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Salem Police Chief Has Concerns About Concealed Carry Law

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

Salem Police Chief Ron Campo has concerns about the new concealed carry law.  

It starts with the state only requiring someone to have a 70 percent shooting accuracy to pass a training class.  Campo told the Greater Salem Chamber of Commerce Monthly Luncheon Thursday it is simple to teach someone to shoot, but difficult on when to shoot.  

The chief notes an average gunfight is less than two seconds long and within six feet.  "How much time is that do all the stuff they teach you, side alignment, trigger pull, all that doesn't apply, you are just instantly reacting.  That's what we try and tell our officers.  What we are training concealed carry people to do is shoot paper targets, but in the real world that isn't how it works.  It is a tactical situation.  We don't train these people when to shoot, how to shoot, the physiological changes that occur when you do shoot," said Campo.

Campo cited a scenario he worries about.  "You've gone to a class for 16 hours, you don't really get to practice that much, but you carry your gun.  You're at Village Gardens.  A shooter comes in.  You pull out your gun with three other people there in the restaurant.  Who is the bad guy?  How do you know?  How many people are firing?  It's a moving target.  It's not a paper target. I think as a tactician it scares me," said Campo.  

Campo is also concerned about what happens when a person stopped by police don't inform them they have a concealed weapon.   "Right now if we find a gun, it's bad you go to jail.  Now I will tell you I have a weapon, it's in my glove box.  But what if you forget to tell them?  What happens then?  The law requires you do.  I'm going to instruct my officers when we stop you, 'may I see your drivers license and proof of insurance and before you reach for your glove compartment sir, I need to ask you do you have a weapon in your vehicle and are you licensed to carry it?'  Hopefully that will spur the memory," said Campo. 

Campo also notes with all the exceptions of where a gun cannot be carried, there will only be few places where a gun can be taken.   He says it is going to be the responsibility of the person carrying a concealed weapon to know where they are allowed. Campo expects a dicey shaking out period once concealed carry begins.   

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