Rolling Back Civilian Disarmament Laws in America

Friday, Jan 6, 2012

Firearms freedom is on the march across America. In recent years, there have been many legislative successes for American gun owners, and I'm pleased to report that some of the best have been in the American Redoubt states. Onerous gun laws that had placed too much arbitrary discretion hands of a few political appointees have been rolled back. Meanwhile, "Castle Doctrine" and "Stand Your Ground" laws have been enacted, and strong assertions of State Sovereignty have been enacted. This animated graphic from the Wiki world, showing the advance of non-discretionary ("Shall issue") CCW permits, is guaranteed to make Chuck Schumer and the other rabid gun grabbers go apoplectic.

The best news is that in Wyoming, permitless concealed carry went into effect in July, 2011. In Wyoming, it is now legal for adult citizens to carry a loaded gun or concealed--in your car, on your quad, on your horse, or afoot--with no permit required. (Previously, this right had only been recognized if the gun was carried in plain view.) This change emulated Vermont's long-standing policy, and followed similar legislative moves in Alaska and Arizona. This used to be called "Vermont Carry", but it is catching on and has now been dubbed Constitutional Carry. (As our friend Tamara aptly put it, the new term was needed becuase "Vermont-Alaska-Arizona-Wyoming Carry is too much of a mouthful.")

Some bad news is that efforts to enact this in three other Redoubt states were either tabled or vetoed in 2011. But at least open carry is unrestricted in most Redoubt locales, and CCW permits are non-discretionary in all of the Redoubt states.

In Oregon, a bill before the state legislature would have granted "rights given to concealed handgun licensee to any person who may lawfully purchase and possess firearm." HB 2790, introduced by Representative Kim Thatcher, did not gain enough support, so it died in the House Judiciary Committee.

In Idaho, a permitless concealed carry bill (Idaho Senate Bill 1126) also died in committee. There are hopes to introduce similar legislation in 2012.

Another disappointment was in Montana, where a "no permit" carry bill passed by a good majority in the legislature but is was then vetoed by the state's Democrat governor. Because the Montana legislature only meets in alternating years, there won't be a chance to enact a Constitutional Carry law until 2013. It is predicted that a veto-proof majority will then be gathered. The big legislative success Montana is that the "Made in Montana Guns" law is in effect. This law clarifies that intrastate manufacture of guns is outside of Federal jurisdiction. Any gun marked "Made in Montana" can be sold without any Federal paperwork, as long as the maker and the buyer both live in Montana.

I am hopeful that laws Constitutional Carry will sweep the nation, following the fine success of enacting CCW permit laws (now in place in some form in 49 states) and Castle Doctrine or Stand Your Ground laws (now in place in some form in 31 states). I can foresee that starting with the western states and perhaps Florida and Texas, nearly all Americans will be able to fully enjoy their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

Beyond these recent developments, I 'm hopeful that some of the antiquated laws on automatic knives, sound suppressors, explosives, short-barreled weapons, and fully automatic guns will be rolled back at either the state or Federal level. The consensus seems to be that "gun control" was a failed experiment. It is high time that re-assert our rights. As I've written before: Much like a muscle that atrophies with disuse, any right that goes unexercised for many years devolves into a privilege, and eventually can even be redefined as a crime.


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