Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Needing Training to get Permit

    Flashback 20 years Ago to a local gun Range. I am meeting a buddy who just purchased a S&W Model 59. We hit the range and set up a target. He pulls up the pistol and proceeds to shot an entire clip at the paper from about 20 yards out. I'm impressed at how fast and how much ammo it holds. Then I look at the taget. I think he has hit the thing about 2 or 3 times. (If I remember right. He just blasted off about 16 - 18 rounds.) Once more I look at the target. I Look at him and say. "Boy, you better get some practice in!" He looks at me and says (I'll never forget this comment) " Nahhh, That is why I got the gun with that hold lots of bullets. I can just spray enough lead in their general direction that I'm bound to get lucky." TRUE STORY


    OK, before you all have a heart attack. I'm posting this for good imput from you all. Not to start a fight. (If I was Anti-Gun and you were trying to convince me, what would the reasoning be to defend this position.)

    I understand it is my right to carry a firearm. But, why doesn't PA. start incorporating training into getting a permit. ( I can hear your throats tightening) It would open up many more states for us to legally carry in. That is a big plus. It would keep people like my buddy above from buying a pistol and carrying it all the time, when he couldn't have hit anyone if he had too. (Yes, he had a permit, and yes he carried that pistol everywhere) I am wondering why we don't have training? Why we shouldn't support it?

    Remember, I'm not looking for answers like, "Because it is our right." Or "Don't give start something that can hurt us." I'm looking for good answers. The kind you would use in court to support your case if you ever had to defend your reason for not needing training. (Here comes that Devil's Advocate)


    Remember. Don't answer with your emotions here guys. I know lots of other people have wondered. They just won't ask. I Will.
    The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control....
    The day they want my guns, they'll have to bring theirs!!!
    Proud to be One of the 3%

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Needing Training to get Permit

    Quote Originally Posted by Mtbkski View Post
    But, why doesn't PA. start incorporating training into getting a permit. ( I can hear your throats tightening) It would open up many more states for us to legally carry in. That is a big plus. It would keep people like my buddy above from buying a pistol and carrying it all the time, when he couldn't have hit anyone if he had too. (Yes, he had a permit, and yes he carried that pistol everywhere) I am wondering why we don't have training? Why we shouldn't support it?
    It certainly isn't an easy question to answer. While I'm not trying to fall back on something as trite as "it's our right" I don't think the true answer is all that far removed.

    The answer to any question like this has to start with the absolute baseline that every individual has an absolute right to defend himself. In the natural right sense, not in a Constitutional right sense. The Consitution doesn't create rights for man -- it restricts the rights and powers of the government.

    So, if you accept that a person has a right to defend himself "period, end of story" there really isn't any question left: Every person has a right to defend himself by whatever means he chooses.

    I think the reason why you're reaching your result is that your logic is taking a bit of a turn.

    Look at it this way: Defending oneself is an action/right that we can characterize as a net good, or a "benefit." The risk of harming another person while defending oneself with a stray bullet is the "cost." You're (improperly, I would submit) suggesting that the "cost" potentially outweighs the "benefit" of allowing people legally to defend themselves without training. I think that's the main flaw -- if you accept that an individual's right to defend himself (again, in a natural right sense) is the highest right, then I don't see how you can say that the risk to another EVER outweighs that right.

    I know it's kind of a simplistic way of looking at it, but I can't seem to get by it. If we were to require training, we would be stripping people of the most effective (even if untrained) way of defending themself and their families. I just can't get behind that result.

    What do you do with the people who can't afford training? What do you do with people who don't have the time for it and feeding their families?

    And most important: Do you really think that 99% of the "training" that's out there does any good whatsoever? I've taken a few "get your permit for state X in one/two/three days." While they were taught by well intentioned and skilled individuals, none of them did a whit of good for my shooting or gun handling skills.

    The only training that's going to do you any good is "real" training -- the kind of training that costs $800-$1000 or so, takes 40+ hours, and teaches skills that you PRACTICE. Over and over, every day for the rest of your gun carrying life. Anything less is a waste of time. The other alternative is simply to learn what you can from people at the range, read a bunch of books, and practice like hell -- again, every day.

    So where does that leave us? With "feel good" training that costs money and time, and is useless. With "real" training that costs a ton, and requires a huge time commitment going forward. Or trusting people to teach themselves from books (which is where we are now).

    How about a yearly required qual course? I don't think that'd even solve it. You'd have to pay for it somehow, which presents problems. And the other problem is that even your average police qual course is bullshit. I'm not a fantastic shot -- sure, I shoot 2-3x a week, and have for years, but I'm not incredible by any means. That said, I have no doubt I could pass ANY standard police qual course shooting weak (one) handed. The level of proficiency required by even police courses isn't sufficient, in my honest opinion, to cause people to go to the level of proficiency that I would consider a bare minimum for effective use of a handgun in self defense.

