The normalization of constitutional carry

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For some, what matters most isn’t what’s right or wrong, but what’s popular. They talk about anything that’s not popular as “radical” or extremist.”

That includes ideas like constitutional carry.

In their mind, this departure from what they’ve always known is little more than a radical attempt to subvert social norms. Or something.

However, as noted at the Washington Times, the United States isn’t just a gun country anymore.

Second Amendment advocates scored a string of victories in recent years to expand to 25 states the right to carry a concealed handgun without a permit or what’s known as “constitutional carry.”

The trend is poised to continue and tip the balance to more than half the U.S. with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, pledging to get a constitutional carry law through the GOP-run legislature.

Gun control activists and some law enforcement view the trend as a threat to public safety because it enables people to carry concealed firearms without a background check or other requirements such as firearm training.

Other than Vermont, which has never regulated carrying guns since becoming a state in 1791, most states only recently adopted permitless carry. A wave of GOP-run states began passing constitutional carry laws in 2010 following a concerted lobbying effort by the National Rifle Association.

Just last year, Iowa, Montana, Texas, Utah and Tennessee adopted constitutional carry laws. In 2019, Kentucky, South Dakota and Oklahoma approved permitless concealed carry. Between 2010 and 2017, the law went into effect in Arizona, Wyoming, Arkansas, Maine, Kansas, Idaho, Mississippi, West Virginia, North Dakota, New Hampshire and Missouri.

Currently, 25 states–half the nation–are under constitutional carry laws. In other words, the norms are shifting and are likely to continue shifting.

After all, constitutional carry is really on the brink of passing in a number of other states, which means the majority of the US will soon be constitutional carry.

Why is that?

Well, the Washington Times talked to some guy who might know a bit about it.

The popularity of constitutional carry, says Bearing Arms editor Cam Edwards, is that the constitutional right to bear arms “shouldn’t require a permission slip.”

He said the success of constitutional carry is a continuation of the right-to-carry movement that has been taking place in the U.S. since the mid-1980s.

“Since then, dozens of states have adopted ‘shall issue’ concealed carry laws, more than half have gone on to approve constitutional carry, and not one of them has ever decided to go back to a ‘may issue’ system or repealed their constitutional carry law,” he said. “As more states adopt the measure, it makes sense that other Republicans would become willing and even eager to sign on.”

Now, I’m going to agree with Cam here, and not just because he’s the boss. He happens to be completely correct here.

The truth of the matter is that while constitutional carry was once fairly extreme–at least as most people see it–it’s been part of a growing movement that is really culminating into what we’re seeing today.

As noted, though, Vermont has never had concealed carry laws and it has been consistently one of the safest states in the nation, so it’s not surprising that others are looking at that and are ready to adopt such a measure.

Yet the tipping point appears to have been passed.

Constitutional carry is no longer radical, though anti-Second Amendment activists will continue to try and claim otherwise. It’s the law in too many states to consider it as such.

More than that, though, it’s clear that despite the doom and gloom being slung about, it’s a path forward that will help make this nation safer.