Every Picture Tells A Story, Part XII

And now for some good news!

Yesterday, Gov. Bill Lee (R-TN) signed SB 0765 which provides for permitless carry of handguns in Tennessee for all legal adults over the age of 21 and for members of the military ages 18 to 20. This makes the Volunteer State the 20th state to adopt constitutional or permitless carry. It should be emphasized that this only applies to handguns and not to long guns. The law goes into effect on July 1st.

There is one change made in this version of Every Picture Tells A Story over the previous editions. One of the criticisms of the earlier versions is that they went by what the law said and not what was actually happening on the ground. Thus, in the past, we counted Hawaii as “may issue” as the law specified as opposed to “no issue” which they are in fact. As of today, no private citizen has been issued a concealed carry permit in the state of Hawaii which is, in itself, shameful.

Rob Vance calculated the percentage of the US population that lives under each carry regime.

  • No Issue (HI) — 0.4%
  • May Issue (CA,DC,MD,MA,NJ,NY,RI) — 27.0%
  • Shall Issue — 55.7%
  • Permitless — 16.9%

While the state of Indiana punted on constitutional carry, it appears that bills are advancing in both Louisiana and South Carolina to adopt some form of permitless carry. What happened in Indiana is similar to what happened in North Carolina a few years ago. Top Republicans in the State Senate decided not to go forward with it after the State House had passed the measure. In North Carolina, Sen. Majority Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) was fearful of losing his super-majority. He lost it anyway.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part XI

Iowa becomes the 19th state and 3rd state this year to adopt permitless or constitutional carry. What a change since the times when only Vermont had constitutional carry and a number of states didn’t allow carry in any form.

On Friday afternoon, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R-IA) signed House File 756 into law. In addition to adopting constitutional carry, the bill also removed Iowa’s pistol purchase permit. I hope the North Carolina General Assembly is paying attention to that facet of the bill!

Gov. Reynolds said in her statement:

House File 756 “protects the Second Amendment rights of Iowa’s law-abiding citizens while still preventing the sale of firearms to criminals and other dangerous individuals,” the governor said in a statement.

The new law also takes “greater steps to inform law enforcement about an individual’s mental illness helping ensure firearms don’t end up in the wrong hands,” she said.

“We will never be able to outlaw or prevent every single bad actor from getting a gun, but what we can do is ensure law-abiding citizens have full access to their constitutional rights while keeping Iowans safe,” the Osceola Republican said in the statement.

Thanks again to Rob Vance, we have a graphic that illustrates the growth of constitutional (and shall issue) carry since 1986. A better way of putting it is that it is a growth of freedom whereby now 19 state governments have recognized a citizen’s inherent right to self-defense without the need for a permit.

I anticipate that a 20th state – Tennessee – will be added to this list before much longer. Indeed, I was a bit surprised that Iowa beat them to the punch.

Predictably, gun prohibitionists and Iowa Democrats are not pleased by Gov. Reynold’s signing of the new law. They threaten to make it a campaign issue in 2022 when she comes up for re-election. If I were Gov. Reynolds, I’d quote the immortal words of Dirty Harry and say, “Make my day!”

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part X

Less than a week after Utah became the 17th state to adopt constitutional or permitless concealed carry, Montana became the 18th. Thanks again to Rob Vance, we have the picture showing the growth of freedom.

Gov. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) signed House Bill 102 on Thursday, February 18th. The bill extended permitless carry to incorporated towns and cities within Montana.

Gov. Gianforte said at the signing ceremony, according to the Montana Free Press:

“Our Second Amendment is very clear: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” Gianforte said at a bill signing ceremony Thursday afternoon. “Every law-abiding Montanan should be able to defend themselves and their loved ones.”

The exceptions contained in the bill include secure police facilities, Federal buildings, courtrooms, and K-12 schools. Note that universities are not included in that list.

Additionally, the measure forbids the state university system from restricting firearm possession on campuses beyond requiring gun owners to have safety training akin to a hunter’s education course and safety measures such as requiring that firearms be transported in cases and stored with gun locks. The university system will also be allowed to forbid gun possession by students who have been formally disciplined for substance abuse or “interpersonal violence,” and prohibit possession by attendees at football games and other events that are supervised by armed security guards.

The university’s Board of Regents are reportedly studying the bill to see whether they plan to challenge it insofar as it applies to universities. However, as the governor’s press secretary said, ““The Board of Regents has the authority to oversee and manage the university system, but it does not have the authority to take away Montanans’ constitutional rights.”

If things continue along the path they are on, Tennessee may become the 19th state to adopt permitless carry. That would be very significant as it would add 6.8 million more citizens not having to ask government permission to exercise their right to bear arms.

