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Old July 28, 2009, 09:14 PM   #1
MJAtl
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Thoughts on Training Requirements for concealed carry

Wanted to know the community's thoughts on state requirements for training to obtain a firearms license/CCW/CCP?

Coming from a state without the requirement I appreciate the ease of the process for obtaining a permit - basically if you have a clean record you qualify. Now, the drawback is that South Carolina won't accept a GA permit due to the lack of training and given that my father lives there I visit often. I don't qualify for a SC non-resident permit as I am not a property owner there.

Thoughts on training requirements?
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Old July 28, 2009, 10:20 PM   #2
rwilson452
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Required training should be zero, none, nada. Suggested training should be all you can afford.
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Old July 28, 2009, 10:36 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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None. I would suggest that a copy of the relevent laws be dispensed when a person makes a purchase. That would be all the training you need.
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Old July 28, 2009, 10:41 PM   #4
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Tennessee has a training course requirement. Mississippi does not. I elected to take a couple of courses (at a Memphis range) because I did not have a lot of pistol experience (except for carrying one sometimes during 14 months in Vietnam 40+ years ago) and wanted to increase my personal comfort level with one before going concealed carry. Intellectually, I'm in agreement with rwilson452 but sometimes it even scares me to see how some Bozos handle their "carry" pieces.
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Old July 29, 2009, 06:49 AM   #5
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Zero required training in my opinion however I can't argue too much with Kentucky's required training course.

The course was an 8 hour class room course followed by a simple range test. The course covered basic CCW laws in Kentucky, the legal aspects of CCW and basic gun safety.

The range test was pretty easy. Demonstrate safe handling and the ability to score 15 out of 20 at 7 yards.

All and all I found the course easy (which it should be) and informative.
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Old July 29, 2009, 07:49 AM   #6
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I can understand a hands-on proficiency test as part of the licensing process such as many states require. As far as requiring "training", it's not needed if the applicant for CCW passes the hands-on proficiency test.
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Old July 29, 2009, 10:17 AM   #7
green-grizzly
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The vast majority of encounters are resolved with mere brandishing. I don't see how training helps with that.

Police in general have a pretty awful record of putting bullets where they need to in real-life shootings. Police firearms training may not be all we would want it to be (although it certainly varies by jurisdiction), but it seems a little much that we demand citizens do even more training than that - especially considering how very unlikely it is that they will ever fire their weapon in anger.

I don't know if armed citizens are any more or less likely to shoot accurately in defensive shooting than cops, but they are less likely to shoot the wrong person. Citizens may not have the training, but they do have better information about what is going on and the victim of a crime is certainly going to beat the cops to the scene. It seems like the biggest concern with training should be making sure that shooters don't shoot the wrong person. We don't really care that much if they miss the bad guy, or just wing him - that will probably scare the bad guy off, or at least not leave the citizen in a worse position. Citizens are already pretty good at shooting the right peson, better than cops anyway, and it has nothing to do with training - it is just that they have more information about the situation and are closer to it.

Testing whether a trainee can shoot a small group at the range may have very little impact on their ability to use a firearms effectively in an encounter. Your ability to handle your weapon under pressure, coolness under fire and mindset probably have a greater impact. A lot of training can help with those things for most people, but it takes so much training - and retraining - that most people would lose the RKBA if we demanded it.

My state's "training" consists of instruction about the laws relating to firearms and self-defense, as well as basic gun safety. Basically all you need if you are never going to shoot your gun. The fact is that most of them never will, except at the range.

IMHO guns have more of a deterrent effect than anything else. Crime is reduced because criminals know people have guns and occassionally have a gun waived in their face. The number of criminals who are deterred by guns in this way is vastly greater than the number who are actually shot.

I have relatives who are cops and none of them have ever shot anybody. They have received a lot of training about how to put bullets on targets under stress, but they have never had to use it. That does not mean that their guns have been totally worthless in their jobs though. The guns were a deterrent, and a very successful one.
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Old July 29, 2009, 10:21 AM   #8
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Sometimes I'm so damn UNDECIDED that it's downright embarrassing. This is one of those times.

