Criminal Carry?

The anti-rights lobby has now coined a new word. It is “criminal carry”. I learned it when I saw this tweet by the Demanding Mommy herself, Shannon Watts.

Of course, she has characterized permitless or constitutional carry by that epithet. As to the Demanding Moms actually stopping that bill in Tennessee, let’s just say that Mrs. Watts is never shy about taking credit when no credit is due her.

Given the right to keep and bear arms is an enumerated right, I’d like to take Mrs. Watts’ classification of one enumerated right to its illogical extreme by applying it to other enumerated rioghts.

So is it free speech or criminal speech that is protected by the First Amendment?

Is it the free exercise of religion or the criminal exercise of religion?

Is it due process of law or criminal process of law?

Is it a free press or a criminal press?

Is it the right to peaceably assemble or is it a right to criminally assemble?

The list could go on but you get what I’m saying. Someone may not like my right to exercise a constitutional right but to denigrate it diminishes all rights. Too bad Mrs. Watts is not smart enough to realize that.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part XVII

Georgia becomes the 25th state to enact permitless or constitutional carry. Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) promised to sign the bill if it came to him and he did it this afternoon in Douglasville, Georgia. With the addition of Georgia, over 36% of all Americans reside in a state with unrestricted or permitless concealed carry.

The graph originally developed by Rob Vance back in 2011 has certainly changed a lot over the years. At first, it was the addition of shall-issue concealed carry into the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. I said at the time that shall-issue was the new normal.

Then it started adding more and more states who had adopted permitless carry. This year it is had to be revised a number of times. It may be revised again if Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has his way down in Florida. If that happens, almost 43% of all Americans would live in states with unrestricted carry.

Shall-issue is no longer the new normal; unrestricted carry is the new normal.

Below is the latest graph by Rob that shows the addition of Georgia.

Contrast the current graph in 2022 with the graph from 2011 shown below. You see two things: the growth of unrestricted carry and the decline of effectively no-issue to virtually nil. If I had to come up with reasons for this change, I’d say it is due to three things. First, wins in court. Second, the election of pro-rights legislatures in many states. Finally, governors seeing the writing was on the wall and knowing their own political fortunes were in peril if they didn’t sign the bill.

While I’d love to see the yellow or may-issue section decrease, I don’t think we will see any movement in that until and unless the Supreme Court rules against New York in the Bruen case. I am keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

Follow-Up On Nebraska

As I posted yesterday, supporters of permitless carry in Nebraska failed to get enough votes to invoke cloture on the filibuster of LB 773. The bill would have made Nebraska the 26th state with unrestricted or permitless carry. Gov. Pete Ricketts (R-NE) had said he would sign the bill.

While the Nebraska Legislature is officially non-partisan, the senators have political affiliations and are supported by the political parties when they run for office. The website Ballotpedia did the research and has the political affiliation of each senator.

As I noted yesterday, two more votes in favor of cloture were needed. I thought it would be interesting to look at who voted against the bill and, more importantly, those that voted “present – not voting”. This latter wanted to eat their cake and have it too. While they can say they didn’t vote against the bill, they still condemned it to defeat by not voting.

Voting Nay

  1. Sen. Eliot Bostar (Dem – Dist 29)
  2. Sen. John Cavanaugh (Dem – Dist 9)
  3. Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh (Dem – Dist 6)
  4. Sen. Jen Day (Dem – Dist 49)
  5. Sen. Wendy DeBoer (Dem – Dist 10)
  6. Sen. Matt Hansen (Dem – Dist 26)
  7. Sen. Megan Hunt (Dem – Dist 8)
  8. Sen. Steve Lathrop (Dem – Dist 12)
  9. Sen. Adam Morfield (Dem – Dist 46)

These nine Democrats all represented districts in either Douglas County (Omaha) or Lancaster County (Lincoln).

Present – Not Voting

  1. Sen. Carol Blood (Dem – Dist 3)
  2. Sen. Suzanne Geist (Rep – Dist 25)
  3. Sen. Robert Hilkemann (Rep – Dist 4)
  4. Sen. John McCollister (Rep – Dist 20)
  5. Sen. Mike McDonnell (Dem – Dist 5)
  6. Sen. Lynne Walz (Dem – Dist 15)

If truth be told, I have more respect for those senators that voted against invoking cloture. At least, they had the courage of their convictions however misguided.

