2nd Amendment

Handgun Carry Permits Transform a Right Into a Privilege

The argument for loosening restrictions on armed self-defense goes beyond the measurable impact on public safety.


As of last week, 24 states have decided to let law-abiding adults carry handguns in public without a license. That policy, known as "constitutional carry," strikes critics as self-evidently reckless, while supporters think it improves public safety.

Both sides in the long-running debate about the practical impact of reducing legal barriers to public handgun possession can cite studies to support their position. But beyond that empirical question is a moral and constitutional issue that may render it moot: If people have a fundamental right to armed self-defense, should they need the government's permission to exercise it?

Because the proliferation of constitutional carry laws is a relatively recent development, research on its consequences is nascent. But there is a substantial, decidedly mixed body of research on an earlier shift: from "may issue" laws, which give government officials broad discretion to grant or deny applications for carry permits, and "shall issue" laws, which give licensing authorities little or no discretion as long as applicants meet a short list of objective requirements.

Only nine states still have "may issue" laws, one of which (New York's) is the focus of a case that the Supreme Court will decide this term. The rest either do not require permits or make it relatively easy to obtain them.

Proponents of the latter approach argue that it deters criminals by increasing the risk that they will encounter armed resistance. Opponents say that risk might make criminals more inclined to arm themselves, and they warn that reducing the legal requirements for carrying handguns could make potentially deadly violence more likely by introducing firearms into volatile situations.

A 2005 report from the National Research Council (NRC) concluded that "it is impossible to draw strong conclusions from the existing literature on the causal impact of these laws." One author of the NRC report, UCLA criminologist James Q. Wilson, dissented from that conclusion, saying the weight of the evidence indicated that "shall issue" laws "do in fact help drive down the murder rate, though their effect on other crimes is ambiguous."

According to a 2020 RAND Corporation analysis, the situation had not changed much 15 years later. The RAND review found "limited" evidence that "shall issue" laws "may increase" overall violent crime and "inconclusive" evidence of their impact on "total homicides, firearm homicides, robberies, assaults, and rapes."

There are many methodological issues with these studies, including how to control for myriad confounding variables and a general failure to measure how legal changes affect the number of people who actually carry handguns. But it is not at all clear that an individual's right to armed self-defense should hinge on the resolution of this academic debate.

Texas, where I live, stopped requiring carry permits last September. One compelling argument for eliminating the fees and training costs that the prior system entailed was that they posed formidable barriers for people of modest means in dangerous neighborhoods with good reason to fear violent criminals (who, by definition, do not bother to jump through legal hoops when they decide to carry guns).

The Supreme Court has said the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep handguns in the home for self-defense. It will soon decide whether that right extends beyond the home.

Since the Second Amendment protects the right "to keep and bear arms," and since the threat of criminal violence is heightened when people venture past their doorsteps, that question does not seem hard, especially in light of historical evidence indicating that the right was understood to include carrying weapons in public. It likewise seems clear that a licensing regime like New York's, which gives officials wide authority to decide who has "proper cause" to bear arms, is inconsistent with that right.

Even after the Supreme Court settles those issues, there will remain the question of whether less onerous regulations impose inappropriate, potentially prohibitive conditions on the exercise of a basic right. Judging from recent trends, state legislators increasingly believe they do.

© Copyright 2022 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  1. I mean, yeah. That's the whole point of the permits. So they can then say "no".

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    2. Handgun Carry Permits Transform a Right Into a Privilege

      A sure sign Reason is no longer Libertarian: It took them this long to say that and even then, they had to get it from Creator's Syndicate.

      1. Yesterday rednecks with green teeth wanted Sullum lynched for supporting the First Amendment right to look at graven images, even of The Baby Mohammed. Today the guy is pilloried for taking too long to defend for the hundredth time an individual's right to pack heat. Until Reason publishes a color centerfold of Sullum on all fours kissing Trump's jewelled house shoes, mystical conservatives are determined to keep drawing him with horns and a pointy tail and forcing schoolchildren to look at the drawing during prayers.

