Can a training requirement be made reasonable?

Can a training requirement be made reasonable?

This is a discussion on Can a training requirement be made reasonable? within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I know there are a lot of people on this board who will, in more or fewer words, immediately want to say " no!" to ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Can a training requirement be made reasonable?

    I know there are a lot of people on this board who will, in more or fewer words, immediately want to say " no!" to that. I understand the phrase "shall not be infringed" and respect that opinion, but it's not what I am after here. So hear me out.

    The Supreme Court recognizes that laws can be made to limit even "inalienable" rights, as long as those laws meet certain standards. My hope is that Heller vs. D.C. will set the standard of strict scrutiny for 2A laws, meaning a law limiting the RKBA has to
    1. satisfy a compelling government interest;
    2. be as narrowly tailored as possible;
    3. and satisfy the compelling interest in the least restrictive way possible.

    There are clearly those out there who think that untrained CCW holders represent a compelling public safety concern and want to make laws about it. (We had a rather sizable digression on this subject in this thread.)

    So, can a training requirement be narrowly tailored and minimally restrictive? I think so, and this is what I came up with during a conversation with my dad (who seems to be reasonably pro-2A, but of the opinion that of course people should have to have some training...).

    If it had to be done, I'd go for something like this. Each State sets a training requirement. When you meet that requirement you are issued, let's call it a "Firearms Safety Certification". This has nothing to do with buying a weapon. It simply is.

    I would not even make the card a prerequisite for concealed carry. What I could see is making the card a prerequisite for civil indemnity in the case of a shooting in a public place. That is, you keep your gun at home, you shoot a burglar, get your No True Bill and you can't be sued, card or no card. If you choose to carry in public, though, and you shoot in legitimate self defense, then you only get your civil indemnity if you have your certification.

    Such a law would be narrowly tailored in that in only applies to those who choose to carry concealed in public, and it is, I think, minimally restrictive in that it is not a prerequisite for carry, just a sort of insurance against civil liability. Of course, a bad shoot will leave you wide open to civil liability (and criminal, obviously) regardless of your training status.

    Again, while I respect the opinion of those who will object to any sort of requirement whatsoever, I'd rather have a discussion here on what might be acceptable to those who could accept something along these lines. I already assume everybody around here is of the opinion that an armed citizen is morally obliged to have a clue.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Sky Pilot's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, "Reasonable" is too often defined by the bumper sticker:
    "Be Reasonable: Do It My Way!"
    "Reasonable" is one of those elastic terms written on gum rubber. It can be stretched and distorted to an incredible degree.
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  3. #3
    Member Array 500Mag's Avatar
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    You seem to be tailoring the reasonable training more towards self defense in public on a legal level. I can see this training becoming a law lesson with infinite "what if" scenarios.

    Also, suppose you have this training certificate and have a bad shoot in public. You get convicted criminally, do you still have civil immunity?

    Seems like a situation that can get way out of hand and become a hassle way to easily. My experience with most government controlled things is if there's a way to screw it up the gov't will find it. I don't like the idea of the government controling/regulating a person's responsibility (such as the one inherent in carrying a firearm).
    "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the PEOPLE to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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    I would be supportive of a training requirement, provided the States mandated the kind of training and the training requirement was not used as a restrictive measure. As most of us are a part of the "well regulated militia", we ought to be training anyway, and there is nothing unconstitutional with a state requiring we be "well regulated". Regulations are fine, restrictions are not.


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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Define 'reasonable'.

    - Sarah Brady
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    I too have thought about training requirements with respect to CCW. You are combining 2 separate issues here and I think that is a mistake. One is training to CCW and the other is Legal and Civil protection in case a shooting does occur.

    I do think requiring basic proficiency with a firearm and understanding of state law is a good idea before issueing CCW. I am talking real basic here like a driver's license. 20 Multiple choice questions on safe handling of firearms and what your State law says about how you can use it. Show that you can load, unload, and hit a man sized target at 10 yards.

    As for Civil immunity: this answer is far simpler than you realize. If there is some sort of shooting incident, people who are not convicted criminally should be immune from civil liability.

    Hopefully the day will come where every state recognizes the CCW of all other states.

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 500Mag View Post
    You seem to be tailoring the reasonable training more towards self defense in public on a legal level.
    Well, yeah, because all of the public hue and cry over training issues are about untrained folks with concealed weapons. If you are on private property carrying with the permission of the owner (or because you are the owner), then there's no issue. And the places where you see these arguments about "untrained" folks with concelaed weapons have jack all to say about the training status of people carrying openly.

    So, therefore, based on these sorts of op-ed page arguments, I chose to identify the "compelling interest" as people carrying concealed in public who have insufficient training.

    Also, suppose you have this training certificate and have a bad shoot in public. You get convicted criminally, do you still have civil immunity?
    I think I said that above---a bad shoot is a bad shoot. You take the consequences in both criminal and civil court, exactly the way it works now.

