Nationwide Concealed Carry

In the comments at this thread at Bitter’s, I mentioned that I support expanding nationwide reciprocity for retired police officers to carry concealed.  A couple of people seem to think that I’m taking an “Only Ones” mentality, because I’m not championing nationwide reciprocity for concealed carry holders as well.

In fact, it’s just the opposite of that.  I would love to have nationwide reciprocity for the X million CCW holders throughout the country.  But it’s not going to happen overnight; and it’s really not going to happen if we can’t get certain jurisdictions (like New York) to even allow retired cops to carry there.

Here’s how I see it – I agree that a retired cop is no different from me from a legal standpoint.  Now, when Suzy Soccermom is being told about a law that would allow retired cops to carry concealed in any jurisdiction, she’s much more amenable to that bill than she would to one that allows nationwide reciprocity for any CCW holder.  The reason she’s more open to retired cops than she is to you or me is specifically an issue of perception.

The average Joe Blow perceives that cops are responsible individuals, and because they’ve had “training” with their firearms, it somehow makes them more able to not shoot themselves in the foot or something.  So Suzy Soccermom thinks “Oh, well those retired cops have training, they’ll be fine carrying guns anywhere in the country.”

That’s step one – get the public acclimated to the basic concept of nationwide carry.  Step two is a little more complicated, because it involves demonstrating that CCW holders are just as qualified to carry guns as retired police officers, and in some cases more so.  However, the problem again is a problem of perception.  Most people don’t realize that the average CCW holder has undergone a thorough background check, and probably shoots more with his carry gun than most cops do.

In the comments of that thread at Bitter’s, it was pointed out that not a lot of traction has been made since nationwide reciprocity for cops was originally passed.  Well, who exactly do we have to blame for that?  Who out there is pointing out that in those three years, that there have been no “wrong people shot” by off-duty cops, and in fact, off duty cops carrying concealed have actual assisted in stopping crime; such as the case of the Utah mall shooter.

These are issues that need to be brought up – once the public is aware that this is working, then we can ease into nationwide CCW for the rest of us.  It’s not that the cops are the “Only Ones”, it’s that the public isn’t aware of the reality.


  1. I hope you realize my position, though. While yes, this might move us towards that goal, I also think it reinforces the division between us and “them” which could make it even harder for us in the long run.

    It’s a tough situation. I can’t say that’s truly going to happen, it’s just a feeling. What I prefer is open carry everywhere. The more people see guns, the more comfortable they feel around them. Right now, when they see them on a cop, they don’t even think twice. It would be fantastic if that were the same when it’s done by a regular Jane or Joe.

    I’m not against the move, really, but I just hate the “Only Ones” mentality (especially since my old man is a cop and tends to have that).

  2. If D.C v. Heller breaks our way, all hell should break loose in the courts of at least the most restrictive states. We will be living in interesting times. I wonder what those legislatures would choose, open carry or force to conceal so we don’t frighten the GFWs into PSH.

    One of our problems is that we don’t open carry where we can. WE don’t want the hassle of being stopped or of explaining to the nice officer, ala ColtCCO’s prediciment this past summer in TN. I bet it’s a long time before anyone else get’s hassled for open carry in Knoxville. And I’m sure you’ve seen the Richmond Va problems about open carry.

  3. Since the anti-gunners are against RC-CCW (retired cop CCW), I’m inclined to support it. I don’t know why they are against it, though. For years, they’ve been telling us that the police are the only ones responsible enough. But the second they leave that job, they become irresponsible citizens? RC-CCW could help voters understand the logically inconsistent argument of anti-gunners.

    I think it is a good idea to shove this down the throat of anti-gun states and cities. The only way to defeat them is to defeat their strongholds.

  4. I’m still waiting to hear the first retired cop talk about expanding reciprocity to all citizens. I don’t think it will happen until they have to live by the rules we do and decide it isn’t for them. They are already used to being “special” and will see this as their due, not as a universal right.

  5. I disagree with your logic. I would rather we enlist retired police officers to support carry (not just concealed) for all citizens as their path to also being able to carry once they have lost their “only ones” status. Which would naturally lead (I can dream) to senior officers currently on the payroll supporting such a move as they approach losing their “only ones” status.
    Enlightened self interest buys more support than altruism most of the time.
    A good example is the progress since LEOSA.
    “What part of shall not be infringed don’t you understand?”

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