Every Picture Tells A Story, Vol. 2, No. 5 (Updated)

I really did not expect to be doing this post so soon after publishing Vol. 2, No. 4. Nonetheless, the South Carolina House and Senate got their act together to pass permitless carry. The Palmetto State now becomes the 29th state to allow permitless carry. Gov. Henry McMaster (R-SC) is expected to sign the bill into law as early as today.

HB 3594 will allow anyone age 18 or greater who is legally able to possess a firearm to carry concealed without a permit. The law will go into effect as soon as Gov. McMaster signs it. The law also authorizes the SC State Law Enforcement Division to create a twice monthly, free training class. That is still in development as is how it will be offered (online or in-person).

From The State on other provisions of the bill:

The bill includes stricter penalties for people who repeatedly carry guns into places they are not allowed to, including schools and courthouses. It also adds penalties for those who commit a crime with a concealed weapon who do not have a CWP.

A property owner, holder of a lease interest, or operator of a business can prohibit patrons from entering with a firearm by posting a “NO CONCEALABLE WEAPONS ALLOWED.” A person convicted of knowingly carrying a firearm into a liquor, beer or wine store for consumption on the premises is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Thanks to Rob Vance, we have an updated graphic to show the state of freedom in the United States.

Looking at the remaining “Shall-issue” states, North Carolina is the most likely to adopt permitless carry in the near to intermediate future. I could see Pennsylvania and Wisconsin passing it if they were to elect a Republican governor to go along with their Republican legislatures. I hate to say but the rest seem to be a lost cause and that includes Virginia. If anything, the remaining shall-issue states seem to be regressing when it comes to firearms.

Update: Gov. Henry McMaster signed the South Carolina Second Amendment Preservation Act into law this afternoon.

He said on signing it:

With my signature, South Carolina is now the 29th state in the country with constitutional carry. This bill expands the Second Amendment rights of our law-abiding citizens and will keep violent criminals behind bars with increased penalties for illegal gun use and possession.

From McMaster’s Facebook page.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Vol. 2, No. 4

Louisiana became the 28th state to sign permitless carry into law as of today. While it had been passed by the Louisiana legislature in past sessions, previous Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) would veto it. What a difference a year and a new governor makes. Gov. Jeff Landry (R-LA) today signed SB 1 – Constitutional Carry – as one of the bills passed during the Special Session on Crime.

SB 1 allows for the permitless concealed carry by anyone age 18 or above who is not otherwise prohibited. The law does not restrict it to residents of the State of Louisiana. It goes into effect on July 4, 2024. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Blake Miguez (R-New Iberia).

Thanks to the efforts of Rob Vance, my long running series of Every Picture Tells A Story has the update which adds Louisiana. This series has been running since 2011 and the changes to the gun rights landscape have been monumental.

I am still holding out hope that a permitless carry bill of some stripe will pass the North Carolina General Assembly this spring. It will need a spending or fiscal component attached to it. We almost had it passed through the House of Representatives at the crossover deadline until opposition from the NRA caused Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) to pull the bill. Meanwhile, a bill allowing permitless carry in South Carolina is bouncing back and forth between the House and the Senate. I would not foresee any more of the “shall-issue” states passing permitless or constitutional carry in the near future.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Vol. 2, No. 3

Today at 2pm CDT, Gov. Jim Pillen (R-NE) will sign LB77 making Nebraska the 27th state to adopt unlicensed concealed carry. Gov. Pillen is fulfilling a campaign promise in which he said he would sign the bill if it was presented to him. He will be joined by Sen. Tom Brewer (R-43rd District) who was the primary sponsor of the bill along with other state senators. The signing ceremony will be streamed live on Nebraska Public Media.

Thanks to the efforts of Rob Vance, my long running series of Every Picture Tells A Story has the update which adds Nebraska.

Here are the statistics that accompany the graphic.

26.8%Non-compliant with 2nd Amendment per Bruen (CA,CT,DC,HI,MD,MA,NJ,NY,RI)
0.0%No Issue
0.0%May Issue goes away Post-Bruen
43.2%Unlicensed concealed carry 

As I noted in a prior post, almost three-fourths of all Americans live in a state where a permit is not required or is shall-issue. If you wanted to do a real deep dive, you could expand the numbers a bit as some counties in California such as Sacramento are de facto shall-issue.

