Ignorance is (not) Bliss
Remember when you were a young child? You would be doing something that you knew was wrong, but still young enough that when you got caught you could play the “I didn’t know” card. What a great time, no jobs, no responsibilities, free food and housing. Not a bad gig. Unfortunately, we all grow up sometime.
I have a challenge for you. Next time you are driving and see a police officer, make sure that you are going 15 over the speed limit right past him. When you get pulled over, try pulling the “I didn’t know” card. Did it work?
Unless the police officer either has a great sense of humor or is your cousin, chances are you are walking away a couple hundred dollars poorer and getting a call from that insurance agent of yours that you hoped would have forgot your number by now.
Ignorantia juris non excusat.
And you said that Latin in high school wouldn’t come in handy…. Translated, this simply means Ignorance of the law is no excuse. I feel this is an important topic considering a vast majority of citizens an incomplete knowledge of the law. A quick Google search for “Stupid Laws” yields thousands of laws that you most certainly didn’t know existed.
In your defense, that search is going to return some fairly outlandish laws that 99% of police officers would never enforce. The purpose of this exercise is to show that there are thousands of situations that you could find yourself in where you were unaware that you were breaking the law.
What this means for Responsible Armed Citizens
Obviously, the laws regarding firearms, lawful carry, and deadly force carry a much higher penalty than having my dog chase a cat up a telephone pole (thanks Minnesota for that one.) Carrying a firearm in the wrong place or discharging it in an improper situation could get you in pretty hot water with the authorities in addition to being unsafe and irresponsible.
Ignorance of the law is not a defense. This is concealed carry permit training 101. Talk to any criminal defense attorney and they will tell you the exact same thing. As a responsibly armed citizen, it is your job to ensure that you have a robust understanding of the laws and regulations at the federal, state, county and city level. While federal law is the be all and end all, states, counties and cities have the ability to implement laws in addition to or circumventing certain federal statutes.
Not only is it your job to know these laws, it is also your responsibility to ensure that you stay up to date on any changes to those laws. Unfortunately, the media does not do a very good job of keeping you apprised to all changes to the law regarding firearms.
Don’t find yourself in a situation where you find yourself saying “Your Honor, I didn’t know.” Chances are his or her reply will be less than sympathetic.
Make sure you stay informed. Stick around and check out our blog. Any time there is a major legal change, we keep you informed. But make sure to stay up to date on any local regulations in your area as we do not have the ability to update you on every city and county ordinance across this great country.
Stay safe, stay smart, stay informed.