Winning: 2 Decades of Progress Expanding Constitutional Carry in the USA

Two Decades of Constitutional Carry Progress

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-— In two decades, Constitutional Carry has progressed from an ideal pursued by Second Amendment activists and Constitutionalists, to a reality in half of the states of the United States. In 2002, only Vermont had Constitutional Carry.

Constitutional Carry exists where most citizens can exercise the right to carry a loaded handgun in most public places, openly or concealed, without special government permission or the worry of being arrested.

Constitutional Carry was the state of the law when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. This was the only “Regulation” that meets the Nation’s historical tradition. Vermont has 1/4 of one percent of the land area of the United States of America. 20 years later the 25 states with Constitutional Carry comprise 61.6% of the land area of the United States.

Vermont has always had Constitutional Carry, long before it became a state.

All other states had adopted infringements of the Second Amendment right to bear arms of some kind or another, as groups in power sought to disarm various minorities, be they black people, immigrants, or political opponents. Most of those laws had been applied very selectively. If you were favored by the good old boys’ network of connected power brokers, you could always get a permit, be appointed a dollar-a-year sheriff deputy, or obtain special police credentials.

As more and more people realized how badly the Progressive movement had distorted the Constitutional order, more and more people demanded the right to bear arms be respected. Much of this happened as Progressives pushed to disarm the population. Much of it was a backlash when the majority suffered from the tyranny which had been inflicted on them by liberal minorities. Part of it was in response to climbing crime rates combined with stricter gun control measures.

Conversion of most states to a “shall issue” permit system was well underway when Alaska became the first state to restore Constitutional Carry, in 2003. To his credit Alaska state representative, Democrat Eric Croft was the sponsor.

From Shotgunworld:

Rep. Eric Croft, D-Anchorage, said he sponsored the bill out of frustration with continually fine-tuning the state’s gun laws.

“I object to the government putting a precondition on that
constitutional right (to carry a weapon). I’m presumed to be a responsible citizen until proven otherwise,” Croft said.

House Bill 102 does not eliminate the state’s concealed handgun permit program. The governor’s office said Alaskans could still apply for a permit in order to carry a concealed weapon in other states or to be exempt from background checks when purchasing firearms.

Alaska set the precedent for other states to follow. All of those who have restored Constitutional Carry (permitless carry) have kept their shall-issue permit systems.

All but one of the governors who signed Constitutional Carry laws have been Republicans. The one Democrat Governor who signed a Constitutional Carry bill said he did so by mistake, in Arkansas, in 2013. There have been 14 vetoes of Constitutional Carry bills, 9 by Democrats, and 5 by Republicans. In two states, vetoes by Democrat governors were overridden by the legislatures.

Here, in chronological order, are the states, governors, & years when Constitutional Carry bills were signed into law or had vetoes overridden.

  • Alaska, Republican Governor Frank Murkowski, 2003.
  • Arizona, Republican Governor Jan Brewer, 2010.
  • Wyoming,  Republican Governor Matt Mead, 2011.
  • Arkansas governor Mike Beebe signed a “stealth” Constitutional Carry bill in 2013. Democrats argued they did not realize the bill contained Constitutional carry.
  • Kansas,  Republican Governor Sam Brownback, 2015.
  • Maine,  Republican Governor Paul LePage, 2015.
  • Idaho, Republican Governor Butch Otter, 2016.
  • Missouri, Veto by Democrat Governor Jay Nixon. Veto override by the legislature, 2016.
  • Mississippi, Republican Governor, Phil Bryant, 2016.
  • West Virginia,  Democrat Governor Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed Constitutional Carry in 2016. The legislature overrode the veto.
  • North Dakota,  Republican Governor Doug Burgum, 2017.
  • New Hampshire,  Republican Governor Chris Sununu, 2017.
  • South Dakota, Republican Governor Kristi Noem, 2019.
  • Oklahoma, Republican Governor, Kevin Stitt, 2019.
  • Kentucky, Republican Governor, Matt Bevin, 2019.
  • Utah, Republican Governor, Spencer Cox, 2021.
  • Montana, Republican Governor Greg Gianforte, 2021.
  • Iowan, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, 2021.
  • Texas, Republican Governor, Greg Abbott, 2021.
  • Tennessee,  Republican Governor Bill Lee, 2021.
  • Indiana, Republican Governor, Eric Holcomb, 2022.
  • Alabama, Republican Governor, Kay Ivey, 2022.
  • Ohio, Republican Governor, Mike DeWine, 2022.
  • Georgia, Republican Governor Brian Kemp, 2022.

Most Republican governors who signed Constitutional Carry bills did not do so because they were strong supporters of the Second Amendment. All would claim to be supporters.  All Democrats would also claim to be supporters of the Second Amendment.

Most Republican governors signed because the Republican party had philosophically become aligned with support for the Second Amendment and because of strong grassroots demand they support it.