No Permitless Carry For Nebraska

Supporters of LB 773, the permitless carry bill in Nebraska, fell two votes short in their attempt to invoke cloture on a filibuster against the bill. The vote was 31-9. Failure to invoke closure in the Nebraska’s unicameral legislature means the bill is dead for the year. If it had passed, Gov. Pete Ricketts (R-NE) had promised to sign it.

The primary sponsor of the legislation, Sen. Tom Brewer (Dis. 43- Gordon) has promised to bring the bill back next session.

From the Omaha World-Herald:

“Next year we’ll start over again,” he vowed, predicting that newly elected lawmakers will change the makeup of the Legislature and provide enough votes for the measure to pass. 

Under LB 773, which was co-sponsored by a majority of state senators, Nebraska adults who were not otherwise banned from having guns would no longer have had to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Initially, the bill faced opposition from major law enforcement groups in Nebraska such as the Omaha Police Officers Association and the Omaha PD. However, Sen. Brewer had negotiated a compromise and the law enforcement groups would change to neutral on the bill if that compromise amendment was adopted.

Again from the Omaha World-Herald on the compromise:

But the amendment failed on a 13-29 vote Monday, with hard-line gun rights advocates joining those who favored gun restrictions to shoot it down. 

The Omaha police union then switched back to opposition and began urging senators to vote against the bill. 

The compromise amendment would have allowed cities of the metropolitan class, meaning Omaha, to continue to require registration of all handguns, other than those owned by people with a concealed-carry permit. The city could not deny registrations to anyone allowed by state law to own a gun.

The amendment also would make it a crime to carry a concealed handgun while committing any of a lengthy list of offenses. The list ranges from murder to “unauthorized” graffiti and includes violations of city or village ordinances, as well as state laws.

As I’m not a resident of the Cornhusker State, I don’t know all the hoops that Sen. Brewer had to jump through to get that “compromise” but to me it seems he was giving up more than was gained. While permitless carry would have been great, registration of handguns and any sort of a carve-out for Omaha would seem to negate what would be gained. Any registration scheme is anathema to me.

I hope Sen. Brewer is correct in seeing a potential pickup of the needed seats to overcome a future filibuster in the next session. I’d much rather see the effort go to picking up those seats than to making any sort of compromise that would minimize the win of getting permitless carry passed.

As you would expect, the anti-rights forces are crowing about the failure to invoke cloture.

In another tweet she says they sent 400 emails and made 400 calls as if that was an overwhelming number. Jeez!

The Nebraska Legislature is officially non-partisan. It will take some research to check the affiliation of the nine nay votes and the six who voted “present-not voting”.

Kemp To Sign Permitless Carry Bill On Tuesday

Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) will sign Georgia’s recently passed permitless carry bill into law on Tuesday, April 12th. He plans to do it at Gable Sporting Goods in Douglasville which is located 20 miles west of Atlanta.

I received this media advisory from Kemp’s office on Friday:

Atlanta, GA – On Tuesday, April 12, 2022, Governor Brian P. Kemp, joined by First Lady Marty Kemp, legislators, and other special guests, will sign the Georgia Constitutional Carry Act (SB 319) into law.
WHO: Governor Kemp, First Lady Marty Kemp, and other state leaders

WHEN: Tuesday, April 12, 2022 at 3:30 PM

WHERE: Gable’s Sporting Goods, 6250 Fairburn Road, Douglasville, Georgia 30134

WHAT: Governor Kemp and other guests will provide remarks before the bill signing.

RSVP: Please RSVP to Andrew Isenhour by Monday, April 11, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

According to Section 18 of the bill, the law goes into effect immediately upon Gov. Kemp’s signature. As of Tuesday, fully one half of all the states will have unrestricted or permitless carry.

