In 2014, Guam passed a “shall issue” concealed carry bill reforming the existing “may issue” system. The bill’s chief sponsor was Senator Anthony Ada. At the time, Senator Ada said the Ninth Circuit’s Peruta v. San Diego County ruling was the main reason he pushed for “shall issue.” (Guam falls under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit.) From guampdn.com:
“P.L. 32-150 was enacted in May of 2014,” Ada said. “It makes sense that any jump in the number of concealed (firearms licenses) issued thereafter beyond the previous norm can be attributed to the law’s enactment.”
According to Ada, the law eliminated subjectivity in the language from “GPD may issue” to “GPD shall issue” a concealed firearms license if applicants meet requirements stated in the law. He said changing the language was important to get Guam back in compliance with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, which grants the right to keep and bear arms.
Subsequent to the change, the number of Guam concealed carry licenses rose from about 100 to 700. In 2015, 800 more licenses were added. While not precise, firearms registrations indicate that about ten percent of Guam’s population are firearms owners. More than one percent of the inhabitants of Guam now have a concealed carry permit.
In 2016, Senator Ada introduced a bill changing the requirement that a concealed carry license holder be a citizen of the United States, to mandating they be a legal resident. This change removed an unconstitutional aspect of the previous law. Bill 236-33, passed the Senate and was signed into law by the Governor.
Guam is much friendlier to Second Amendment restoration than the neighboring Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). In the CNMI, the legislature and local elites are fighting the establishment of Second Amendment rights at every opportunity. Here’s hoping they see the light.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.