Should citizens be compelled to show their gun licenses to law enforcement?
City lawmakers in Stamford, Connecticut, are currently pushing state legislators to consider adopting a resolution that would force gun owners to show their concealed carry permits to police officers if asked.
“We’re just asking the state to have a discussion about it and nothing else,” said city Rep. Jeffrey Stella, D-9, a co-sponsor of the measure.
Supporters contend that it would help take illegal guns off the street.
“My situation here is that people that want to carry guns illegally know that the state law allows them to refuse to show their license, so what is to prevent someone who is carrying illegally, who knows the law, to just say ‘I’m sorry but my constitutional rights and state law says I don’t have to show you my gun permit,’” said Jeff Curtis, D-14, another co-sponsor of the measure.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, pushed back at the notion that this resolution would be an effective crime-fighting tool.
“This proposal looks to be a solution in search of a problem,” said Mark Oliva, NSSF director of public affairs in an email to GunsAmerica. “Gun control advocates, we know, view lawful gun ownership and the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms as a problem.”
“The [real] problem here is unlawful gun possession and city officials are asking state lawmakers to make it legal to target law-abiding gun owners as if they are the problem,” Oliva continued. “Connecticut’s resources would be better spent targeting the criminals who prey upon the most vulnerable in the state and recognize that lawful gun ownership isn’t a problem in search of a remedy.”
In other words, this measure is nothing more than a way to harass law-abiding gun owners, specifically those who carry openly. Because for concealed carriers who do it responsibly, they’re going to go unnoticed by law enforcement the vast majority of the time anyhow.
Criminals, naturally, also carry concealed to avoid scrutiny from police. This means, again, this law is designed to target open carriers. Maybe it’s also a way to suppress gun-rights rallies where attendees often bear arms in view of the public.
One has to ask oneself what would happen if other Constitutional rights were treated this way. Can you imagine having to show police a license to carry a bible? Or a license to speak freely or publish on a blog?
The bottom line is this resolution makes zero sense unless the goal is to put the screws to law-abiding citizens. The good news is the state legislature rejected a similar proposal in 2017. Hopefully, it will once again see the folly of the measure and vote it down again.
Stay tuned for updates.