Georgia Lawmaker Seeks Mandatory Training for Carry Permits

Rep. Keisha Waites, D-Atlanta, speaks with Rep. Mickey Stephens, D-Savannah, right, on Feb. 15, 2012. (Photo: Jason Getz/

Rep. Keisha Waites, D-Atlanta, speaks with Rep. Mickey Stephens, D-Savannah, right, on Feb. 15, 2012. (Photo: Jason Getz/

To require training or not to require training? That is the question.

For Georgia state Rep. Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta), the answer is clear, those seeking to renew or apply for a carry permit ought to have undergone state-required training.

Recently, Rep. Waites pre-filed House Bill 709, which, if passed, would mandate that carry applicants for a Georgia Weapons Permit complete a basic firearms training course that includes instructions on handling weapons and live fire. Certified peace officers, active duty military and licensed firearms instructors would be exempt.

Under current law, applicants for a carry permit need to pass a background check and be fingerprinted.

Waites believes this additional requirement is “common sense.”

“This is simply a means to protect people and get them to think about safety,” she said in an interview with “We need to move away from the conversation about gun rights. This is purely a public safety situation.”

Waites said that she knew very little about firearms when she first obtained her carry permit.

“If you’re going to have a weapon on your person, you most certainly need to at least know how to handle it,” she said.

HB 709 faces an uphill battle. The GOP-majority in the General Assembly has made it very clear that it is interested in expanding gun rights, not curtailing them.

Back in 2014, Waites tried twice to make training mandatory when the Assembly was discussing an expanded concealed carry bill HB 60. Both attempts failed. And opposition was fierce. Opponents successfully argued that a Constitutional right should not be contingent upon whether one passed a training course.

Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, chairman of the Public Safety Committee, believes that Waites latest effort will likely meet the same fate as her previous ones, saying it’s “pretty much impossible” that HB 709 passes.

However, Powell does not oppose the idea of requiring training, “I didn’t really have a problem with it, just me personally, with doing some sort of minimum training course, just to show you have a certain level of proficiency.”

When it comes to mandatory training, the gun community is a bit divided. Constitutional purists would suggest that the Second Amendment is pretty clear in that we have a right to keep and bear (carry) arms, and that that right shall not be infringed. They would argue that putting a roadblock like mandatory training before one is permitted to exercise that right is tantamount to an infringement.

On the other side of the debate, moderate gun owners might argue that many pro-gun states require training — Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, South Carolina — and that it’s really not a big deal at all in terms of being an “infringement.” They might also say that some training is better than none and that requiring folks to learn the basics may actually preserve gun rights because it will help ensure that they are safe and responsible with their firearms.

Personally, over the years, I’ve gone back and forth on this issue. But at the end of the day where I end up is I don’t believe training should be mandatory. When I examined the states that have enacted Constitutional carry or permitless carry, where one only needs to be a law-abiding citizen to carry, I didn’t notice a higher crime rate, gun homicide rate or accidental shooting rate when compared to states that required training. Maybe training makes a difference, but it’s not readily discernible in the gun stats.

Plus, more fundamentally, I agree with the premise that Constitutional rights should not be subject to contingencies. I believe we should always err on the side of liberty and protecting fundamental rights. I take the viewpoint that we should put faith in the individual, to trust that if one opts to carry a firearm, he or she will act responsibly and seek out the training that is right for him or her. I feel like nowadays the mindset of our leaders is the exact opposite. They are too eager to save people from themselves, too eager to sacrifice civil liberties at the altar of public safety, and too eager to lose their faith in the individual.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 61 comments… add one }
  • Area 52 April 20, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Although training requirements for Carry permits/license might seem reasonable, there is a down side to this. It may lead to a de facto ban on obtain one. To explain; a live fire test needs a range. Whose range is going to be used to conduct these test? Private ranges, gun clubs, I’m sure their regular members will love that they can’t use their range anymore due to permit testing. All ranges only allow a certain amount of shooters and there is usually a range officer to shooter ratio. If the range is outside testing could be shut down due to the weather. In other words logistically if one were to apply or renew there would be a waiting list that could take years to get tested. They could also add more hoops to jump through thus making your state a ” may issue ” again. Due to political influences, people that know someone in high places will get bumped to the front of the line. Make no mistake about it; testing requirements are just another way to ban concealed carry.

