[Disclaimer: The management of Raw Story withheld publication of this piece until after the deadline for obtaining an out-of-state concealed carry permit in the state of Florida in time for the Republican National Convention had passed. Raw Story does not recommend that anyone unfamiliar with firearms carry one, and condemns all violence against others.]
Scott’s reasoning was that, “it is unclear how disarming law-abiding citizens would better protect them from the dangers and threats posed by those who would flout the law.” However, one need not flout the law to bring a gun to the areas just outside the convention. Due to the nation’s patchwork gun laws, it would be quite easy to have ill intentions and bring a perfectly legal firearm to the convention zone.
Here is one way someone from outside of Florida could do just that.
1. Complete a firearms education course
The state of Florida requires all concealed carry permit holders to complete a class in firearms training or safety before applying for a permit. While active duty military personnel and former members with an honorable discharge are exempt, anything from an NRA-sponsored class to one offered by a “junior college” can qualify for the purposes of the permit. A four-hour group NRA Firearms Safety Course in available in Virginia for $85, while pistol orientation classes run about $95 and pistol shooting classes can cost as much as $140. Any qualifies one for a concealed carry permit in Florida.
3. Obtain a gun
Though many states require background checks, waiting periods and registration before one can take possession of a handgun from a federally-licensed dealer, the so-called Gun Show Loophole allows occasional sellers — who aren’t licensed under federal law — to sell weapons without background checks. Virginia, for instance, does not require registration and has many gun shows from which to choose.
While federal law prohibits private sales to out-of-state buyers (unless they are classified as relics or curios and mediated through a licensed dealer), it specifically allows private individuals to “loan or rent” their handguns to people in other states “for temporary use.”
Though some states and municipalities (like New York City, which requires $521.50 in fingerprinting and licensing fees and an in-person interview for the license required to have a handgun legally in one’s possession) make handgun buying and registration reasonably onerous, one could also simply purchase a handgun from a licensed dealer in one’s home state and comply with whatever registration requirements exist in that state.
Megan Carpentier is the executive editor of Raw Story. She previously served as an associate editor at Talking Points Memo; the editor of news and politics at Air America; an editor at Jezebel.com; and an associate editor at Wonkette. Her published works include pieces for the Washington Post, the Washington Independent, Ms Magazine, RH Reality Check, the Women's Media Center, On the Issues, the New York Press, Bitch and Women's eNews.
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