Constitutional Carry is the basic principle that if you are legally eligible to purchase a firearm, you should be able to carry that weapon, concealed, for self-defense without government permission.
Passage of Constitutional Carry does not abolish existing permit systems, or their corresponding reciprocity agreements. It merely provides law-abiding citizens with an alternative avenue for armed self-defense.
Passing Constitutional Carry in state legislatures across the country is a key goal of the National Association for Gun Rights’ State Legislative program. The National Association for Gun Rights’ activists successfully passed Constitutional Carry in Wyoming in 2011.
Constitutional Carry is law in Vermont, Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming.
- Colorado: Two Constitutional Carry bills have been introduced, one in each chamber. SB-25 (Neville) has been procedurally killed in committee. HB-1092 (Priola) was on third reading but they sent it back to Judiciary to clear up a language dispute.
- Georgia:HB-679 (Spencer) is in Public Safety & Homeland Security. It was heard on February 13th, but the committee’s chair, Republican Ann Purcell, refused to allow an up or down vote. Georgia’s important “crossover” deadline has since passed, but there is still time to add it as an amendment to another gun bill.
- Iowa: Working with our ally Iowa Gun Owners, two Constitutional Carry bills have been introduced in Iowa (HF-291 and HF-2113). They are in the Public Safety Committee. Again, Republican leadership has blocked the vote in effort to quietly kill both bills, but pressure to revisit this legislation is mounting.
- Kentucky: HB 280 (Harmon) is in the House Judiciary Committee.
- New Hampshire:Working with our ally New Hampshire Firearms Coalition (NHFC), HB-536 (Hoell) passed the House and received a favorable hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. This is the second year in a row that it has passed. However, anti-gun Republican leadership is trying to kill it behind the scenes. NAGR and NHFC have worked hard to expose the anti-gun backroom dealings.
- Maine: Two 2011-12 bills were killed by leadership.
- Mississippi: HB 596 (Formby) was introduced this past month; however it contains some bad language that needs to be amended out.
- Montana: In 2011, NRA“A-Rated” rated Governor Brian Schweitzer vetoed Constitutional Carry. Montana does not hold a legislative session in 2012. NAGR is continuing to work in Montana to see that this becomes the standard in all areas of the state next year.
- Ohio: HB 256 (Adams) is the 2011-12 bill. It is in the State Government & Elections committee.
- Oklahoma: There are dozens of gun bills floating around the capitol this year. While most of have an emphasis on open carry, one proposed floor amendment from last March (FA-7 by Derby) to HB-1796 (Tibbs) came close to doing away with the permit requirement.
- Rhode Island: S 2133 (Picard) is in Senate Judiciary.
- South Carolina: The concept was introduced earlier in the 2011-12 session, but didn’t make it far before the anti-gunners stalled it and watered it down. NAGR members in the Palmetto state are working to get a recorded vote on Constitutional Carry in the South Carolina Legislature.
- South Dakota: NRA “A-Rated” Republican leadership violated the state constitution to prevent HB 1015 (Kopp) from receiving a floor vote. They substituted it with language that at best still requires a permit in the form of your driver’s license and still mandates ALL the requirements including a background check. South Dakota Gun Owners and NAGR will continue to work toward a real Constitutional Carry law in the future.
- Tennessee: Several Constitutional Carry bills have been introduced in the last two years including SB 397, which awaits a hearing in the Judiciary Committee. On February 2, companion legislation was introduced in the Tennessee State House — HB 3818.
- Virginia: HB 139 by Delegate Cole was left in committee after crossover without being continued. Cole was unwilling to respond to the demands of NAGR members to file a discharge petition to bring Constitutional Carry to the House floor. NAGR will be working with our allies on the ground in Virginia to find a more courageous sponsor to bring this to the floor going forward.
- Wisconsin: Last year, Wisconsin became the 49th state to recognize concealed carry in SB 93 (Galloway). The bill originally began as a Constitutional Carry bill.
- Elsewhere: 2011-12 Constitutional Carry bills were considered in Nevada, Idaho, Indiana, Oregon, Utah, and West Virginia. However, those initiatives failed to become law.
This brings the total to 26 states that have, are considering, or have considered Constitutional Carry during this legislative cycle.
Executive Vice President
P.S. The National Association for Gun Rights is working literally day and night to keep you up-to-date on all gun issues.