All across the nation, it seems that state after state is looking to make the move towards constitutional carry, or the right to carry concealed without a permit. Four states are looking to join the ranks of those with this law of the land. Let's take a look at this new batch of perhaps soon to be better-armed states.
Currently, in the U.S., we have eleven states; Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming that have constitutional carry laws for their citizens. The term “Constitutional Carry” is applied due to the fact that the law stands up for the Second Amendment’s text to keep and bear arms. Now, the state houses and lawmakers in New Hampshire, North Dakota, Kentucky and New Mexico have proposed similar legislation, hoping to join this growing pack. So let's take a look at the story state-by-state.
The state of New Hampshire is currently the furthest along in it's process to allow Constitutional Carry. Last week, the state's Senate Judiciary Committee successfully voted Senate Bill 12 out of committee. SB 12, as it is referred, is sponsored by the Republican state Senator Jeb Bradley. The text of this bill would repeal the currently in place license requirement to carry a concealed handgun unless a person is otherwise prohibited. However, for those who choose to obtain their licenses, SB 12 would also increase the length of time for which that license is valid.
The existing law in New Hampshire recognizes the right of any citizen who can legally own and possess a firearm to carry it openly, either loaded or unloaded, anywhere in the state not prohibited by law. However, if that firearm were to become covered by a coat or if a woman wished to carry the firearm in her purse, they would need to apply for their concealed carry license. This legislation would make New Hampshire's “permitless” carry laws from covering only open carry to including both open and concealed carry.
Now for those of you in New Hampshire that are reading this you are likely aware that New Hampshire lawmakers have already passed “permitless” carry legislation the past two years running, but the former Governor Maggie Hassan vetoed it each of those times. But in a positive turn of electoral events, the current Governor Chris Sununu appears to be much more open to the idea of constitutional carry for the state.
Also on the list of states considering constitutional carry is the highly Republican state of North Dakota. This thanks to Republican state Representative Rick Becker. Becker has stated that he is in the process of drafting a bill to introduce during this session of the North Dakota Congress that would do away with the permit requirement for law-abiding adults to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense.
Becker states that sees the forthcoming law as bringing his state back in line with the original intent of the framers of the U.S. Constitution.
“Having this bill into play, if it becomes law, brings us a little bit closer to the original intent of the Second Amendment, and so I think it's kind of an easy one,” said Becker.
Currently, North Dakotans must apply, go through training and pay for a Class 1 or Class 2 license in order to carry in the state. Should “permitless” carry pass, gun owners would still be able to get concealed-carry permits for use when traveling to other states. However if National Concealed Carry Reciprocity occurs, there is a chance that these permits may not be necessary.
In New Mexico, state Senator Steven Neville also plans to introduce “permitless” carry legislation in the capital of Santa Fe to deregulate the carry process in the Land of Enchantment. The legislation would, according to Neville “would allow anyone who would be legally entitled to own firearms and carry firearms to do so without having a concealed-carry permit.” He noted that law-enforcement officers in his district had urged him to introduce this legislation after pointing out that enforcing the law that prohibits carry without a permit—a petty misdemeanor—wastes valuable law-enforcement resources.
Neville also noted in his statement that law-enforcement officers in his home district were the driving force behind this bill, as they had urged him to introduce this legislation after pointing out that enforcing the law that prohibits carry without a permit—a petty misdemeanor—wastes valuable law-enforcement resources.
Meanwhile, in Kentucky, constitutional carry legislation has already been introduced and was done so on the very first day of the 2017 legislative session. It is referred to as Senate Bill 7 and it's text states that it would allow any law-abiding individual who can legally possess a firearm to carry a handgun for self-defense in Kentucky without having to obtain a permit to do so.
So it seems that this year could be the year of the second amendment finally regaining a foothold across the country. ConcealedCarry.com will be sure to keep you updated on these four important states and their fight to bring the constitutional right to carry to the people, as well as any other states that may follow suit with similar legislature.