3/12/2017

New Op-eds in the Hartford Courant and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, fees to price concealed handgun permits out of the hands of poor people and another on Stand Your Ground laws

I have a new piece in the Hartford Courant on Connecticut Governor Malloy's push to raise the state's concealed handgun permit fee from $140 to $370.  The piece starts this way:
Why do Democrats, self-proclaimed champions of the poor, make it so difficult for poor people to defend themselves? Democrats oppose even free voter IDs as imposing too much of a burden on the poor, but when it comes to guns, they don't hesitate to impose fees, expensive training requirements and onerous background checks. These are precisely the things that can put guns out of reach for poor people. 
Connecticut already charges $140 in initial fees for handgun permits — twice the national average. Now Gov. Dannel P. Malloy wants to raise it to $370, with a $300 renewal fee required every five years. 
The proposed initial fee would be roughly 50 percent higher than California's concealed-carry fee, which is currently the highest among states. . . . 
I also testified before the Minnesota House Committee on Public Safety and Security Policy will hear testimony this past Wednesday on a Stand Your Ground bill.  In connection with my testimony, I had a new op-ed piece in the Star Tribune on Minnesota.  The piece starts this way:
In fact, as the Minnesota House Committee on Public Safety and Security Policy will hear in testimony today, Stand Your Ground laws do not allow the initiation of force. Since the response must be proportionate to the threat, a defendant cannot shoot unless he is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death. Or, at least, a reasonable person must have cause to perceive such a grave threat. 
Prior to Stand Your Ground, citizens have had to retreat as far as possible and then warn the criminal of their intention to shoot. The concept of “appropriate retreat” is vague and potentially confusing to a defendant who needs to take immediate, decisive action. Delay can sometimes be fatal. Overzealous prosecutors have sometimes argued that the defendant should have retreated even farther. These trials, even if they end in acquittal, are very costly and destroy defendants’ lives.
It stands to reason that the most likely victims of violent crime will benefit the most from Stand Your Ground laws. And who are the most likely victims? Poor blacks in high-crime, urban areas who definitely cannot count on the police to come to their rescue in time. . . .

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