For many years most states prohibited their citizens from exercising their Second Amendment Right to carry a firearm for self defense (or any other legal purpose). Some states allowed that exercise, but with a complicated process to receive a permit or license. That started to change in 1987 when Florida enacted a law allowing for citizens to obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm.
In the 31 years since other states have followed suit and enacted concealed carry laws. Concealed carry is now fairly common, although not particularly widespread in most states. Now, every states has some provision for concealed carry, although it’s extremely difficult and expensive in some states.
At the time that Florida passed it’s concealed carry law, there was one state that allowed residents and visitors to carry a firearm with no license or permit required. Vermont was alone among states that had no licensing requirements. Anyone over the age of 21 could carry a firearm for legal purposes without the need for a “permission slip” from the state.
In 2003, Alaska ditched it’s licensing requirements and became the second “Constitutional Carry” state. Since then the trend has accelerated.
Since then Arizona (2010), Arkansas (2013), Idaho (2016), Kansas (2015), Maine (2015), Mississippi (2016), Missouri (2016), New Hampshire (2017), North Dakota (2017), West Virginia (2016), and Wyoming (2011) have enacted laws. A few of those states limit this to residents and as commercials often say “some restrictions may apply.”
Which brings us to 2019. The Kentucky legislature has passed a bill, which the Governor has said he will sign, removing the permit requirements for concealed carry. In Oklahoma, the Governor has signed a bill, which will take effect on November 1, doing the same. Finally, the Governor of South Dakota has signed a bill removing the permit requirements for concealed carry in that state.
That brings to sixteen the number of states that don’t have permit requirements for concealed carry of firearms.
The funny thing is that most people who don’t follow these matters probably know nothing about it. The passage of all of these laws in accompanied by comparisons to “Dodge City” and proclamations that “blood will run in the streets” if people who are not legally barred from possessing firearms can carry a firearm for self defense without a state approved license or permit.
Yet, none of that “wild west” catastrophe has come to pass. Nothing seems to have changed, except that maybe crime rates have gone down.
Odd how that works.
While some states are working hard to enact further restrictions on firearms owners, it seems that some states have figured out that law abiding people aren’t the major cause of crime in America.
Who would have ever figured.
I added this graphic to the post. Originally, I used it as the “Featured Image” which is seen on Facebook. Unfortunately, it doesn’t animate properly on Facebook, so I’m posting it here.