Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pricing a freedom

Although the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions guarantee certain rights, they don't promise that I'll be able to exercise those rights without writing a check.

In Ohio my right to keep and bear arms is, for now and for the most part, assured. Carrying a concealed handgun, however, currently is considered a privilege and requires a state license. Here's a quick calculation of the price tag:
  • Certification course: $100
  • Ammunition: $48
  • Application & background check: $67
  • Photograph: $10
That comes to $225. Accounting for otherwise-unnecessary travel to class and the county sheriff's office (twice) bumps it by another thirty bucks or so. And since I'll be moving shortly after getting my permit, soon I'll make another trip to visit to the sheriff (about $10 travel) and pay a change-of-address fee ($15), raising the total to $280.

Past the classroom, the range, the gas, the background check and the wallet card are other outlays. Carrying concealed means having something to carry (check and double-check) and a way to carry it -- more than one way, actually, since I'll carry year-'round in various attire. I figure I'll spend another $150 to $300 on concealment holsters.

There's also regular, purposeful practice, naturally, which means paying range fees and buying ammo but hell, I'd be doing that anyway.

So the grand total -- exclusive of firearm, magazines, carry ammunition and practice -- will be somewhere between $430 and $580. That's the price of admission for carrying my handgun concealed in The Great State of Ohio.

Please don't ask me if it's worth the money -- of course it is. We can discuss whether concealed carry should be every citizen's right and not a privilege granted by the government, but status quo the required training is worthwhile and the fees are anything but onerous.

Besides, it costs what it costs.