Should you have to pay for a right?

In states across the country, there is a growing trend of support for a policy called Constitutional Carry. 11 states have already passed it, and 10 states are already considering it this legislative session. In fact, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu just signed Constitutional Carry into law this morning.

Constitutional Carry is the idea that the Second Amendment is the only thing a citizen needs to carry a firearm. It rejects the idea that a law-abiding citizen who legally owns a firearm should have to ask a government bureaucrat for permission to carry a firearm for self-defense.

Most states currently ban the concealed carry of a firearm without having a government-issued permit. The permitting process varies by state. Some states require a simple background check while others require a background check, fingerprinting, and proof of training. Some states require even stricter processes such as proving a need to carry a firearm.

These requirements along with the fees needed to purchase a permit essentially creates a tax on the right to bear arms. A background check is required to purchase a gun, so why should the same exact background check be required again to carry it?

Let’s make an analogy. “The pen is mightier than the sword.” That means that what someone writes is often more powerful than weapons or violence. The First Amendment protects the right of every American to write what he/she wants. Now let’s pass a law that requires an individual or member of the press to get a permit before being able to publish or publicly speak about something.

That’s absurd, right?

It’s the same concept with the Second Amendment. If we refuse to be taxed on our First Amendment rights, why do we submit to a tax on the ones protected by the Second Amendment? The answer is simple. Fear.

The National Association for Gun Rights and occasionally the National Rifle Association back these pro-gun bills. Many gun owners agree that they should not have to ask permission to exercise their rights and it has shown in the state legislatures.

The biggest opponents to Constitutional Carry legislation tend to be law enforcement officers who claim that getting rid of the permit requirement puts their lives at risk. This opposition is often used to mask their desire for the fees citizens must pay for the permits. In many states, local law enforcement are the ones who issue the permits. This means that they receive the funds acquired from the permits. There are several instances of sheriffs admitting that they do not want to lose the funds from the permits if Constitutional Carry passes. Is that a valid reason to require Americans to pay for their right to bear arms?

The 10 states that have already implemented Constitutional Carry should be proof enough that the lack of a permit does not put law enforcement at any greater risk. It is absurd to think that a criminal is going to get a permit to carry a firearm anyway.

So, let’s hear it in the comments. Should you have to pay for a right?

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