LETTER: I Have a Pistol Carry Permit.

Submitted by Ruth Sherman, Greenwich Resident

I Have a Pistol Carry Permit.

I recently obtained a CT pistol carry permit. I’d long wanted to learn about firearms. Despite all of Connecticut’s laws regarding firearms, it was still an easy process, so I’m having a hard time understanding, in light of the pervasive and ongoing gun violence, why there are any objections to having people register and submit to background checks. 

First, I went for an all-day training – the official NRA-developed course with an experienced instructor. The seminar/lecture portion was almost entirely about safety and handling of guns. One segment focused on the parts of handguns and the different types. Then another focused on technique, how to hold a pistol, how to stand, steady oneself, and aim. How to keep the barrel pointed down when handling was repeatedly spoken about. What to do if the gun didn’t work properly. We were forewarned that not knowing the laws would not be an excuse for breaking them. Finally, we practiced shooting. I remember thinking that there had to be a great deal of trust in that shooting range with everyone handling and firing lethal weapons. Still, I never felt a moment’s worry. I took a written test, passed it, and received a certificate that allowed me to apply for a permit.

The next steps were to fill out state applications and make an appointment at the Greenwich Police Department, where my documents/IDs were reviewed and I was fingerprinted for a background check by the FBI. A few days later, I received a temporary permit, good for 60 days during which I made an appointment to appear at one of our State Police locations to be photographed and receive my 5-year permit. The entire process was smoothly and professionally run. 

In the wake of the latest, horrifying massacres of shoppers and school children, placing common-sense, reasonable barriers to obtaining a firearm seems like a very small ask. Safety measures like age limits, training requirements, background checks, trigger controls, magazine limits, safe storage, firearm availability, and other safety precautions make complete sense to me. It is absurd that our children go to schools which, not too long ago, were assumed to be safe and nurturing places, but now have regular active-shooter and lockdown drills. How does a child even learn under such constant threat?

If we can prevent another mentally unstable or angry person bent on causing mayhem, death, and destruction from obtaining a firearm because at least one safety measure got in their way, imagine how many senseless deaths can be averted.