On March 30, 2022, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed into law the “Vote Without Fear Act,” which generally makes it unlawful to openly carry a firearm at or near any polling location in Colorado during an election. Proponents argue this new law is intended to prevent voter intimidation at the polls and other locations where voters cast a ballot. Opponents argue the new law essentially requires law-abiding gun owners to forgo one constitutional right (the Second Amendment) in order to exercise another (the right to vote).
While it’s true that pepper spray, also called OC (Oleoresin Capsicum) spray, is an incredibly popular self-defense tool, it’s not the one-size-fits-all answer that many see it as. Police officers, security guards, and private citizens interested in self-defense have all utilized pepper spray effectively inside of self-defense incidents to prevent falling victim to violent crime. In fact, pepper spray is so popular and socially accepted that in most states you can find pepper spray in the checkout line of your local hardware or big box store, right alongside the other products they sell. But there’s an important question to ask: Does the popularity of pepper spray lead to people ignoring the potential issues that could come from having it or using it?
South Dakota’s SB 212 Eliminates All Fees for Concealed Carry Permits, Strengthens Second Amendment Rights
On March 18, 2022, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed SB 212 into law, eliminating all fees for concealed carry permits. Over the past few years, South Dakota has taken several steps to strengthen its residents' Second Amendment rights, including passing permitless carry, clarifying the "stand-your-ground" law, and, most recently, reducing fees for concealed carry permits to $0.
“Stand your ground,” one of the better known yet poorly understood self-defense policies, has received a lot of media and legal attention since its inception—most of which has been inaccurate or misconstrued.
Now that Governor Brian Kemp has signed the bill making permitless carry law for the state of Georgia, half the country is on board with dropping state licensing requirements to carry a gun. That’s a significant jump in a short period of time and a fantastic nod toward Second Amendment rights.
The Missouri House of Representatives recently passed new legislation that would further strengthen Missouri's Second Amendment rights. The bill, filed as HB 1462, garnered 101 Yeas and 40 Nays and would allow concealed carry permit holders to carry their guns while on publicly-funded transportation (with limited exceptions). In addition, the minimum age requirement for obtaining a Missouri concealed carry permit would be reduced from 19 years old to 18 years old. Concealed carry permit holders would also be able to carry into houses of worship. Finally, the legislation would criminalize celebratory gunfire in an effort to protect citizens from stray bullets.
The stated goal of this law is to ban untraceable firearms, or “ghost guns.” Though the Maryland House and Senate worked on simultaneous, competing bills, SB 387 won the day and passed both chambers on March 29, 2022. If signed by the Governor, it would prohibit a person from purchasing, receiving, selling, offering to sell, or transferring an unfinished frame or receiver unless federal law requires the frame or receiver to be imprinted with a serial number, and it has in fact been imprinted with a serial number.
Most gun owners know the basic process to purchase a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (“FFL”). After deciding which firearm you want to buy, an FFL will run a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”).
For first-time gun buyers interested in self-defense, the questions surrounding how to get a concealed carry permit can be one of the most confusing parts of their self-defense journey. Complicating the matter further, there’s no standardized application process between all 50 states when it comes to how to get a concealed carry permit. There are even many states where the question of how to get a concealed carry permit isn’t even one that people have to ask themselves.
If you’ve ever listened to anyone talk about gun control, you’ve probably heard the term “Red Flag law” more times than you can count. But what actually are these laws? What do they accomplish that existing regulations don’t? Most importantly, how do Red Flag laws affect law-abiding people like you?