Florida Qur’an-burning Pastor Terry Jones Shoots Himself in the Foot (well, almost)

The concealed weapon apparently fired into the floorboard as he got into his car while leaving a Michigan TV station, TPM reports. It’s not clear whether the people who interviewed Jones at their TV station knew he was packing but no charges were filed because Jones had the proper permit to carry a concealed weapon.

What? Really? What kind of criteria for carrying a concealed weapon would include giving one to someone who is widely suspected to be psychologically unstable and internationally known for his poor judgment?

And even if the politics in my home state of Florida is so dominated by the far right that our conceal and carry permit process is lame, why are Florida permits valid in Michigan?

It turns out that many states recognize other state’s concealed weapons permits through a reciprocity program. Florida’s permit is the most widely accepted (some 30 states recognize the Florida permit and Florida even issues non-resident permits to non Floridians that are accepted in many states). Florida’s permit is also really easy to get: I called the gun shop up the street that offers the classes and was told you must be 21, have a drivers license, a “clean record,” and take a $49 two-hour course that doesn’t even include any real shooting.

Moreover, Michigan is a gun-friendly state in its own right. In fact Michigan was one of several states in which recent proposed changes to the conceal and carry laws would allow permit holders to have concealed weapons in churches and in some schools. Adelle Banks wrote about this trend in February here.

Bobby Jindal signed such a law into effect in Louisiana and the Michigan proposal went to far as to say that, with a concealed weapons permit, one need not have permission of church officials. 

Jones was in Michigan to promote his “rile up the Muslims by insulting them” campaign.