Constitutional Carry Moves Forward

Utah and Montana are joining the ranks of those who support permitless carry. 18 states will now recognize their citizens’ right to be armed in public without a license or permit. Several other states are currently working through legislation to remove licensing requirements as well. While this is a very positive step forward in the national recognition of the right to keep and bear arms, it is important to realize that this is not a new or expanded right being granted, it is the removal of laws which previously infringed upon natural rights. This is the way it should be for all law-abiding citizens. 

True constitutional carry is the ability for everyone to carry a firearm openly or concealed, without requiring a license or permit. Some of these 18 states meet this definition while others have limitations such as for state residents only or for concealed carry only. All but one, Vermont, still issue permits for either enhanced carry privileges or for concealed carry reciprocity with other states. Vermont has never had a concealed carry license or permit since it was established as a state in 1791. 

Keep in mind the right to keep and bear arms is a constitutionally protected natural right as written in the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. 

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”

Some contend being able to carry a firearm outside your home is a privilege and subject to any form of “reasonable” regulation, control and fees the government decides to impose. The most frequently used comparison is to that of a driver’s license. Of course, the ability to operate a motor vehicle on a public highway isn’t a constitutionally protected natural right, it is a privilege. But that’s what the gun control lobby want you to believe, that driving a car and carrying a firearm are the same thing. They have always wanted to restrict or revoke your rights and turn them into privileges they can control and restrict. 

If you have to ask for permission to exercise a right, it’s a privilege. 
If you have to pay a fee to exercise a right, it’s a privilege. 
If you have to take training and tests to exercise a right, it’s a privilege. 
If you have to carry a license or permit to exercise a right, it’s a privilege.  
If you can be denied exercising a right, it’s a privilege. 

As the gun control zealots have always done when legislation is being considered to allow permitless carry or for firearm carry on college campuses, they put their propaganda machine into overdrive. These states were no exception. Wild stories abound about how there will be shoot-outs over minor issues, blood flowing in the streets and cities turned into the wild, wild west. On college campuses, students and instructors will be afraid to speak openly for fear of being gunned down. In state capitols, legislators will be afraid to vote on bills for fear of being shot. Vivid, emotionally charged scenarios of violence and death because someone carrying a gun decides to kill people to settle every minor disagreement are spread to instill fear.

They point to “emerging data”, self-funded “academic studies” and “research” showing how violent crime will increase when permitless carry is allowed. They allege that only strong, “may issue” carry laws are appropriate. Only laws where persons applying for permission to carry a firearm in public must prove they have “good cause” or “justifiable need” to carry a firearm as well as demonstrate they are of “good character”. This is usually combined with significant mandatory training, substantial license fees and the ability of the issuing authority to deny their permit for any reason, or no reason at all,  is the only way to allow a precious few the privilege of being able to carry a firearm outside their homes. 

What really happens when more people are allowed to carry concealed firearms? Violent crime goes down. That’s all. No gun fights in the streets, no people shooting up the town or duels at high noon. Maine’s experience is typical. The state went from the third safest state in the nation to the safest state in the nation following their move to being a constitutional carry state.

For those who contend more guns equals more violence and death, recall those long-buried CDC (Centers for Disease Control) studies that found civilian defensive use of firearms outnumbered felonious use by a rate of 3 to 1, to the tune of 2.5 to 3 million uses per year. It is critical to note that not all of the events involved the discharge of a firearm by the civilian. Often times, the mere presenting or challenge to the criminal with a firearm was enough to stop the intended crime. It’s also important to realize this number ONLY includes persons who were not performing defensive duties as part of their employment such as law enforcement or security services.

Eliminating restrictions on who can carry a firearm for protection of themselves and their families in public makes us all safer. When criminals believe someone may be armed and wiling to defend themselves, they are less likely to risk their own lives and move on to an easier target or commit a crime that doesn’t involve person-to-person contact. The more potentially armed law-abiding citizens, the less likely everyone is to become a victim of violent crime. 

Please keep in mind these 18 states are constitutional carry FOR NOW. As fear-based gun control legislation pushes forward in states and in the federal government, constitutional carry and even permitted carry of firearms outside the home are going to come under attack. Only by vigorously defending our natural rights at the local and state level will we be able retain them for ourselves and our decedents. 


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