Every Picture Tells A Story, Part XIII

Texas officially became the 20th 21st state to enact permitless or constitutional carry yesterday. Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) kept his promise and signed HB 1927 into law. It becomes effective on September 1st. The bill allows anyone who is age 21 and over who can legally possess a firearm to carry, openly or concealed, a handgun so long as it is a non-prohibited public place. There is an exception made for those convicted of certain misdemeanors within the past five years. They are only allowed to carry in their homes or vehicles.

GOA Texas has an excellent summary of the exceptions, the prohibited places, and what the bill contains.

With Texas becoming the 20th 21st state to allow permitless carry, there are almost as many states allowing permitless carry as there are with shall-issue carry. The addition of Texas jumps the percentage of the US population living in a permitless state from 17.6% to 26.4%. As Rob Vance who has created the graph below notes, “This is what a preference cascade looks like.”

cgwaplustexas

When Rob Vance and I started this series almost ten years ago, Illinois still had not enacted shall-issue carry. I commented that in 2011, shall-issue carry was the new norm. In 2021, we are almost to the tipping point where permitless carry will be the new norm. If large shall-issue states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Ohio, or North Carolina were to adopt permitless carry, then we would have tipped.

We are still waiting on Gov. John Bel Edwards (D-LA) to either sign or veto Louisiana’s SB 118 allowing permitless carry. He has said he will veto it but the legislation passed with a super-majority meaning his veto would probably be overridden. Since the bill passed within the last 10 days of the legislative session, Edwards has until approximately June 24th to veto it or it becomes law without his signature.

The usual suspects are crying that blood will now run in the streets of Texas. The Demanding Moms plan to picket the Governor’s Mansion and other places to attract attention from their compliant media allies. Progress Texas is condemning it claiming a majority of Texans didn’t approve of it. As we have seen time after time, despite the hyperbole, nothing of the claimed actions does actually happen.

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 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.

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.