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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Virginia Concealed Carry Permits Increase by 50%

It's not very often that you can glean good news from an article that is intended to slam gun rights but that is exactly what happened with this Roanoke Times op/ed by Christian Trejbal. Since July 1, a columnist for the Times named Dan Casey has been detailing how he was able to qualify for a Conealed Handgun Permit (CHP) without touching a firearm. Casey's story was not a pro-rights angle. His was the "I can't believe Virginia does this" angle.

It all started when Senator Ken Cuccinelli's bill (SB1528), making it clear that online or electronically delivered safety training met the safety training requirement to qualify for a CHP, became law on July 1 of this year. Casey wrote a column in the Times that talked about how easy his online course was and that Virginians could now get a CHP without even touching a firearm. The truth is you never had to have touched a firearm. The course I took was a classroom course. Virginia law does not require range time to get a permit. It only requires a basic safety course and even a hunter safety course qualifies.

Casey followed up his July article with another one on August 30, letting people know he had received his permit and once again expressing horror in a snarky fashion that Virginia allowed him to do so without having touched a firearm.

Trejbal followed up with a column of his own that talked about the increase in Virginians now holding a CHP - in fact - 203,132 Virginians now have concealed carry permits. According to Trejbal via the State Police:

That is a 50 percent jump since January 2007, when only 135,789 people had them. The number of permits tends to increase over time, but this sort of growth is astonishing.

The uptick began in the second half of 2008 and took off in 2009, according to Virginia State Police records.

Already this year, the number of valid permits has grown by 18 percent, outstripping growth in all of last year and on pace to more than double the 2007 growth rate.

Anyone who has followed Trejbal's writing's in the Roanoke Times knows that he is no fan of gun owners. He is the one responsible for the publication of the names of all 135,000 permit holders on the Times web site in 2007 for a brief amount of time.

He repeats the new anti-rights talking point that concealed carry permit holders around the nation killed seven law enforcement officers and 54 private citizens in the last two years. Minneapolis Gun Rights Examiner John Pierce has debunked that myth.

Even Trejbal admits that few of those new people getting permits are like Casey and getting permits with little training or to prove a point. Casey and Trejbal may deplore the ease with which Virginian's can get a CHP, but clearly, more people are learning that it is their responsibility to protect their families so anything we can do to streamline that process is good for law abiding citizens.

I will be discussing this further tonight with Cam Edwards on NRANews.com and Sirius Patriot 144.

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