PHOENIX, ARIZONA — If you want alert, responsible gun carriers, the best way to get there is through good, judicious training. That’s what the Arizona legislature is arguing at present with the introduction of a bill that would have the State of Arizona pay for concealed carry training for its residents.
House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park, promised a dollar-for-dollar income tax credit for those who go out and pursue concealed carry training — limited to $80. Arizona is, in practice, a constitutional carry state for residents but concealed carriers wishing to travel outside the state and enjoy some degree of reciprocity have to pursue a concealed carry permit through the Arizona Department of Public Safety. If an Arizona resident pursues that path, he or she will inevitably need to complete some form of training pursuant to Arizona law. If such a bill passes, it would mean the cost of doing that would be greatly reduced come tax return season.
And the reason, according to Rep. Montenegro, is simple: safety.
via AZ Daily Sun
“It’s promoting safety,” he said of HB 2494. “Law enforcement has told us time and time again that the first line of defense are those that carry CCW permits.”
It’s a progressive step forward in bringing the average gun-carrying, law-abiding citizen into the fold for first response to violent emergencies. The main focuses of most concealed carry training courses, Montenegro concedes, are on educating the definitions of lawful authorized use of deadly force and the safe handling of a concealed carry handgun. That’s not the sort of training that will bring you from zero to hero but it will help you stay safe and develop the basic skill sets that every proficient concealed carrier calls upon.
Critics cite the loss of Arizona income state tax revenue, an estimated potential of $240 million according to the AZ Daily Sun. Montenegro, however, says that there can be no cost on safety. And, in this case, it seems like he’s going the right way about it — incentivize safety and learning for concealed carriers without robbing state coffers. A loss of $80 per eligible concealed carrier is more than worth it should any of them ever be called upon to act against bad guys.