The picture hasn’t been all that rosy for the gun rights cause of late. What with the President virtually ordering the ATF to reclassify bump fire stocks as machine guns (a dangerous precedent) and the Californication of Washington state gun laws with the passage of I-1639, there hasn’t been much good news lately.
However, two states look to join to constitutional carry club, giving their citizens the unfettered right to keep and bear arms, just as the Bill of Rights clearly specifies.
First, the long push toward constitutional carry in the Lone Star State is moving forward. From star-telegram.com:
State Rep. Jonathan Stickland has filed a bill to allow “Constitutional Carry” — to let any Texan who legally owns a handgun carry it openly or concealed without first getting a permit— across the state.
“It is a major legislative priority for the Republican Party and very popular with my constituents,” said Stickland, R-Bedford. “I think there’s a real need for it.”
This isn’t the first time Stickland has pushed for constitutional carry in Texas.
Stickland filed bills to allow constitutional carry in Texas in both 2015 and 2017, but they were overshadowed by other gun proposals.
The measure last year made it farther than in the past, being heard in a committee hearing, although it never reached the Texas House floor.
In 2015, constitutional carry lost out to the intermediate step of a more politically palatable bill that allowed open carry for CHL holders. In 2017 campus carry and a reduction in fees for gun owners sucked all the legislative air out of the room. Stickland’s hoping 2019 will finally be the year for constitutional carry.
As for the anti-gun side, they’re trotting out the usual hoplophobic talking points.
“Unlicensed carry is out of the mainstream,” said Marsha McCartney, a spokeswoman for the Texas chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “It is not what Texans want.
“Maybe (Stickland) should pay a little attention to what they do want.”
McCartney uses that term “mainstream,” but I don’t think she really knows what that means. There are currently 13 states with full constitutional carry — no permit required for concealed or open carry — either for everyone or just residents. That makes constitutional carry mainstream by any definition.
Oh, and she also forgot to mention blood running ankle-deep in the streets and fender-bender shoot-outs. Probably just an oversight.
TTAG talked to Gun Owners of America’s Texas Director, Rachel Malone, who had this to say:
Constitutional carry is simply a term to mean that we shouldn’t have to ask the government for a permission slip to carry our guns. If somebody legally possesses a handgun, that person absolutely should be able to carry it either open or concealed without needing a special government permit. …
Over a quarter of the states recognize constitutional carry, where law abiding citizens can carry open or concealed without needing a permit. Well over half of the states have no problem with people carrying guns openly without a permit. Texas, on the other hand, was the 45th state to allow licensed open carry. It’s high time for Texas to catch up and start leading in gun rights.
That’s a sentiment with which we couldn’t agree more.
After years of unsuccessful attempts, supporters of legislation that would allow people to carry concealed handguns without a permit in South Dakota anticipate revived prospects for the conservative prize once GOP Gov.-elect Kristi Noem takes office in January.
The legislation languished under retiring Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard, but Noem offered support for a so-called constitutional carry law during her campaign. Incoming GOP Sen. Lynne DiSanto, sponsor of a permitless concealed carry bill that Daugaard vetoed, said such legislation is likely in the upcoming session and she’s optimistic about its prospects.
Of course, there’s many a slip between the cup and the lip when it comes to campaign promises and signing a bill into law.
Backers (of constitutional carry) are likely to get a boost from Noem, who triumphed over Democratic state Sen. Billie Sutton in the November election. Noem in January urged passage of a permitless carry bill.
At the time Noem didn’t endorse a specific plan, though her campaign said she supported the policy “in principle.” Transition team spokeswoman Kristin Wileman said in a statement this week that Noem won’t commit to legislation until she can review its text, but said she’s a strong Second Amendment supporter and thinks provisions like constitutional carry can “protect and even strengthen this right for South Dakotans.”
So the outlook at least looks promising for South Dakota. In theory. We’ll be watching closely.