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More Military Personnel Obtaining Licenses Or Permits To Carry Weapons When Returning From War

Some States have made it easier for active and discharged military personnel to obtain a license or permit to carry weapons.  Tennessee has reduced the mandatory time spent in the permit course by 1/2, for active or discharged individuals who can show proof of pistol training completed while in military service.  Florida will issue a resident or non-resident license to carry weapons, to active or discharged military individuals who send in a copy of their DD-214 with their application and fee.  Other states are considering similar measures that will make it easier for active soldiers and veterans to obtain a weapons license or permit.  

Firearm Instructors See A Increase In Military Personnel Wanting To Be Legally Armed.

Richard Binkley is a gunsmith and a Tennessee Handgun Permit Instructor.  His business is not far from where the headquarters of 101st Airborne is located at Fort Campbell Kentucky.  " I have seen a increase in returning troops taking the Tennessee Handgun Course." Although most of Fort Campbell is located in Kentucky, some of the base is on Tennessee soil.  Because of this, if a soldier lives on the base, he or she  must obtain a Kentucky Carrying Concealed Deadly Weapons License if they live on the Kentucky side of the base or, a Tennessee Handgun Permit if they live on the Tennessee side of the base.  The same holds true if the soldier lives off base. At first, the state of Tennessee would not issue any Handgun permits to a soldier who did not have a Tennessee drivers license.  This changed when it was brought up to the attention of the Tennessee Department of Safety by a retired soldier, Ed Lowery who also is a Tennessee Handgun Permit Instructor, that soldiers fall under the Soldiers and Sailors Act.  This federal law says that a soldier can be stationed at a base outside of his or her resident home state, and the solder becomes a resident of the state where the base is located while they are stationed at that base.  As a result, if a soldiers home state is  New Jersey but this soldier is stationed at Fort Campbell and lives on the Tennessee side of the base,  they do not have to obtain a Tennessee drivers license while stationed in Tennessee.  However, if they want to obtain a Tennessee Handgun Permit, they can since they are a resident of Tennessee while stationed at Fort Campbell.  

Military And Civilian Rules Of Engagement Different.

The majority of states that issue a license or permit to carry weapons, require some form of instruction before a person can obtain the license or permit to carry weapons..  Some states will waive a portion or all the training if the person can show proof of similar training in the military.  This allows the soldier or veteran to get the license or permit at a reduced cost since they do not have to pay for the training.  Although most people think this is good, there are others who believe that these individuals are being short changed since they are not being exposed to the laws of lethal force, and the do's and don'ts that most instructors go over during a license or permit course about state laws and carrying concealed weapons.  In the military, most weapons are in plain view, not concealed.  Also in the military, the rules of engagement are different.  Not getting the exposure to these areas could be detrimental to these individuals.

Not far from the main entrance to Fort Bragg in Spring Lake, North Carolina, is a gun store that has an indoor gun range.  Guns Plus also conducts the North Carolina Concealed Handgun Course that is required before a person can obtain a North Carolina permit.  Martin Mancuso, Manager of Guns Plus: "Our fee for the NC permit course is $90.00.  Soldiers don't mind taking the course and they enjoy the shooting portion of the course.  They also feel more confident because they receive information regarding the laws in  North Carolina during the course.  We also offer them the Legally Armed North Carolina Travel Guide (  http://legallyarmed.com/catalog  )  that is a great source of information regarding the states that honor the North Carolina license, and the restrictions in these states. This is the main reason why  we get  new applicants each month, because other states now honor the North Carolina Concealed Handgun License."   

WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, And Iraq, Show Similar Traits When Soldiers Return Home.

Soldiers who return from a war zone, and law enforcement officers who retire after many years, share one same feeling in civilian life.  They feel uneasy not carrying some type of firearm after doing it for so long.  After WWII Tennessee had so many vets that wanted to carry their military .45 [ these vets must have borrowed their guns from the military ], they enacted an "open carry" law that allowed anyone who wanted to carry a pistol  to be allowed to do it but, the pistol had to be a military style and must be worn in the open on the hip [ the same way most soldiers carried their .45 when in uniform ].  When the Tennessee Handgun Permit Law took affect in 1994, the old "open carry" law was repealed. Tennessee is the only state where a person who carries a loaded pistol in the open or concealed, must have a Tennessee Handgun Permit or a license or a permit from any other state.  Concealment is not a requirement in the Tennessee Law but, open carry is only allowed with some type of authorization to carry a loaded pistol.  This is different than other states like Kentucky.  Their state law allows for "open carry" of a loaded pistol by anyone who is legal to own a pistol but, only if a person has a Kentucky CCDW License to carry a concealed weapon or authorization from another state to carry concealed weapons.

Is America Safer With More Guns In The Hands Of Legally Armed Citizens?

There are some who believe the longer the war on terrorism goes on, the more America is exposed to acts of violence on American soil.  Some fear the traditional method that terrorists have been using around the world for years...small arms and bombs, will occur here in America.  Not every  terrorist or terrorist sympathizer, has been trained in biological or chemical agents but, almost all have had some form of small arms training.  How hard is it to become a suicide bomber?  All you need is an empty head, one or two legs, and at least one hand to pull the cord.  The job doesn't require any training [ they tried training suicide bombers at terrorist training camps but at the end of the training, there was no one left to graduate ].

If small arms and bombs were considered being used in the U.S.A. by a terrorist, the more legally armed civilians in a region, the harder it will be to plan and carry out these attacks.  The majority of terrorists want to fulfill their missions. Being killed before they can complete their act of terror is not something they want to happen.  The more legally armed citizens in a location, the more difficult it might be to complete a mission.  Looking at this issue from the side of a terrorists, New York City, New Jersey, and states that do not allow or make it very difficult to legally carry weapons by the civilian population, would be a higher target on the terrorist hit list if small arms or bombs are used versus a location like Birmingham, Alabama [ Jefferson County ], where there are 60,000+ legally armed civilians that could disrupt the plans of any terrorist.

One thing is for sure, the more soldiers returning from active duty who elect to become legally armed citizens, the better the wisdom of our Founding Fathers is seen because; even though the Second Amendment is dead in every state except Alaska and Vermont, a "standing militia" sure sounds like these returning veterans who as legally armed civilians, might be able to thwart the efforts of any terrorist attempting to use small arms as their means of terror!


Custom Gunsmithing & Training, Chapmansboro, Tennessee 615-5059626

Guns Plus, Inc., Spring Lake, North Carolina, 910-497-2440

Chief Ed Lowery, Rattlesnake Ridge:  www.rattlesnakeridge.org

Legally Armed Travel Guides:  www.legallyarmed.com

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