    As far as reciprocity is concerned: Sure, I'd love it. But given the above, I just haven't seen anything that makes me think that required training would be anything but a "jump through the hoop" waste of time for 95% of shooters. Given that such is the case (and I really do believe the absolute right to protect yourself stuff) I just don't think it is defensible.

    The material presented herein is for informational purposes only, is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up to date, does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT act or rely on any information in this post or e-mail without seeking the advice of an attorney YOU have retained.

    In plain English, while I am an attorney, I'm NOT your attorney, and I'm NOT giving you legal advice.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Needing Training to get Permit

    My response to the original question is I don't think we need to legislate common sense. I would have replied to my Buddy ( which probably happened a couple times ) You spent how long to shoot that "non-moving " target and got how many hits? What if the target is moving- you'll probably miss it all together. I think you better practice bro. Thats what I would've said. And if you knew me, thats what youd expect me to say.
    Last edited by roland; March 15th, 2007 at 05:51 PM. Reason: added original question

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Needing Training to get Permit

    For a short answer. Training of this sort is ineffective. Mandated training puts a cost burden on some people that can't afford it and they are usually the ones that need a permit the most. Lastly it's "the camel's nose". But to your reasoning I would suggest PA adopt the Alaska system.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Needing Training to get Permit

    I love it when you guys settle down and give really good answers . Thanks for the input so far. You brought up some good points that I will remember, and use when I am again confronted with this question.

    Anyone else got any input. Lets hear it. It only makes all of us smarter, and better equiped to deal with Anti-gun people.

    Thanks again guys. Especiallly to Rule10b5. ( I was beginning to think everyone was going to ignore this post. It was being looke at, but no one was answering.)
    The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control....
    The day they want my guns, they'll have to bring theirs!!!
    Proud to be One of the 3%

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Needing Training to get Permit

    Mandated training puts a cost burden on some people that can't afford it...
    The state has no lawful authority to mandate training since keeping and bearing a firearm is a right, not a privilege. As to people not being able to afford it, sorry 'bout that - life isn't fair, never was and never will be.

    The so-called training requirement is an individual responsibility, not one to be mandated by a nanny state. If a person with a firearm is an idiot, and continues to be an idiot, that's their problem. Do what you want, attempt to train them as much as you want, they're still an idiot, although now maybe a trained idiot.

    If I go out and purchase a firearm, it is incumbent upon me to know what I've purchased, how to treat it properly, and how to use it. And, if I screw up along the way, then shame on me, and I will suffer the consequences accordingly. Individual responsibility is individual responsibility, a great burden at times, but it permits me to be a free person, not a subject.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Needing Training to get Permit

    Ok I agree, I was just pointing out some other stuff.

    I still like the setup in Alaska.



    Quote Originally Posted by Statkowski View Post
    The state has no lawful authority to mandate training since keeping and bearing a firearm is a right, not a privilege. As to people not being able to afford it, sorry 'bout that - life isn't fair, never was and never will be.

    The so-called training requirement is an individual responsibility, not one to be mandated by a nanny state. If a person with a firearm is an idiot, and continues to be an idiot, that's their problem. Do what you want, attempt to train them as much as you want, they're still an idiot, although now maybe a trained idiot.

    If I go out and purchase a firearm, it is incumbent upon me to know what I've purchased, how to treat it properly, and how to use it. And, if I screw up along the way, then shame on me, and I will suffer the consequences accordingly. Individual responsibility is individual responsibility, a great burden at times, but it permits me to be a free person, not a subject.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Needing Training to get Permit

    Quote Originally Posted by rwilson452 View Post
    For a short answer. Training of this sort is ineffective. Mandated training puts a cost burden on some people that can't afford it and they are usually the ones that need a permit the most. Lastly it's "the camel's nose". But to your reasoning I would suggest PA adopt the Alaska system.
    Not being from Alaska, and having never been there can you elaborate on the "Alaska system"?

    Personally I'm on the fence on this one, I don't think that it should be mandatory due to what I will call "the 2A thing" just to keep it short.

    But at the same time there are plenty of people that WILL NEVER even consider going for outside training. I'll even go as far as to say that Military training isn't even all that great when it comes to pistols.

    I spent close to 3 years in the Marines before I ever got to shoot an M9, and that was supposed to be my T.O. weapon.

    The knife cuts both ways on this, if the state were to require training, yes it could be "better" in the long run, but as stated above not everyone can afford good training, for me and my wife to attend a class in Harrisburg it will be $600.00 for us to go to the class, about $500-$600 in ammo, the class reguires a strongside belt/paddle holster which neither me or the wife have at the time, so that's like another $120 in leather/kydex. This doesn't inclde gas/food/loding....over all it will be little less than 2K.