If North and South Carolina were to adopt unlicensed or permitless concealed carry, the percentage would definitely go above 75%. The South Carolina House has passed such a bill and it is now in the SC Senate. Meanwhile in North Carolina, Rep. Keith Kidwell (R-Beaufort,  Dare,  Hyde, and Pamlico) has introduced HB 189 – NC Constitutional Carry Act. It is now in the House Judiciary 2 Committee.

Of the remaining shall-issue states, it would appear that only Louisiana might pass a permitless carry law. The remaining states are entirely controlled by Democrats, have at least one house of their legislature controlled by Democrats, or have a Democrat as governor.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Vol. 2, No. 2

The longest running series on this blog has been Every Picture Tells A Story which has been a collaboration between Rob Vance and myself. It started in October 2011 when Illinois was forced by the 7th Circuit to adopt concealed carry. I said at the time that shall-issue concealed carry was the new norm. The new norm now is permitless or unlicensed/unrestricted carry.

With the Bruen decision, we had to re-do the graphic as may issue was now off the table. At the time the graphic below was done, the formerly may-issue states had not begun to change their law to implement it with “all deliberate speed.” I am now calling this Every Picture Tells A Story, Vol. 2, No. 1. The numbering pattern of academic journals seems to be the most appropriate way to signify the evolution over time.

Of course, we now have states like New York that want to search years and years of your social media and other states like Maryland who want to expand the number of places you cannot carry. In essence, they are non-compliant with the Bruen decision. Eventually, one hopes the Supreme Court will slap down these states that are thumbing their nose at the Court.

In the meantime, here is Every Picture Tells A Story, Vol. 2, No. 2, which reflects the adoption of unlicensed concealed carry by the state of Florida today. I hope that this will change soon with the addition of Nebraska and perhaps one, if not both, of the Carolinas.

Rob added these stats to accompany the graphic:

26.8%Non-compliant with 2nd Amendment per Bruen (CA,CT,DC,HI,MD,MA,NJ,NY,RI)
0.0%No Issue
0.0%May Issue goes away Post-Bruen
42.6%Unlicensed concealed carry 

Almost three-fourths of all Americans now live in a state with either unlicensed concealed carry or shall-issue concealed carry. I never thought I’d see this when I started the blog in 2010 as only 48 states had any form of carry back then.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Post-Bruen

Rob Vance and I have been doing the Every Picture Tells A Story series for over ten years. It started when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals forced the State of Illinois to adopt concealed carry. Fortunately, it ended up as shall-issue carry. It wasn’t perfect and still isn’t. However, it was better than the regimes in May-Issue states like New York, California, etc.

Now, with the Supreme Court’s ruling in NYSRPA v. Bruen which tossed the “good cause” requirement, the remaining May-Issue states will have to adapt their laws to comply. The attorney generals of both California and New Jersey have already issued directives saying that the “good cause” requirement is null and void. While I expect these states to react to this like the Southern states did to Brown v. Board of Education – that is “with all deliberate speed” – shall-issue and permitless carry will be the order of the day.

This is what the the US will look like at the beginning of 2023. The updated graphic by Rob is below. You will note that No-Issue and May-Issue has gone to zero.

I fully expect the current May-Issue states to adopt onerous and expensive training requirements, extended mental health checks that may include an evaluation by a psychologist or psychiatrist, liability insurance, marksmanship qualification standards, and the list goes on. This will be in addition to the cost of purchase permits for handguns which are quite expensive if you live in New York City. All of these requirements will lead to more litigation and more delays. If the lower courts abide by Justice Thomas’ opinion which throws out intermediate scrutiny, then these will be resolved in our favor. Indeed, if the more liberal judges applied the same standards that they used pre-Dobbs for abortion to carry, we’d have nationwide permitless carry.

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.

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 Everytown.org 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.

From Cleveland.com:

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.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part IX

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.

I said at the time:

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.