Concealed carry legislation could impact retired law enforcement

Local News

Behind the counter at Grice’s Gun Shop, you’ll find Robert Kelly. The firearms specialist knows his product quite well. “I have rifle training, of course shot guns, not lethal as well as lethal weapons training,” says Kelly. 

You may think that’s a high level of skill for a sales man. However, his training comes from being a retired Clearfield law enforcement officer.

“Any police officer or any law enforcement offical can carry nationwide with no ristrictions,” says Kelly. But since he’s retired, he and any other ex officer, no longer has that privilege. Now kelley has to follow pennsylvania gun laws, which means he can’t take a concealed carry across most state lines. 

“I have no idea why that is which is why I’m hoping this law passes through,” says Kelly. He’s talking about  the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.The bill would force all states to recognize each other’s concealed carry permit. It was passed by the U.S. House back in early December and now waits to be voted on by the Senate. 

Owner Tom Grice says it wouldn’t change the licensing process. “You have to go through a background check. You also have to go through a background check to get the gun you want to use, so basically you’re checked out twice,” says Grice.  

Many who oppose the bill say it could cause more gun violence, especially for domestic violence victims who who search for safe havens away from their abuser. Billie Jo Weyant is the director of CAPSEA in Elk County. She says, “a lot of times they take into account what current concealed carry and other gun laws are in that state- and a lot of times relocate due to that reason.” 

However, Kelly says those with proper training are more equipped to handle dangerous encounters “You rely on a lot of instict and your training would kick in, to where you would be correct in you choice to use a lethal weapon.” 

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