Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Concealed Carry: NPE (Non Permissive Environment)

For some reason, there is an element of American society that believes people intent on murder will follow other laws. Laws such as those that prohibit the carrying of firearms in specific areas, for example. Think about the logic of a “gun free” zone. Free citizens are specifically barred from carrying a firearm and other weapons based on an arbitrary geographic location. This makes sense to some people for reasons I can only guess. Maybe they think a criminal will start toward a school to kill children and then stop, kick the dirt and say “Aw, shucks!” at seeing a “no guns sign?” Or maybe, they think that a teacher, who they’ve entrusted their child to for five days a week, will suddenly become a crazed killer once they step onto campus? Regardless, gun free zones are partly responsible for the deaths of too many people. Unfortunately, spineless politicians are not likely to repeal these designated killing zones. There is no safety in law when dealing with the lawless.
Thus enters the NPE. What is NPE you say? It is a non-permissive environment. A place where vetted, trained and licensed people cannot bring a gun. Think again of the logic. By law to carry a gun (in most states) you must Give up information, fingerprints, and have a background check performed on you to make sure you are not a felon, or someone who should not have a gun. Once you pass that you must also have gone to a licensed gun instructor who will train you and test you on that training. Once you pass that, you must apply to your state government, giving them a fee, to receive a license. This license must be renewed every few years, depending on the state you live in. After going through all of that, to make sure you qualify by the governments standards to carry a gun, you are then barred from carrying that gun in certain places. Does that make any sense? By issuing that license the state is saying you have fulfilled our standards for someone to competently carry a gun…. But not over there.
And so we create a NPE. There are 3 kinds of NPE’s. I categorize these into what I call, Level 1, 2, and 3.
Level 1 is Policy
This would be a place that does not want anyone to carry. Perhaps it’s the employees of a business or a residence. They have made it clear they do not want anyone to carry a gun in their business or residence. In most states, if you are caught armed in a place like this, you can be asked to leave. You may return unarmed.
Level 2 is Policy and Law
This where the law backs up policy but is usually enforced by law through signage. In some states, Texas for instance, the sign must be a certain size, worded correctly, and displayed conspicuously. Level 2 is the same as 1 but has law behind it.
Category 3 is Law. This is usually Federal property and schools. They do not need signs or anything else, guns are banned in these locations.
I need to insert a disclaimer here. I am not a lawyer, and this article does not constitute legal advice. I also do not advocate breaking any laws. I do encourage you to know the laws wherever you live and where you visit.
Do I carry in NPE’s? Yes. But only where it is legal for me to do so. If signage is incorrect I carry and smile at their lack of knowledge of the law. I also carry in church, even though I know church policy says it is “not appropriate.” If I lived in Utah, I could not do so without breaking Utah’s state law. I carry in theaters that do not have proper signage. I carry everywhere I can legally and have never been “made” and asked to leave. If I were, I would comply. Many years ago I would not have been able to say that. I’ve carried since the 80’s and many times it was illegal. But I also have pulled my weapon twice and stopped, what would have been an attack. I know those incidents are not in any survey or study. Neither time did I have to fire. I also did one time what is called “brandish” a gun. That is, I showed it to two thugs who were thinking about, and moving to rob me. Actually all I did was talk and pat the bump at my side. I’m not sure that is brandishing. Anyway, it worked. The point is, I have defended with a gun. I know that it works, but I also feel different about laws than I used to. I used to not care about laws. I carried everywhere. I carried in a courtroom one time. I did not realize until after the fact and it was not intentional. I would not make that mistake these days.
You have to decide where you will carry and where you won’t. If you decide you won’t carry a gun in certain places, I would suggest a different weapon such as a less than lethal pepper spray or knife. Be sure these are legal in the NPE you want to go. Also, make sure you are trained and competent with your weapon of choice.
Part of the responsibility o carrying a gun is knowing the local laws and being aware of policies and preference for being armed at the location you wish to carry. Then you have to make the decision whether you can carry legally. If you can legally you must decide if you are going to in spite of policy and preference.
In my opinion if someone is licensed, seeks more training, practices, and is competent with a firearm they should carry always, everywhere.
I carry everywhere I legally can. Should I ignore policy and wishes? I had to decide and I say that my security supersedes someone’s politically correct ideas. The Constitution says that I can defend myself, so I will. Level 2 is a little different. One thing I’ve noticed is that in states where a proper sign is required many places do not put up the right sign. They have not bothered to find out what is required and just put up a sign they think will be sufficient. I carry in these places. If they do not have the proper sign that is required by law and have not bothered to find out what is required, I feel no obligation to follow their policy.
You must choose, but choose wisely. Don’t be caught in a position where you wish you had brought your gun. Life is full of enough guilt than to have to live with what might have been if I had my gun.
Semper Paratus
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