Three More States Will Let You Carry a Concealed Weapon Without a Permit

March 28, 2022   |   Tags: , , , ,
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More states drop permit requirements for concealed carry. Two Midwestern states—Ohio and Indiana—have just stopped requiring a permit to carry a concealed firearm in public. These changes come on the heels of Alabama doing the same.

This brings the number of states that allow permit-free concealed carry up to 24.

Makes sense, right? If you can legally own a firearm, you should be able legally to take it outside your home. Conversely, "may issue" rules—which give law enforcement agencies veto power over whether you can carry a gun—don't really jibe with the right to bear arms (and also seem likely to result in discriminatory enforcement). "If you have to ask permission, it's a privilege, not a right," as J.D. Tuccille says.

But not everyone is pleased. "Opening the door to unrestricted concealed carry seems like a bad idea," wrote Tuscaloosa News photo editor Gary Cosby Jr. Permitless concealed carry laws "make gun violence worse," John Feinblatt of Everytown for Gun Safety told CNN. A Daily Beast piece by Michael B. Cohen calls it "absolute madness."

To make his point, Cohen points out that Ohio's concealed carry permit had required only eight hours of safety training while "obtaining a license to cut hair in Ohio requires the completion of at 1,500 hours enrolled in a cosmetology school program," even though guns are more dangerous than haircuts. That seems more like an argument against Ohio's licensing rules for hairdressers than anything else.

Anyway, I'm puzzled by the idea that not requiring permits for carrying guns will somehow result in violent anarchy.

People commit gun crimes whether concealed carry is allowed or not, and whether the state says they need a permission slip to do so or not. That's the whole thing about being a criminal: not following the law. That means the only people burdened by obtaining a concealed carry permit—paying a fee, taking classes, and anything else required—are law-abiding citizens.

Concealed carry permits don't stop crime; they just increase the burden on non-criminals. And this could put people in more danger, since it likely means fewer law-abiding people carrying weapons outside their homes and fewer chances for such people to intervene if a thief or maniac starts shooting or threatening to shoot innocent people.

Some will argue that concealed carry can lead to more crimes of passion outside the home—situations where someone doesn't plan to commit violence but blows up and then uses a gun in public because they have it on them. But does anyone really think that violent hothead in question would be less likely to go off if he'd paid a fee to the state earlier that year? Or if he had only taken eight hours of gun safety classes?

Meanwhile, concealed-carry rules invite police action against anyone carrying—or "suspected" of carrying—a gun outside the home.

For what it's worth, we don't have a ton of data on this subject. But a 2018 American College of Surgeons study found "no statistically significant association between the liberalization of state-level firearm carry legislation over the last 30 years and the rates of homicides or other violent crime."

Gun-control advocates "point to states that saw crime rise after passing permitless carry laws," notes Cleveland.com. "However, there is no analysis about what role, if any, permitless carry played in any of these crime trends, which are influenced by other factors besides conceal-carry laws."

While there's little research available on the impact of permitless-carry laws, there is significantly more on the effect of loosening state conceal-carry permit rules, specifically for states that move from a "may issue" state where officials can decide whether to issue a conceal-carry permit to a "shall issue" or "right-to-carry" state where officials must issue a license unless the applicant is a felon or has some other disqualification….But the conclusions reached by these studies have been all over the map, and there's been an ongoing debate for decades about the effects -- if any -- of loosening state gun-control laws.

Check out Reason's coverage of concealed carry laws here.


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The post Three More States Will Let You Carry a Concealed Weapon Without a Permit appeared first on Reason.com.


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