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Old November 17, 2009, 12:19 PM   #1
omega
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"SHALL" vs. "MAY" States

Concealed carry laws vary from State to State, the most fundamental difference being the State's lawful obligation to issue the CCW permit to the citizen.

Presuming the applicant is a 'good citizen' in all respects (not a felon, drug addict, etc.) some States SHALL issue a CCW permit, while other States MAY issue the permit, depending upon other criteria. California, for instance, is a very politically progressive state, and it MAY issue a permit to an otherwise qualified applicant if the person is literally on the County Sheriff's 'list' of good guys. In Maryland, the State MAY issue a permit if the applicant meets other specific criteria, including a documented and demonstrable need to be armed. Otherwise, forget about it.

On the other hand, Florida (a politically conservative State) law reads that the State SHALL issue a CCW permit to any applicant that is not the obvious felon, drug user or wife beater. Period.

The Florida citizenry, as a result, is fairly well armed. And any bad guy can pretty well rest assured that the little old lady on her way to the doctor - carrying that fat, lucrative hand bag - is not necessarily unarmed. As a side bar and beyond the scope of this thread, Florida gun laws go a step further in defining a person's private space, in that it applies to a person's 'zone of protection' so to speak in public. A person has no obligation to first retreat before using deadly force in incidences of confrontation and assault. Anywhere, at home or down town.

However, without this thread turning into a discourse of ideological conflict, has any member run into difficulties in securing CCW permits in a MAY State? Have you ever been denied a permit unjustly?... or experienced unnecessary hassles in applying for or obtaining a CCW permit?... in a State that MAY or may not be obligated to follow the clear intent of the Second Amendment?
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Old November 17, 2009, 01:08 PM   #2
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...has any member run into difficulties in securing CCW permits in a MAY State? Have you ever been denied a permit unjustly?... or experienced unnecessary hassles in applying for or obtaining a CCW permit?... in a State that MAY or may not be obligated to follow the clear intent of the Second Amendment?

It happens all the time in certain areas of NY state. Most of upstate NY is fairly gun friendly and the issuance of a permit, while technically MAY issue, is all but SHALL issue. There are places however, like Tompkins county which contains the city of Ithaca, often referred to as "The San Francisco of the East", where permits are routinely denied. While I don't personally know anyone who has been denied a carry permit in Tompkins county I do know several people who don't even bother to apply because of all the stories and I've never known a single person in that county who has a permit to carry.

On the issue of "difficulties", well, I guess it depends on what you consider to be difficult. I was required to take an 8 hour class that cost $225 IIRC and contained about 10 minutes of information that was not covered in any hunters safety course and then required to write a letter to the judge explaining my need for a carry permit and also pay $115 to apply for the permit, this is in Broome county.

Neighboring Cortland county, on the other hand, issues carry permits like a clown giving lollipops to children. I've even heard (not proven to me) that the judge actually issues ONLY carry permits and if they apply for any other type he will still issue carry. I don't know if that's true or not but I do know that I've never heard of a single qualified person getting anything besides a carry permit in Cortland county.
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Old November 17, 2009, 01:10 PM   #3
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However, without this thread turning into a discourse of ideological conflict, has any member run into difficulties in securing CCW permits in a MAY State? Have you ever been denied a permit unjustly?... or experienced unnecessary hassles in applying for or obtaining a CCW permit?... in a State that MAY or may not be obligated to follow the clear intent of the Second Amendment?
Yup. Maryland is a "may issue" state. I was never able to get a permit.

So are New York and California, but some areas will not issue to any but the most well-heeled and well-connected.

Another term for "may issue" is "discretionary." Even if an applicant meets all the criteria, eventually the decision is up to the "discretion" of a sheriff or judge, who may decide for any reason that he doesn't want you having one.
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Old November 17, 2009, 03:23 PM   #4
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I posted this article about California last year.

http://www.newsreview.com/chico/content?oid=45026

Even there it's possible for a mook of the street to get a CCW. Of course it varies from county to county but it isn't an impossibility.
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Old November 17, 2009, 03:53 PM   #5
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Of course it varies from county to county but it isn't an impossibility.
It is impossible if you live in the wrong county. In other counties (Shasta springs to mind), it's practically shall-issue.

If you get a new sheriff in a permissive county, he can decide to make the process ridiculously hard, if not impossible.

