Utah, Florida Help Non-Residents Pack Guns

Why Two States’ Permits Are Such Hot Tickets For Concealed-Carry Crowd
By Mike Stuckey
Senior news editor
msnbc.com
updated 9:17 a.m. ET, Thurs., March. 25, 2010
 
Mike Stuckey
Senior news editor

 

The one-third or so of American adults who can’t obtain permits to carry concealed weapons from their home states need only look to Florida and Utah — and their mailboxes — to legally carry hidden guns.

Because both states grant concealed-carry permits to non-residents and have reciprocal agreements with other states under which their permits are recognized, possession of a Utah or Florida permit gives non-residents the right to carry hidden firearms in as many as 32 other states — though often not the one in which they live.

Tens of thousands of gun owners have obtained the non-resident permits, and their numbers are surging.

Utah firearms expert W. Clark Aposhian: “We don’t just deny a permit based on a subjective line in the dirt where a border is.”

 

Winston Armani / KSL-TV

That has helped fuel the larger debate over concealed-carry permits. Gun-rights activists say Americans who pack heat to defend themselves are exercising a legitimate right and have helped reduce the nation’s crime rate. Gun-control advocates say that there’s no proof that gun-toting civilians make the streets any safer and that looser concealed-carry laws are a recipe for disaster.

As the debate continues, the Utah and Florida permits are becoming ever-hotter tickets for out-of-state gun owners.

“Protect your family when traveling!” shouts a headline on one of dozens of Web sites that offer training and help with the paperwork to obtain the Utah and Florida permits. “You don’t have to be a resident of Utah or Florida!”

The non-resident permits are roundly criticized by gun-control advocates, who see the states that issue them as tools of groups like the National Rifle Association.

INTERACTIVE
Going For Their Guns
See which states offer “shall issue” concealed-weapons permits; “may issue” and “no issue” states also are shown.

“I think the reason states are doing this, especially Florida, is the sheer power of the gun lobby in those state legislatures,” said Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center, which seeks a ban on private ownership of all handguns. “It’s not a question of what is in a state’s interest, but what is in the gun lobby and gun industry’s interest.”

But NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam called non-resident permits an “organic” solution to needlessly restrictive state gun laws.

“There are people in all these states that are trying to get right-to-carry permits and are not able to,” he said. “As a result, they’re forced to explore other avenues. The solution to that would be for as many states as possible to have a ‘shall-issue’ permit system,” which allows most adults to obtain concealed-carry permits on demand.

Big increases in two states
The popularity of non-resident licenses with gun owners from heavily populated states like California and New York, which do not have “shall-issue” systems, has helped fuel big increases in both Utah and Florida’s concealed-carry permit numbers. That in turn has contributed to the nation’s fivefold increase in concealed-weapons permits, from fewer than 1 million in the 1980s to an estimated 6 million today.

In Florida, the number of new and renewal applicants for concealed-carry permits from out of state increased 529 percent — from 2,703 to 17,003 — from 1999 to 2009, compared with a 145 percent increase in applications from residents of the Sunshine State over the same period.

Florida is on a pace to grant new and renewed permits to about 25,000 out-of-state residents in the current fiscal year. Of 692,621 current Florida concealed-carry license holders, 71,059, or more than one in 10, are not state residents.

Over the past 10 years, the number of concealed-carry permits issued by Utah has surged 431 percent, from 40,363 to 214,403, a figure that would represent nearly 8 percent of the state’s population. But more than half the permits now go to non-Utah residents, up from just 12 percent a decade ago. Of the 1,011 instructors authorized by Utah to teach its concealed-carry license class, 641 live out of state — 100 in California alone — while 370 are Utah residents.

Both states require applicants to undergo background checks and submit to fingerprinting. Florida requires proof of firearms training that can be satisfied in a number of ways; Utah requires applicants to take a four-hour class on gun-safety and legal issues taught by a state-certified instructor. The Florida license costs $117 and is good for seven years. Utah charges $65.25 for a five-year permit.

The time and expense are well worth it to gun owners who want to pack their pistols in as many places as they legally can. Non-resident Florida licenses are good in 30 other states and non-resident Utah licenses are honored in 29 other states. The reciprocating states largely overlap, but there are a few differences. By obtaining both, for example, a resident of Illinois, which does not grant concealed-gun licenses to civilians, could legally carry in 32 states outside of his or her own, including the neighboring states of Missouri, Indiana and Kentucky.

