So, something I noticed in discussions of the AZ shooting of Rep. Giffords and the rally attendees is that there's a lot of outrage expressed about the AZ law allowing concealed carry without a permit. I found this really kind of interesting, since it seemed less relevant to the specific shooting than any number of other aspects of gun-related laws (for example, restrictions on who can purchase firearms or on the capacity of magazines that can be purchased by civilians). I hold a concealed carry permit, and the requirements that separate that from the ability to simply *purchase* a handgun from a dealer are largely financial, at least in my state.
To purchase a firearm from a dealer in AK, a customer is subject to a NICS check, performed when the dealer phones in to the state troopers and provides the potential customer's full name (and at least sometimes state ID or SSN, if it's a fairly common name) to make sure that there is no criminal history for the individual in the database. Purchaser must provide state-issued ID. If a dealer sells to someone who is not eligible to have a gun and does not call int he check, they get into a great deal of trouble (private-party sales are a whole-nother ball of wax).
To acquire a CCW permit in AK, one ponies up a few hundred bucks (beyond the price of firearm and ammo, which is usually considerable) to take a 20 hour course (4 hours of lecture on laws with a multiple choice test they walk you through at the end, 16 hours of range time, generally in two eight-hour chunks). If at the end of the 20 hours you pass the written multiple choice test on the general legalities of carry and qualify at the range (fairly low marksmanship standards, no time limit), you can turn in the course paper work and a set of fingerprints to the state troopers, who will check to make sure that you are not a criminal who left prints at a crime scene/committed crimes under another name and issue you a permit. From my understanding, talking to gun folks from other states, this is basically par for the course with getting a permit.
So basically, the big difference between purchasing a gun from a dealer/gun show and getting a CCW is having the cops run fingerprint check as well as a name/ID check, and demonstrating that you can hit the broad side of a barn under calm range conditions. And about 250 bucks for the class and fingerprint form. Carrying without a permit may be alarming from the standpoint of "holy shit, can this person actually hit their target in a life-and-death situation?", and it seems odd to be more concerned about the carry aspect than the acquisition aspect, but it's the permitless carry that I mostly see remarked on. Any thoughts?
I'm a wicked young lady but I been trying hard lately
Oh fuck it, I'm a monster, I admit it!
It makes me so mad my blood really starts a-going
La la la la, la la la lie
Sooner or later, we all gotta die
Curse of Millhaven- Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds