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.”


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 Three

Four years ago Rob Vance and I collaborated on a post showing the progress of concealed carry from 1986 through 2011. The post was anchored by a graphic that showed the growth in shall-issue carry and constitutional carry as a percentage of the United State population. At that time, approximately two-thirds of all Americans lived in a state that allowed either shall-issue or constitutional carry. In other words, shall-issue had become the new normal as it continues to be.

Effective October 15th, Maine becomes the seventh state to have constitutional carry. Rob thought now would be a good time to revisit this advancement of freedom and gun rights. I agree because that two-thirds of all Americans in 2011 has become three-fourths of all Americans in 2015.

As Rob explains:

The sea change in the legal status of concealed carry in the United States described below in graphic form follows a still ongoing grass roots effort at the state level, yet with national implications. There is now a fundamental recognition by the American public that giving advantages to criminals over law-abiding citizens, by means of law, is a logical and moral error. This realization has driven the liberalization of state level laws regarding concealed carry since Florida led the way in the modern era beginning in 1987. Twenty-six years later, Illinois became the last state with a de jure ban on concealed carry – passing “shall issue” legislation allowing legalized concealed carry for its citizens as a result of losing Moore v. Madigan and Shepard v. Madigan in the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals. First permits under the new law were issued in 2014 in that state. The restoration of this fundamental freedom will continue by legislation where we can and by litigation where we cannot.

The two biggest changes shown in the graphic below are the addition of Illinois to the shall-issue column and the growth of constitutional carry from just two small states (Vermont and Alaska) to a total of seven today.

Rob and I are working on an update to Every Picture Tells A Story, Part Two as well as new effort called The Next Wave. This new effort will examine the growth of constitutional carry and its chances in states where it has been introduced but either not passed or vetoed by the governor.

Given that neither Rob nor I believe in hiding our data nor how we put things into categories, you can see it in this appendix.

As of October 15, 2015 here’s the box score in detail state by
Unrestricted Carry States (5.1 %
US population)
Arkansas, Arizona, Kansas, Maine (as of 10/15/15), Vermont, and Wyoming
Shall Issue States (67.5 %
US population)
Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska,
Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio,
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas,
Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin
May Issue States (27 %
US population)
California (some counties are
effectively No Issue, and others are much more permissive), Connecticut (*since
2013 I have accounted this as May Issue, as local conditions have changed from
permissive to much less so), Delaware, District of Columbia (obviously not a
state, but treated as one for this analysis), Maryland, Massachusetts, New
Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island
No Issue State (.4 %
US population)
Hawaii (the legal status of Hawaii
is such that while permits are legally available, none are issued, which is why
it is counted as No Issue in this analysis, rather than fitting into the May
Issue category which it’s legislation warrants).
A word or two on definition of terms used in this analysis/graphic:
UNRESTRICTED: no permit is required
to carry a concealed firearm, aka Constitutional Carry
SHALL ISSUE: permit required but
the state is obligated to issue a permit if the applicant meets certain
criteria (age, no felony record, no drug arrests, etc.); i.e., the state has no
MAY ISSUE: permit required but
local authorities (e.g. sheriffs’ offices) have discretion in the form of
requirements above and beyond what the state requires.
NO ISSUE: private citizens are
effectively prohibited from carrying firearms for self-defense outside the home
Find the detail data here:
See also:
Thanks also to Jeff Dege at 

Shall Issue Concealed Carry Bill Introduced In Illinois

Illinois State Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) introduced HB997 – the Family and Personal Protection Act – yesterday. This bill would, if passed, would bring shall-issue concealed carry to Illinois.

From the bill’s synopsis:

Creates the Family and Personal Protection Act.
Provides that the Department of State Police shall issue a license to a
person to: (1) carry a loaded or unloaded handgun on or about his or her
person, concealed or otherwise; (2) keep or carry a loaded or unloaded
handgun on or about his or her person when in a vehicle; and (3) keep a
loaded or unloaded handgun openly or concealed in a vehicle. Prohibits
the carrying of the handgun in certain locations. Provides that the
license shall be issued by the Department of State Police within 30 days
of receipt of a completed application and shall be valid throughout the
State for a period of 5 years from the date of issuance. Provides for
renewal of licenses. Establishes qualifications for licensees, certified
firearms instructors, and instructor trainers. Provides for home rule
preemption. Provides that the provisions of the Act are severable.
Amends the Freedom of Information Act. Prohibits from inspection and
copying information about applications for licenses to carry a handgun
and about license holders contained in the database created by the
Family and Personal Protection Act, except as authorized by that Act.
Amends the State Finance Act and the Criminal Code of 2012 to make
conforming changes. Effective immediately.

Having read the bill in its entirety, let me highlight key components of the bill.