Gun-rights activists say states that unnecessarily restrict concealed-carry gave rise to the practice of licensing non-residents.

“It’s not Utah that has made the permit so valuable,” said W. Clark Aposhian, chairman of the state’s Concealed Weapons Review Board. “It’s other states that have made it so valuable.”

But the permit’s surge in popularity with out-of-state gun owners has given pause to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who last September expressed fears that his state could become known as a “wholesale clearinghouse” for concealed-carry licenses.

Aposhian, a firearms instructor who has taught firearms classes to Herbert and dozens of members of the Utah Legislature and helped them obtain concealed-carry permits, said Utah had some issues with “rogue instructors” in other states who were more interested in making money from the process than in providing good instruction. But he said that those issues have since been resolved and that he doesn’t expect any changes to Utah’s policy on non-resident licenses.

As to why Utah appears almost eager to help non-residents get concealed-weapons permits, Aposhian said, “I’d look at it from another way. We don’t just deny a permit based on a subjective line in the dirt where a border is. If you fit the requirements to possess a firearm legally and pass a background check on that, you’re entitled to the permit.”

When it comes to background checks, he said, “I’ll put Utah’s process up against any other state’s.” He said residents with concealed-carry licenses are checked for run-ins with the law on a daily basis. Out-of-state permit holders are checked quarterly, Aposhian said, but he expects the state to implement a daily check within 18 months.

“If we find out you’ve been convicted of drunken driving or a felony, we ask you to immediately send your permit in.”

Last year, Utah revoked 409 concealed-carry licenses, less than 0.2 percent of the total. More than half the revocations were for permit holders who had alcohol-related issues or a protective order lodged against them. Utah does not report how many revoked permits were held by non-residents.

Florida, meanwhile, revoked 643 concealed-carry permits in 2009, less than 0.1 percent of its total. Only 11 of those were held by non-residents.

Gun-rights activists say the low revocation rates are evidence that the permits are overwhelmingly given to solid, law-abiding citizens. Aposhian said if there was any evidence of a problem with Utah’s non-resident system, it would be fixed. “We have a very intelligent legislature regarding guns,” he said.

But gun-control advocates say it’s likely that non-resident permit holders aren’t checked as thoroughly or as often as they should be.

Gun-control group: ‘Bad policy’
“We think that states issuing (permits) to non-residents is bad policy,” Rand said. “It’s a way for people to get (permits) despite not being able to qualify in their own state, sometimes because of a criminal history.” For instance, some states count only criminal convictions against an applicant, while others may take arrest records into account.

She pointed to a current situation in Philadelphia, where authorities are fuming because residents who have been denied permits or had them revoked in Pennsylvania have been able to obtain Florida concealed-carry licenses that Philadelphia police are required to honor under reciprocity agreements.

The “Florida loophole,” touted at Pennsylvania gun shows by firearms trainers, exists because Florida has a lower bar for denying and revoking permits than Pennsylvania. Florida does not check to see if non-resident applicants have been denied permits by their home states, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture, which issues the concealed-carry permits.

The loophole is “a sick trick of the gun dealers in gun shows to circumvent the laws of Pennsylvania,” Philadelphia Police Lt. Lisa King, who oversees concealed-carry permits for the city, told the Philadelphia Daily News last month. Some lawmakers have vowed to close it.

But Aposhian, the Utah firearms trainer who also lobbies lawmakers on gun issues, said there’s no evidence that the soaring number of concealed weapons being legally carried across the nation causes problems, regardless of how permits are obtained. In fact, even though it would cost him business, he would like to see Utah and other states allow concealed-carry with no permits required.

 “It seems to work in Vermont and it seems to work in Alaska,” he said, pointing to two states where firearms homicide rates are lower than the national average. “We don’t have a pattern of problems. It is probably time to start it in more populous states and see how that goes.”

But gun-control groups are vehemently opposed to abandoning the permit system.

“The gun rights folks really are trying to push the envelope even further all the time,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to end Handgun Violence, which advocates rescinding all “shall issue” concealed-carry laws and letting police decide who should get a license to pack heat.

Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 9:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Police: Robbery Victim Shoots, Wounds Suspect

by NewsChannel 36 Staff

Posted on March 12, 2010 at 4:40 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C.— Police say an attempted-robbery suspect is recovering after his intended victim pulled a gun and shot him in the neck Thursday night.


