A little over a year ago, I wrote about the amazing progress constitutional carry had made, though not without a number of failed efforts. The total at the time was 18 states, something that seemed unimaginable just a few years earlier. It wasn’t long ago that there were still fights to move no-issue states into the may-issue column, and may-issue states to shall-issue. No-issue is now ostensibly down to just a single state.
In other words, in the not-so-olden days, being able to carry, even with a permit, was a fight. Now an amazing amount of headway has been. With Indiana’s governor signing constitutional carry into law this week, we’re up to 24 states, making constitutional carry the most common model in the United States (it now far outnumbers shall-issue, may-issue, and no carry).
About this time last year, though, things didn’t quite look as optimistic. Yes, a few states, including “better late than never” Texas, had barely passed permitless carry laws. But Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown civilian disarmament subsidiary was only too happy to gloat about defeating constitutional carry bills in 15 states . . .
Update: 10 of those 15 states have now passed permitless carry. pic.twitter.com/nCSmF4fLnp
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) March 22, 2022
Now, a year later, things aren’t nearly as much fun for Everytown. We “gun extremists” managed to get the legislatures and the governors of ten of those fifteen states to pass constitutional carry either later last year, or this year. And, the legislative season isn’t over. Georgia seems poised to be next, and others may yet follow this year.
As FPC also pointed out, Moms Demand Action got a lot more action than they bargained for the last few years. Their (losses) are also on full display:
Where It Stands Now, And Where It Could Go Next
Constitutional carry is now now the most common model of lawful carry in the United States, but it’s going to face more resistance to growth from here. The solidly red states almost all have it now (Georgia is now on deck and as for Florida, well…). Now we’re starting to get into the purple states.
Those won’t go as easily as the states that have enacted permitless carry in the last five years. Just getting places like Alabama, where gun control emerged as Jim Crow laws and public officials still openly make it clear that they use gun control to deny other civil rights, like the Fourth Amendment.
Now, expect the effort to be even more difficult. New Mexico and Colorado still have a lot of pro-gun people in rural areas and small towns, but the cities have been filling up with vultures from California for the better part of two decades. The same is true for Nevada, Oregon, and Washington to varying degrees.
Even if you somehow get past those, the remaining “may issue” and “no issue” states are going to be even less fertile ground for it. New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii, and Maryland are the most challenging examples of this.
That leaves only a few states where permitless carry is remotely likely to happen in the near future. The Carolinas, Florida, and Louisiana are good candidates. Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota…maybe. Same for Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, but with those purple-state challenges.
Nobody can say it’s impossible in any state, but some are definitely going to be more challenging than others. If there’s anything the last ten years have taught us, though, it’s to never say never.