  • Paul T. February 26, 2016, 3:44 am

    The right to bear arms does not mean without restriction or limitation. After all, most states don’t allow switch blades. We can’t but nukes and stinger missiles, etc. A basic gun safety course is not an infringement, as everyone has access, and they aren’t prohibitively expensive. You could really only argue it was an infringement if it were nearly impossible to pass the course or it cost a thousand dollars or was only available to a select few people. Personally I don’t understand why gun manufacturers don’t get behind mandatory training and safety, as they could sponsor them. What better way to get people excited about their guns than to teach new owners proficiency and confidence with their weapons?

  • john December 6, 2015, 4:26 pm

    i do not see a problem with gun training. before the us army let me loose to kill people in vietnam, well, we all know what basic training is all about. it is not just about gun training, it is about the kill concept, when to and why. in the 101st we realized what we had to do, but at first, you do not actually envision that killing is something you can do. but then the faceless enemy kills your friends, the members of your fire team are in harms way. does anyone really not to want training for gun owners?

  • Tom December 6, 2015, 12:07 pm

    I agree with Al. They could raise the bar so high for qualifaction, that some disabled veterans, and other elderly persons would not be able to obtain a permit in that state, Georgia, I think it was. Thankfully, I live in a state where there is no range qualification requirement. I do, however believe you should be able to hit what your aiming at. That way, as some have mentioned, non-hostile targets will not be engaged, by accident, and for lack of training. For the record, I am a 25 year Army Veteran with Active Duty experience, and I am a regular competition shooter at my local range.

    • Al December 6, 2015, 8:53 pm

      “…Waites is one of three openly gay members of the Georgia General Assembly, alongside Representatives Karla Drenner (D–Avondale Estates), and Simone Bell (D–Atlanta)…”. Well that says it all right there – check out her Wikipedia page: This is a leftist “progressive” who is hostile to individual rights – except the “LGBTQI” agenda; and I guarantee you she’s a Marxist (why am I not surprised?). Do not expect a frontal attack. It will happen when your back is turned. This bill is only a back-door to disqualify as many applicants as possible. The least dangerous, most responsible demographic (old and infirm) will lose their gun rights first. That’s her agenda. It has nothing to do with “safety”.

  • Al December 6, 2015, 12:58 am

    I see only one problem with this bill viv-a-vis 2nd Amendment rights: Who gets to decide how good a shot you have to be? Every Democrat-sponsored gun law so far has been expanded to disqualify legal gun ownership by every conceivable pretext because that’s what Communists do – and that’s who rules the Democratic Party. What if your EDC is a derringer?…Should you be required to hit a target out to 25 yards with a weapon designed for point-blank range? What if the minimum passing score is too high?…Or the target facings too brief to draw, aim and fire?…These are some of the dirty tricks you can expect when this bill becomes law: The old and infirm will lose their right to self defense; as subsequent laws will raise the bar until they cannot qualify.

  • chris December 4, 2015, 7:23 pm

    I like the idea of training if for no other reason than this: Someone starts shooting up the supermarket, and you are in the middle of a gun fight with the perp. Some numb nuts with a CCW and absolutely no knowledge of the dynamics of a gun fight sees me with a gun shooting and lights me up just because he sees me with a gun. Friendly fire is as big a hazard as enemy fire.

  • Jane Scroggins December 4, 2015, 7:01 pm

    When they start using the “commonsense” stuff I know they intend to prevent me from owning a firearm. After all she is a Democrat so that pretty much says it all. And I won’t even ask what the requirements to pass the course would be or how much it would cost.
    More anti-gun rhetoric!

  • thebmer December 4, 2015, 6:17 pm

    Why not simply put mandatory gun training into the schools? Yeah, I know, it wouldn’t be simple. We are not all THAT many years removed from when elective shooting was taught in some of our our high schools. I think it is reasonable to do a two week, one hour a day class for ALL American students where gun safety and familiarity would be properly introduced – Ten Commandments of gun safety, proper carriage, storage and cleaning of firearms and ammo, sight picture, real respect for the consequences of pulling the trigger, etc. – just like the Junior NRA program I went through to get my Distinguished Expert award.