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.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part VIII

Every Picture Tells a Story has been an ongoing series on this blog since 2011. It graphically illustrates the growth in firearm carry rights over time. Going back to 1986, over 90% of Americans lived in states with either no carry permitted or may-issue carry permits. By contrast, approximately two-thirds of all Americans live in a state with either shall-issue permits or constitutional carry.

The area that has shown the most growth in terms of number of states is constitutional or permitless concealed carry. With the recent addition of South Dakota and Oklahoma, there are now 15 states that do not require you to have a permit to carry concealed. This equates to about 11% of the population of the United States.

As the creator of this graphic, Rob Vance, notes, “While the Supes are figuring out if the word “bear” in the 2nd Amendment actually means something – 15 states have already clarified that simple reading of the English word meaning ‘to carry.'”

This number would have jumped even more if the Republican leaders of the North Carolina Senate had not refused to bring up the bill allowing permitless carry in the state. The bill had passed the NC House but Senate Republican were afraid of losing their super-majority if they went on record voting for permitless carry. Ironically, they lost their super-majority anyway.

Omnibus Gun Reform Bill Introduced In North Carolina

House Bill 61 – Omnibus Gun Changes – was introduced into the North Carolina House of Representatives yesterday. The primary sponsors of the bill are Rep. Larry Pittman (R- Cabarrus and Rowan), Rep. Larry Potts (R- Davidson), and Rep. Keith Kidwell (R- Beaufort and Craven).

The most salient thing this bill does is to reintroduce permitless concealed carry into North Carolina. As open carry of firearms is a constitutional right in the state, this bill would extend it to concealed carry of firearms. Concealed Handgun Permits would still be available and the bill has language that encourages people to obtain them if they plan to travel out of state or want to facilitate the purchase of a firearm.

The bill would also make it an infraction as opposed to a misdemeanor to carry concealed on posted private property. It would remain a misdemeanor to carry while one has alcohol or a controlled substance in his or her bloodstream. Exceptions are made for controlled substances that have been prescribed and are being taken in therapeutic amounts.

Much of the bill just reiterates where one can or cannot carry a firearm such as courthouses, the grounds of the Legislative Buildings, or the Executive Mansion. It goes on to state that one can carry open or concealed at state rest stops and state parks.

Finally, the bill orders the State Board of Education to develop an elective course on comprehensive firearms safety in consultation with law enforcement agencies and “firearms associations”. This course would be an elective to facilitate the learning of STEM principles. The bill also orders the State Board of Election to develop another elective course on wildlife conservation based upon the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. Consultation for the course development would be with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, the Division of Marine Fisheries, and the Wildlife Management Institute.

The full text of the bill can be found here.

H. 61 is similar to H. 746 which was the last sessions’ bill that authorized permitless carry. As you may remember, it passed the House in 2017 but stalled in the State Senate when the spineless Republican leadership failed to even schedule hearings of the bill. Ostensibly the Republicans wanted to preserve their super-majority. Given the 2018 election results, that was a failure on their part as they lost their super-majority anyway.

Last Chance For Constitutional Carry In NC

Permitless concealed carry passed the North Carolina House of Representatives over a year ago. Since then it has been bottled up in the State Senate and has not gotten a hearing nor a vote. Now that the Republicans have lost their supermajority in the General Assembly, any action on permitless concealed carry has to happen now. There is not a chance in hell that Gov. Roy Cooper (D-NC) won’t veto it and there is also no way for it to get passed without the Republicans sticking together and overriding that veto.

Grass Roots North Carolina is asking North Carolinians to contact Senate President Phil Berger and demand that a vote be taken. Their alert is below:

PERMITLESS CONCEALED CARRY

CAN HAPPEN—RIGHT NOW

There is a season for everything. A time to pass HB-746, while a Governor’s veto can still be overridden, is upon us. . . 

Senate Leadership’s Past Inaction
In recent months, North Carolina’s Republican senate leadership disappointed us with their inaction. Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger’s ostensibly pro-Second Amendment party had the numbers necessary to override a governor’s veto. To pass HB-746 (Permitless Concealed Carry and more), the NC Senate certainly had the support of the people. In fact, North Carolina gun owners, and other pro-civil rights citizens, were not only supportive of the bill, they downright demanded it. Yet, Senator Berger and Senate Rules Committee Chair, Senator Bill Rabon, didn’t deliver. They decided not to shepherd this excellent pro-gun bill through the NC Senate (it has already passed the NC House).

The Future Looks Freer
Fortunately, today is a new day—the past is the past. Rather than lamenting Senator Berger’s and Rabon’s past missteps, it’s time we offer solutions for a brighter future, and we at GRNC see Permitless Concealed Carry headed this way.

