Every concealed-carry permit holder has more than likely wondered how the law enforcement community feels about the “average Joe” carrying a concealed weapon. So did I. Fortunately, I have friends who are police officers in my area—some who trained me in the police academy, some who were a classmates—and could ask the questions that many of us have pondered.

How does a SWAT officer feel about concealed carry permits?

I asked this of one of my friends (name withheld for his safety, but we’ll call him Billy) who currently works as a SWAT officer, in the narcotics unit, and as a police academy instructor. I asked him how he feels about the “average Joe” carrying a concealed firearm in public. Billy stated, “Honestly, I love the idea of what the concealed weapons permit offers to the public. In the 10 years I have been a police officer, I have learned that crime finds you, no matter if you are ready or not. It does not make me nervous knowing that the person behind me at the store may be armed, it actually relaxes me to know that there is someone ready if crime knocks on his door.”

Do you get nervous when pulling someone over who reveals they have a permit and are armed?

Billy calmly said, “A traffic stop is the main cause to be nervous, as they are very dangerous. But when I am informed that the occupants are armed and they have an active permit, it tells me that they aren’t trying to hide anything.”

What are your thoughts when you get a “shots fired” call involving an armed citizen?

He replied, “I would rather process a shooting scene where the suspect got shot than an innocent person. I just get nervous when being the first on scene, as many people aren’t trained or mentally ready to shoot someone. As far as active shooters…..well, I pray that someone is carrying, so they can engage the threat and possibly save lives. I just wish the training was more in-depth, and that people realized the permit was for defense, and not for being a superhero.”

Conclusion: A concealed carry permit isn’t a badge.

Every so often we hear of a permit holder getting arrested because they either tried to be a superhero and had a bad shooting (one not justified), or anger kicks in and they use the gun offensively. All officers I spoke to said that they hate seeing a permit holder have the weight of responsibility that a permit brings keep them from making a logical choice.  The only thing that the officers do not like about the concealed carry permit is the lack of training that often accompanies it, and that the majority of those who carry aren’t ready for the mental aspect of being involved in a shooting.  Other than that, every officer I spoke with highly supports concealed carry.

Featured image courtesy of Boston Globe

This article was originally published on The Arms Guide and written by James Ogletree