    First course could be taught 7th-8th grade with qualification on air rifles, Freshman year is an advanced repeat of coursework but stepping up to rimfire rifle with voluntary handgun/shotgun/centerfire course for Sophomores/Juniors/Seniors. Funding could be a combination of local and federal (National Defense Authorization Act) with the Civilian Marksmanship Program supervising instruction and helping pay for weapons and ammo. Then everyone would have the required training and maybe some of the accidents could be avoided. Get a Concealed Carry permit as soon as you are 18 with your high school diploma. Just a rough idea but it just might solve a lot of problems.

    • Sam February 26, 2016, 10:45 pm

      Hmm. I think you may be on to something. I am in favor of wearing seatbelts, M/C helmets, and firearms training. I am opposed to the government telling me I must, under penalty of law. Unfortunately, there are those who would be opposed to the schools teaching their children about gun safety, just as there are against sex education. I don’t like guns. To me, they have only one purpose. My brother and his sons do like guns. They like to go to the range, and challenge themselves to get better at gun control. (Hitting your target.) The Army didn’t ask me if I liked guns, before they sent me to Viet Nam. But I knew I better get over myself. I still like your idea. They mad me lurn gud englush, even if I dint want too.

  • Chris Baker December 4, 2015, 5:38 pm

    “Recently, Rep. Waites pre-filed House Bill 709, which, if passed, would mandate that carry applicants for a Georgia Weapons Permit complete a basic firearms training course”

    The ONLY way it would be legal to do that would be to require EVERY citizen or legal resident to take the same course regardless of whether they want to buy a gun or not. Even that would be borderline unconstitutional because you’d still be having to ask permission to exercise your right. How does having to ask permission not infringe on the right?

  • Dilligaf December 4, 2015, 4:47 pm

    I think education/training for any firearm is a great idea especially with concealed carry. I’ve been concealed carrying for the past 12 years and I still remember the the class and the values that was taught.

  • Aias December 4, 2015, 1:22 pm

    No matter how well intentioned this law will make it more difficult for law abiding citizens of limited means to obtain a permit. And generally these are the citizens who are most in need of the means to self protect.

  • Bob December 4, 2015, 12:33 pm

    I noticed that military veterans would not be exempt from this new assault on our rights. Most veterans have had more experience with using firearms during their military career than the general populace, and yet we are made to feel like second class citizens again. I feel like veterans are the throw away part of the populace, we have outlived our usefulness and now it’s time for us to be forgotten. I think that the old expression “out of sight, out of mind” applies. It bothers me that veterans have laid their lives on the line for this country and continue to do so. Where would this country be without the sacrifice of the few for the benefit of the many. Oh, and do not forget that we would have to pay some fee for this so called “training” I can just imagine what the cost will be.

  • UncleNat December 4, 2015, 12:33 pm

    That level of training has always been mandatory for a carry permit in NC. It was one of the best days I’ve spent and well worth the cost. If you could have seen some of the folks on the range that day, you could see that this requirement is prudent.

  • Arthur December 4, 2015, 12:22 pm

    Personally, I do not have a problem with that proposed law. Here in NC, we are required to take a gun safety course and to spend time in the range firing a gun in order to get our Concealed Carry Permit. As an example, until my wife took the course, she had never fired a gun. I now feel safe with a gun in her hands.

  • Jorge Rankovich December 4, 2015, 12:19 pm

    Before handing out orders for every law abiding gun owner to take firearms training, Ms. Waites should take multiple strolls through the Constitution of the United States’ until such time she actually DOES understand the phrase “shall not be infringed”.

  • Larry Koehn December 4, 2015, 11:58 am

    Just another brain dead DemoRAT whose only end game is disarming the public.

    • Kenneth America December 4, 2015, 6:00 pm

      Let’s not miss that Democrat Representative Waites has her own carry permit.

