The laws regarding the carrying of concealed, loaded weapons in public is a highly debated issue. Also known as CCW, the term refers to the legal authority for someone to publicly carry a handgun or other weapon in a concealed manner. By definition, this could mean directly on one’s person or within close proximity. Throughout history, the idea of carrying an unconcealed rifle or pistol versus the modern-day concealed weapon has changed drastically with the times and the norms within society. One issue that lives on the fringe of this discussion is whether veterans have earned this right automatically. Regardless of who applies for a firearm purchase, there are still background checks and training that need to be achieved before discussion surrounding CCW permits can even be addressed.
For some veterans, a VA concealed carry permit is a badge of honor displaying service for their country and proof that they should be trusted to keep a handgun or similar weapon in their possession wherever they see fit. For the most part, the United States seems to agree. Each state has its own laws regarding this practice, which each one abiding by certain boundaries, but nevertheless all agreeing to CCW as a general practice. Thirty-five states require a state-issued permit in order to carry a concealed revolver or similar weapon in-state or elsewhere. The other 15 allow individuals to carry concealed weapons in public without a permit, as long as they don’t cross state borders. 14 of these states still issue CCW permits if individuals wish to be exempt from federal background checks when purchasing a firearm, or so that they may carry outside of the state.
A 2018 bill passed in the senate was geared towards helping our veterans by waiving the filing fees for registration for all active-duty military, reserve members, and honorably discharged veterans. In addition, it has been declared that current and former military members don’t have to spend the extensive time and costs involved to complete the many hours of firearm training that is mandatory in order to obtain the CCW license. There are people on both sides of this issue, with previously retired or discharged military members saying that a refresher course would actually be a welcome service.