At this point in time, until January, Republicans still maintain a veto-proof majority in the NC Senate, just as they do in the NC House. Any perceived impediments to making HB-746 the law in our state are just that: perceived—but not real. At this moment, no obstruction is solid, and none can stand in the way of HB-746. Only Republican leaders themselves can stop it. Of course, the clock is ticking…
Senators Berger and Rabon must act
now to make this happen

Preparing for Future Victories
Should Senator Berger, Rabon and other senate leaders once again fail to act, it would only be another demonstration of the behavior that caused the loss of their veto-proof majorities (starting in January). Becoming squishy on gun rights, inaction and half-measures—these are the things that cause voters to sit home on Election Day, and this surely influenced the lackluster election results. Bold action, adhering to campaign rhetoric, and sweeping advances of the people’s rights—these are the things that victories are made of, and we can only hope that Senator Berger and others have learned this lesson, and have already started preparing for future victories. (Hint: passing HB-746 would be a good start). 

Demand the NC Senate Pass HB-746
Below, you’ll find information about how you can urge senate leader Phil Berger to act fast, pass HB-746 and then override the governor’s likely veto.  There is no reason this can’t be done, and it absolutely should be.

The only politicians who can stop
HB-746 are NC Senate Republicans  

 
 
Immediate Action Required!
  • PHONE NC SENATE PRO TEM PHIL BERGER: Use this number, (919) 733-5708, and the short text provided below to leave a message with staff (or on voice-mail). Suggested phone message:
 
Hello, my name is ____________, and I am calling to insist that Senator Berger utilize the veto-proof majority that Republicans still maintain in order to pass the omnibus gun bill, HB-746, and then override the governor’s likely veto. In the recent past, senate leadership disappointed voters on this bill, and on gun rights in general. However, Mr. Berger and other leaders now have a golden opportunity to make up for this and stand for gun rights. Of course, the clock is ticking on the supermajorities, so please tell Mr. Berger to act now, pass HB-746, and override the Governor’s likely veto. Thank you.

  • EMAIL NC SENATE PRO TEM PHIL BERGER: Use the email address and the copy/paste text provided below, under ‘Deliver This Message,’ to send a strong message about advancing our civil rights at every possible turn.
DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
Email to: Phil.Berger@ncleg.net
Suggested Subject: “Pass HB-746 While You Still Can”  
Dear Senator Berger

I am writing to insist that you utilize the veto-proof majority that Republicans still maintain in order to pass the omnibus gun bill, HB-746, and then override the governor’s likely veto.

In the recent past, senate leadership disappointed voters on this bill, and on gun rights in general. However, you and other leaders now have a golden opportunity to make up for this past disappointment and stand for gun rights. At this point, there is nothing to lose, and any perceived impediments to making HB-746 the law in our state are just that: perceived—but not real.

Of course, the clock is ticking on the Republican supermajorities, so please act now, pass HB-746, and override the Governor’s likely veto.

I will be monitoring your actions on this matter through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.  

Respectfully,

Will NC Republicans Let Permitless Carry Die In The State Senate?

HB 746 passed the North Carolina State House in June of 2017. Entitled the Omnibus Gun Bill, the key feature of HB 746 was permitless concealed carry. As I’ve mentioned before, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled back in 1922 that it was the right of North Carolinians to carry a firearm openly. Since the passage of HB 746 in the House there has been no action on the bill in the State Senate. It seems the Senate Republicans under the control of Majority Leader Phil Berger want the bill to die from inaction. They did nothing regarding the bill in 2017 and now it seems nothing more will happen regarding the bill in the 2018 short session.

It should be noted that it wasn’t too long ago that both houses of the General Assembly were solidly Democratic. Thanks to the efforts of conservatives and especially gun owners, Republicans hold a super majority in both houses. Grass Roots North Carolina issued an alert this evening asking people to remind Majority Leader Phil Berger and the rest of the Senate Republicans just who brought them to the dance.

From GRNC:

CAMPAIGNING REPUBLICANS 
SNUB SECOND AMENDMENT 

Senate Republicans may be planning to sell out gun owners… again! 

Strong signals received from Senate leaders suggest that Republicans plan to wrap up 2018 without any action on pro-gun bill, HB 746! Yes, you read that right. After allowing the Permitless Concealed Carry bill (HB 746) to languish in committee for the duration of the 2017 session, Senate Republicans are now aiming to do precisely the same thing in 2018.Once again, it seems Republican Politicians have forgotten who brung ‘em to the dance.

 
They’re taking you and
your vote for granted!

