Letter: Rise in concealed handgun licenses hasn't harmed public safety | OregonLive.com Letters to the editor By Letters to the editor on October 15, 2013 at 3:15 PM, updated October 15, 2013 at 5:37 PM Regarding the recent articles by Rick Bella about conceal-carry licenses ("‘Everybody and anybody’," Oct. 9; "Revised data for state conceal-carry licenses," Oct. 10): I have been a prosecutor in four Oregon counties over the last 30 years, the last 20 as the elected district attorney in Clatsop County in Astoria. In 1991, I was the chief deputy district attorney in Deschutes County in Bend, and I authored an opinion piece run by The Oregonian, in which I was highly critical of a deal made by the former House speaker, known as the "Katz compromise." Up until then, the issuance of concealed firearm licenses varied wildly, depending on where someone applied. Multnomah County issued very few. The compromise appeased gun rights groups by making a CHL — concealed handgun license — a virtual right, so long as the applicant had no criminal record. Anti-gun activists got an extended 15-day waiting (or "cooling off" period), which has been replaced by an instant online background check. I was very skeptical and was appalled by the prospect of thousands of drivers packing heat when few really needed to and the risk it would place police officers in dealing with newly armed people who had never received the kind of firearm training many of us in law enforcement receive. I thought it would be a disaster. I was wrong. Based on my experience, crimes by CHL holders are very rare and are certainly less than in the general population. Guns are still a very emotional issue for many, but CHL holders have not been a public safety problem. Joshua Marquis Astoria Marquis is the Clatsop County district attorney. Deen NRA Life Member, Benefactor Level Defender of Freedom Award Second Amendment Foundation Member Washington Arms Collectors Member Arms Collectors of SW Washington Member "A gun is like a parachute. If you need one and don't have it, you'll probably never need one again!"