First and foremost, this bill provides for Shall-Issue concealed carry permits. The permit would allowed a permit holder to (a) carry a firearm, loaded or unloaded, “concealed or otherwise”, on his or her person; (b) on his or her person in a motor vehicle; or (c) in a vehicle either openly or concealed while not on the person. Concealed is defined by the law to mean “completely or mostly concealed”. This should take care of the issue of incidental exposure or printing. Moreover, as I read “concealed or otherwise”, I think a strong argument could be made that this would make open carry permissible with a CCW.

The Illinois State Police will be in charge of issuing the permit. The fee is $25 to apply with a 30-day turnaround time. As I noted above, the permit is shall-issue. However, a sheriff or municipal chief law enforcement officer can object in writing to the issuance of a permit to an individual especially if they feel the person would be a danger to him or herself or others. The burden of proof is upon the state to prove this and the applicant has a right to know. Applicants consent to a complete background check including psych records and juvenile court records. Applicants “may” be requested to provide fingerprints with the cost to the applicant of no more than $15.

Illinois residents with a current out-of-state carry permit would be allowed to carry concealed for up to 180 days after enactment. After that, they would be required to have an Illinois CCW.

Section 25 of the bill sets the qualifications:

  • Age 21 or more
  • Valid FOID card if a resident
  • Not prohibited by either state or Federal law from possessing a firearm
  • Not under pending arrest warrant that would be a disqualifying offense
  • Not a chronic abuser of alcohol in prior 3 years as evidence by either (a) residential or court-ordered detox or treatment for alcohol abuse or (b) 2 or more DUIs.
  • Has completed approved training and education component

The state – and only the state – will keep a database of all permit holders. No local law enforcement agency or local government may keep their own database. Violations of this incur a $5,000 per record punitive fine. The state database would be available to all law enforcement agencies but individual records would not be subject to freedom of information requests. The only public data provided from this database would be statistics showing permits by county, age, gender, or race.

Permit renewals would cost $25 and require a shooting requalification. This could be satisfied by either shooting in a competition such as IDPA or USPSA within six months of renewal or by showing evidence of a range exercise with a certified instructor.

The bill does provide for non-resident permits and waives the FOID card requirement. It would require a notarized statement from the home state that the person is eligible under state and Federal law to possess a firearm. More importantly, the bill provides for reciprocity with other states that recognize the Illinois permit and that have substantially similar requirements to that of Illinois.

The bill does have a substantial list of restricted areas which would apply to where a permit holder could carry concealed. There are exceptions in some of these areas if consent is given or if the holder is a judge or a State’s Attorney.

  • Any building under control of the Illinois General Assembly including district offices. Members could carry concealed in their district offices.
  • Courthouses
  • Meeting places of local governments
  • Bars but not restaurants that merely serve alcohol
  • Airport secure areas
  • Area prohibited by Federal law
  • K-12 schools without consent
  • Child care facilities without consent
  • Casino
  • Gated areas of amusement parks
  • Stadiums and other sports venues
  • Colleges and universities without consent
  • Public libraries without consent
  • Police stations and sheriff’s offices without consent
  • Prisons, jails, and other correctional facilities

Businesses would be allowed to post against concealed carry and the bill does specify the posting requirements. Local governments and school boards may prohibit by a majority vote concealed carry in any building controlled by them. However, they cannot prohibit carry in public housing, rest stops, public right of ways, or parking facilities. State buildings under the control of the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, or Treasures would be allowed to be posted against concealed carry.

Permit holders would be required to disclose if carrying as soon as possible if stopped by law enforcement officers. The bill prohibits carrying under the influence which is defined as 0.08 blood alcohol or higher.

The training requirements can be fulfilled by passing the NRA Basic Pistol course, the NRA Personal Protection in the Home course, the NRA Personal Protection Outside the Home course, or another 4 hour course approved by the State Police. In addition, there is a live fire component that also must be passed. A person must fire at least 30 rounds with a 70% hit score of a B-21 silhouette or similar. Of these 30 rounds, the bill specifies 20 rounds at 7 yards and 10 rounds at 15 yards. The fees for training are allowed to be set by the instructor. Instructors can be anyone who is an NRA certified instructor, a retired law enforcement officer who has passed the qualifications to carry, an active or retired military member with a combat MOS, or a person certified by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training State Board.

Finally, and second only in importance to the bill mandating Shall-Issue carry permits, the bill contains a very strong state preemption clause. It prohibits any home rule unit from regulating the possession, carrying, or transportion of firearms. The only exception is that local governments can post buildings owned by them against carry. In addition, no home rule unit can regulate the number of handguns owned or require the registration possessed by a person under the act. Violation of Section 95 brings a $10,000 per day per individual affected punitive fine.

This is a very strong shall-issue law with reasonable costs and reasonable training requirements. The prohibited areas are similar to many other shall-issue states. The preemption clause is a critical component of this bill as it prevents the City of Chicago from setting their own draconian regulations. You can expect that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago legislators under his sway will fight this part of the bill tooth and nail. In conclusion, I think Rep. Brandon Phelps – a Democrat, mind you – should be congratulated for drafting and introducing a good bill. For the sake of the people of the State of Illinois, I hope it passes.