The incident happened just before 10 p.m. in a common area of an apartment complex on Shamrock Drive near Eastway Drive.
Police say they located the suspect staggering through the parking lot after receiving several 911 calls about shots being fired. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Main and is expected to be ok. His name has not been released.
The shooter is one of the people who dialed 911 and is cooperating with investigators, according to police.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published in: on March 12, 2010 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Feisty Senior Fights Off Robber

From http://www.ten8.wordpress.com

Elderly Customer Comes To Aid Of Store Clerk

BOSTON — An elderly woman showed some might and came to the aid of a store clerk in the middle of a robbery, Boston TV station WCVB reported Wednesday.

The woman is seen on videotape chatting with the 7-Eleven clerk.

 A man then walked in to the store, went behind the counter and began struggling with the cashier, police said.

 The elderly customer is shown grabbing a hand-held scanner and swinging at the man, who grabbed some money and began to leave the store.

 The woman took one more swing at the man, who police identified as Michael McInnis, 34. He was arrested a short time later.

 Court records show he’s been arraigned more than 50 times — mostly for violent offenses.

 ”Certainly it is not something we recommend for anyone to do. However she displayed a little feistiness perhaps that you would have at that age upon seeing that. She is a regular customer who talks to the clerk. I think she took it a little personally,” Malden Police Department Capt. Tom Swanson said.

 The woman has not been identified. McInnis was held on $1,500 bail.

Published in: on February 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wasp Spray Better than Pepper Spray?

From www.ten8.wordpress.com

If you don’t have a gun, here’s a more humane 
way to wreck someone’s evil plans for you..

Wasp Spray

A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area  was
concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them
when they were counting the collection..  She asked the local police
department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that
she get a can of wasp spray instead.

The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is
a lot more accurate, while with the pepper 
spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The 
wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the 
hospital for an antidote.  She keeps a can on her desk in the office 
and it doesn’t attract attention from people like a can of pepper 
spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection. 
Thought this was interesting and might be of use.

On the heels of a break in and beating that left an elderly woman in
Toledo dead, self defense experts have a tip that could save 
your life.

Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at 
Sylvania Southview High School. For decades, he’s suggested putting a 
can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed.

Glinka says, “This is better than anything I can teach them.”

Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than
mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so 
if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says “spray the 
culprit in the eyes”. It’s a tip he’s given to students for 
decades.

It’s also one he wants everyone to hear. If you’re looking for
protection, Glinka says look to the spray.

“That’s going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get 
out.”

Maybe even save a life. 

Please share this with all the people in your life

Published in: on February 13, 2010 at 6:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Police: Man Attacked 2 Women in E. Charlotte

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com
Posted: Friday, Feb. 12, 2010

0412sketch01

Police are asking the public to help them find a man who they say tried to sexually assault two women in East Charlotte last week.

The attempted assaults happened near where Milton Road, Harris Boulevard and Sharon Amity Road converge in east Charlotte.

The first happened on Feb. 2 just after 10 p.m. Police say a woman was approached by the suspect, who indicated that he had a weapon and demanded her purse. When the woman handed over her purse, police say, the man tried to sexually assault her. The woman was able to get away.

The second attempt happened on Feb. 4 around 12:40 a.m. Another woman was approached by a suspect who fit the same description. The suspect indicated a weapon and told the woman he wanted her to perform sexual acts with him. When the woman refused, the two struggled with each other before the victim was able to break free and escape.

Police released a composite drawing of the suspect. They say he is a light-skinned black male, in his late teens to early 20s. He has no facial hair, and is between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-8. He was last seen wearing a dark hooded jacket.

Officers ask that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. The investigating officer can be reached at 704-353-0094.

Published in: on February 12, 2010 at 10:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Neighbors fight back after man attacks elderly woman in her own home

by DIANA RUGG / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Diana: DRugg@wcnc.com

 Posted on January 9, 2010 at 11:35 PM

 CHARLOTTE, N.C.– A man with a prison record dating back to the 1970’s has been arrested for attacking an elderly man and woman during a home invasion – and the victims say police caught the man because neighbors got to him first, and beat him up.
 
Alma Caldwell, 81, said she was familiar with the man who attacked her because he would come around sometimes asking for money.  Thursday, she said the man talked his way into Caldwell’s home when a friend answered the door.   Before she knew it, he had grabbed a kitchen knife out of her hand and was using it to threaten her.
 
