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Old January 17, 2010, 10:05 PM   #1
Dodge DeBoulet
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"Benefits" of Having a CFP

(Also posted on THR . . . sorry if you've seen this before)

I have a few handguns . . . 3 to be exact. Two Smith & Wesson M&P .40's; one's a full-size, the other a compact. The third is a Desert Eagle Mark VII .44 mag I bought from my brother-in-law in a moment of weakness (sure is fun to shoot, though).

Leaving the self-defense issue aside for now, my main purpose for getting the guns was to have fun. I like to shoot, I shoot a lot (somewhere between 2K-3K rounds since the end of October 2009), and I've discovered the joy and economy of reloading.

For no reason other than hearing that it was "a good thing to have," I took a firearm safety course and applied for a Maine resident CFP. I wasn't exactly sure what benefits it provided, and now that I actually have the permit, I'm still not really sure. The pamphlet issued by the State of Maine was not very helpful in defining what having this permit actually means.

I know I can now carry a loaded firearm on my person, concealed (obviously). I also understand that there are certain places where I'm not allowed to carry it at all.

I think it means I can transport my guns in my car, concealed, loaded and accessible to me. Although I can't find anything on-line that tells me what restrictions were in place before I got the permit, I think I was required to somehow keep my guns stored somewhere inaccessible to me and any passengers . . . difficult when your daily drive is a pickup truck with an open bed. I believe the guns were also to be kept unloaded, and ammo stored separately (again, can't find anything that clearly states this though).

I know that the rules of engagement for a routine traffic stop are now somewhat changed due to the fact that the officer will be forewarned that I am authorized to have a gun accessible to me in my vehicle. The thing is, I probably won't be carrying most of the time, and I will likely only have my guns with me in the truck when I'm headed to/from the range (or relatives in the country where I can shoot).

And the last thing I know (or maybe a better word is "suspect") is that the permit may make it more difficult to take my guns away from me if our government decides to revise the Bill of Rights.

But I haven't found anything that clearly identifies what it is I can do now that I couldn't do before. And while I suspect the rules vary from state to state, I'm sure there are some things that are pretty universal across the US in states that allow concealed carry.

The Handgunlaw.us web site would seem to be the logical place to find definitive answers but it seems to be a bit out of date. Some of the links on the Maine page are broken, and there's not much detail.

I think I've done the sensible (and ultimately convenient) thing by taking the safety training and obtaining the permit. The extra margin of personal safety afforded by being armed notwithstanding, what "conveniences" does my $35 get me? Or have I already figured out everything there is to figure out?

Last edited by Dodge DeBoulet; January 17, 2010 at 10:12 PM.
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Old January 17, 2010, 10:21 PM   #2
Micropterus
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In my state of Virginia, a CHP gives me many more carry options. It also allows me to carry a loaded firearm on National Forest, State Forest and Wildlife Management Areas outside of regular hunting seasons. It allows me to carry a pistol or rifle with a >20 round magazine in my city (not that I do this much). It allows me to have a gun in my car on school property. It exempts me from some of the restrictions associated with the national Gun Free School Zone Act of 1995. In short, a CHP opens some door closed to non-CHP holders, and not just carrying concealed.
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Old January 18, 2010, 02:55 AM   #3
1911 Jim
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Depending on your permit and the states around you (reciprocity), it also allows you to carry a loaded weapon across state lines.

One of many reasons I got mine was that it allows me to be armed while traveling - often with sizable amounts of cash used for purchasing equipment and materials for my business. In the event my rental trailer (since I don't own one - it's always a rental) has issues, I'm prepared to defend myself against highway bandits till a tow or road service arrives.
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Old January 18, 2010, 11:37 AM   #4
45Gunner
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This is taken from a State of Maine Web Site. Hope it helps.



Carrying
It is unlawful to carry any firearm concealed about the person without having a concealed carrying permit. This includes carrying in an automobile glove compartment, or other area where the firearm is under the person^s control. It is not unlawful to carry a firearm openly.
It is unlawful for a person, while in or on a motor vehicle or in or on a trailer or other type of vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle, to have a firearm with a cartridge or shell in the chamber or in an attached magazine, clip or cylinder or a muzzle-loading firearm charged with powder, lead and a primed ignition device or mechanism, except for a law enforcement official in the line of duty.

