Sheriffs' offices all across the state are shuttering their lobbies as Nevada engages in social distancing. This closes fingerprint and record bureaus, leaving those who are trying to apply for a CCW in the lurch. Also, business closures and social distancing means that CCW classes are being cancelled by trainers and ranges.
So for many people, they will be unable to carry legally outside the house. Why is this so when open carry is legal in Nevada?
Most people prefer to carry concealed for a variety of reasons. The most common is that they are not comfortable exposing to the world that they are armed or that they prefer to appear like a harmless target; the "gray man." Whatever the reason, concealed carry has been the preference for carrying a pistol since the early 1800s. Requiring permits to simply keep a gun out of sight is wrong and unconstitutional.
The earliest concealed carry bans came from a desire to stop dueling or fights caused by honor violence. Like two gang members in a bar who start a shootout because one person gave the other guy a dirty look, disputed quickly escalated into violence during the 1800s. Culture at the time in places across the country, like the West and the South, tacitly approved of this kind of thing.
Reformers sought to ban concealed carry because men would reach into their pockets to draw weapons. If this was banned, people might stop carrying. And if all guns had to be carried openly, then no one could surprise the other that they were armed. No matter what the law, it seems that people still carried concealed up until many states issued permits for concealed carry, most going shall-issue in the last 20 years.
Our concealed carry laws are based on premises of gun control trying to control crime over 150 years ago. These laws have failed totally and only exist today as government control on armed citizens. Concealed carry laws (or permits required altogether) make it easy for police to arrest bad guys with guns.
These laws affect the average citizen who just wants to protect themselves. Like the people in California and across the country who just found out that you can't order a gun online, many people are getting the rude awakening that concealed carry involves a variety of hoops. Now those hoops are on fire.
A woman can't carry a gun in her purse without a permit (not saying that's a good idea). A man can't put on a jacket unless he's careful to tuck it behind his gun so that he's still openly carrying. The people who aren't comfortable broadcasting to the world that they're packing heat won't carry at all because they won't do it openly.
That last group is the main reason that concealed carry bans need to be abolished. Telling people to open carry has always had the effect of deterring many from carrying. It's a false choice and wrong of the government to do.
Even if the permit process was less odious or setting aside the constitutional questions, the training and permit process is now an insurmountable obstacle to getting a permit. Sheriff's offices are not taking applications or have closed their fingerprint bureaus. Who knows if there will be enough staff to keep up vital operations, let alone run the background checks to issue permits? Trainers can't get people together in classes or people to gun ranges.
What the coronavirus is telling us about guns is that the system the government has put in place fails miserably in an emergency. From the Brady background check on gun sales to the CCW permit process, people are effectively having the Second Amendment rights denied. This is a rude awakening, but hopefully it will lead them to support removing the obstacles that stand in their way in the future.
Clayton E. Cramer
Gun Free Zone
The War on Guns
The View From Out West