On one hand, I'm a free man, 100% law abiding and I can't stand the idea of any governmental entity mucking up the free will of good people. (and tacking on their FEES and red tape, too) On that thought, I believe concealed carry should follow the Vermont and Alaska model. Not only no training, but no licensing either.

On the other hand, I've been to my share of gun shows and some public ranges, too. And while the "norm" is thoughtful, mature, and careful adults... it's not the entire picture of reality.

There's some real live morons out there handling firearms. YouTube will show you hundreds of them if you have an hour to waste watching them. And easy to find because each idiot video links directly to the next one.

It's not even that I fear one of these guys shooting his left testicle off and hitting me with a ricochet...
It's simply that the next Billybob (or NFL player) that puts a slug in to his thigh is going to get covered by every major and minor media outlet and spread the idea that you or I shouldn't be allowed to carry a Glock.

I know how the masses and the media work and I don't like it, so a little training is something I can handle no matter how much I distaste the idea of being forced into it. (my ccw class was so basic, I could have slept through it)

In my concealed carry course I didn't personally witness any handling that made me pucker, but MANY of the questions that were posed by the group made me GLAD that there was some training going on. And like many of us active here at TFL, I could likely have helped a WHOLE LOT of people in the class on the intricacies of shooting, handling, cleaning and choosing firearms.

The other "side benefit" of being in a training state is that a lot of good people are making a living spreading the knowledge of gun handling, even if citizens are forced to take and pay for that training. The net result is more training (basic although it is) and even ADVERTISING for training, which puts more and more "guns, handguns and firearms in the hands of normal people" out in to the face of society that may or may not realize that this is normal activity for good people and not tools for mayhem used only by bad guys.

That benefit can't be easily discounted!
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Old July 29, 2009, 12:07 PM   #9
Frank Ettin
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I have no trouble with a State requiring that someone wishing to lawfully carry a loaded firearm in public, where I, a loved one or a friend of mine might be his backstop if he needs to use it, demonstrate basic competence with his gun and a knowledge of applicable law relating to the use of lethal force. I see too much abysmal marksmanship and atrocious gun handling, and run into too many gun owners seriously ignorant of the law of self defense.

I also think that most state training requirements are too lax.

Yes, I know all the arguments about the 2nd Amendment not saying anything about training and everyone having a God given right to self defense. But I also don't think that the 2nd Amendment was intended to be a license, nor is there a God given right, to endanger the innocent. And until a court says so, training requirements aren't unconstitutional.

What you might do on your property is one thing, but if you're going to carry a loaded gun in public you owe it to the rest of us to know what you are doing and to be more competent than a lot of the folks I see at ranges.

FWIW, I have a fair amount of training myself and have had no trouble qualifying for Arizona and Nevada permits.

In any case, I agree with Jeff Cooper when he said, "It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully."
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Old July 29, 2009, 12:20 PM   #10
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Yes, I know all the arguments about the 2nd Amendment not saying anything about training and everyone having a God given right to self defense. But I also don't think that the 2nd Amendment was intended to be a license, nor is there a God given right, to endanger the innocent. And until a court says so, training requirements aren't unconstitutional.
First:
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The courts don't "make" something unconstitutional. They RECOGNIZE that it is in fact unconstitutional.

Slavery is a good example. The court held for a long time that slavery was not unconstitutional. Does that mean that it wasn't?

[/soapbox]



Back the point of the thread:

There is not and has not ever been a problem with armed citizens killing other innocents during defensive situations. Could there be? Yes, there could be, but it's not like it's a new idea and we're thinking "Oh man, this could be bad." People have been carrying weapons for SD for literally centuries and it's not been any problem to the unsuspecting public.

Why make a law for a "potential" threat when the "potential" has long been possible and has never reared it's ugly head?
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Old July 29, 2009, 12:34 PM   #11
johnwilliamson062
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What about people who already have extensive training but not the specific class the state wants? Maybe you worked in some private security firm like Blackwater and are way over qualified concerning state standards, but they require the state course. What a load of BS. What if you have such a person willing to give you one on one instruction once a week for an hour? Not good enough b/c it doesn't meet the state requirements.