2018 Campaign Promises Will Ring Hollow
As you know, 2018 is an election year. This means all the “pro-gun” Senators who are apparently planning to snub gun owners, will once again be out on the campaign trail, and as always, they’ll be leaning on the Second Amendment. Clearly, politicians have no sense of irony.
 
Should senators fail to pass HB 746 soon,
do not fall for their 2018 pro-gun campaign promises

Without obvious and immediate action where it is entirely possible and long overdue, any pro-gun campaign rhetoric can be chalked up to crafty but hollow misdirection. As candidates wistfully recall memories involving their daddy’s shotgun, they’ll be quietly hoping like heck that you didn’t read this alert and learn what they really think about protecting and expanding your right to keep and bear arms. Let’s just say, if actions speak louder than words, your gun rights are not their priority.

Don’t Let Senate Republicans Play You 
Republicans, seemingly bent on inaction, may think they have you fooled, but they don’t, and the smartest thing gun owners can do now is let them know. Below, see how you can contact Senate Republicans. Explain to them that you are aware of their plan to do nothing, and that “nothing” is not a reason for you to go out and vote for them. Insist they pass HB 746 this session, and soon.


IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
  • EMAIL SENATE REPUBLICANSUse the copy/paste email address lists provided below, and the copy/paste text provided under ‘Deliver This Message.’
  • PHONE SENATE LEADERS PHIL BERGER & HARRY BROWN. PHONE YOUR REPUBLICAN SENATOR, TOOFind phone number information below and tell the Senators this simple thing: 
Hello, I am an active voter, and I vote on gun rights. I am calling to insist that the Senate pass HB 746 this session, or I will be sitting home in November. Thank you. 


CONTACT INFO
  • Sen. Pres. Pro Tem Phil Berger   (919) 733-5708
  • Sen. Maj. Leader Harry Brown:    (919) 715-3034
  • If applicable, please phone your own Republican senator as well. Click here to find your state senator.
NC Senate Republicans copy/paste email *list(s):

John.Alexander@ncleg.net; Deanna.Ballard@ncleg.net; Chad.Barefoot@ncleg.net; Dan.Barrett@ncleg.net; Tamara.Barringer@ncleg.net; Phil.Berger@ncleg.net; Dan.Bishop@ncleg.net; Danny.Britt@ncleg.net; Harry.Brown@ncleg.net; Bill.Cook@ncleg.net; David.Curtis@ncleg.net;

Warren.Daniel@ncleg.net; Jim.Davis@ncleg.net; Cathy.Dunn@ncleg.net; Chuck.Edwards@ncleg.net; Rick.Gunn@ncleg.net; Kathy.Harrington@ncleg.net; Ralph.Hise@ncleg.net; Rick.Horner@ncleg.net; Brent.Jackson@ncleg.net; Joyce.Krawiec@ncleg.net; Michael.Lee@ncleg.net; Tom.McInnis@ncleg.net;

Wesley.Meredith@ncleg.net; Paul.Newton@ncleg.net; Louis.Pate@ncleg.net; Ron.Rabin@ncleg.net; Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net; Shirley.Randleman@ncleg.net; Norman.Sanderson@ncleg.net; Jeff.Tarte@ncleg.net; Jerry.Tillman@ncleg.net; Tommy.Tucker@ncleg.net; Trudy.Wade@ncleg.net; Andy.Wells@ncleg.net  


*Spam filters or email program limitations may cause the need to send more than one email, to cover the entire list of recipients. If required in your case, the list above is split into three pieces, for your convenience. 



DELIVER THIS MESSAGE
Suggested Subject: “Pass HB 746 Now or Lose My Vote”  
Dear Senator:

I am furious after learning that Senate Republicans, by all accounts, intend to allow another year to slip away while taking precisely zero action on pro-gun bill HB 746. It seems as though Republicans have forgotten who “brung ‘em” to the dance, and this is not an acceptable memory lapse.

While you are out on the 2018 campaign trail, be aware that all pro-Second Amendment rhetoric will ring hollow in the wake of the Senate’s inaction, particularly if that trend continues during the 2018 session. There are no carefully parsed words, no glossy campaign mailers, no slick radio ads that will outweigh action in the Senate where real action is entirely possible. Inaction on the other hand speaks volumes.

Pass HB 746 this session. If you don’t, you will lose my vote. And if you have any doubts about the significance of the gun vote, consider Congressman Pittenger’s narrow 2018 Primary loss, after GRNC recommended his opponent due to Mr. Pittenger’s recent anti-gun votes in the U.S. House.

The gun vote makes a difference, and gun owners pay attention to GRNC’s recommendations. Pass HB 746, or face a loss in November. I will be closely monitoring your actions on this issue through alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.

Respectfully,