      QUOTE Waites said that she knew very little about firearms when she first obtained her carry permit.
      “If you’re going to have a weapon on your person, you most certainly need to at least know how to handle it,” she said. CLOSE QUOTE

  • Mark Wynn December 4, 2015, 11:57 am

    I fully agree with mandatory training for the permit. My state has that. The shooting part is easy for anyone who had taken the effort to achieve a rudimentary experience with their handgun of choice (about 38 rounds, distances from 1 to 7 yards, no time limit, just get 70% into a a full-sized silhouette target). The value is in the legal and safety instruction. If a person can’t pass this one-day, basic course, they shouldn’t be carrying, as they’d be a liability to themselves and others.

  • David Church December 4, 2015, 11:50 am

    Most states that issue a concealed carry permit DO require basic training in handgun safety and use. The NRA courses are popular courses that are accepted, from the Basis Pistol course as minimum training through the Personal Protection Inside the Home and Personal Protection Outside the Home which is the NRA concealed carry course. Even states that allow Constitutional Carry such as Arizona still require the advanced courses in order to issue a CCW with reciprocity in other states. As an NRA Certified Firearms Instructor I take seriously whether I will qualify/certify someone to carry unless they do possess the maturity knowledge, skills and attitude to safely own and carry a concealed handgun in the streets. But all persons not legally prevented from possessing a firearm should not have their rights to do so infringed upon as guaranteed by the Second Amendment. To many “infringements” already exist, and all politicians that pass laws infringing upon this right should have their own freedom revoked and imprisoned for violating the Constitution they swore to uphold.

  • Larry December 4, 2015, 11:21 am

    Surprising, that’s not part of the Second Amendment.
    Surprising, she is a member of the Democrat party.
    Surprising, they are always trying to put more roadblocks in the path of those who wish to exercise their God given rights of self protection.

    • Kenneth America December 4, 2015, 5:58 pm

      Let’s not miss that Democrat Representative Waites has her own carry permit.

      QUOTE Waites said that she knew very little about firearms when she first obtained her carry permit.
      “If you’re going to have a weapon on your person, you most certainly need to at least know how to handle it,” she said. CLOSE QUOTE

  • davud December 4, 2015, 11:10 am

    i’m all for training and qualifying or no permit. i’ve met carriers who’ve never even fired a gun; god help anyone nearby when they’re handling their pistol. with rights come responsibilities, and when the consequence of ignoring those responsibilities is potentially fatal, we as a community have to do more than hope for the best.

  • CommonSenseAdvocate December 4, 2015, 11:09 am

    Interesting that people argue that it is a hardship to go out of your way to simply obtain a “photo ID” in order to vote (i.e. proving you are who you say you are when exercising your right to vote) and an infringement on citizens’ constitutional right to vote. Yet many of those same folks do not see required training to “bear arms” as an infringement of another constitutional right. (Nor does it seem that many of them having a problem with totally squelching a constitutional right.)

    Having said that, there is a lot of common sense that if you do own and/or are carrying a weapon to be used for self-defense or in the defense of others to have a strong comfort level with whatever weapons you are most likely to need, especially if other innocent people may be affected. Whether it is going to the shooting range and becoming highly proficient with your personal gun(s), renting other common weapons to practice with them (both revolver and semi-automatic), or seeking formal training from certified training, all are good ideas and have much merit.

    A good balance may be to not infringe the right (at least not any more than it already is in many states) to carry in general. Rather to offer various levels of state-sponsored training and certification and associate those certifications with expanded “rights” to carry, such as in places where they may currently be banned in many states such as schools, churches, stadiums, theaters, etc. (Think in terms of training and certification being discussed for school employees if they are to be allowed to carry or have access to weapons in schools in the event of active shooter scenarios.) Given the increasing likelihood of active shootings by multiple terrorists and public officials finally starting to acknowledge that competent, armed citizens can potentially reduce the carnage by these terrorists by engaging them, a risk is that when LEO (or other armed civilians) encounter the “good guy” they will not immediately know that they are a “good guy” acting in defense. So along with those expanded rights, what if there were some highly visible and commonly recognizable ID/badge that can be displayed and a “title” one could announce to LEOs to indicate they are the “good guy”. In a situation where they choose to engage the bad guys, they can (hopefully) try to remember to expose the badge and at least be able to “call out” their status/title when challenged by LEOs or other good guys, thus minimizing the risk of good guys being shot by other good guys.

