state of Utah is," said Mr. Roe, who wants the option of taking his handgun with him when he visits his son in Ohio, both for protection and for target practice. (Ohio does not honor Pennsylvania's firearm permit.)

With the Supreme Court ruling last week that the Second Amendment's guarantee of an individual's right to bear arms applies to state and local laws, Utah is a popular player in Americans' efforts to legally obtain firearms. The state is issuing what has become the permit of choice for many gun owners.

Fifteen years after the Utah Legislature loosened rules on concealed firearm permits by waiving residency and other requirements, the state is increasingly attracting firearm owners from throughout the country. Nearly half of the 241,811 permits granted by the state are now held by nonresidents, according to the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification, which administers the permits.

In 2004, Utah received about 8,000 applications for the permits. Last year, 73,925 applications were submitted - with nearly 60 percent coming from nonresidents.

Laws for carrying concealed firearms vary widely by state, as do issuing standards for permits. New York, New Jersey and Connecticut do not honor other states' permits. Some states, like Florida, allow nonresidents to qualify for permits. Utah stands out because its permit is relatively inexpensive and is broadly accepted, and the requisite safety class can be taken anywhere.

By passing the class and the background check, and paying a $65.25 fee, the applicant receives what many consider to be the most prized gun permit in the country. Permits are good for five years and cost $10 to renew.

Some Second Amendment proponents argue that people with permits are more likely to be law abiding because they have undergone at least some form of background check.

"The spirit of self-defense should not stop at a state's border," said Clark Aposhian, a Utah gun lobbyist who sits on the state's Concealed Firearm Review Board, which helps regulate the permitting process. "Not once has there been a pattern of problems with Utah permit holders in other states."

But Utah's permit program has its critics. Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, asserted that Utah's policy was dangerous because many states were lax in submitting felony and mental health records to the federal database used for background checks.

"I think it's absolutely shameful and ludicrously irresponsible to say that anybody anywhere who wants one of our concealed-carry permits, and thus will be able to carry legally in dozens of states, can just log on to our Web site and pay 60 bucks and that's all she wrote," Mr. Hamm said.

As more people have turned to Utah for permits, the demand for instructors who teach Utah's gun safety class in other states has increased. Of the 1,097 instructors certified by Utah, 706 are in other states. Advertisements for classes held throughout the country appear widely on the Internet.

Another source of contention is that the class does not require any actual shooting. One could conceivably obtain a Utah permit without ever having fired a gun. Nevada and New Mexico recently stopped honoring Utah permits because the class does not meet its live-fire requirements.

"Residents of other states should be aware that people who have a Utah concealed-weapon permit may not have actually fired a weapon," said Dee Rowland, chairwoman of the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah. "I think that would be quite shocking to members of the public."

Supporters of Utah's policy counter that the state's 50-page curriculum on gun safety, and background checks that are updated every 24 hours, ensure that the system is safe.

"We teach passive defense in Utah," said State Representative Curtis Oda, a Republican from Clearfield.

"We have no idea what could have happened had there been an armed defender at Columbine and Virginia Tech," Mr. Oda said, "but we know with absolute certainty what happens when there's not."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/us/06guns.html?_r=1&src=mv
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Follow up:

New York Times Swallows Brady Campaign's Anti-Gun Rhetoric Whole

Posted by John Lott

Despite all our experience with permitted concealed handguns, the debate continues. There are always fears about what might happen. A New York Times article on Monday repeated some of those concerns in an article on Utah's permit system:

Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, asserted that Utah's policy was dangerous because many states were lax in submitting felony and mental health records to the federal database used for background checks.

"I think it's absolutely shameful and ludicrously irresponsible to say that anybody anywhere who wants one of our concealed-carry permits, and thus will be able to carry legally in dozens of states, can just log on to our Web site and pay 60 bucks and that's all she wrote," Mr. Hamm said. . . .

It is interesting that the reporter, Dan Frosch, used the term "asserted" when describing the Brady Campaign's claims. Indeed, the article makes it clear that much more is required to get a permit than simply logging on to a website and paying $60. Criminal background checks and a four hour training course are also necessary. But there was a way of directly evaluating the Brady Campaign's other claim that permit holders pose a danger to others. In fact, it is easy to show that permit holders are extremely law-abiding by looking at the Utah Department of Public Safety's quarterly "Firearm Statistical Review."

