Concealed-Weapons Laws Have Changed America Regardless of National Debate on Gun ControlPosted: February 26, 2014
For Washington Examiner, the Michael Barone writes: Over the last 25 years, we have had related national debates over proposed federal gun-control laws designed to restrict access to certain firearms. But only one piece of major legislation has passed Congress, in the 1994 crime bill, and the electoral backlash against many of its supporters in the 1994 midterm elections convinced many Democrats inclined to support such restrictions to try to sidestep the issue.
But Congress and the laws it passes are not the only determinants of facts on the ground. Starting with a Florida law in 1987, most states have passed concealed weapons laws, allowing law-abiding citizens who have had relevant training to obtain licenses to carry concealed weapons. Such laws have been supplemented by court decisions covering a few states since the U.S. Supreme Court decision inHeller v. District of Columbia in 2008, which recognized that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms.
The chart below shows how Shall Issue laws for the licensed carrying of firearms for self-defense have become the American norm.
By 2014, the percentage of people living in the Red states, with no possibility of even applying for a permit, has declined to zero. Illinois’ 2013 reforms ended the problem of states not even having a process theoretically available. (The problem persists in DC, but this chart is only for states.)
As of January 2014, about 2/3 of the population lived in a Green state, with a Shall Issue licensing statute.
Purple states (concealed carry is allowed without need for a permit) have increased from Vermont only in 1986 to several states comprising about 4% of the population. Currently, the Purple states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Vermont, and Wyoming (residents only).
The Yellow states (arbitrary permitting) were the national norm in 1986, but they are now outliers. Unless the 9th Circuits’ decision in Peruta is overturned, California and Hawaii will have to become Shall Issue states.
This will leave Yellow states at less than 1/7 of the U.S. population.
The six hold-out states are increasingly isolated. Not counting tiny Rhode Island and Delaware, the four larger hold-out states each are all bordered mainly by Green states. (Mass. by upper New England and Connecticut; NY by Penn., Vt., and Conn.; NJ by Penn.; Maryland by Penn., Vir., and WV). It should also be noted that in two of Delaware’s three counties, permit issuance is often approximately what a Green state would do…
Back in 1987, some people, myself included, worried that such laws would lead to frequent shootouts on the streets arising from traffic altercations and the like. That has not happened — something we can be sure of since the mainstream media would be delighted to headline such events…
- Wells Fargo sued by employee fired for concealed carrying at work (hotair.com)
- Detroit police chief: More legally armed citizens deter crime (dailycaller.com)
- Colorado initiative would ban concealed weapons on college campuses (dailycaller.com)
- 9th Circuit: The Second Amendment Protects the Right to Carry a Gun (nationalreview.com)
- Concealed Carry Means Fewer Murders, Says New Study (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Obama Finally Credited for Something Positive: Record U.S. Gun Production (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Another Victory for Gun Rights (powerlineblog.com)
- Two anniversaries gun control supporters aren’t celebrating (dailycaller.com)