    • Bohica December 4, 2015, 12:21 pm

      I owe my life to an armed citizen who came to my aid, back during my days as a peace officer. I was in a fight for my life and, frankly, I was losing. The good Samaritan jumped into the fray after the bad guy had already fired three rounds, approaching from his rear, placing his own revolver against the crook’s head and announcing that he was going to blow his head off. Bad guy caved, I lived.

      And this is a wonderful example of what’s wrong with the legal system. My assailant pled guilty to aggravated assault on a police officer, which carried a minimum of 20 years imprisonment. The judge gave him 5 years probation–and announced that cops had to expect such assaults as just a part of the job. Sheesh…

      But I was proud to pin a badge on the good Samaritan a couple of years later when he decided to join the force!

  • Kenneth America December 4, 2015, 10:55 am

    Let’s not miss that Democrat Representative Waites has her own carry permit.

    QUOTE Waites said that she knew very little about firearms when she first obtained her carry permit.
    “If you’re going to have a weapon on your person, you most certainly need to at least know how to handle it,” she said. CLOSE QUOTE

  • John E December 4, 2015, 10:54 am

    We have required training in MO and very good gun laws. The training is the bare minimum. It covers legality, safety and live fire of both revolver and semi auto pistols. It is only common sense that someone who wants to carry a weapon should be trained. They should be going to a range at least quarterly or more often. They should be very familiar with the gun they choose to carry. If you are going to be able to protect yourself in a stressful situation you have to eliminate all the variables you can because the adrenaline rush will be enough to throw you off. People who carry should seek out more advanced training. The key here is that the person who carries should should seek out training not be told they have to have training.

  • Meathead December 4, 2015, 10:38 am

    These democrats always seem to come up with ways to strip us of our civil rights.
    How about enforcing existing LAWS in your City by enforcing them instead of releasing criminals back onto the streets only to commit more heinous crimes later. Where’s her “common sense”?

  • Richard December 4, 2015, 10:26 am

    Texas also requires a class and range training to get what used to be a cancelled handgun license, with open carry starting next month it is just a handgun license. I am always turned off by ANY politician using the words “common sense”, in politics there ain’t no common sense. But as a range control officer in the Army for a brigade size unit I knew who to stay away from in a shooting situation. But I agree classroom and range time was never a waste of time for me and most people are too busy or too stupid to seek it themselves.

  • James December 4, 2015, 10:18 am

    I always like the driver’s license comparison. Many people don’t understand between a right and a privilege. The 2nd amendment grants a right. A driver’s license is a privilege.

    • Chris Baker December 4, 2015, 5:42 pm

      The second amendment DOES NOT GRANT A RIGHT!!! It RECOGNIZES a God given right!

  • Robert Purser December 4, 2015, 9:57 am

    I would not have a problem with a ccw type training course, but only in exchange for right to carry, anywhere, public gatherings,church, schools etc. anywhere that I have a right to be. Why should a ccw holder a good citizen have to
    check their 2nd amendment right at the door. Give me rights to carry anywhere and I will agree to a course.

  • BR549 December 4, 2015, 9:54 am

    Keisha Waites,
    I’ll assume then that, along with your proposal, that law enforcement would also have to pass a course in US History and the Constitution. And while we are on that topic …….. did you?

    If libtard legislators such as yourself don’t read or understand the Constitution, how can we ever expect the constabulary to be held to a higher standard.

    Keisha, if you can’t keep up, just get out of the way.

    • FirstFreedom December 4, 2015, 11:50 am

      Years ago while attending the police academy, we had a trainee who was the most inept–in all areas–person I ever encountered. She was there only because she had won a discrimination lawsuit, and was exempt from meeting ANY standard. Good thing for her, not so good for the public.

