Key legislators who have supported past Right to Carry bills in Wisconsin have recently begun to demand that a mandatory training provision be a component of any Right-to-Carry bill introduced this year. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the world’s largest firearms safety and proficiency training organization but it trusts citizens to assume this responsibility on their own. The government should not deem it necessary to micromanage the citizen exercise of essential rights. This is not the American way.
The fact that the NRA’s trust is well placed is proven through the experience associated with millions of citizens who have obtained concealed carry permits in the nine states with no mandatory training component and millions of others in twenty other states who are able to carry firearms in public, concealed or openly, without a permit being required. Not one of these 29 states is experiencing problems. If there were problems, at least one state through all of the years would have amended its law to require training. In light of this long standing and well-tested rule of responsibility set by the citizens of these other states, there is no valid reason for Wisconsin’s legislators to believe that their constituents will prove to be the exception.
More disappointingly, even some firearms instructors in the state are promoting a training mandate. These are people who should know better but they too choose to ignore the proven experience in all of these other states. While some are unfortunately motivated by what they see is the potential to profit handsomely, others are simply misinformed. They must understand that citizens are capable of deciding for themselves that attending firearms training is the responsible thing to do.
Many who claim that a training mandate is essential, point to the required training that law enforcement officers complete. The training necessary for citizens and law enforcement is different because their objectives are different. A citizen’s goal is to survive a life-threatening encounter. Research and experience shows this most often involves scaring away an attacker without a shot being fired and seeking safety. Law enforcement officers require extensive training because they must engage in pursuit, apprehension and suspect control. In other words, they must bring the fight to the criminal. This is much more complex and dangerous than simply fending off an attacker.
In addition, much of a law enforcement officer’s firearms training revolves around threat identification and shoot/don’t shoot scenarios. This is necessary because police officers frequently enter unknown circumstances after a call for assistance. Citizens, on the other hand, rarely have difficulty determining who the threat is. For instance, a woman being attacked by a man in a parking garage is certain of who is posing the threat.
Some claim that there is no cost associated with a training mandate. This is untrue. The cost is that some people, such as stalking victims, who most need immediate protection offered by a firearm aren’t able to get it. The cost certainly outweighs the apparently non-existent benefit of a mandate based upon the experience of the other states.
Your NRA is working diligently in Madison to ensure that the strongest possible Right-to-Carry legislation finally becomes law in the Badger State. It is your responsibility to educate your friends, family and legislators.
Please contact your state legislators to ask that they support your Right-to-Carry, it is critical that you ask them to oppose the imposition of needless mandates and restrictions. The experience shows that these do nothing but deter good citizens from protecting themselves and their loved ones from harm.