    No here's the best part, when I lived in Detroit, the state of Michigan required a training class, the class was $150, I sat through 7 hours of dribble and fired 20 rounds at about 5 yards. While I am proficent at shooting a piece of paper at 5 yards as Im sure most of us are. SOME PEOPLE COULDN'T HIT SQUAT, and still passed the class, and now they are armed....


    I think it would be better if the mandatory training mandated by other states was actaully TRAINING, not a legal brief. I also think it would be better if the "shooting schools" weren't so outrageously priced, I understand that there's range fees, staff payroll, insurance up the wa-zoo, and you name it, but some of these places charge way too much.

    I think that if training was more affordable, located in more places it would be a great thing.

    The NRA had a good class system and classes are offered across the country, but new shooter may not even now it exists.



    While I am an advocate of training, I don't think that it's feasable or fair to make it mandatory.
    "We shoot to stop. ... Unfortunately, death can be a byproduct."

  9. #9
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    Default Carry in alaska

    In Alaska, no permit required for either open or concealed carry. They do offer a permit for those that want to carry in other states. Call it Vermont carry plus.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Needing Training to get Permit

    I will conspicuously refrain from posting to this thread.

    Changed my mind.

    But instead of stating an affirmative, I'm going to repost part of my reply from another thread.

    There is a legal matter that some may not be aware of that is just as compelling as the RKBA.

    In our Utah CCW class I have added a *real life* experience of a negligent shooting resulting in a death. Please bear in mind that the point is not the particulars of this event per se, it speaks to the matter of *extraordinary care* as it relates to PA law. So please don't get hung up on whether the individual was guilty or not or did something stupid or not. It's the underlying principle that is important.

    The F.I.R.E. Institute Exec. Dir. is a practicing attorney with a law firm in Pittsburgh and the following has to do with a civil case (wrongful death). As he began investigating the matter and researching PA case law, the issue of *extraordinary care* kept coming up. Discussing the generalities of the case (he asked me about the firearm in question, a Beretta 92 series) I in turn asked him to write this up so I could use it in the Utah CCW class as an example to students of the seriousness of going about armed.

    I am working on a case in which a young woman was shot and killed while sitting in a car with her paramour. There are some interesting forensic findings in the case, which indicate to me he was brandishing his pistol, held in his right hand, and the woman pushed the hand holding the gun away from her face with her left hand, covering his right hand. In the process, she pushed on the man's trigger finger, and the gun went off. The young woman was killed. There is no space here to describe the magnitude of the effect this tragedy has had upon her family.

    This has given me occasion to review the law in Pennsylvania concerning the negligent handling of firearms. The leading case sums it up as follows:

    Any loaded firearm, including a pistol, is a highly dangerous instrumentality and, since its possession or use is attended by extraordinary danger, any person having it in possession or using it is bound to exercise extraordinary care. A person handling or carrying a loaded firearm in the immediate vicinity of others is liable for its discharge, even though the discharge is accidental and unintentional, provided it is not unavoidable: [citations omitted] The legal standard which is always applied in negligence cases is "reasonable care under the circumstances." With respect to the handling of firearms, " 'extraordinary care' is 'reasonable care'."

    The standard is, therefore, not just being careful. The standard is to apply that level of care and caution one would apply when he knows he is engaged in a dangerous activity, the result of which could be someone getting killed.

    We who handle firearms a lot understand firearms are mere machines, and because we have internalized standard safety procedures we may forget just how dangerous these machines can be. Beware. "Carrying" in the immediate vicinity of others imposes upon each of us a duty to know - AT ALL TIMES - the condition of our weapon, the location of our weapon, and to whom it may be accessible, especially to children, incompetents or those of intemperate or self-destructive disposition. If your gun gets away from you, you are, as we say, legally, morally and financially responsible for any and all harm to third parties.

    Peter Georgiades


    I don't know the answer to the dilema we're discussing but it makes me cringe to think how many people are carrying a concealed firearm and don't have a clue as to proper safety protocol and who possess incredibly poor to non existent gun handling skills. They are good people to be sure, but they are also a menace to society. The *legal standard* with respect to carrying a weapon that Pete found in researching this case is the other side of the *constitutional coin*.

    And I don't believe for one minute the Founding Fathers could have possibly conceived the fact that 200 + years later our culture would evolve to the point that *some* people wouldn't have the opportunity to be properly schooled in the safe use of firearms (father to son, etc.) as was the case in the late 18th century.

    A personal experience. During NRA instructor courses no firearms or ammo is allowed in the room. While we were taking the test at the end of my course, I heard the unmistakable sound of a pistol slide being hand cycled. I turned around to look and one of the training counselors sitting BEHIND the entire student body was loading his Kahr in anticipation of going home within the hour. Coulda knocked me over with a feather.
    Tony
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    http://www.fireinstitute.org

    "... there's trained and untrained" (Denzel Washington -- Man on Fire)

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