In an actual shall-issue state, the government must issue the permit if you meet the criteria. There's no element of "discretion," or some guy looking at your application who flips a coin and says, "nah."
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Old November 17, 2009, 05:32 PM   #6
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It seems as though the discretionary issue states are more likely to have "practically shall issue" counties if they are geographically larger. In larger states like New York and California, it seems it's typically easier to get a CCL the farther away from the large metro areas like NYC, San Francisco, or Los Angeles you are. In the smaller discretionary states like Massechussetts or Maryland, however, it seems that it's difficult to get a CCL throughout the state probably because you can't get too far from the big metro areas like Boston, Baltimore, or DC without leaving the state.
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Old November 17, 2009, 06:02 PM   #7
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In larger states like New York and California, it seems it's typically easier to get a CCL the farther away from the large metro areas like NYC, San Francisco, or Los Angeles you are.
Perhaps true, but that doesn't help people who live in those urban areas. I'd also argue that those living in such areas need CCW more urgently.

Regardless, the underlying problems of "may issue" are still there. It's a bad system that needs changing.
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Old November 17, 2009, 06:59 PM   #8
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In larger states like New York and California, it seems it's typically easier to get a CCL the farther away from the large metro areas
That's certainly true in NY. In fact, geographically speaking, I would say that 90% of the state is practically "Shall Issue". Unfortunately, as Tom points out, from a population perspective a great majority of people are left with no chance of obtaining a carry permit.

NY City is roughly half of the states entire population. It is also difficult or impossible to get carry permits in most other major cities including Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester.
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Old November 17, 2009, 07:00 PM   #9
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Although California as a whole makes it difficult to obtain a ccw, because we are a 'May Issue" state,we are however not with out.Depending on where you live (as for me Fresno)it has become a bit more easier to get one.I believe it to be true in a few more towns here in the valley.

The "May issue" problem will continue to exist until the people of those states
like California stand up and fight for their rights.But having a governor like we have,signing stupid laws does not help.
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Old November 17, 2009, 07:52 PM   #10
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Question for those from "may issue" states like NY and CA. If they issue you a CCW in your county can you then carry in all the "other" counties? Or can you only carry in your county?
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Old November 17, 2009, 08:37 PM   #11
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Question for those from "may issue" states like NY and CA. If they issue you a CCW in your county can you then carry in all the "other" counties? Or can you only carry in your county?
CCW reciprocity is a state-to-state issue, not specific to local jurisdiction. Here is a more detailed explanation of laws and reciprocity, nationwide. Surf until you find what you need.

http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/Federal/Read.aspx?id=59

:EDIT: sorry, this tag is more specific to CCW reciprocity

http://www.nraila.org/Issues/FactSheets/Read.aspx?ID=18
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Last edited by omega; November 17, 2009 at 09:20 PM.
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Old November 17, 2009, 08:49 PM   #12
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I would think that a politically "progressive" state would issue permits liberally. And you know what I mean by "liberally". If I said I was a "liberal" on gun issues, everyone would take it the wrong way and hate me, but there is no misunderstanding here.
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Old November 17, 2009, 09:16 PM   #13
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Question for those from "may issue" states like NY and CA. If they issue you a CCW in your county can you then carry in all the "other" counties? Or can you only carry in your county?
Technically, the way it works in NY is that the permits are carry by default and are "restricted" to make them non-carry. It is up to the issuing county judge to decide just exactly what sorts of restrictions are placed on the permit. Sometimes you will hear NYer's referring to an "unrestricted" permit, which is the same as saying that it's a carry permit.

Anyway, to answer the question, yes, a permit is issued by a county judge but it is a state permit. It is valid, and all it's restrictions apply, in the entire state. The exception being NY city, where no permits from the rest of the state are honored. So, you're either allowed to carry everywhere except "the city" or you are allowed to carry no where.

That is another reason why selective issue is so non-sensical. You could apply for a permit in one county and be denied, or get a restricted permit, and LITERALLY move 500 feet up the road into another county and immediately be issued an unrestricted permit which allows you to carry in the county that denied you a permit. Additionally, there is significant incentive for people to lie about their county of residence so that they can get a permit issued in a nearby county that is more gun friendly.
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Old November 17, 2009, 09:23 PM   #14
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I live in a shall issue state, but it's a state that doesn't recognize CHL's from any other state. People from other states are able to apply for an Oregon CHL, but in these cases from what I've read, it becomes "may issue," and so it is up to the applicant to provide compelling reasons as to why they need a CHL in this state. I know a guy who lives in Washington, but works in Oregon, has his Washington CHL but was denied for an Oregon CHL. He's pretty displeased that working in Oregon, and thus spending most days of the week here, wasn't compelling enough a reason.
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Old November 17, 2009, 09:28 PM   #15
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He's pretty displeased that working in Oregon, and thus spending most days of the week here, wasn't compelling enough a reason.
Usually you have to show a specific danger, such as being a business owner that carries large amounts of cash. In other words, you have to be in "more danger" than a "regular" person. I can't imagine that most judges, especially in relatively anti-gun areas, are going to consider the simple fact that you spend time in the state, no matter how much time, to put you in any specific danger.

