Dekmar clarifies stance on concealed carry

Published 6:58 pm Thursday, April 26, 2018

A citizen raised a concern at Tuesday’s city council meeting regarding a comment that LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar made in a Washington Post article last week.

The article, titled “Police chiefs implore Congress not to pass concealed-carry reciprocity gun law,” outlined the debate over whether concealed carry should be regulated at a state or national level. Kim Cannidy, a citizen, said that the article raised concerns for her about whether Dekmar supported concealed carry at all.

“We as citizens of LaGrange take the ability to have concealed carry very, very seriously,” Cannidy said. “We train, and I do not have a problem in defending anybody.”

Dekmar, who spoke as the president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, is quoted in the article as opposed to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. He said on Tuesday that his opposition to the congressional act was due to state rights not concealed carry.

“I am not opposed to concealed carry,” Dekmar said Tuesday. “In fact, I support concealed carry. When the state of Georgia broadened that statute, I supported it. The issue was with state rights and whether or not the federal government was going to decide who the state had reciprocity with. Currently there are 39 different states that have compacts, and we oppose the federal government making the standards as opposed to the states.”

Reciprocity defines how state concealed carry weapon licenses are honored within other states. According to, 32 states honor Georgia CCW licenses.

“The point that should have been made was whether or not police chiefs agree with reciprocity for concealed carry, and we said it was a state’s rights issue, and that the states currently have 39 compacts which they will respect for concealed carry,” Dekmar said.

Dekmar said in the Washington Post article that his concern was due to the lack of police access to the national instant background check system, which would allow police to verify out of state CCW licenses.