A person who has a valid Maine permit to carry a concealed weapon may have in or on a motor vehicle or trailer a loaded pistol or revolver covered by that permit.

The issuing authority for a permit to carry a concealed weapon is the mayor and municipal officers or councilors of a city, the municipal officers or councilors of a town, or the assessors of a plantation or, if they so choose, their full-time chief of police; or the chief of the state police in case of a resident of unorganized territory or a nonresident.

The applicant must be 18 years of age or older, not prohibited from possessing a firearm under state law, and be of good moral character. In judging good moral character the issuing authority shall make its determination based upon evidence recorded by governmental entities within the last 5 years.

Matters considered include, but are not limited to:

•Recorded incidents of family abuse by the applicant.

•Three or more convictions of the applicant for crimes punishable by less than one year.

•Iimprisonment or one or more adjudications of the applicant for juvenile offenses involving conduct that, if committed by an adult, is punishable by less than one year imprisonment.

•Information that the applicant has engaged in reckless or negligent conduct.

•Information that the applicant has been convicted of or adjudicated as having committed drug violations whether as an adult or juvenile.
A person may apply to the Commissioner of Public Safety for a permit to carry a firearm after five years from the date that the person is finally discharged from all sentences. A court may overturn arbitrary, capricious or discriminatory denials.

In applying for a concealed carry permit, the applicant must provide name; personal information; physical description; address(es) for the last five years; and history of any issuances, refusals or revocation of any carry licenses. The applicant may be required to provide a photograph, give fingerprints or allow access to mental health records.
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Old January 18, 2010, 01:02 PM   #5
The Great Mahoo
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I always recommend that anyone who owns a handgun get a carry permit. Not only does it lend to the pro-gun political numbers, it goes a long way to protect oneself from legal mishaps. Anyone who uses a gun will have a record of being a responsible citizen by simply registering the fact they have a gun intended for defense, rather than some gun picked up somewhere along the way.


More to the point though, it greatly expands ones options and freedoms, especially here in PA. Here, open carry is legal w/o a permit, but you need one for concealed carry. One thing people don't know, though, is that it is illegal to enter a vehicle w/ a gun and no permit, as it is considered concealed while in the vehicle. Actually, the only way one can transport a fire arm at all w/o a permit is to/from a range/shop and home, during which time the gun must be secured, unloaded and out of reach of the driver. Doesn't do much good if you can't use it, so just get the permit! Atleast its nice and easy here.
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Old January 18, 2010, 01:25 PM   #6
Dodge DeBoulet
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The Great Mahoo, in Maine it appears to be legal to open-carry firearms anywhere they're not otherwise restricted, but when in a car they must not be accessible to anyone in the passenger compartment. The exemption is for CFP holders, but only where no other prohibitions exist. So without a CFP, I can transport my firearms to a friend's or relative's house, as long as I keep them in the trunk, unloaded.

I have a pickup truck, though, and don't want to leave the guns in the bed. Or buy a cap . . . the CFP was a lot cheaper
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Old January 18, 2010, 01:29 PM   #7
The Great Mahoo
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Dodge DeBoulet, I only meant to outline what its like here in PA. I am quite ignorant of gun laws in most other states.

But, yeah, a permit is just must more practical.
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Old January 20, 2010, 09:14 AM   #8
JasonG
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Slightly off topic :
Some states define the area behind a pickups seat as a "trunk" allowing say a rifle to be stored out of the weather instead of in the bed. They used to make seat covers with built in scabbards for this reason.
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Old January 20, 2010, 02:17 PM   #9
Dodge DeBoulet
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Now that I have a CFP, it's probably no longer relevant (at least to me). But if that's true in Maine, I could've carried an awful lot of guns 'n ammo in my extended cab without getting into trouble, back before I got the permit
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