Not saying I agree AT ALL, just saying.
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Old November 18, 2009, 12:09 AM   #16
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I can carry in any place it is legal to any where in California.
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Old November 18, 2009, 12:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
In larger states like New York and California, it seems it's typically easier to get a CCL the farther away from the large metro areas like NYC, San Francisco, or Los Angeles you are.

Perhaps true, but that doesn't help people who live in those urban areas. I'd also argue that those living in such areas need CCW more urgently.

Regardless, the underlying problems of "may issue" are still there. It's a bad system that needs changing.
I agree, I was simply making an observation about the current state of affairs.
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Old November 18, 2009, 12:50 AM   #18
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"May" issue is worse than "no" issue.
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Old November 18, 2009, 02:01 AM   #19
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Usually you have to show a specific danger, such as being a business owner that carries large amounts of cash. In other words, you have to be in "more danger" than a "regular" person. I can't imagine that most judges, especially in relatively anti-gun areas, are going to consider the simple fact that you spend time in the state, no matter how much time, to put you in any specific danger.

Not saying I agree AT ALL, just saying.
That's probably true, but I think it also depends on the county. I never asked about the specifics, but I would guess because he works in Portland, he applied for his Oregon CHL in the same county he works in. Portland is probably one of the more anti-gun places in an otherwise relatively gun-friendly state (despite what you hear about the "left coast.") Odds are, he would have had better luck one county either to the east or west.
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Old November 18, 2009, 12:22 PM   #20
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I would think that a politically "progressive" state would issue permits liberally. And you know what I mean by "liberally". If I said I was a "liberal" on gun issues, everyone would take it the wrong way and hate me, but there is no misunderstanding here.
As always, this is an urban versus rural thing. Big cities mean plenty of people who are afraid of guns, and that's where the political power tends to congregate in those states. On the flip side, take a look at Vermont, which is politically progressive and has the most liberal gun laws in the US. You don't even need a permit to carry concealed there.
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Old November 18, 2009, 01:57 PM   #21
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"May" issue is worse than "no" issue.
Not really, as it can easily become "no issue" based on the discretion of one person.
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Old November 18, 2009, 05:42 PM   #22
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Los Angeles Country is nearly impossible to get a permit in unless you have poltical connections, a lot of money or a job requiring such carry. I have had a TX permit for 9 years but I cannot have one in CA because I don't meet any of the above criteria.

The key is your "just cause". Money to help elect the sheriff is one, high community profile another. Sort the carry permits by zip code (sobebody did a few years ago) and such crime-ridden slums as Beverly Hills have quite a few permits, while there is no one in South LA or Compton who is at risk or to be trusted to carry. Of course, I am being sarcastic.

The orignial gun control measures in Los Angeles and area were designed to keep minorities and the less than wealthy disarmed, and functionally the law as applied succeeds currently in this aim when it comes to the law-abiding. The gang bangers of course don't care a bit.

In some of the rural counties it definitely is shall-issue.
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Old November 18, 2009, 09:27 PM   #23
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Isn't it just crazy, it is legal in one county and one inch further in distance into another country you become a criminal? Same person, same weapon....Insane!
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Old November 18, 2009, 09:35 PM   #24
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Isn't it just crazy, it is legal in one county and one inch further in distance into another country you become a criminal? Same person, same weapon....Insane!

I don't know of many places that work quite like that. If you've got a permit it's more or less legal in the whole state, except for places like NY city that don't honor any permits from the rest of the state.

However, it is pretty stupid that you can get a permit by moving to another county that's just a few feet up the road.

You know what else is stupid? There are sections of NY that allow rifle hunting for deer and sections that don't. It's generally along county lines. Just about 5 miles from me is one of the lines. You could literally step back and forth over the line and be legal... illegal.... legal.... illegal... back and forth. Now THAT'S stupid.
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Old November 18, 2009, 10:02 PM   #25
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Is Florida unique in that we go through the State division of licensing to get our permits and the local Counties/Sheriffs/Chiefs/Judges have no say in the matter? It seems that in the NE, it's up to the local jurisdiction (be it City or County) as to if they issue the permit or not. How does that apply if you (for example) get a permit in one county in NY and then travel to another county? Is the permit still valid or do you stop being legal when you leave the jurisdiction where it was issued?

Here (FL) you get the required training, fill out the forms, mail them with a check to the fellows in Tallahassee and wait. I complain about FL sometimes, but reading what some of the other states go through, I think I'll stay right here.
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