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 justia.com:
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 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.
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.