      For example, she was terrified of firearms. .. Her firing stance was: lean far forward, stand on tiptoes, close eyes, and jerk the trigger. Folks may think I’m exaggerating but I assure you that I am dead serious. To pass the course required a minimum of 70% of 50 rounds fired and a possible maximum of 300 points. Her score? Zero. Not only did she not hit any scoring points on the human silhouette target, she never hit anywhere on the target!

      After she was given 3 attempts to qualify, I was instructed to stand in the firing lane next to hers and shoot the course for her. I reluctantly did so, but made sure she got the exact minimum score. In the end, it didn’t matter since they recorded her score as 100%. Sigh…

      Officers were expected to qualify twice a year but any practice was paid for by the individual officer. Some of us practiced regularly, some didn’t. I shot at least 500 rounds a month, more when I could afford it. She never qualified but her records reflected perfect scores. I had mixed feelings about the situation, believing that she should meet the same standards as the rest of us–but felt much safer without her and her stray shots at the range.

      In any event, I relate this to illustrate that you cannot, must not, believe that a peace officer can shoot simply because they have a badge and a gun.

      Oh, and this happened in Georgia.

      • Mark Wynn December 4, 2015, 12:14 pm

        Thanks for your little story … which has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion.

        • Bohica December 4, 2015, 12:35 pm

          Well, you did mention the constabulary and higher standards. I believe I addressed the lack of standards, in contrast to commonly held perceptions about the weapons abilities of peace officers.

          Most armed Georgians that I know are far more proficient than cops, even though Georgia requires no training to get a CCW. Although now retired, I spent years as a weapons instructor as a cop and in the Army. I continue to train civilians — both private citizens and law enforcement personnel — as well as military, and have a fair assessment of the capabilities of each.

          That’s my two cents worth, anyway.

      • Chris Baker December 4, 2015, 5:48 pm

        I have to wonder why she was even there…why she wanted to be there. I also have to wonder what happens when she actually gets into a gun fight with a felon, one who actually knows how to shoot and she tries to shoot back at him. Sounds like the felon would be the safest person out there, not so much the bystanders. What happens when she kills one or more innocent bystanders given that the felon doesn’t put one between her eyes before she can get up the nerve to actually pull her gun and try to do her job?

    • D. Parker December 4, 2015, 12:41 pm

      Amen brother!

      For those of you justifying dictates from government (= other people with their own sets of prejudices, agendas, and shortcomings), please reconsider. Remember, this is government we are talking about, not some logical altruistic power for universal good.

  • Well regulated militia man December 4, 2015, 8:24 am

    I know permitted carriers who train regularly and those who don’t. I trust carriers who have gone through stressful training much more than those who haven’t. But at the same time I can’t believe that Keisha would put a law in place that didn’t muck things up.

  • Mike Dupuis - Upstate Gunsmithing, LLC December 4, 2015, 8:05 am

    It’s rare that I agree with legislation proposed by Democrats, but in this case I do. There are two facets to consider:
    1) Firearms in the hands of untrained persons can be very dangerous. I’m not suggesting malicious intent, but in this case ignorance can kill. The Founders recognized that most persons in that era grew up with firearms and knew how to safely use them. That’s no longer the case. An 8 hour training day poses no undue burden and better equips the carrier to properly handle his/her weapon, especially if they have not had exposure before.
    2) The training is at least as much about the legalities of using dealy force as it is about safely operating the firearm. The states are all over the map here with some supporting the “Castle” doctrine while others enforce an obligation to retreat. If you are going to carry, you damn well better understand the implications of using that firearm in a confrontation. Understanding the law is in the carrier’s self-interest. Absent that, a carrier with no ill intent could end up in jail as a price of ignorance if he/she has fired in anger.
    We don’t let people drive cars without a licensing process that requires demonstration of competence. Carrying a gun calls for at least as much due diligence.