With over 226,000 active concealed-handgun permits as of March 31, 2010, there were only 14 revocations for any type of firearms-related offense over the preceding twelve months. These offenses are also usually trivial, such as accidentally carrying a permitted concealed handgun into a gun free zone.

Thirty-two other states accept permits issued in Utah precisely because of Utah's strict requirements. Even stricter training requirements would do more harm than good, as it would reduce the number of permits issued. As my academic research shows in the new third edition of More Guns, Less Crime, people refrain from getting a gun for self-defense if it is too much of a hassle and, with fewer permitted concealed handguns, there is less crime fighting deterrence.

The law-abiding nature of Utah's permit holders is very typical of other states. Take Florida, another state that issues a large percentage of its permits to out-of-state residents. Between Oct. 1, 1987, and June 30 this year, permits had been issued to 1.8 million people. On average, the permits had been held for quite a long time, well over ten years. For all those individuals, throughout the more than 22 years of legal carry, there were only 167 cases where the permit was revoked for a firearms related violation, or about 0.01 percent of permit holders. During the last 30 months, three additional permit holders had their permits revoked for firearms related violations, a 0.00016 percent rate.

Reporters obviously have only limited time to check claims by those they interview. And it is all to easy for interest groups, such as the Brady Campaign, to play on people's fears. But this is the Brady Campaign and other gun control groups that have been getting a free-ride for too long in grossly exaggerating the risks of concealed handgun permit holders.

http://bigjournalism.com/lotts/2010/07/07/new-york-times-swallows-brady-campaigns-anti-gun-rhetoric-whole/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Follow up:

New York Times Swallows Brady Campaign's Anti-Gun Rhetoric Whole

Posted by John Lott

Despite all our experience with permitted concealed handguns, the debate continues. There are always fears about what might happen. A New York Times article on Monday repeated some of those concerns in an article on Utah's permit system:

Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, asserted that Utah's policy was dangerous because many states were lax in submitting felony and mental health records to the federal database used for background checks.

"I think it's absolutely shameful and ludicrously irresponsible to say that anybody anywhere who wants one of our concealed-carry permits, and thus will be able to carry legally in dozens of states, can just log on to our Web site and pay 60 bucks and that's all she wrote," Mr. Hamm said. . . .

It is interesting that the reporter, Dan Frosch, used the term "asserted" when describing the Brady Campaign's claims. Indeed, the article makes it clear that much more is required to get a permit than simply logging on to a website and paying $60. Criminal background checks and a four hour training course are also necessary. But there was a way of directly evaluating the Brady Campaign's other claim that permit holders pose a danger to others. In fact, it is easy to show that permit holders are extremely law-abiding by looking at the Utah Department of Public Safety's quarterly "Firearm Statistical Review."

With over 226,000 active concealed-handgun permits as of March 31, 2010, there were only 14 revocations for any type of firearms-related offense over the preceding twelve months. These offenses are also usually trivial, such as accidentally carrying a permitted concealed handgun into a gun free zone.

Thirty-two other states accept permits issued in Utah precisely because of Utah's strict requirements. Even stricter training requirements would do more harm than good, as it would reduce the number of permits issued. As my academic research shows in the new third edition of More Guns, Less Crime, people refrain from getting a gun for self-defense if it is too much of a hassle and, with fewer permitted concealed handguns, there is less crime fighting deterrence.

The law-abiding nature of Utah's permit holders is very typical of other states. Take Florida, another state that issues a large percentage of its permits to out-of-state residents. Between Oct. 1, 1987, and June 30 this year, permits had been issued to 1.8 million people. On average, the permits had been held for quite a long time, well over ten years. For all those individuals, throughout the more than 22 years of legal carry, there were only 167 cases where the permit was revoked for a firearms related violation, or about 0.01 percent of permit holders. During the last 30 months, three additional permit holders had their permits revoked for firearms related violations, a 0.00016 percent rate.

Reporters obviously have only limited time to check claims by those they interview. And it is all to easy for interest groups, such as the Brady Campaign, to play on people's fears. But this is the Brady Campaign and other gun control groups that have been getting a free-ride for too long in grossly exaggerating the risks of concealed handgun permit holders.

http://bigjournalism.com/lotts/2010/07/07/new-york-times-swallows-brady-campaigns-anti-gun-rhetoric-whole/
 
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