Other Views: Gun culture, safety training are importantThe number of concealed weapons permits issued in North Dakota has increased dramatically, and that should come as no surprise.
By: Bismarck Tribune, The Jamestown Sun
The number of concealed weapons permits issued in North Dakota has increased dramatically, and that should come as no surprise. It’s in line with what’s happening nationwide in response to mass shootings and resulting gun control efforts. Perceived changes in North Dakota related to the oil boom also figure into the increase.
Gun ownership is a clear Second Amendment right.
Concealed weapon permits are a privilege, and we like the strong approach that North Dakota takes to make sure applicants for these permits are qualified and knowledgeable about weapons and gun safety. Applicants must pass a written test. Class 1 licenses, which are valid in certain other states, also require classroom instruction.
One benefit of increased numbers of permits translates into more people knowledgeable about gun safety.
There are many good reasons to have a concealed weapons permit, ranging from convenience in transporting weapons to personal safety.
The written test for a concealed weapons permit stresses gun safety. It’s a step-by-step review of responsible procedures to use with handguns. It’s practical in nature. It deals with many of the same issues people work through in hunter safety programs.
The Tribune reported a 55 percent increase in concealed weapons permits issued in 2012. That same report talked about the background checks that county sheriffs require, as well as the experiences of a certified concealed weapons instructor. The story told about the increase in permits, and about the increased number of classes offered to prospective permit holders.
North Dakota has a deep gun culture. Not too many generations ago, guns were one of the tools that farmers and ranchers typically used. Hunting then was less recreation and more a part of protecting livestock and feeding the family. Today, North Dakota’s gun culture relates primarily to fall hunting — waterfowl, upland birds and deer. In 2013, hunting is a family affair for many of the state’s citizens.
Seeing a gun rack in a pickup with North Dakota plates isn’t unusual.
Not everyone hunts in North Dakota, but it’s hard to find a longtime male resident of the state who hasn’t walked cornfields, hunkered down behind decoys or tracked deer through fresh snow. And more and more, women are putting on the orange and joining the hunt.
Training related to concealed weapons permits, and the state’s strong hunting culture, point to responsible gun use. That’s the norm in North Dakota and not the exception.