27 August 2010

Slice of Life: Come Out Virginia!

On July 23rd, I mailed off my application for a non-resident Virginia Concealed Handgun Permit.  On Tuesday, August 24th, a shiny plastic card, too big to fit into any wallet slot was in my mailbox!  That's right, I am now licensed to carry in 26 states!  (Give or take the few that don't honor VA's non-resident permit).  

All told, the saga began about a year ago when I requested a non-resident packet.  I simply clicked on to the VSP website, searched around, find the necessary email to request the packet, and a few days later it was in my mailbox.  It sat in my important papers pile for the better part of a year until a month ago.  My parents had recently finished up a property in VA so it finally made sense to apply for the permit and "experiment" (if you can ever all carrying experimenting) with concealed carry.

The application was fairly painless.  It took me about a week to gather the necessary items, complete the application, get it notarized, get a money order, make photo copies of my driver's license and passport and hunters safety card (needed for proof of ID and competence with a firearm), as well as have my finger prints taken and get a passport photo taken.  Total costs were right at $114 broken down as follows:
  • License Fee, $100
  • Finger print fee, $5
  • Postage, $1.22ish
  • Passport photo, $7.45ish
  • Piece of mind and non-infringed rights for a period of 5 years?  Priceless!

Since I have not been back to Virginia this week (work happens to put a damper on that), I have yet to experience the liberating feeling of being able to exercise my Constitutionally guaranteed right to self-defense and arms bearing.  See, unlike my home state, I am surrounded by states that more liberally issue permits to those who are not otherwise disqualified, even to non-residents like myself.  Hopefully that will change with the Second Amendment Foundation's lawsuit against Maryland.

Though, most of my non-Maryland travels take me to the relatively peaceful portion of the Virginia Eastern Shore, just knowing that I will be able to defend myself and my family from here on out is a good piece of mind.  The prospects of that first experience of carrying are exciting and nerve racking, simply because with great power comes great responsibility.

Until the newest "gray man" checks back in after his first CCW experience, remember to keep your powder dry and your eyes on the target.

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