In related news, it appears that the Nebraska Senate will bring LB773 up for a vote on Monday. That is the permitless carry bill for Nebraska which Gov. Pete Ricketts (R-NE) has pledged to sign.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part XVI

Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) signed House Bill 1296 into law this afternoon. Hoosiers will now be allowed to carry concealed without a permit effective July 1, 2022. The state already allowed free lifetime carry permits. Indiana becomes the third state in 2022 to adopt unrestricted or permitless carry joining Ohio and Alabama. It is now the 24th state in the United States that has constitutional carry.

As the updated graphic below shows, approximately 33% of all Americans now live in a state that allows unrestricted carry. By contrast, only 25.34% of Americans lives in may-issue or virtually no-issue states.

Gov. Holcomb had this to say as to why he signed the bill.

“The Second Amendment has been debated for years, yet time and again our U.S. Supreme Court has reaffirmed this important constitutional right that I fully support. Twenty-three other states have laws comparable to HEA 1296. Vermont has had a constitutional carry law in place since it became a state, and several other states have had a similar law for more than a decade. HEA 1296, which I’ve signed today, entrusts Hoosiers who can lawfully carry a handgun to responsibly do so within our State. It’s important to note that if a person is prohibited, under federal or state laws, from possessing a firearm before this law goes into effect, that person will still be prohibited. And if a prohibited person has a firearm, he or she can be prosecuted. Firearm permits will remain available, without fee, to anyone who wants or needs one, such as Hoosiers desiring to carry a firearm to, through or in another state that has reciprocity with Indiana.”

Many in Indiana law enforcement had campaigned against the bill including the head of the Indiana State Police. Nonetheless, ISP Superintendent Doug Carter indicated he will work to make the bill’s passage a success. He did still encourage Hoosiers to apply for their free lifetime carry permits.

Also opposing the bill were the usual suspects within the gun control industry. In the press release, they now refer to themselves as “public safety advocates”. I guess that will now supersede the term “gun safety” in their lexicon.

I anticipate the state of Georgia will be the next state to pass and implement constitutional carry. Florida is off the books for this year. I would say that my home state of North Carolina will not have constitutional carry until either Roy Cooper is gone or the Republicans regain a super-majority in both houses of the General Assembly.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part XV

My good friend Amanda Suffecool, co-host of Eye on the Target Radio, told me days ago that she thought that Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) would sign unrestricted or constitutional carry into law in Ohio. Her reasoning was that DeWine was being primaried by two strong 2A advocates and that given his somewhat lackluster record on gun rights he needed to prove his bonafides. Today she was proven correct. Ohio became the 23rd state with permitless or unrestricted carry.


As of June 12, you no longer need a permit or training to carry a concealed handgun in Ohio.

Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday signed Republican-backed legislation to allow people in the state to carry a concealed handgun without a permit or training and no longer require them to proactively tell law enforcement during traffic stops that they’re armed.

Senate Bill 215, which takes effect in 90 days, allows anyone 21 or older to carry a concealed firearm unless state or federal law prohibits them from possessing a gun. Ohio will become the 23rd state to allow conceal-carry in public without needing a license, according to the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. Ohio currently requires conceal-carry applicants to take eight hours of training and pass a background check.

The bill also removes the duty to notify law enforcement that you are carrying unless you are specifically asked about it.

Ohio is the second largest state with unrestricted carry after Texas. As with Texas and the rest of the constitutional carry states except Vermont, you can still obtain a carry permit if needed.

The addition of Ohio and Alabama to the roles of unrestricted states brings the percentage of the US population that lives in unrestricted states to approximately 31%.

As might be expected, the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the gun prohibitionists has begun. The Bloomberg organizations in Ohio are claiming DeWine prefers the “gun lobby” to public safety and law enforcement. They are stomping their feet and saying they will hold him accountable at the ballot box. No word yet from Brady United, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (sic), Violence Policy Center, or the Demanding Mommy herself Shannon Watts.

Now we just have to wait on Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) and on Georgia to finish out numbers 24 and 25. Florida, sad to say, will not be on the list this year as they have just ended their legislative session without passing it.

