The U.S. Concealed Carry Association for Saving Lives Action Fund told Secrets that it has started a campaign to stop states from using backdoor tactics to make getting permits harder.
The campaign is focused on a Virginia lawmaker’s proposal to remove the U.S. Concealed Carry Association and National Rifle Association as the groups in charge of safety education classes required to get a permit.
Instead, the proposal from Democratic state Del. Dan Helmer would put the state government in charge of the education curriculum.
A similar setup in California has led to a dramatic cut in the number of permits issued because the state cut the pool of instructors, according to media reports.
“By drastically cutting access to essential firearms education and training that people need to be responsible gun owners, this legislation would do nothing but make Virginians less safe,” USCCA-FSL Executive Director Katie Pointer Baney said.
The group said the legislation “would create a backdoor to restricting access to concealed carry permits, placing politicians in full control of how Virginians can exercise their fundamental right to self-defense.”
In Virginia, most applicants have to go through a gun safety class to get their concealed carry permit that allows them to keep a gun with them away from their home.
Typically, instructors from the NRA and USCCA teach the courses.
Helmer, an Army veteran and West Point graduate, is a gun control proponent who is among several Democrats vying for an open congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA). His legislation is before a House of Delegates committee and would also end distribution of NRA member license plates.
Helmer’s effort comes as gun sales continue to surge, especially among minorities and women who are concerned about their safety. About 22 million hold the permits.