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Permitless or constitutional carry is on the march. The number of states that don’t require a government permission slip to carry a weapon for self defense — openly or concealed — has jumped from seven to eleven. Four states joined the club in 2016: Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi and West Virginia. Who’s next? (Hint: it’s not California.)

Indiana was one of the first states to have a “shall issue” permit process for concealed carry. The change from “may issue” stemmed from a judicial ruling on the Indiana Constitution, not legislative action. From

In Schubert v. DeBard (1980) Ind. App., 398 N.E.2d 1339, the question of what is a proper reason for carrying a handgun was decided by this Court. Schubert held that under Art. 1, § 32 of the Indiana Constitution[2] self-defense was a proper reason within IC 1971, 35-23-4.1-5(a). Furthermore, Schubert determined that absent some evidence to refute self-defense as a reason, the superintendent could not deny an applicant a license on the basis of the superintendent’s subjective evaluation of the asserted reason.

If the right is an individual one, as the Indiana court found in 1980, how can the state require a permit to bear arms? Representative Jim Lucas has been working at correcting this situation for several years. Lucas thinks 2017 may be the year the legislature finally removes the requirement for a permit to keep and bear arms.


Around one in 10 people in Indiana have a license to carry, and that number has gone up by more than 50 percent since 2012.

State Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, says that rising demand is part of the reason he wants to free people from applying for that license in the first place.

“To me it’s immoral and even it is criminal … to force an innocent person to jump through hoops and pay money to the state to prove their innocence and exercise a constitutional right,” Lucas said.

Indiana became more Second Amendment friendly during the 2016 presidential election. Representative Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn, an ardent 2A supporter, has ascended to chairman of the Committee on Corrections.

Several other states are also considering constitutional carry bills including Texas, South Dakota, New Hampshire, Utah, and Tennessee. According to my sources, Wisconsin is also in play.

When it comes to gun rights, the Eat Cheese or Die State’s constitution is clear: Article I, § 25 of the Wisconsin Constitution, adopted in 1998, states: “[t]he people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.” Unfortunately, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has used the same “reasonable regulation” loophole created by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Heller decision to stymie firearms freedom.

In the 2003 case State v. Hamdan the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that “only if the public benefit in . . . exercise of the police power [to regulate firearms] is substantially outweighed by an individual’s need to conceal a weapon in the exercise of the right to bear arms will an otherwise valid restriction on that right be unconstitutional as applied.”

Flash forward to 2016. Originalist judges on the State Supreme Court now hold a 7 – 2 majority, including the Chief Justice. Whether or not Wisconsin adopts/restores constitutional carry, there’s a high likelihood that at least one more state will go permitless in 2017.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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  1. We’re working on it. Our biggest impediment is our “Republican” House leader, Bosma. At the very least, with a new chair of the Public Policy committee, the chances of it getting spiked in committee like it has in the past (when Dermody was the chair) are much less.

  2. NH should be joining 2017 or 2018 now that we have somebody who will actually sign it as governor.

  3. I don’t think Utah will happen this year. Just a feeling, but I think we will get shot down. As for the rest of you guys, excelsior!

  4. I didn’t realize Connecticut was shall issue before I saw that map, I assumed they were similar to Mass or NY. But with constitutional carry, I hope it keeps spreading, eventually making it up here to PA.

    • New York is weird. NYC is strictly may issue, which translates basically to “almost never issues unless you’re connected”. Upstate, however, borders closer to “will most likely issue” regarding a basic pistol permit, which allows a person to purchase and use a handgun at a gun range or for home defense. As for getting a CCW, it’s much more erratic and arbitrary, usually depending on the judge involved. I’ve heard of some judges who won’t issue a CCW until a person has had a target/home permit for a few years, while others won’t issue a CCW at all, while some others have no problem giving them out. It’s not a good system, but we are not cloaked in progressive, hoplophobic darkness like NYC, at least not yet.

      • I’ve heard that in may issue states many times it comes down to the feelings of whoever the direct issuer of the permits is, whether chief LEO or judge in your case. Even if you live in the jurisdiction of a friendly issuer, it’s rediculous that it comes down to that.