I was looking at someones CCW piece last week and when we locked the slide back there were dust bunnies in there. I was appalled. They weren't even black from carbon build up or anything.. He obviously never shoots or cleans it. Terribly irresponsible, but it was the first time he noted it and I gave him a little crap in a polite way and I think he at least cleaned the thing afterwords.

No state mandated training.
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Old July 29, 2009, 01:09 PM   #12
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No state mandated instruction!!!!!

However, it would be irresponsible IMHO to not have some formal instruction. I think it would be a positive in a SD shooting aftermath to have had some kind of training
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Old July 29, 2009, 01:51 PM   #13
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I don't have a problem with there being some sort of testing requirement. There are a lot of idiots out there, and I'd like to know that there's some sort of basic coverage of the law, safety and maintenance.

When I worked for the license bureau, I saw some people that managed to fail the written portion of the test. And I'm glad they did, because a lot of them seemed barely smart enough to tie their own shoes. Or they berated the testing officer for having a test that "wasn't fair".
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Old July 29, 2009, 02:25 PM   #14
Glenn E. Meyer
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Just recently - SWAT - our beloved site magazine sponsor - had an interesting article of levels of training and action. Just a reference.
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Old July 29, 2009, 02:34 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2A
A well regulated militia being necessary to the freedom of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Well regulated

versus

shall not be infringed.

Training is a form of regulating. Not in the sense of ordinances or laws or restrictions... but in the sense of "regulation" as a means of obtaining consistent, predictable results from a well tuned piece of machinery.

One might have a logical argument stating that perhaps owning arms should be unrestricted, but the wearing of them on a daily basis should require regulation.

Then, we have that whole pesky "keep and bear arms" phrase.

Keep and bear are held together, right next to "shall not be infringed."

Some days I wish that regulation was mandatory as I see complete morons, but ultimately I'm glad that "keep and bear" are right there next to "shall not be infringed."

You shouldn't have to be an Operator (©, ®, TM, all rights reserved) to carry a gun for protection.
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Old July 29, 2009, 03:28 PM   #16
Glenn E. Meyer
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While we can debate if the Constitution is absolute on the 2nd - Heller suggests it is not. Freedom of the press has limits too despite the 1st. So dead horse time.

The reasonable discussion, IMHO - is whether training restrictions have utility. We have some data that training states don't differ in gun booboo rates from nontraining states. But that might change with time - who knows.

The issue might be success in the gun fight for yourself. If you choose not to train and you get hurt - tough. Should the state mandate you become a warrior for your own good?

However, should the state mandate training to protect others from you. We do have some small number of cases of CCW types going awry. Too lazy to search but we had the intevening CHL who got drawn on by another intervening CHL who thought he was the BG recently.

We have the Pharmacist From Hell thread. Don't know if he had a permit or if it was needed for a business but maybe training would have altered his behavior.

I've been 'shot' in the inner thigh by a CHL in training who hadn't figured out the game yet and was Mr. Savior in a bar fight (which he wasn't part of).

But most CCWs don't get into trouble. If permits are shall issue, then I'm not against at least a run through of the law and common sense being mandated. Sue me for not being a purist.

I do also think if you talk the talk about intervening in rampages, etc. - then you need to walk the walk and train. Whether you should intervene or flee is another of our famous debates.
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Old July 29, 2009, 03:37 PM   #17
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Anyone who has carried a weapon every day for the duration of a military deployment should have a free ride as far as CCW is concerned (maybe throw in a state laws and regulations pamphlet to cover the legal end). If you can spend upwards of a year in a warzone with a pistol on your hip or a rifle on your shoulder without incident, Id say you have all the training you need to carry a concealed weapon in the states.
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Old July 29, 2009, 04:55 PM   #18
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I think the only part of the training that makes any sense at all is the discussion on legal use of deadly force.

I think there's a completely different way to handle it: permit applicants go on a "ride along" with an experienced cop, and they discuss it one on one. It wouldn't cost anything, it would be a couple of interesting hours, it would help cement relations between police and permitholders and in the rare case that a permit applicant was...well, nuts, in a couple of hours an experienced cop could tell.

