The Big Business of Concealed Carry

By Corey Graff, Executive Director
Will vested interests in making a buck crush Constitutional Carry?

2nd amendment is my permit
Will Vested Interests In Making A Buck Crush Constitutional Carry?
Wisconsin Gun Owners
Wisconsin Gun Owners

Wisconsin –-( By the close of business on November 1, 2011, the Wisconsin Department of Justice reported that over 80,000 concealed weapons permit applications were downloaded from their website. That’s a lot of $50 checks.

To be more precise, that’s $4 million dollars worth of checks if all 80,000 people who downloaded the application actually applied.

And that was just on day one. In Michigan, over 270,000 people had purchased a CCW permit in that state since its CCW law had been passed. If Wisconsin climbs to a similar number, as I believe we will, we’re talking about somewhere in the neighborhood of $13.5 million dollars in new revenue pouring into state coffers every five years. No bureaucrat can ignore $13.5 million dollars.

Business is good if your business is regulating inalienable rights.

Now, Act 35 — Wisconsin’s new shall-issue permit-to-carry-law — specifically states that these monies are not to exceed the administration costs of the license-to-carry program. But let’s face it: Does it really cost the DOJ $50 to conduct a background check and print up a little black-and-white card?

Make no mistake: This is a new gun tax. Some have called it a “coat tax.” We all know that bureaucracies don’t tend to get smaller over time. More revenue will invariably lead to more vested interests in the system. This cycle will become self-perpetuating. New agents and administrators will be hired on. And the program becomes a means unto itself.

And then there’s the problem of a state law enforcement agency with a list of gun owners — never a good thing. With congress and the institutional gun lobby trying to pass HR 822, so-called National Rightto- Carry Reciprocity, it’s plain to see how the feds would also begin to get a vested interest in keeping — and regulating — concealed carry by permit.

No Money in Freedom
Contrast that with what would happen if Constitutional Carry were to be passed (that is, no permit, background check or fees, as intended in the Second Amendment), then the money — poof! — suddenly goes away. What will all these big-government bureaucrats do with themselves? For starters, they’d have to compete in the private sector for jobs requiring actual skills. And that’s hard work (for a government leach).

Now, there is some precedent that in states like Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming a permit-to-carry system morphed over time into Constitutional Carry. But that always occurred years after a permit system had been in place.

In other words, much money had already been made. And other factors — like a properly-trained pro-gun lobby convinced state politicians their vested interest in political reelection was in freedom-to-carry and not permit-to-carry. So those states moved to better laws in spite of vested interests working against them, not for lack of them. Finally, what about the vested interests of concealed carry trainers? Some of these chaps — like the police department up in Marion, Wisconsin — are charging people upwards of $150 for a class to get a permit. Others, like Technical Colleges in Central Wisconsin, charge around $15 for the class.

One need not resort to wild conspiracy theories to explain why state officials are resistant to a concept like Constitutional Carry. It can simply be explained by human nature and the vested interests that feed off each other.

It all means that the fight to restore the right to bear arms will be met with resistance from every possible angle — even from those on the pro-gun side. Thankfully, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. And if anything is worth a little vigilance, it’s liberty.

WGO works for grassroots gun owners, not politicians. While many gun lobbies fight for “reasonable gun control,” WGO sets a higher standard: Defining the terrain of pro-gun political battle. Sure, many groups claim they’re “pro-gun” – all the while they provide cover for anti-gun deals cut by politicians – but only WGO truly informs gun owners, remaining committed to a 100% pro-gun position. We oppose all gun control – regardless of the political party – and work tirelessly to restore the Second Amendment. Visit

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Robert S.

I am a major proponent of gun owners' rights and HR 822. My only concern (and I'm open to hear others' opinion on this) is that every time a crime is committed with a firearm, it makes us ALL look bad.

I'm a firm believer in acquiring training and maintaining skill if you carry concealed, but how do we prevent those who do not acquire training, those who are mentally defective, and those who are criminals from also carrying concealed?

My Weapons Permit

I think constitutional carry would wipe out revenue for government, but I think we'd see in increase in gun sales, and in people seeking training.

Yes, I make money from teaching Florida concealed weapons permit classes, but I am impressed by the amount of people who come to me for skills training.

Smart shooter realize the need for additional training whether required or not. I try to get to at least one 3 – 5 training course every year.