Every Pictures Tells A Story, Part XIV

Alabama became the 22nd state with permitless, unrestricted, or constitutional carry this afternoon. Gov. Kay Ivey (R-AL) signed House Bill 272 which will go into effect in January 2023. When I first started publishing this graphic created by Rob Vance in 2011, the unrestricted or blue section at the upper right of the graphic was rather small. Now over a quarter of all Americans live in a state with unrestricted carry.

Furthermore, as I write this, the governors of the states of Ohio and Indiana both have unrestricted carry bills awaiting their signature. If those states join Alabama, another 7% of the United States population will reside in unrestricted carry states.

Gov. Ivey had this to say in her signing statement:

“Unlike states who are doing everything in their power to make it harder for law abiding citizens, Alabama is reaffirming our commitment to defending our Second Amendment rights,” said Governor Ivey. “I have always stood up for the rights of law abiding gunowners, and I am proud to do that again today.”

The primary sponsor of this bill was Rep. Shane Stringer (R – Mobile). He brought the amended bill to the floor of the Alabama House today and it was approved in a 70-29 vote mostly – but not entirely – along party lines. The Alabama Senate then approved it in a 24-6 vote. The House had originally passed it on February 22nd but then the Senate made amendments which pushed it to a conference committee.

Rep. Stringer had this to say about the bill’s passage:

“I am deeply thankful to my colleagues in the Legislature for passing this constitutional carry measure, which allows Alabamians to exercise their fundamental rights without first having to pay a gun tax in the form of permit fees,” Stringer said in a statement. “Those who still wish to purchase a permit for reciprocity with other states or other reasons continue to retain that option under this law.”

Stringer also noted that the law does establish a database of prohibited persons which he contends is more important than whether one had a permit or not. He contended there were some Alabama sheriffs who did not conduct background checks before issuing – or selling – permits.

Stringer himself has had a long career in law enforcement. He served as a deputy in the Mobile County Sheriffs Department and was also the police chief of the towns of Citronelle and Satsuma.

George Owens, Legislative Director of the Alabama Gun Rights Network, pointed out some of the details of the bill in this post.

First it means that if you can legally own a pistol you don’t need a permit to carry that pistol openly or concealed, or in your vehicle.

Second, you can still buy a permit including the lifetime permit that will become available later this year.

Your permit remains important to legally protect you from being criminally charged under certain circumstances.

You must have a permit if you carry a pistol onto a school grounds or at any school function like at a football game. This includes having a pistol in your vehicle when picking your child up. This is a federal law and it is taken very seriously.

You may not carry onto the private property of another person unless you have a permit, OR have the permission of the owner of the property.

Your permit will still grant you carry privileges in the roughly 22 states that have reciprocity agreements with Alabama. That includes Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, to name a few.

Regardless of whether you prefer to call it the Yellowhammer State or the Heart of Dixie, congratulations to all Alabamans on the hard won freedom.

What Does NC Have That SC Doesn’t?

Well, other than higher mountains, more people, and more area, you mean?

North Carolina has open carry as a constitutional right thanks to the NC Supreme Court’s 1922 decision in State v. Kerner. South Carolinians have been fighting to get open carry as a constitutional right.

It looks like thanks to the SC State Senate that their fight will continue on even longer. An amendment to the bill that would allow open carry with a permit was defeated yesterday 25-21.

From the AP:

Several Republican leaders in the Senate weren’t ready to go as far as open carry without a permit.

“I think training and background checks are important,” said Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, a Republican from Edgefield.

Senators expected to debate well into Wednesday night. Once the day is finished, there are four more days left in the General Assembly’s session.

Gun rights groups have made open carry a priority for years and put extra pressure on senators after Republicans won an extra three seats in the 2020 elections.

Opponents of the open carry bill include a number of current law enforcement leaders, including State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel, and the police chiefs and sheriffs in some of the state’s largest population centers.

South Carolina is one of only five states without some type of open carry law, joining atypical partners such as California, Florida, Illinois and New York.

I feel bad for South Carolinians on this. However, part of me is somewhat amused by it. The amusement comes because South Carolina has always been considered the epitome of gentility unlike us ruffians in “vale of humility” called North Carolina. Old court cases in the 1800s held that only ruffians, scofflaws, and the like carried concealed whereas gentlemen carried their arms openly.