I'd want a video/audio recording made available to the applicant to be used to challenge any such "determination". And the cop's word wouldn't be final, it would perhaps be a reason to have a shrink check.

Now remember, I proposed this in California where agencies can right now have a shrink do a check on applicants. This would strip that down to "have 'em see a shrink only if there's probable cause to do so", which would be an improvement over what they have now.

Another possibility, and I think it's one I'm going to actually propose in Arizona, is a system whereby a "graduation certificate" from a private training course IS your "CCW" permit. In other words, it's a switch to a system whereby the state doesn't know who's packing, and is OK with them packing so long as they're not a criminal (Vermont/Alaska style) and have the training certificate. If they don't have the cert, it's a "fix-it ticket" forcing them into training.

It would be better than the permit process we have now, but perhaps a bit more palatable for the more gun-shy legislators. This "Vermont with training" variant to CCW has not been tried anywhere so far, but in AZ a proposal to go "full Vermont" failed, leaving the door open to this concept next year.
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Old July 29, 2009, 05:06 PM   #19
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There have certainly recently been what appear to be stunning lapses of judgment by private citizens with guns. There was the incident with an armed pharmacist alluded to by Glenn. Then there was this little incident in Boise --
http://www.ktvb.com/news/localnews/s....4e0b1fd0.html. And this disgrace in Utah -- http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=7252008. Training is in part about judgment.

In any case, those States with training requirements are unlikely to abandon them. And the States without training requirements reduce the likelihood of nationwide recognition of CCWs, either by voluntary State action or by federal legislation. For example, the OP's Georgia permit isn't honored in South Carolina because Georgia has no training requirement. And Nevada just dropped Utah from it's list of State CCWs it honors because Utah doesn't require a demonstration of actual shooting proficiency (which is why 10 days ago I was in Reno taking the class, qualifying and applying for my non-resident CCW). Some may object, but it's still a fact of life.

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Old July 29, 2009, 05:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Training is in part about judgment.
See, I'm not so sure about that. Judgement comes from common sense, at least to a very large degree, and common sense can not be trained. The majority of people who are aware enough to discuss these issues are people who, in actual fact, don't even really need a law to tell them when or if they should be shooting someone. It's just something that we "know". Anyone who does not, for the most part, simply "know" when, where and if to use a gun is probably not going to get any better through training.

Another part of the issue is that the only "real" problem that one could attribute to CCW holders is when they rampage, like Wong in NY or the dude in ?Alabama? was it? No amount of training is going to make someone NOT go crazy. In fact, it may makes things worse if they DO go crazy.
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Old July 29, 2009, 05:42 PM   #21
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peetzakilla
...Judgement comes from common sense, at least to a very large degree, and common sense can not be trained....
Balderdash! The world is full of people stumbling through life, doing dumb things and making bad decisions, all guided by what they believe is "common sense." Training and education help people to make better decisions and avoid doing at least some dumb things.

Sometimes one's instinctive, or common sense, reaction is not the correct response. In fact, it seems that one element of training and practice is to overcome instinctive reaction and to learn to automatically do instead what is appropriate.

For example, when driving a car, one's common sense reaction in the event of a skid is to apply the brakes. We know that is the wrong thing to do; and so, if one is lucky enough to get some training in high speed driving, one learns to stay off the brake, turn into the skid and, under some circumstances, even gently apply some throttle.

I remember my first time driving a Formula Ford through Turn 8 at Laguna Seca -- a left-right downhill "S" turn. When hitting the apex of the first half of the turn, you can't see the track. My "common sense" said to back off the throttle. But of course, backing off the throttle under side loading while going downhill is a good way to lose the back end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peetzakilla
...The majority of people who are aware enough to discuss these issues are people who, in actual fact, don't even really need a law to tell them when or if they should be shooting someone. It's just something that we "know"....
Don't be silly. We've seen plenty of illustrations here, in these Forums, that many folks have some very fanciful notions, or who are looking for hard and fast rules, about when or how to use lethal force in self defense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by peetzakilla
...Anyone who doesn't, for the most part, simply "know" when, where and if to use a gun is probably not going to get any better through training....
This is also not true. Certainly in my experience, having provided basic training to many people, I've seen people go from "not knowing and not understanding" to a higher level of knowledge and understanding. People do, in fact, learn things. If you don't know and understand more now, today, than you knew and understood 5 years ago, you have not been paying attention.
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Old July 29, 2009, 06:22 PM   #22
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Training and education help people to make better decisions and avoid doing at least some dumb things.
The world is full of trained people who do stupid things every day too. Bus, ferry and train drivers sending text messages, police officers shooting themselves with their own gun, airline pilots with hundreds, even thousands, of hours training crashing planes by reacting wrongly.

