In firearms statutes where a license to carry
concealed discreetly shall be issued, there is a term used which operates to restrict the issue of said license. The term is suitable person. The gun prohibitionists have taken hold of this term and used it as a way to infringe upon rights guaranteed by Amendment 2 of the Bill of Rights.
It seems to me that we can look back to the origins of gun licensing to get an idea of what is meant by suitable person. I have an idea where this line of thinking will lead me, and I am just beginning this journey.
The Atlantic article from 2011 The Secret History of Guns looks interesting:
Yet we’ve also always had gun control. The Founding Fathers instituted gun laws so intrusive that, were they running for office today, the NRA would not endorse them. While they did not care to completely disarm the citizenry, the founding generation denied gun ownership to many people: not only slaves and free blacks, but law-abiding white men who refused to swear loyalty to the Revolution.
After losing the Civil War, Southern states quickly adopted the Black Codes, laws designed to reestablish white supremacy by dictating what the freedmen could and couldn’t do. One common provision barred blacks from possessing firearms.
Could it be that the Black Codes speak about suitable persons?
Here is a piece of a time-line:
The Bill of Rights, including the Second Amendment — “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” gains final ratification.
Georgia passes a law banning handguns. The law is ruled unconstitutional and thrown out.
In a reaction to emancipation, several southern states adopt “black codes” which, among other things, forbid black persons from possessing firearms.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) is organized around its primary goal of improving American civilians’ marksmanship in preparation for war.
Here is an interesting method employed in Arkansas described by Steve D. Jones:
After the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, Arkansas lawmakers banned the carry of handguns by any citizen, white or black. The legislators of this time achieved their goal of disarming free blacks by enforcing this law only against them, not whites.
Here is a well documented history of the racist history of gun control:
Here it is:
States, Frederick’s model law recommended, should only allow concealed carry by people with a license, and those licenses should be restricted to “suitable” people with “proper reason for carrying” a gun in public. Thanks to the NRA’s endorsement, these laws were adopted in the majority of states.