If you happen to live in a state where the cost or bureaucracy of getting your CCW is prohibitive, you should think about getting a non-residential permit from another state. In the news recently was an article about the rise in the number of non residential Virginia CCW’s issued that looks to coincide with a new procedure allowing people to take the “competency” test online.
Basically, you take the online test of 15-20 true or false questions and if you pass you have the basic competency for carrying a gun. Examples of these questions are as follows:
“The first step in cleaning your firearm is to make sure it is unloaded,”
“Always keep firearms pointed in a safe direction,”
Once the test is passed, you include it with your application, fingerprints for a background check, and the $39.99 fee. Since Virginia is a “shall-issue” state they must issue you a permit (that is valid for 5 years) unless you have some disqualifier, such as being a felon.
Your non-res Virginia CCW will be valid in 28 states. And for less than $8 a year, not a bad deal.
Of course, the gun control zealots like to blow this out of proportion and say it’s a loophole or an end-around to “sensible” gun laws. Basically what they mean is that they want to deny as many people as they can the right to carry firearms and that any state that eases the burden on law abiding citizens should be ostracized.
Now, there may be some of you reading this who think that people should take classes and be proficient with their firearms and have a lot of training before they carry. I agree…they should take it upon themselves and do just that. But to have the government insist upon it as a mandatory regulation in the practice of a person’s god given right is beyond the pale.
To prove my point, what do you think the gun control zealots would think of this little bit of juxtaposition.
In order to vote you need to submit the following. Probable reasons that make you believe you “need” to vote. Submit to fingerprinting and a background check to make sure you are eligible to vote. Pay a $100 poll fee in order to vote per year. Take a test to qualify yourself in the complexities of politics. Basically you have to prove that you know what you are voting for before you are allowed into the polls. It’s mandatory that you can prove your ability to defend your reasons for voting. You have to be 21 years old. And finally, even if you are found competent and otherwise eligible, the voting commission reserves the right to deny your ability to vote on their own volition.
THAT is what a great number of American citizens in some states have to deal with in order to practice their 2nd Amendment rights. The left would cry bloody murder if this was ever tried to be enacted for voting. They are screaming like banshee’s now that some states want you to prove who you are when you go to the polls. The argument is that the process of getting a free ID card is too burdensome for the poor. But of course, if you want to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights there is no amount of red tape that the gun control zealots will consider “burdensome”.
Setting aside the few states that have gotten it right so far with Constitutional Carry, I like Pennsylvania’s carry requirements. The process is pretty straight forward everywhere but Philadelphia. You fill out your paperwork and submit it with $20. No finger prints, no tests, no unnecessary hurdles needed to jump through other than the process itself. If you’re not a criminal in about 20 days (in a busy County like Allegheny) you get your permit. In some of the more rural counties you can come in and get it within 20 minutes. The permit is also good for 5 years. If you are a non res you can apply to any county, some don’t issue though so you should check it out before you apply. A non-res permit from PA is good in 24 states.
The 2nd Amendment states that it shall not be infringed. Yet through some states inflated pricing structure, the fickleness of may-issue statutes, and the bureaucratic red tape they are throwing nothing but infringement all over the place. My suggestion then, short of moving, is to utilize the friendly gun climates of other states and get their non-residential permits. Of course this does not apply to states like New York or California who recognize only their own states ccw.
Remember this fall, when you are voting for your state representatives, that poll taxes and Jim Crow laws were outlawed in regards to voting but are still being used to deny otherwise law abiding citizens of their 2nd Amendment Rights. I encourage you to engage your candidate and see if they believe this is right or whether they are going to fight to change it.
Here is a great site for permit coverage and the laws that go with it http://handgunlaw.us/
States of interest to pursue a Non-res Permit from:
I included Utah and Florida, even though they have physical training requirement and a little higher cost they are also recognized by the most states.
EDIT: Apparently, PA requires that you have a license from your home state before they will issue a non-res permit. This could still be of use for those in states that do not have much reciprocity with other states. But with all things being equal, if you do not have a home state permit for aforementioned reasons, Virginia is probably your better bet. Plus, since 3/31/11 Pennsylvania will not issue a LTCF by mail, it must be picked up in person.
As for Virginia, the finger printing is only required of non-residents and not of Virginians themselves.