So far as education, well, some of the people with the LEAST common sense that I have ever experienced have had letters after their names.


Quote:
Sometimes one's instinctive, or common sense, reaction is not the correct response.
Instinct is not synonymous with common sense. It is, in fact, quite often the opposite.


Quote:
We've seen plenty of illustrations here, in these Forums, that many folks have some very fanciful notions, or who are looking for hard and fast rules, about when or how to use lethal force in self defense.
You confuse people who ARE discussing these things with people who are aware enough to BE discussing these things.


Quote:
Certainly in my experience, having provided basic training to many people,...
What sort of "basic training"? I've seen people who have taken many hours of training that they WANTED to take, which they PAID to take and which did them no good whatsoever. How much good is 1 or 2 or even 3 "required" courses constituting at most a few hours going to do?

Quote:
If you don't know and understand more now, today, than you knew and understood 5 years ago, you have not been paying attention.
Indeed, and yet "knowing" does not directly equate to "doing". "Doing" what you know does not come from knowing more, it comes from being sensible.
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Old July 29, 2009, 06:22 PM   #23
Dragon55
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I've read many other threads that start where this one did or wind up here.

Almost always the consensus goes something like:

'Training should not be required but you'd be a dangerous fool not too.'

Well folks given that---- how can we disagree on our 'protectors' requiring some very basic training before they allow folks to walk around the grocery store with the rest of us with 3 guns hidden on their person??

We've all read the posts from members here who have a primary, a backup, and even a 'last ditch' firearm on them so it is a real possibility.

Just yesterday when it was 90+ and 90%++ humidity I saw a dude in produce wearing a long jacket something like Columbo used to wear. I really wondered about him and made sure I knew where he was until I could get my stuff and get he heck out.

Anyway.....
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Old July 29, 2009, 06:59 PM   #24
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people's opinions often express their own perspectives...and most of the participants on this forum are reasonably well-informed firearms owners.

It isn't surprising that many respondents on this forum feel that State-required training is either an onerous burden or an intrusion on personal freedoms.

The difficulty is that the greater U.S. population includes people who are literally clueless when it comes to firearms. We're talking ignorant, not merely uneducated.

As a firearms instructor, I've had students who could not figure out how to load their handgun. It was a revolver. One memorable young man got his finger stuck fast in the barrel of a handgun. Don't ask how.

These people want CCW permits.

Peetzkilla argues that since we have not historically seen reports of widespread bozonity among the civilian populace, this suggests there is no particular need for a training requirement for would-be CCW applicants.

I suspect that the truth is more that few reports of widespread bozonity among clueless firearms owners make it to the Associated Press; and that the lack of press coverage does not mean that the bozonity is not out there.

I'll certainly admit that the vast majority of those on this forum likely don't need basic firearms familiarization; and that its an intrusion on many well-informed applicants.

But my opinion is that for that small percentage of CCW applicants who would otherwise have a permit and still lack even basic familiarization with the rules of safe gun handling, having a basic training requirement makes sense and possibly prevents tragedy. I've had people walk into my class who owned and carried a gun in their purse or vehicle, that was either given to them or that they purchased and had someone else load for them, that they had never once fired nor knew anything at all about. Having met those people, I realize who the laws are aimed at.

YMMV.
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Old July 29, 2009, 07:06 PM   #25
green-grizzly
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Quote:
fiddletown said:
And this disgrace in Utah -- http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=7252008. Training is in part about judgment.
I don't know about the other incidents you mention, but the shooter in this case did not have a permit. The victim did.
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