Constitutional Carry Gaining Steam Across America

Constitutional Carry Gaining Steam Across America
Carrying a concealed handgun without a concealed carry permit is what the constitution intended.

National Association for Gun Rights
National Association for Gun Rights

Colorado ––( The 1990’s and early 2000’s saw a wave of states create “shall issue” concealed carry permit laws, which have certainly captivated the attention of our nation’s gun owners.

But there’s a stronger, more principled movement afoot, and it seems to be surfing on the waves of resurgence for our Constitution.

That movement is permitless carry or even Vermont Carry, but is most properly called “Constitutional Carry”. By definition, it means carrying a concealed handgun without a concealed carry permit.

The state of Vermont started it when they drafted their first state laws. You see, Vermont did not criminalize concealed carry. Something that’s not specifically listed in law as “illegal” or “criminal” is, by definition, allowed.

Thankfully, it’s not the other way around, because if everything was by default setting prohibited and citizens needed to seek statutory permission for every new activity (the internet comes immediately to mind), freedom and innovation – inseparable qualities – would be dramatically stifled.

So, Vermont residents can carry concealed without first seeking permission from big brother. And though their residents can still acquire permits for concealed carry, they aren’t required to do so.

Vermont, not coincidentally, is, by most measures, the safest state in our nation. Why shouldn’t gun owners demand Constitutional Carry? Permit systems, by necessity, have lists, and lists of gun owners are dangerous.

Though many states have tried to pass Constitutional Carry laws, they’ve often been opposed by the institutional gun lobby and their state-level minions. What’s their reasoning for opposing real concealed carry reform? I’ve heard “We can’t have EVERYONE carrying a gun” or “There’s no training required, so it would be dangerous.” However, I see little evidence that either objection is valid. After all, I practice my First Amendment right to free speech without “government- mandated training”.

Most likely the objections stem from either ignorance of the facts or because Constitutional Carry isn’t a cash-cow industry for those objecting. I’m a firearms instructor myself, and train a lot of students in the carrying of concealed handguns, but I’d gladly trade that for the freedom to carry concealed without a permit.

I’ve been involved in pushing for Constitutional Carry for more than 17 years now, and the exciting part is that now there seems to be some steam to pass this law in a broad range of states.

In 2003, Alaska passed a measure to decriminalize permitless carry, while still leaving their permit system intact. However, it seemed like this was an anomaly – until the last two years.

Arizona passed a Constitutional Carry law just a few months ago, but it was overshadowed by the uproar over their illegal immigration legislation. Nevertheless, Arizona residents can now carry concealed without a permit.

NAGR Dudley Brown
Dudley Brown - “There is a stronger, more principled movement afoot, and it seems to be surfing on the waves of resurgence for our Constitution.”

Despite a limited, 30-day budgetary session, Wyoming passed a Constitutional Carry bill out of the State House. That measure died in their State Senate, but only because of time. And both Iowa and Montana had Constitutional Carry bills offered in the last few years.

Though I’m not opposed to “Shall Issue” concealed carry permit systems – I have a permit, after all – I’d much rather pass a Constitutional Carry law, wherever possible.

Since most gun owners oppose regulations, registration and restrictions on carrying concealed, I believe it’s a smart move for our community to set Constitutional Carry as a goal. After all, we’ll never get more than what we ask for.

For Freedom,
Dudley Brown
Executive Director National Association for Gun Rights

The National Association for Gun Rights was founded in 2001 to serve as a grassroots gun rights group focusing on building state-level gun rights groups and lobbying for pro-gun federal legislation. Brown has been a gun lobbyist for more than 17 years. Visit:

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  • 3 thoughts on “Constitutional Carry Gaining Steam Across America

    1. Ok here's my 2c on this subject. I believe that this would be one stupid move for Iowa. I am 24 and have my permit to carry, but I got it by doing all the background check and all that so I got it legit.

      Now, if you have been around the people I grew up with (by meaning went to school with) you would reconsider this plea for "Constitutional Carry". See these kids that I grew up with 21 and older now, were and still are and I quote "wanna be gang bangers, hood rats, and everything in between". See this state needs to do something for these kids, but they won't. All these kids have is "UFC" Ultimate fighting Championship. Now they see that and all they want to do is go out and be tough guys, causing trouble everywhere they go wanting to fight people for no apparent reason. These are the kids with the pants at their ankles, the hats ass caulked to the side, slanging racial and verbal cuss words at anyone and everyone they see regardless of age or race.

      Those are the kids I wouldn't give a gun to to save my life.

      Now we go to the same group of kids, but we throw drugs into the mix. Mainly weed because they still aren't "bad ass" enough to try anything else. If you google Polk county inmates on the web and look at all the juveniles that are currently in jail and keep going into and out of jail, it will make your head spin. 90% of them are in there for Probation violation. What are they on probation for? Smoking illegal substances that causes impairment of judgement. Which they obviously haven't learned anything because they are back in there….for what? Violating probation. They have no sense of the law. Now they are wanna be tough guys, gang bangers, hood rats, but now they can't feel anything because they are hyped up on drugs. So now they think they are superman. That is the last group of people I would want to just go out and get a gun and start wearing it on their hip. Thanks, but no thanks.

      Now you have the whole east side of Des Moines to worry about too. Did you know some un-educated people started a "gang" called ESR. East Side Riders. Ok well they obviously think they are hot stuff because they are in a gang. What do gang bangers do…? They do anything illegal and have no remorse for it. Would you want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and have one/all of them carrying guns and they gun you down because they don't like the way you look? Or if you looked at them? Or even if they don't like anything about you?

      Look, my point to this whole argument is this, we can't pass this law/bill. Guns will fall into the wrong hands indefinitely and be used for wrong reasons. That's why there is a "Permit" system in place, to weed out the people who can by law safely bear arms. Not just let anyone buy a gun.

      It's not just the kids either, it's everyone who has a tendency to do bad things because they think they are some sort of "bad ass" fighter/tough guy. I know that is every where in the U.S.A., but I'm talking about Iowa.

      I am concerned about the kids in this city, they don't have good intentions by any means, I know from first hand experience. I was in a confrontation a few times a year because someone "didn't like me" or someone wanted to get a whole bunch of people to "whoop my ass".

      I definitely do not want those people freely carrying hand guns. It scares the shit out of me.

      1. Anon; The problem with your argument is if these kids are so bad now and have no regard for the law, what makes you think they won't carry illegal guns right now?

        It is the law abiding folks that should have the choice of being armed to defend their lives from people like this.

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