    My experience with most government controlled things is if there's a way to screw it up the gov't will find it. I don't like the idea of the government controling/regulating a person's responsibility (such as the one inherent in carrying a firearm).
    Well, I pretty much tend to agree, but the fact is even enough gun owners, and more or less pro-RKBA ones, think that training is a reasonable requirement (just look at the thread I mentioned) that I don't see it likely that training requirements will ever get knocked off the books.

    My version above isn't much different than existing State laws that put you through a training course to get the CCW permit in the first place, but it at least gives something back---the notion that if you are deemed sufficiently trained by the issuing State, then you get the benefit of the doubt for a righteous shoot in terms of civil coverage.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

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  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    Define 'reasonable'.
    Well, I did---reasonable in terms of SCOTUS's definition of strict scrutiny.

    Quote Originally Posted by nutz4utwo View Post
    I too have thought about training requirements with respect to CCW. You are combining 2 separate issues here and I think that is a mistake. One is training to CCW and the other is Legal and Civil protection in case a shooting does occur.
    Actually, I think they work quite well together. The point of requiring training is to ensure that people with firearms do not behave negligently. Negligence is the basis of lawsuits. Therefore I think that if the State is going to mandate training, they should acknowledge the purpose of that training by removing any possibility of a finding of civil negligence when a person is criminally exonerated.

    To put it another way, the proposal I outlined above would be an "opt-in" method for getting Castle Doctrine protection in public for CCW holders.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

    SIG: P220R SS Elite SAO, P220R SAO, P220R Carry, P226R Navy, P226, P239/.40S&W, P2022/.40S&W; GSR 5", P6.

  9. #9
    Member Array Southtexas's Avatar
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    I like the idea of having additional legal protection however my problem is this, Criminals should just not be allowed to sue their victims. Civil liability can not be absolved even if it was a good shoot and your round overpenetrates or you miss your target and cause damage to a third party, I honestly think the civil liability in these cases should actually revert to the criminal who forced the situation to start with.

    The concept of having to take additional training to prove you were better trained seems good, but then I think it would work against you/me all chl/ccw people. If you dont take the course you are setting yourself up for additional liability where none existed before.
    My right to defend myself is not to be governed/legislated anymore than it already is, civil liability is an issue, but under no circumstances do I want any "exemption" from all civil liability.
    I do want an exemption from civil liability from the criminal who forced me to defend myself, and I dont want conditions on that liability, I dont care where I had to defend myself.
    I dont want some thug being able to sue me because I didnt take an additional course, if that thug placed my life in danger I dont care if it is in my home or not, if the shooting is justified there should be absolutely no civil case whatsoever.

    If a round overpenetrates/misses and strikes a bystander, then I feel there is cause for that person to seek civil damages, I also feel the criminal who instigated the situation should be forced to pay the costs there. Getting a "cant sue me card" seems counter productive to reassurring the no gunners they are safe, then they will say "people with this card can kill my son/daughter and are exempt from civil liability, thats insane"

    What I would like to see is more civil cases against criminals, problem is most criminals dont have assets worth going to court over. I think the state needs to have a system that mandates restitution, even for minor crimes, a starting fee of 10k just for mental anguish, then when the convict comes up for parole if they have not already paid the fee it is placed as a condition of parole. The victim of his crime can choose to use the money for counseling, or security related issues, (I would leave that broadly worded) get mugged, the criminal gets to pay for your CHL and weapon, home alarm, etc. No it wont happen but it should.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    I will just speak to this from experience . I had occasion to spend some years as the firearms officer on a few small police depts . This meant in simple form i was the fella in charge of training and certification of the dept on firearms and firearms related issues . There was never enough budget , but worse than that there was never enough interest . Most , in fact almost all personnel had no interest in developing skills , only interest in biannual qualification . And frankly firearms are the least part of what an officer needs to stay current on to survive the job. When CO was a May issue state it fell to me at times to " write proficiency policy " for the boss to issue permits , as well as test applicants . Right or wrong i took the lazy way out and put the applicants for ccw thro the same course as the officers for a private owned off duty weapon . In most cases they would consistently score higher on the range ( and my dept was one of the better shooting depts locally ) than my officers . In all cases they were more interested and receptive to instruction . I note that at the time CO had NO mandated standards for issuance of a ccw . Under the shall issue statute there are standards , however i have no idea what the course or requirements are since my training has made it a non issue . My wifes class 1 cert did the same , and since my daughter has shot with the sheriff and out shot him , in fact coached him she pretty much got a buy also .

    Mandatory training , I am all for it , as long as it is free to the applicant and the training agency is required to destroy all record of training 30 days after the permit expires assuming it is not renewed . Now someone else can go forth and find the money for that lol .
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  11. #11
    Member Array foreveryoung001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southtexas View Post
    What I would like to see is more civil cases against criminals, problem is most criminals dont have assets worth going to court over. I think the state needs to have a system that mandates restitution, even for minor crimes, a starting fee of 10k just for mental anguish, then when the convict comes up for parole if they have not already paid the fee it is placed as a condition of parole. The victim of his crime can choose to use the money for counseling, or security related issues, (I would leave that broadly worded) get mugged, the criminal gets to pay for your CHL and weapon, home alarm, etc. No it wont happen but it should.

