When it comes to carrying a gun, constitutional carry is kind of the Holy Grail. With it, we reach a point that should have been our default. In particular, that anyone who can lawfully own a gun can lawfully carry one without having to ask the government for permission. Even in Shall Issue states, that’s all a permit is. It’s permission from the state to exercise a right that should never have been restricted in the first place.
Now, it seems that while we have to fend of threats from the Biden administration, a number of states are looking at heading in the opposite direction.
In Tennessee, Republican lawmakers are expected to push again to allow most adults 21 and older to carry firearms — concealed or openly — without a license that now requires a background check and training.
GOP Gov. Bill Lee backed the idea last year, though the proposal and others were put on hold amid the pandemic.
The push in Tennessee came after the GOP-dominant General Assembly relaxed the state’s handgun law in 2020 by allowing people to obtain a concealed-carry-only handgun permit that didn’t require them to demonstrate the ability to fire a weapon.
In Montana, the House recently passed a bill to allow people to carry concealed firearms without a permit in most places.
Similar bills that would allow or expand concealed carry without a permit have been introduced in Texas, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Alabama and Georgia.
In Texas, where the NRA plans to incorporate soon and where some lawmakers bring concealed handguns to work at the state Capitol, the GOP has listed the issue as one of just eight legislative priorities. The idea has failed to gain traction for years, though, and with the pandemic promising to be the predominant force in the upcoming session, its prospects are once again uncertain.
Of course, this same story has the nonsense pushed by Shannon Watts that I tore apart yesterday.
Now, perhaps the most interesting state here is Georgia. After all, Georgia flipped and went Blue in the 2020 elections, going for Joe Biden over Donald Trump. Then the state elected two Democrats to the Senate. That would suggest the state’s politics have turned completely.
However, it still has a conservative legislature, which means there’s still a lot they can do in the next two years at a minimum. Plus, with the census having just been completed, they’ll likely still be responsible for redistricting. That means they can solidify their hold, at least for the time being.
And that means they’re not about to jump on the gun control bandwagon.
As for the other states, well, they’re all pro-gun states that lean very red in their politics. Yet that’s often not enough to get them over the hump on constitutional carry.
It looks like state-level politics should be interesting this year.
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