Every Picture Tells A Story is the longest running feature on this blog. It first ran on October 6, 2011. As of today, it has now hit its ninth iteration.
It started out as a way of showing the transition from restricted or no carry rights to shall-issue carry rights. When the feature started, there were states like Illinois that did not allow any concealed carry. It is still very hard to obtain a permit in states like New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, etc.
The graphics were created by my reader Rob Vance who has been updating it for the last 10 years.
The graphic plots the percentage of the United States population over time that had no-issue, may-issue, shall-issue, and constitutional carry with regard to concealed carry of firearms.
If I may add a couple of other things, I’d say that shall-issue is the new norm in 2011 as opposed to no-issue or severely restricted may-issue back in 1986. The other thing I would add is that the experience with shall-issue concealed carry in the early adopting states like Florida paved the way for its adoption elsewhere. That is, people applying for concealed carry licenses are law-abiding citizens who have taken the responsibility seriously. Unlike what the Violence Policy Center would have you believe, the streets are not running with blood nor have they.
With Gov. Spencer Cox (R-UT) signing Utah’s constitutional carry bill on Friday, there are now 17 states that no longer demand a permit to carry concealed. The Utah law goes into effect on May 5th. As might be expected, the Utah media is aghast. Even the LDS-owned Deseret News was all a-twitter. They are worried that people won’t get training anymore. The permit itself is not going away and people who want to carry in other states under reciprocity would still need it. As Clark Aposhian of the Utah Shooting Sports Council noted, open carry was already legal without a permit in Utah and all the new law does is allow you to put a coat over the gun.
Tennessee and Montana could be added to the list later this year. Montana already allows permitless carry outside of the city limits and the bill pending in their legislature expands it to cities as well.
I may have to rethink what I said in 2011 about shall-issue becoming the new normal. In “free” states, I think constitutional or permitless carry is fast becoming the new normal.