    Mike Dupuis
    Upstate Gunsmithing
    Greenville, SC

    • Chris Baker December 4, 2015, 6:12 pm

      Can you please show me in the constitution or any of it’s amendments where it guarantees you the right to drive? You have a right to freely travel from place to place but the method is up to you. I’m surprised they haven’t instituted a U.S. driver’s license instead of letting the states do it. The federal government could take over that responsibility because it would be covered under the interstate commerce clause. Driving would still be a privilege though. You’re free to walk, hitchhike, buy a ticket, pay a taxi etc.

  • Andrew Ling December 4, 2015, 7:43 am

    I absolutely agree that any lawful firearm and ammo purchase require a certificate of safe fire arm handling
    training or a State issued CCW permit. This is only a common sense. Would you let an idiot
    with no license drive a motor vehicle? The firearm is easily the MOST DANGEROUS implement
    an untrained person can misuse. If you are a criminal, mentally unstable, physically compromised, etc person,
    you should not be allowed to own a firearm, buy ammo, drive a car, etc. These are all weapons of mass destruction.
    My two cents
    NRA Life Member

    • Mark Wynn December 4, 2015, 12:12 pm

      Wait a minute, Andrew … you say “to purchase” ?? This is about concealed carry, not purchase of firearms or ammunition. I seriously doubt you are an NRA Life Member. No offense.

    • Chris Baker December 4, 2015, 6:08 pm

      Wait a minute there. “physically compromised”??? You would deny the right of self defense to disabled people? People who, just like any able bodied person, may need to protect themselves and are the least physically able to do so without a weapon? How is that even remotely logical, let alone constitutional?

      Oh and the disabled can’t drive under your regime either? That is so illogical it’s a wonder you can figure out which side of your bread you should butter.

  • JiminGA December 4, 2015, 7:43 am

    Basing legislation on “common sense” and not statistical data is a democrat trademark. It’s based on feelings instead of facts. Further, will the state approve the list of trainers and is it qualified to do so? Or will it cause an increase in unqualified trainers, thereby defeating the purpose of the law?

  • Jay A. December 4, 2015, 7:33 am

    I live in Florida. I don’t know about training, but we do have to attend a class. They vary on the content, but most deal with legalities rather than training. All seem to require live fire, but with some you need only fire a single round.

    I believe if you’re going to carry a firearm you should be trained in its use. Hell, you should want to! But then the “Shall not be infringed” thing comes up, and the Constitution trumps the “ought to’s”.

    How’s this? In Florida it costs about $134 for the permit fee (let’s not argue about infringement for a moment). How about waiving or refunding the fee on completion of a training class that teaches not only handling but techniques? That way there’s a monetary incentive to doing the training.

    • RedLady December 6, 2015, 2:46 pm

      Exactly my thoughts upon reading this. While constitutionality is at the base of my own opposition to such a requirement for training, as a permitted carrier I believe making it monetarily worthwhile (optional) to be trained is the answer to this…..incentive, incentive, incentive. As a plus, the PR of such a measure would help educate citizens about gun safety, nothing wrong with that!

  • Frank December 4, 2015, 7:12 am

    Mandatory basic training shouldn’t be an issue. By that I mean gun owners shouldn’t have an issue with it. A gun in the hand of an idiot can be dangerous, as much to the holder as others around them. In SC you have to take a class. It’s not hard, long, or expensive. Usually fire one box of shells (50). It’s just a basic handling and firing safety course. The military won’t issue a weapon to someone not trained. Basic firearm safety and handling training should be encouraged, not discouraged. I spent 24 years in the USAF and qualified on the M-16, M-38 (hmm… think that’s what we called the .38 revolvers…. been a long time!), and the M-9. I had contingency training one the M-60 and M-244/245. I saw a few who should not (and did not!) qualify to handle a weapon. we had to qualify yearly, not just once in a lifetime. Once before issued a carry permit that is good as long as you keep it in effect isn’t much to ask. It’s not infringing on rights, it’s helping.

    • joe December 4, 2015, 9:06 am

      Just because something is a Great Idea (TM) doesn’t mean it’s not infringing on rights.