“He said, ‘I got your knife now’ “– Caldwell held up her hand as if she’s holding a knife — ” ‘I’m gonna kill you.”  The sudden move startled her.  “I was scared to death!”
 
Her friend William Graham, 84, came to her rescue.  Graham had been staying with Caldwell while she was sick.   Caldwell said the man wrestled Graham to the floor and held the knife to him.
 
As the two struggled, Graham said he grabbed the blade of the knife with his left hand.   He held up his hand to show the scar across his finger.
 
“I was holding the knife to keep him from stabbing me,” said Graham. “I didn’t want to get stabbed.”   Graham’s actions allowed Caldwell time to make her move.  She jumped up from her chair — and knocked over a bike that was propped up nearby.  It wasn’t much, but it was enough to startle their attacker.     
 
“He thought I had a gun or something,” she said.
 
The man grabbed about $300 out of Graham’s pocket and ran out the door.    Caldwell said police caught up with the suspect a few hours later — after neighbors caught up with him first.
 
“They beat him up,” said Caldwell — saying her long-time neighbors were upset she and Graham were attacked in their home.
 
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police confirm they arrested Henry Ellis Gainey, 48, after they were called to a disturbance a few blocks from Caldwell’s home.  He was was being beaten by bystanders, and was taken to the hospital for treatment before he was taken to jail. 
 
Police arrested Gainey on an outstanding warrant, but charged him with burglary, robbery, and assault in connection to Caldwell and Graham’s attack.
 
Gainey has a long prison record in North Carolina, dating back to 1978.  He has spent most of the last 30 years in prison, and has been arrested two other times in Mecklenburg County in the last three years.  Jail records show he got out of jail one day before Caldwell’s home invasion.
 
Caldwell and Graham say they’re glad their alleged attacker is back behind bars, and they’re grateful for each other — and the neighbors who look out for them.
 
“We always feel safe together,” said Graham, “and help one another.”

Published in: on January 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man shoots home intruders in N. Charlotte

From the Charlotte Observer
By Ely Portillo
Posted: Monday, Dec. 14, 2009

 A man shot and injured two people trying to break into his home Monday in the Tryon Hills area, and police say they will be arrested when they are released from the hospital.

 The shooting happened shortly before 2 p.m. at a house in the 400 block of Norris Avenue.

 “The victim was relaxing on his couch when he heard his back door being broken down,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg police spokesman Officer Robert Fey said in a report.

 They two intruders fled the scene, and drove themselves to the hospital.

 Both suspects are at Carolinas Medical Center with wounds that aren’t life threatening, Fey said.

 Police haven’t said whether the victim and suspects know each other, or released the names of anyone involved.

Published in: on December 15, 2009 at 12:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Private Citizen with Concealed Handgun Carry Permit Assists in Capture of Murderer

Officer’s Helmet Hit By Bullets While Confronting Suspect

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati police were investigating an apparent murder-suicide on Sunday night in which a police officer’s helmet stopped two bullets, WLWT in Cincinnati reported.

 Officers said Kaniesha Dangerfield, 22, was found dead in a car at an apartment complex on Sunday afternoon.

 Police Chief Tom Streicher said a man who was with Dangerfield saw Leetae Williams with a gun looking for the woman. Streicher said Williams approached, demanded that Dangerfield get out of the car, and when she didn’t, Williams shot her through the car window.

 The man with Dangerfield, a concealed weapons permit holder, pulled his gun and fired one shot at Williams before his gun jammed, then ran to find help, police said.

 Police cornered Williams, 28, in an apartment later Sunday evening.

 As a SWAT unit entered the apartment, Streicher said, Williams fired two shots blindly through a curtain, both shots hitting the right side of an officer’s helmet.

 Williams then retreated to a back room, where he shot and killed himself a short time later, police said.

 The officer was not injured. He is on administrative leave, Streicher said.

 Streicher showed the helmet to reporters Monday, pointing out the impact points and saying they believe one bullet is still embedded in the helmet’s Kevlar lining.

 Police said they are trying to determine the relationship between Williams and Dangerfield.

Published in: on December 9, 2009 at 3:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Things Your Burglar won’t Tell You

THINGS YOUR BURGLAR WON’T TELL YOU:

 1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your
 carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

 I am unaware of any cases in our area tied to legitimate repair or delivery persons, but some homeowners do utilize people who approach their homes offering to do yard work. I don’t recommend hiring people “off the street”.

