George Smith’s column in the Feb. 27 edition, suggesting that the Legislature should get rid of concealed weapons permits because they’re worthless, is very wrong.

Whenever a law enforcement officer encounters someone with a concealed weapon, a concealed carry permit indicates that at least at the time the permit was issued the permittee had not committed a serious crime, was not known to be mentally defective and that they had familiarity with firearms.

Smith is right that the bad guys won’t have a concealed carry permit, only the law-abiding citizens will comply with the law.

Smith offered a scenario in which someone who is exposed to a threat cannot obtain a concealed carry permit for three or four months because of a backlog in applications. Perhaps, when a person needs immediate protection, a police agency could issue a temporary permit.

Revealing the names and addresses of concealed carry permittees would be counterproductive in controlling violent crime. The bad guys would know who to avoid when committing a crime or they would know where they might be able to steal a gun.

Perhaps it would be better to publish names and addresses of convicted felons who cannot have a firearm.

David O. Locke

South Gardiner

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