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Constitutional Carry Now the Law in Half the Nation

The New Year made Alabama the 25th state to implement Constitutional Carry, meaning that a permit is not required to carry a firearm in public. While anti-gun states like New York, New Jersey, Oregon, and others seek to restrict carry rights as much as possible, gun-friendly states are doing the opposite.

Handgun and the Constitution
The Constitutional Carry train continues to roll across the country. (Shutterstock)

Constitutional Carry: What It Is

The term “Constitutional Carry” refers to the fact that the United States Constitution, via the Second Amendment, recognizes and protects Americans’ right to keep and bear arms, including firearms. The Supreme Court’s Heller Decision found that the Second Amendment protects an individual right, as opposed to a collective right, practiced as part of a militia, as gun control advocates continue to insist.

Therefore, as the supreme law of the land, the Constitution protects an individual’s right not only to own firearms in the home, but also to carry them in public for self-protection or any other lawful purpose. State and local permitting programs, according to Constitutional Carry supporters, run afoul of that protection and are neither necessary nor proper. Alabama and 24 other states now adhere to that premise.

Constitutional Carry: What It Is Not

Alarmists would have us believe that easing carry restrictions, much less Constitutional Carry laws, will result in “Wild West” style shootouts in the streets. But they said the same thing when concealed carry laws, even with permits, began sweeping the nation. Those alarmists have been wrong in every case, though that fact does not stop them from repeating the claim ad nauseam. The “blood in the streets” prediction is but a tool to further their control agenda.

pistol and ammunition on American flag
The Second Amendment overrules state permit laws. Or it should. (Shutterstock)

Constitutional Carry, as noted by Alabama legislator Shane Stringer, who sponsored the bill, does not apply to prohibited persons under the law. Prohibited persons are still prohibited and will stay that way unless other legislation changes their status.

Even in Constitutional Carry states, residents may still wish to obtain a permit. The permitless carry law only applies to the state in which it was enacted. If a resident wants to carry out of state, a permit from their home state allows them to do so, assuming the destination state has reciprocity with their home state. This will continue to be a concern until we have nationwide Constitutional Carry. Don’t hold your breath on that one.

Odds and Ends

The national media is unsurprisingly critical of Constitutional Carry. Most media members, and their bosses, are fully invested in the anti-gun narrative and will paint Constitutional Carry negatively whenever possible.

But the fact remains that not one doom and gloom scenario has come to pass as carry laws broaden. Concealed carry holders commit crimes at a significantly lower rate than even police officers. The statistics prove it. Lawful gun owners who choose to carry do not want to lose that ability by becoming a prohibited person. I’m one of those people. Firearms are not only my primary hobby, but they also provide my living. So, don’t you think I’ll continue to carry responsibly? Me and almost everyone else.

Concealed carry handgun
Lawful carriers commit fewer crimes than police officers. (al.com)

Law Enforcement Opposition?

The media also likes to trumpet the rare case of law enforcement not supporting lawful concealed carry or Constitutional Carry. What they will not tell you is why most of those officials oppose broader carry laws.

First, big city police chiefs are not cops. Oh, they probably have experience in law enforcement, but once they reach those positions, they are bureaucrats appointed by the mayor. They were chosen because they will support the mayor’s policies and their jobs depend on doing just that. Most big-city mayors are in favor of gun control. Therefore, their subordinates, including the police chiefs, play along. When you hear a big city police chief pushing for tighter gun restrictions, they are doing what their boss expects them to do.

Second, we occasionally hear that local sheriffs, or sheriff’s associations, oppose Constitutional Carry. This was the case in Alabama and the media spared no ink in reporting it. But, again, they rarely elaborated on why the sheriffs did so. Many sheriff’s departments nationwide help pay their bills with concealed carry permit fees. They don’t want to lose that revenue source. It’s pretty crappy that they put such things over Constitutional rights, but there it is.

Constitutional Carry map
(Author’s map)

My state does not have Constitutional Carry, but the legislature lets the localities set the permit fee. I recently moved from a town that charged the minimum fee of $15.00 to a county where the fee is $55.00. When I asked the clerk why it was so expensive, she told me the sheriff uses the money for his budget. I had no recourse but to pay the fee if I wanted to transfer my permit.

The Alabama Sheriff’s Association did indeed oppose Constitutional Carry. But you maybe didn’t hear that it was for budgetary reasons. They asked how the revenue shortfalls for their departments would be made up if permit fees fell dramatically or dried up altogether. The association dropped its objection when the legislature included additional funding in the final bill. But you probably won’t hear that part.

Constitutional Carry Nation

The Constitutional Carry wave has picked up steam in the last three years. Gun sales are surging, and millions of new gun owners continue to join our ranks. As those new gun owners educate themselves, many want to accept responsibility for their own safety by carrying their firearms.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signs Constitutional Carry into law. (Office of Governor Kay Ivey)

Constitutional Carry has proved popular for its political supporters as well. Governors and legislators are reaping electoral rewards thanks, in part, to liberty-promoting measures like Constitutional Carry. There will probably never be nationwide permitless carry, though the Supreme Court’s Bruen Decision continues to roll back decades of gun control schemes, so we’ll see.

But don’t be surprised if 2023 sees a few more states jumping on the train. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has said that he will sign a Constitutional Carry bill if the legislature puts it on his desk. That will probably happen. Nebraska is also looking good. Pro-gun states now outnumber those with anti-gun laws. The tide is turning as Bruen barrels along and more Americans choose to rely on themselves. That can only be a good thing, no matter what media darling gun controllers say.

#Constitutional #Carry #Law #Nation

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