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Constitutional carry, for those of you who don’t know, is the ability to carry a firearm, concealed or open, without government restrictions like permits or training requirements. It’s one of the strongest declarations of support for the 2nd Amendment a state can make because it defines gun ownership as a right that people don’t need permission to exercise, rather than a privilege the government allows at its own discretion.
There are currently fifteen constitutional carry states in the country: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Fortunately, that number appears to be growing quite rapidly. Just in the last two weeks, one state has signed a constitutional carry bill into law and another is about to do so.
The first state is Oklahoma, which may have already been a constitutional carry state had former governor Mary Fallin not vetoed a law to make it such last year, stating her contentment with the state’s already permissive gun laws. Current governor Kevin Stitt, on the other hand, doesn’t share her contentment, and neither does the state legislature. The state’s most recent constitutional carry bill, HB2597, passed through the state House and Senate with immense support, passing 70-30 and 40-6, respectively, and was quickly signed into law by Governor Stitt. It will go into effect on November 1, 2019, making Oklahoma the sixteenth constitutional carry state.
The second state is Kentucky, which saw similar, albeit slightly less, enthusiasm for its constitutional carry bill, SB150, as Oklahoma, with the state House and Senate passing it 60-37 and 29-8, respectively. Considering how Governor Matt Bevin got a Seal of Approval from Gun Owners of America while running for office, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s already promised to sign the bill into law once it’s placed in front of him. This will make Kentucky the seventeenth constitutional carry state and the third to become such in 2019 alone! South Dakota passed and signed into law it’s own constitutional carry bill, SB47, in January, which means we’ve had one state embrace constitutional carry each month of this year.
Let’s hope the trend continues.
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With respect to Govenor Matt Bevin, the bill has been on his desk since Monday. He really should have signed it by now. Why the wait?
Last I heard, Texas isn’t there yet. The Texas legislature meets only in odd numbered years. This year’s session began January 8 and will end May 27. The Texas House finally rid itself of a problem speaker and a bill is to be discussed.
I agree but considering how impressively conservative he is, I tend to let his week delay lapse. Plus, he may be waiting for the sponsors to be present and they are incredibly swamped in Frankfort at the moment.
Better late than never but many Texans are embarrassed and angry that constitutional carry is not yet a sure thing in this year’s legislature. If politicians calling themselves Republicans can’t get it done this year with the majorities they hold they deserve being replaced by Libertarians.