Democrat governors did not sign (except for Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas, who signed HB 746 without knowing it contained Constitutional Carry), because the Democrat party had become aligned with the Progressive movement, which is fundamentally opposed to limits on government power.

Actual practice showed the theory of government aligned with the Second Amendment was closer to reality than the theory of government which demanded no limit on government power.

Those who claimed unlimited government power repeatedly predicted massive crime waves when the freedom to carry weapons was restored. They claimed there would be “blood in the streets“. It did not happen. Over and over and over, it did not happen!

As the restoration of Constitutional Carry has become a wave, Republican governors have become more enthusiastic about signing Constitutional Carry bills.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has become one of the most enthusiastic governors in supporting Constitutional Carry. Florida once referred to as the “Gun Shine State”, may yet reclaim its lost title and restore Constitutional Carry.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

Subscribe
Notify of
17 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Stag

There are no constitutional carry states. Every state has restrictions on who, what, when, where, and how one may carry. Some states are permitless but none are constitutional.

Russn8r

It’s not Constitutional Carry. If it was, most or all the Uvalde victims would still be alive. “Con Carry” states are riddled with “gun free” zones where only criminals and stupid useless cowards are allowed to carry.

https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/breaking-video-released-of-uvalde-school-shooting-police-response/

Russn8r

Too cowardly to honor your oath, not to cowardly to downvote.

BigJim

SCOTUS pretty much said any law against the right to carry in any state is void. Along with any scheme to undermine that right.

Yote Hunter

…..Democrat governors did not sign (except for Governor Mike Beebe of Arkansas, who signed HB 746 without knowing it contained Constitutional Carry)….

Governor Le Petomane, is that you???

Signing legislation into law without knowing what is in it makes about as much sense as passing it so you can then see what is in it!

This guy must be related to Nancy Pelosi.

Rodoeo

That list is confirmation democrats want nothing more than to completely disarm us.

CJ

This is what winning looks like.

udomann

Vermont has been a constitutional carry state since 1793, with it written in its constitution. Nineteen of the 25 states (or 76 percent) have adopted constitutional carry or permitless carry in the last six years.

swmft

problem is progressives have started attacking vermont , mag limits really , if you are shooting rats on a farm ten limit mags?? was helping a friends clear a horse barn shot 63 rats in an hour place was mostly abandon when he bought it a lot of work to get it ready to board horses,clean, safe

musicman44mag

I love a good rat shoot. Used to go fishing on full moon nights when the moon would light up the edge of the water on the bank. When the fish weren’t biting we would put some sardines out on the waters edge and turn out the lights. The rats would run up to the sardine thinking dinner and what they got to eat was lead instead. Those were the good old days. It’s against the law now to shoot in 3 of the 4 places we used to do that at.

Stag

Vermont has permitless carry. They have many restrictions concerning who, how, what, and where you can carry which are all unconstitutional.

Ope

Yep,Florida Gov Desantis supports CC with his words only. He has done nothing to advance CC in Florida even after calling a special session to address it. It’s really hard to look at that map and not see Louisiana, Florida and the entire South green. Hopefully that will change soon.

Rodoeo

Fortunately the African American voters in those remaining southern states are coming around that democrats don’t have their best interests in mind. I think we’re going to witness that in Nov… hopefully they wake up and realize that all Republicans aren’t white supremacists. I know the media is fighting tooth and nail to convince them of that.

musicman44mag

I am 64 years old and involved in politics since age 18. That is what the demonrats have always done and they especially push it hard during election time for president.

Ope

I agree. It would be great to get N.Carolina and S.Carolina on that list before the end of ‘22 but I don’t see nothing happening in Florida until they get a pro- 2A Governor. Desantis has gone the way of Rick Scott and Marco Rubio on gun rights. (Remember those two voted for that “do something” bullshit recently in DC) The good people of Florida deserve so muck better than politicians like Scott,Rubio,and Desantis. It’s wonderful in Texas having a Governor like Greg Abbott !!!

Russn8r

DeSantis doesn’t control Scott & Rubio. How much does Abbott pay TEX to shill?

Abbott tested the water for Red Flag; AW & Private Sale bans; backed off under heat from real Rs:

“Strangers can sell to each other; that’s a danger. We’re talking strategies on assault weapons.” -Abbot

Abbott took $$$ from sex-change mills, killed child sex surgery ban.

Lockdowns bankrupted 1000s. Refuses special session for mandate bans with teeth while his EO is ignored.

dallasnews 2019/08/22
dallasnews 2020/02/03
nationalfile.com/texas-abbott-patrick-house-speaker-received-250k-from-clinic-that-chemically-castrates-transgender-kids/
texasscorecard.com/podcasts/how-burrows-phelan-abbott-killed-a-ban-on-sex-change-surgeries-in-texas-episode-140

Russn8r

Nice try, TEX. DeSantis never called a CC special session. Get off Abbott’s jock & look at the death toll in YOUR back yard, Uvalde & El Paso, thanks to Abbott & Phelan doing NOTHING to ban “gun free” zones.