I hear this all the time where we live: “I am a law-abiding citizen and it is my right to…”

But just as Inigo Montoya said in Princess Bride – “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”

When most people in a constitutional carry state say “law-abiding”, it seems to me they mean “I do not have evil intent in the use of my firearms”. Those are two different things.

I can hear you thinking it, “what do you mean?” or “How are you so sure.” Or another deritive of that theme. I’ll tell you why I am so sure.

Most people carrying in my state have no idea what the gun laws are – and many of them violate them regularly. Here is an example:

You’re driving in your car and you are either armed, or you have a firearm in the car or trunk. All good – no laws broken so far. You pull into the post office parking lot and drop your mail off in one of the mailboxes near the street.

BOOM! You are no longer “law-abiding”. What’s worse, you didn’t even break state law. Nope, this one is federal.

“Oh, but how would anyone know?”

They wouldn’t – but that doesn’t mean you didn’t violate the law. But what about if you had a minor fender bender waiting in that mailbox line because numbnuts behind you wasn’t paying attention and hit your car? Not even your fault – but Officer Friendly is going to conduct an investigation which could include finding a gun on your person or in your vehicle. At this point, you are likely to become a “law-abiding” convicted felon. At the very least, you are losing that gun and spending some time in jail waiting for a lawyer and bail.

The point is this – GET TRAINED. Find a CCW course and learn the state and federal gun laws – even if you are not going to carry. CCW courses cover a great deal of information about the escalation of force, deadly force, restricted areas (state and federal), even what type of “no guns” sign is enforceable and which one is not (the featured image for this post is NOT a legal “no guns” sign in Arizona)

Bottom line is – you can’t say you are law-abiding if you don’t know the law. You might be violating the law right this minute and not even know it. Your moral high-ground is lost when you are perpetrating felonies, even if you are ignorant of the law (no excuse).