A Maryland rape survivor recently told a panel of state senators that they should ease restrictions on concealed carry permits so women in the state can defend themselves.
The Blaze reports Jacqueline Kahn told the state lawmakers she had been raped and stalked in the past and would like to be able to obtain a concealed carry permit for the purpose of self-defense.
“Why can’t I have a firearm to protect myself?!” she can be heard saying in a video (shown below) of her remarks before a Senate committee.
The Maryland Senate is considering legislation that would add “self-defense” as a legitimate reason to apply for and be granted a concealed handgun permit in the state.
Currently the standard for being granted such a permit is listed as “good and substantial.”
That’s a confusing and difficult-to-define standard says Jack McCauley, the former head of the Maryland State Police Licensing Division.
McCauley also testified before state lawmakers recently, according to the The Daily Caller, and told them he had once feared extending concealed handgun permits to anyone who wanted one for self-defense purposes, but has since changed his mind.
He said the current process, in which a government official makes the final determination, is unfair and that statistics show only a small percentage of those who apply for concealed carry permits ever have the permits revoked for a gun-related crime.
“The arbitrary administration of this process, it’s horrible. It’s an absolute nightmare, and it needs to have something done about it,” McCauley said.
For Kahn, though, the issue is much simpler. She says not extending the right to carry a concealed weapon for protection puts women at risk.
“I need you to know this is so incredibly difficult for me, but I feel like if I don’t humanize this, if I don’t make it clear how this legislation actually affects your daughters, your mothers, the women of this state, then it’s all just a bunch of numbers,” the rape survivor tells the state senators in the video.
She then recounts the story of a night a man was arrested in her backyard and was found to be carrying duct tape and scissors.
“I wish I could tell you that’s the only time I’ve been stalked, or that’s the only man who has stalked anyone in the state of Maryland,” she goes on to say. “But there’s a huge number of women, who like me have been raped, who like me have been sexually assaulted — and we want the right to be able to do what we would be allowed to do throughout the majority of the rest of the United States.”
Although current law allows Kahn to protect herself with a gun while in her house, she says, it doesn’t allow her to carry a gun while camping, one of her favorite activities. It also doesn’t let her carry a gun on the street.
“When I’m in my house, I’m allowed to protect myself,” she says. “But walking along the sidewalk, I’m not. So you make me into a criminal. You force me to decide, do I want to be judged by 12 or carried by six.”