ST. LOUIS, MO — “Getting a permit to carry a concealed weapon in Washington state is as easy as buying a new set of tires,” wrote Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur last month, adding that residents of the state can obtain the permits “without taking a single gun-training class.”
The Nation Rifle Association has opposed regulatory measures that require gun training before residents obtain a concealed carry permit. Late last year, the NRA objected to a proposal in Wisconsin that would require state residents there to undergo four hours of training before getting the permit. “It’s clear that the will is to allow people to gauge what their own needs are,” an NRA spokesperson said of the measure. “There are some people who need additional time and others who do not.”
ThinkProgress spoke with NRA members in St. Louis last weekend at the organization’s annual meeting and exhibition. Many supported a gun safety training requirement before obtaining a concealed carry permit:
– “I don’t have a problem with doing the gun safety training or even live fire as part of the requirements.”
– “They should [require training]. They don’t give you a driver’s license if you don’t know how to drive.”
– “Yeah it’s really a good thing to go through, learn all the safety. Oh sure.”
– “I could still get my concealed carry so that, in Washington at least, Washington state, seemed a little lackadaisical. … So I think it is very helpful and should be required.”
Watch the interview clips:
The NRA is also pushing a concealed carry reciprocity bill that would force all other states to accept permits of states with lax standards.
Patricia Maisch, who grabbed a bullet-filled magazine from Jared Loughner before he could reload his semi-automatic handgun during his shooting rampage that ended up wounding Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), criticized the NRA for opposing common sense regulatory measures. “I don’t think they care. I think that the NRA has gone from gun safety and gun training to being about selling guns and making money,” she said.