Police orgs try to put the brakes on attempts to lighten restrictions for gun permits

As more states sign constitutional carry bills into law, some Second Amendment proponents are receiving pushback from law enforcement organizations who believe proposed requirements for permits, or lack thereof, are too lenient.

Last week, the Ohio state senate passed a constitutional carry bill that is now awaiting a signature or veto from their Gov. Mike DeWine (R).

According to a report from The Hill, DeWine has not given public comment on his favorability of the bill, but a number of representatives from Ohio law enforcement have weighed in. Hamilton County Sheriff Charmaine McGuffey believes, “It is going to promote lawlessness.”

“I think that there will be people who carry weapons concealed for the purpose of being vigilantes,” McGuffey went on. “I think that it is not very well thought out for very high populated counties such as Hamilton County.”

“To vote for people to be able to conceal carry without a license, without any training, without any documentation,” McGuffey said, “it makes it exponentially harder for law enforcement to prevent gun crimes.”

Presently, there are just over 20 states that do not require permitting to legally carry a firearm. Legislation continues to move through states like Alabama, Indiana and Nebraska, but even in Republican-dominated states, there has been opposition.

“When it comes to the Second Amendment in Nebraska,” state Sen. Tom Brewer (R) said, “it’s an issue that really hits home. You still have an obligation to have safe operation training. And I think people with any degree of responsibility or intelligence are going to understand that.”

The president of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) of Ohio, Gary Wolske, penned an op-ed in December 2021 to express his concerns to lawmakers pushing constitutional carry legislation. Their current law requires permitting provided only after training has been undergone by the applicant.

Wolske referred to the number of licenses suspended or revoked in 2020 as support of the current laws’ effectiveness. However, Wolske did not state the reason for those suspensions as they are not required to be reported.

He also failed to mention that constitutional carry laws still prohibit those who have committed a crime, an action that would result in the suspension of a license, from possessing a firearm. Additionally, a background check is still required for purchase in constitutional carry states.

The Mobile, AL Sheriff’s office went as far as to fire one of their deputies over his support of constitutional carry after they publicly opposed the measure. Rep. Shane Stringer (R) stood by his position after the dismissal.

“After dedicating my life and career to law enforcement,” Stringer said, “losing a job because I stand in support of Alabama gun owners is certainly surprising, but nothing will discourage me from defending the constitutional guarantees promised to all of us as American citizens.”

The question remains whether DeWine will take as strong of a stance as Stringer has considering the pressure from unions during an election year when he faces a primary opponent. Other Republican governors have not remained quite so meek on this during this active election cycle.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has declared his support of these measures for his constituents and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called for a bill to be passed so he can sign it.

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