      • Aaron December 4, 2015, 9:40 am

        You still have the right to keep and bear. Open carry is not infringed upon. If you want the advanced version, you should have to pass an advanced test. You’re free and welcome to walk from point A to point B all you want. If you want to get there quicker, you must pass a test to drive. If you want to hunt, you take a class and must pass a test. No one really complains about that. Any license should involve an evaluation of the skill set for intent. Don’t like it? Carry open. It’s your right. It’s also my right to know that I may need to keep an eye on some “Dirty Harry” with no knowledge of the laws involved and possibly no idea how to handle their big boy toy. I always assume the worst first.

        • Anthony December 5, 2015, 12:06 am

          +1 Aaron could not agree more on your statement.

          • Dave Hicks December 5, 2015, 11:30 am

            Just because someone thinks they can handle a firearm doesn’t mean they can. You have to pass a driving test to get a driver’s license. Why not a test to see if you can handle a firearm.In my state ARKANSAS you take a shooting test to receive a carry permit. I know some don’t act like they can drive ,I see the same with shooters. I think it’s a good idea.

    • Steve Challis December 4, 2015, 9:58 am

      I actually agree with Frank on this one, mandatory training does not only protect the public,it protects the CCDW holder . I come from a State that requires training for a CCW permit .Basically an applicant needs to show he can shoot a handgun safely,he also has to show he understands the State law regarding the use of deadly force. Most gun owners who are not CCW holders do not know the law and feel they can shoot anyone who they think is threatening them. To me it makes sense to ensure tha the guy or gal who is walking the aisles of a supermarket,or sitting in a restaraunt ,with a concealed handgun,knows how and when he can use it. We cannot assume that all gun owners are responsible.and that all will understand matters such as over penetration., the law on protection of another and threat identification. CCW holders are trusted to know the law and be a threat to no one,except those with evil intent. Finally before some troll screams that I am an Obama loving troll some bio.
      I am a former cop with 21 years service .an endowment member of the NRA and a certified State Trainer and instructor with the State of Kentucky. I am the joint owner of Harmony Hollow firearms Training,and the author of several books on the Second Amendment. I am currents the Montgomery County Coordinator for the 2016 committe (Ben Carson ) campaign team in Kentucky

    • Akela December 4, 2015, 10:03 am

      The bruthuhs can’t hit the broadside of a barn now and you want them to become proficient?

      • Mark Wynn December 4, 2015, 12:04 pm

        Take it somewhere else, Akela, we’re having a serious discussion here. Thanks

    • Jwg December 4, 2015, 1:09 pm

      The next step is for some busybody to make the mandatory training take place at a secret location so that nobody can find it.

    • Chris Baker December 4, 2015, 6:02 pm

      Well, to force someone to undertake training to exercise a right seems to be blatantly unconstitutional to me and the second amendment seems pretty clear that the right shall not be infringed. I can however, agree that requiring the cost of a course to be part of the cost of any firearm purchased and giving the purchaser the option to attend or not, would be fine constitutionally. Maybe people think that it’s a good idea to force people to do stuff to exercise their right to own and carry weapons but how would you feel about being required to attend a course in safe public speaking before you could stand on a corner and make a speech to anyone who might want to listen? Or a training course before you could exercise your right against self incrimination? Really, the first amendment is much more widely used for things it does not even apply to. All it limits is congress. No one else. “Congress shall pass no law…”. The Second amendment’s wording is absolute…”the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” How does having to ask permission not infringe on that right? How does being told where or when or how you can carry your weapons not infringe on that right? Notice the second amendment doesn’t specifically refer to fire arms it refers to arms, which includes knives, axes, swords, really it applies to any weapon you can afford and can physically carry. If they don’t like it, why aren’t they trying to change it instead of constantly adding more and more infringements? The only legal, constitutional gun laws there are in this country are the ones where it is a crime to use a weapon to commit a crime.

  • Mark Hallman December 4, 2015, 7:04 am

    Just another way to empty gun-owning taxpayers pockets.

  • Steve Holsten December 4, 2015, 6:29 am

    No dumbass!!! I’ll bet you voted for Bedtime for Bonzo Obongo didn’t you?

    • Chris Baker December 4, 2015, 5:52 pm

      I have to ask for clarification on your post. Who exactly are you calling a dumbass? the congress critter or the author or someone else?

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