          • I agree. I’m currently content with PAs shall issue (even though I can’t get a permit yet) because it is relatively inexpensive and as long as theres nothing to prevent you from owning a gun your permit can’t be denied. I would love to have constitutional carry implemented, but I know with the current governor and a good portion the state legislature that wouldn’t be possible anytime soon.

        • I should add, New York State doesn’t even have permit reciprocity with NYC. NYC has decided that only pistol permits issued in NYC are valid in NYC. So a permit holder from upstate can’t bring his/her pistol into NYC. There are plenty of reasons to not ever set foot in NYC, and this is just another.

          • So NYC gets to act like it’s own little city state. I’ve only been there once, when driving through to get to the airport, and never plan on going back unless a nation reciprocity gets passed that would allow me to carry.

      • Without even getting into the Second Amendment, that entire crazy quilt of practices ought to struck down and shut down on equal protection grounds alone.

    • CT is “may issue” on paper but “shall issue” in practice. Anyone who clears the numerous barriers is usually issued a permit, and courts do reverse denials.

      Residents have a lot of hoops to jump through. It’s actually a little better for nonresidents who have a permit in their residency states.

  5. I swear, if TX will just get its stuff together, I’ll go down to Michaels and have my license mounted in a big frame, maybe 2-foot square, and hang it on my damn wall as a conversation piece, “look how stupid we were once!”

    • It deserves a prominent place in a museum or Hall of Shame, right next to a receipt for having paid a poll tax.

  6. So if Indiana goes CC I can cross the border(a scant mile ) and carry from Illinoisistan with nothing more than a grin and an ID? Or not…anyone?

    • The answer would be determined by how IN became a CC state. If done through an appeal, there would be almost no limitations on who but limits would still exist for where.

    • It could end up being like Wyoming, where you have to be a resident.

      Which reminds me that Wyoming is not constitutional carry (despite the sunshine enema given by this diagram and Dean Weingarten) because of that fact.

    • Indiana has reciprocity with every other state that allows it’s citizens to carry already.
      I want to know when Illinois is going to return the favor. It’s not like those 700 murders this year in Chicago were committed by out of staters.

  7. No, Indiana will not do permitless concealed carry. Why? Because Gary is the Newark, NJ of Indiana. If Neward is the armpit of America, Gary is the flaring nostrils of America. Then you can also throw in South Bend, Muncie, Marion, Fort Wayne, and Indianapolis.

    Permitless open carry is likely, but that will only apply “outside city limits” which basically means cornfolk can carry without a permit when they’re counting haystacks.

  8. “To me it’s immoral and even it is criminal … to force an innocent person to jump through hoops and pay money to the state to prove their innocence and exercise a constitutional right,” Lucas said.

    What a friggin’ novel concept.

    I wish him success.

  9. Constitutional Carry would be nice, although the existing regime is not terrible (d@mning with faint praise, I know). Would also be nice to get rid of our “Papers, Schnell!!!” ID law.

  10. I would bet on Montana, Utah, or Oklahoma. Montana is bordered by CC states already (so is CO, but I wouldn’t bet actual money on us), so I think they’ll be next. The other two are very gun friendly states, so those are my best picks.

    • So long as we have to deal with governor Chickenhumper and one democrap-controlled chamber in the legislature, our chances are precisely zero, either of this happening, or any of the BS that passed in 2013 being repealed.

    • Mentally unstable as judged by whom? There are various mental health “professionals” that state that wanting to carry a firearm for self -defense is proof that they are “mentally unstable”.

      To me, if someone is proven to be dangerous to others, as in charged with a crime and incarcerated; then they have lost their right to KABA. Once they allowed back into the public domain, then they should have the ability to bear arms in their own or others defense.

      In other words, if they are too dangerous to bear arms in public, they should be charged with a crime and jailed.

      Oh, wait; that would depend on the old fashioned idea that they are innocent until proven guilty, never mind.

    • A. They’re already “prohibited persons”, and cannot lawfully purchase or possess a firearm
      B. They’re going to get a firearm with or without an LTCH
      C. Who determines that they are “mentally unstable”, and according to what criteria?

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