The founder of one of the nation’s leading concealed carry groups has taken aim at laws that disarm the public at a time when terrorism has once again reared its head on American soil.
Tim Schmidt, who was recently honored at the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference in Dallas, is founder and president of the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA). The Wisconsin-based organization offers firearms and self-defense insurance plans, training and publishes a magazine that deals with firearms.
In a statement released Thursday, Schmidt said the nation “must recognize that acts of terror in the United States and abroad have continued to occur, making the right to self-defense more important than ever.”
“Once the terrorist jumped out of his rental truck that he used to attack the victims,” Schmidt noted, “he brandished a weapon that was eventually found to be a pellet gun. A police officer was fortunately able to stop him in in this instance but New York City laws ensured that none of the other citizens there had a weapon to defend themselves especially if the gun was more dangerous.”
New York state has some of the most stringent gun laws in the nation, and getting a carry permit in New York City is nearly impossible. The suspect in Tuesday’s terror truck attack was felled by a bullet fired by a New York City police officer who miraculously happened to be nearby when several people on a bicycle path were deliberately mowed down.
Eight people were killed and a dozen more were seriously injured.
The suspect is an immigrant from Uzbekistan who came to this country a few years ago under the Diversity Visa Program that has been on the books since 1990. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will ask Congress to revisit that program.
Schmidt’s USCCA has some 225,000 members and its newsletter reaches some 3 million people, according to remarks he made at the Dallas conference several weeks ago. The USCCA magazine has 259,000 subscribers.
He delivered the keynote presentation at the conference’s annual awards luncheon and later picked up the Second Amendment Foundation’s Bill of Rights Award.
New York City is not the only jurisdiction where getting a carry permit is tough. In such areas private citizens are essentially helpless. When a terrorist couple opened fire in San Bernardino, California in December 2015 killing 14 people and wounding 22 others, it happened in a “gun free” building in a state where getting a carry permit can also be difficult, depending on the local jurisdiction.