    Just like Malpractice with doctors. I can see it now.....

    If you wish to lead a life of crime, come to State Farm Insurance for the best criminal malpractice insurance on the market today. Big savings right now if take the violent crimes rider.... Commit a crime, get sued, you're covered.


    All kidding aside, I agree that it is the criminals who should have to pay retribution and damages, but it should be mandated. It shouldn't take a separate civil trial. That just costs more in lawyer fees, court costs and time.
    When the messenger arrives and says 'Don't shoot the messenger,' it's a good idea to be prepared to shoot the messenger, just in case.

  12. #12
    Member Array Southtexas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    Negligence is the basis of lawsuits. Therefore I think that if the State is going to mandate training, they should acknowledge the purpose of that training by removing any possibility of a finding of civil negligence when a person is criminally exonerated.

    To put it another way, the proposal I outlined above would be an "opt-in" method for getting Castle Doctrine protection in public for CCW holders.

    The problem once again is that Negligence is negligence and no training course by the state will prevent negligent behavior by gun owners, OR ANYONE FOR THAT MATTER. Your answer is right there, "Negligence is the basis of lawsuits. " I think you are asking for a "cant sue me card" when in fact if you are negligent you need to be sued.

    The opt in method for getting civil protection should not exist, simply put you injur anyone who is not a threat to you, you are responsible for it, and nothing you train for can make you "exempt" from that.

    The states that require some training/proficiency requirements did it to appease the same crowd. Now after looking at the numbers and the level of proficiency requirements my opinion is this There is no difference in the number of "just/unjust" shootings. This is where the "no gunners" have problems. Civil protection is something you are not going to get out of this "compromise" all this will do is increase the cost to the citizen who wants to defend himself, Some citizens will train harder, others will not, in the end it does not matter if you are a Tactical entry team member for swat or johny shoot my ammo only when it looks like its turning green, if you harm someone who was not a threat you are liable.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    ensure that people with firearms do not behave negligently...
    Unfortunately, training does not ensure people don't act negligently. Licensed drivers still drive drunk, physicians still kill patients, and LEO's are still responsible if they have a bad shoot. Our entire legal system is based on judging people's actions, not their training. I think that is a good thing.

    removing any possibility of a finding of civil negligence when a person is criminally exonerated.
    Yup. Great idea. Better yet, as was stated above, assign civil negligence to the persons who is convicted of a crime.

    To put it another way, the proposal I outlined above would be an "opt-in" method for getting Castle Doctrine protection in public for CCW holders.
    I don't want special legal treatment. Everyone should have the same starting point to judge their actions. I would hate to see a good guy face civil prosecution just because they didn't file some piece of paper with the county. They have just as much right to defense as I do.

    thanks for posting.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southtexas View Post
    The problem once again is that Negligence is negligence and no training course by the state will prevent negligent behavior by gun owners, OR ANYONE FOR THAT MATTER.
    No, the problem is that people who shoot in legitimate self-defense and have what everyone on this board would think of as a good shoot can still get sued the way things are now. Some States are correcting this with various incarnations of the castle doctrine that specifically prohibit anybody from suing you for SD in your home or business. Very few of these States extend that civil protection to on-the-street shootings, or to the CCW holder who interrupts a robbery somewhere.

    What this means is that there are civil courts out there that are already finding negligence in the case of good, righteous self-defense shootings and that is what I would like to see stopped. As I have already stated twice in this thread, I am not advocating that actual negligence get swept under the rug, rather that negligence not be found where there is none.

    All I have done is laid out a change from the model of "Don't have training, don't get to carry (or go to jail)" to one of "Do get the training and get some extra legal protection on your side".

    Back to the original intent of my post, if there is going to be some sort of law requiring training this seems to be a pretty good way to go about it---make it a system where getting the training gives you a tangible benefit.
    “What is a moderate interpretation of [the Constitution]? Halfway between what it says and [...] what you want it to say?” —Justice Antonin Scalia

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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    Reasonable to one person can be un-reasonable to the next...

    Training can be and is expensive, so where do you draw the line?

    Basically I am in the group that says when it comes to gun training more is better and can afford it, but my kids couldn't so I paid for theirs. Not every one has a Dad that can or will do that for them.

    Michigan's minimum training for a CCW I feel is close to ideal, it includes range time, classroom time, and legal counsel, all this by a NRA certified instructor. Such a class runs in the $150.00 price range, but then you add the price of the permit which is right around a hundred bucks, then a gun, a CCW, holster, ammo.... Which places this way out of the reach of many that really need to CCW but cannot afford the costs.

    So just where do you draw the line, hum I wonder if we could get the government to subsidize CCW classes for those who cannot afford it or maybe make it tax deductible. Hey it could happen.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

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