This is simply tragic on every conceivable level. I am not going on a tirade about concealed carry with this post. But given concealed carry is the law of the land now…just how much training before getting a concealed carry permit should be required?
This comes from a conversation about this incident that I had on New Year’s Eve with someone who has young children and is familiar with a variety of firearms. He found it inconceivable that the gun was ‘loaded’…that a round was in the chamber. He was very doubtful that a two year old would have the ability to chamber a round. I asked why would you have a handgun in your purse with the safety off and he stated that such a weapon may not have had a safety. So the gun was essentially ready to fire…and in the hands of a two year old did so with fatal consequences…no one should die from a few moments of inattentive parenting.
The victim’s father-in-law, Terry Rutledge, told Associated Press that she “was a beautiful, young, loving mother.”
“She was not the least bit irresponsible,” he said. “She was taken much too soon.”
Rutledge was a nuclear research scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory, The Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Washington, reported.
So the mother was obviously educated but at this point…at this moment in time…it is hard to say she wasn’t irresponsible…but no one should die from a few moments of inattentive parenting.
But do we really require sufficient gun training and experience before we issue a concealed carry permit? I am not suggesting that the deceased didn’t have sufficient training or experience…because I don’t know. But in general what should the expectations be? Does inexperience put not only the gun owner at risk or is the general public at risk as well?
Idaho suggests that it requires sufficient familiarity with a gun before the local sheriff’s department issues a concealed carry permit. From the Idaho Attorney General’s website:
Do I have to take any classes to obtain a concealed weapons license in Idaho?
You may demonstrate familiarity with the firearm. Usually, one of the following courses is required:
a.A hunter education or hunter safety course approved by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game or a similar agency of another state;
b.A National Rifle Association firearms safety or training course or any National Rifle Association hunter education course;
c.A firearms safety or training course or class offered by a law enforcement agency, community college, college, university, or private or public school or firearms training school. You may wish to utilize instructors certified by the National Rifle Association or the Idaho State Police;
d.A law enforcement firearms safety or training course or class offered for security guards, investigators, special deputies, law enforcement agencies or security enforcement agencies.
A county sheriff may grant you a license without completing one of the courses if:
a.You present evidence of equivalent experience with a firearm through your participation in an organized shooting competition or military service; or
b.You are licensed or have been licensed to carry a firearm in Idaho or an Idaho county or city, unless the license has been revoked for cause.
This all sounds good, but I also found this in my research for Idaho training. A website that suggests you can earn your permit with one hour of online training:
Protect Yourself & Your Family
We understand the importance of earning your concealed carry certification as soon as possible, so we’ve made it simple and to the point. Gain free instant access to our training program and test then receive your certificate immediately.
Online certification is convenient and simple. You can earn your certification in 1 hour starting right now. Watch the safety training program for free. No registration necessary.
Take control of your safety today.
In contrast to the AG’s site which suggest classes with trained instructors and the actual handling of weapons, this website sounds absolutely scary.
Here are the legal requirements for training in Wisconsin according to our AG:
CCW applicants must provide ONE of the following forms of firearms training.
1. A copy of a Hunter Education certificate from Wisconsin’s Hunter Education program or a substantially similar program that is established by another state and recognized by the Department of Natural Resources. NOTE: You may obtain a duplicate Wisconsin Hunter Education certificate online or by ordering a replacement card from the DNR.
2. A copy of a current or expired CCW license from another state that has not been revoked for cause. You must also include form DJ-LE-289 affirming this fact.
3. Documentation of completion of small arms training while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard. Acceptable forms of documentation include a DD-214 or DD-256 form showing an honorable or general under honorable conditions discharge, a certificate of completion of basic training, or a service record of completion of small arms training.
4. A certification letter from the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Standards Board or a letter from a Police Department stating you served as a police officer and completed training.
5. Documentation that you completed private security training from the Department of Safety and Professional Services or a similar course in another state. Training must include a Firearms Certification of Proficiency.
6. A certificate of completion from a firearms safety or training course that is conducted by a national or state organization that certifies firearms instructors, a law enforcement agency, technical college, college, university, or an instructor certified by a national or state organization that certifies firearms instructors. If you participate in one of these courses, attach a copy of the certificate or affidavit from that course containing the following information:
a. The applicant’s name.
b. The name of the firearms safety or training course.
c. The date on which the applicant completed the firearms safety or training course.
d. The name of the instructor who taught the firearms safety or training course
to the applicant and the name of the agency or organization that certified the
e. The certificate or affidavit must also include evidence that the course
completed was a firearms safety or training course as defined in Jus 17.03(7).
Sufficient evidence consists of one of the following:
i. A signed statement by the instructor who taught the firearms safety and
training course affirming that the course met the specifications as defined
in Jus 17.03(7).
ii. Information on the certificate or affidavit sufficient to establish that the
course met the specifications as defined in Jus 17.03(7). The department
has provided a model training certificate for this purpose.
iii. A signed statement by the applicant that the course met the specification
as defined in Jus 17.03(7), see question #17 on the application.
Is that sufficient to help prevent tragedies like the boy and mother in Idaho?
And are classes or trainers like this really effective in insuring that concealed carry owners know how to protect not just themselves but their weapon? Do they truly meet the intent of the law even though might meet the letter of the law?
Wi. Concealed Carry Training Academy
Be More Prepared than 99% of Americans when it comes to Personal Safety and Protection in this 2+ hr. course
SAVE $10 on NRA MEMBERSHIP
We’ll show you 3 things you should always carry for Self Defense
(Not Guns, Total cost less than $75 and No CCW Required)
Learn over 40 tips, Tricks, Techniques, and Strategies for your Personal Safety
No Gun Experience Needed-This is a NON Shooting,
NON Physical NO Test Course and Qualifies as Training for your Wi. CCW–Guaranteed
Whoa…what? “No Gun Experience Needed-This is a NON Shooting…Course…”
What should be the minimum training for a concealed carry permit? The ability to shoot it? The ability to clean it? The ability to load it? The ability to holster it safely? The ability to clear it? The knowledge to protect it from others…particularly children? Shouldn’t a permit owner be expected to actually know how to use a firearm…at least???
And then there’s the tendency for owners of firearms to be the victims of their own guns…but that’s another topic for another time…but this tragedy too is a prime example.