 2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your
 yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

Again, don’t hire random people for yard work  or gutter cleaning and don’t allow strangers into your home.

 3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste … and taste means
 there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always
 make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.

Toys left outside will also indicate that a woman likely lives in the home. A woman in the home may indicate the presence of jewelry. Secure children’s toys at night, especially bikes.

 4.. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I
 might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you
 to remove it.

 5.. If it snows while you’re out of town, get a neighbor to create car
 and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead
 giveaway. Snow isn’t much of an issue here, but un-mowed grass during the summer is a giveaway.

 6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don’t let your
 alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it’s set. That
 makes it too easy.

Thieves know, just as you do, that the little green light means the alarm isn’t activated and the red light means it is.

 7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the
 windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom-and
 your jewelry. It’s not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.

Some thieves will target the master bedroom only, knowing that there will be no motion sensor there and they will not enter the hallway outside the bedroom, because of the likelihood of encountering a sensor.

 8. It’s raining, you’re fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to
 lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don’t take a day
 off because of bad weather.

 9. I always knock first. If you answer, I’ll ask for directions somewhere
 or offer to clean your gutters. (Don’t take me up on it.) You don’t have to open the door to speak with someone.

 10. Do you really think I won’t look in your sock drawer? I always check
 dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.

 11. Here’s a helpful hint: I almost never go into kids’ rooms.

 12. You’re right: I won’t have enough time to break into that safe where
 you keep your valuables. But if it’s not bolted down, I’ll take it with
 me.

 13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm
 system.

Timers can be utilized for appliances like televisions, just as theycan be used for lamps. Consult your TV manual. It may have a timer feature built into it.

 8 MORE THINGS A BURGLAR WON’T TELL YOU:

 1. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and
 carry a rake. I do my best to never, ever look like a crook.

 2. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.

 3. I’ll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If
 your neighbor hears one loud sound, he’ll stop what he’s doing and wait
 to hear it again.  If he doesn’t hear it again, he’ll just go back to
 what he was doing. It’s human nature.

 See #2 directly above-if you hear a noise, look out your windows. Investigate. Call 911 if you see anything unusual.

 4. I’m not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy
 alarm system and leave your house without setting it?

 5. I love looking in your windows. I’m looking for signs that you’re
 home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I’d like. I’ll drive or
 walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds,
 just to pick my targets.

 Many homes can be easily viewed at night from the street due to interior lighting and a lack of window treatments. The glow of computer and television screens are particularly easy to spot.

 6. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It’s easier than
 you think to look up your address.

 7. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way
 to let in a little fresh air. To me, it’s an invitation.

 8. If you don’t answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit
 the jackpot and walk right in.

 At least one burglary in the past month in our area was due to a criminal seizing the opportunity of finding a door unlocked to a home after coming there with the intent of stealing from vehicles in the driveway.

Sgt. Rich Stahnke

Response Area One

Providence Division

Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Teens accused of beating 82-year-old man with cane

By GLENN COUNTS / NewsChannel 36

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Police have arrested three teenagers accused of robbing an 82-year-old man and beating him with his own cane.

//

November 2nd, 2009

82-year-old helps police nab

Eulah Robinson says it happened as he was taking his daily walk.

“They wasn’t raised. Them kids wasn’t raised,” Robinson said of the teens who are accused of robbing him on Sunday.

It happened at about 11 a.m. as he was walking down Holt Street.

“Well, three boys run up behind me. One of them grabbed the cane and hit me across the leg three times,” Robinson said.

Robinson said he tried to fight back as best he could.

“They tried to get me down on the ground, but they couldn’t get me on the ground,” he said. “What they did was grab my billfold. They thought I had some money.”

The retired handyman didn’t give up after he was robbed. He and a friend searched for the suspects and found them in a vacant lot.

“About 10 carloads of police drove up,” Robinson said.

Police arrested a 13-year-old, a 14-year-old and 16-year-old Leon Alston. All three teens are charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon.

“They wasn’t raised for one thing,” Robinson said. “If I had done that when I was coming up, my daddy would have killed me.”

The investigator who is working on this case says she has talked to all of the teens’ parents and they were all stunned. One of them questioned her son, asking him how he could do this when he has grandparents.

Published in: on November 3, 2009 at 3:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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