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.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part VII

New Hampshire and North Dakota are the 12th and 13th states respectively to have passed constitutional carry. That means fully one-quarter of the US states now have permitless concealed carry. To see what this means in terms of the percentage of the US population now living in constitutional carry states, Rob Vance has updated the graphic we have presented since 2011.

To see how much the world has changed since 2011, see the original post here. I said at the time that shall-issue was the new norm. While shall-issue is still the norm, the number of states adopting constitutional carry may eventually change this statement. I certainly hope so!

Rob had this to say about his statistics in an email he sent me:

As of 3/24/2017

Percent of US population living under class of concealed carry law

No issue = 0.4% HI (de facto no issue)

May issue= 27.0% CA,DC,MD,MA,NJ,NY,RI
Shall issue = 62.9% all other states

Unrestricted = 9.7% AK,AR,AZ,ID,KS,ME,MO,MS,NH,ND,VT,WV,WY

Note MT is near unrestricted in terms of CCW law

Given the behavior of some counties in CA, 75+% of the US population now lives in shall issue or better territory.

My friend and podcasting colleague Rachel Malone has been fighting for constitutional carry in Texas. She has been working with Rep. Jonathan Strickland on his HB 375. It would bring constitutional carry to the Lone Star State. The good news on this is that it is scheduled for a hearing on March 28th before the House Homeland Security & Public Safety Committee. Moreover, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) has promised to sign constitutional carry if it does pass the Texas Legislature.

Every Picture Tells A Story, Part V

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter (R-ID) signed “permitless” concealed carry (aka constitutional carry) into law on March 27th. It allows Idaho citizens age 21 and over to carry concealed without a permit within city limits. They already had this right outside city limits. This made Idaho the ninth state to have constitutional carry.

On Tuesday, the Mississippi House of Representatives concurred with the Mississippi Senate on amendments to HB 786. The Senate amendments expanded what was originally just a church carry bill into one that included that and constitutional carry. The amended bill passed both houses with veto proof majorities. The bill now goes to Gov. Phil Bryant (R-MS) who is expected to sign the bill. That would make Mississippi the tenth state to have constitutional carry and the third to pass it this year. Some have criticized the bill as also including “nullification”.  Actually the bill doesn’t include nullification as it merely states that Mississippi officials and law enforcement don’t have an obligation to enforce Federal gun control laws which is in line with existing Supreme Court precedent.

Given that the number of states with constitutional carry has increased to 10, Rob Vance and I concluded it was time to update the graphic showing the spread of freedom. The graphic below shows how the United States has moved from no carry to shall-issue and permitless carry over the last 30 years. As I said a few years ago, shall-issue is the new norm. Maybe one day I’ll be able to change this to constitutional carry is the new norm.

Here are the population statistics that accompany the above graphic:

0.4% No Issue, HI
27.0% May Issue, CA,DC,MD,MA,NJ,NY,RI
65.4% Shall Issue
7.2% Unrestricted, AK,AR,AZ,ID,KS,ME,MS,VT,WV,WY

At the same time that shall-issue and permitless or constitutional carry have expanded, violent crime has decreased. While correlation isn’t causation, I do think this is significant. When this graphic was first developed, Rob noted that there was no positive correlation between carry and violent crime. Unfortunately, he also noted that a negative correlation has not yet been proved. Linoge at Walls of the City has been studying gun ownership and the incidence of violent crime for a number of years. His latest is posted here. He has a similar result. Thus, neither more guns or less restrictive carry means more crime.