  2. I’m not interested in Jacob Sullum’s opinion on 2A. In fact, he’s a dishonest shill, so I’d rather he not advocate for peoples’s rights, as it brings no credibility to the issue.

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  3. Are you suggesting that the right to bear arms applies to children and the insane?

    Authority is commensurate with responsibility.

    The founders of the constitution recognized this when they described netting the criteria of a well regulated militia as a prerequisite before the right to bear arms.

    1. Meeting

    2. There are no prerequisites. You have no principles.

      1. No prerequisites, huh. So you advocate that little children and insane people should carry guns.

        1. You can't have it both ways. Either "shall not be infringed", or the right is flexibly defined at the whim of whoever is in charge.

          Pass laws to redefine "militia". Oh wait, it's already been done -- 18 years, 21 for a handgun.

          Pass laws to redefine "arms". Oh wait, it's already been done -- no standard capacity magazines, no semi-autos with detachable magazines, the list goes on and on.

          Pass laws to redefine "keep". Oh wait, it's already been done -- safe storage, permits to buy guns, background checks to buy ammo, only approved guns, no foreign guns, no military guns.

          Pass laws to redefine "bear". Oh wait, it's already been done -- no conceal carry, no open carry, permits.

          Which is it? Which side do you choose -- principled or unprincipled?

          1. Shouldn’t you clarify the contradiction in your “principled “ position?

            Do you advocate that little children and the insane carry guns or not?

            You’re the one saying it can’t be “both ways”. Well, which is it?

            1. There’s a difference between advocating for having the right to do something and advocating for people to exercise that right.

              1. Even further, under the assumption that rights aren't granted by the government, a difference between having the right, the government intervening in the right, and exercising that right. 'Advocate little children and the insane have a legal right to carry guns' is not the same thing as advocating that they have the ability to carry guns is not the same thing as advocating that they should carry guns. The Constitution was written explicitly to recognize that the Government, especially not the Federal Government, is not the soul source of morality, reality, or even legality.

        2. So you advocate that little children and insane people should carry guns.

          Seems like a self-regulating issue to me. There's no law against children or the insane playing with matches and gasoline.

          1. There auto be a law!

          2. Pretty sure the guy behind the counter at the convenience store is supposed to card people for matches. I know, right?

        3. No.

          How do permits prevent them from doing so though?

      2. Apparently none of you will address the question in my comment that you are replying to.

        Do you advocate that the right to bear arms was intended by the founders of the constitution to include little children and the insane?

        For those of you waffling around yes, if you do let your toddler play with a loaded firearm I hope only you, not anyone else is killed and failing that you are otherwise swiftly relieved of your parental responsibilities.

        1. For those of you with a shred of common sense and are waffling toward no, you are recognizing that the founders intended meeting criteria as a prerequisite to bear arms and they in fact described that criteria rudimentally as a well regulated militia.

          1. Oh, shut up.

        2. People are not engaging with you because you are not participating in the discussion in good faith. Nevertheless, I will attempt to do so.

          re: children - Congress (and the states) have no business deciding when a child is responsible enough to handle a loaded firearm. That is the parent's responsibility. Yes, I do think the Founders would agree with the premise that parents are responsible for their children and that usurping their authority was not among the enumerated rights in the Constitution.

          Note, by the way, that minors participated in the defense of frontier homesteads as a matter of course during the period around the Founding.

          re: insane - Once adjudicated as incompetent, the legal guardian is to determine what responsibilities the ward may accept. In other words, it's again an issue of parents' rights (with an extended definition of "parent" in this case). Until adjudicated as incompetent, there is no reason or authority to remove an adult's legal rights. And, yes, there is plenty of evidence to support the belief that the Founders supported the idea of due process and of the legal determination of competence.

          1. What’s not in good faith? That you don’t like the conclusion? That’s why they’ve run away with their tails between their legs.

            You have agreed that both at the time of the the founding of the constitution and today there are criteria as a prerequisite, before, the right to bear arms.

            There was no other reason to mention a well regulated militia in the constitution.

            Meeting criteria whether age, responsibility or competence is demonstrated with a certification, licence or permit.

            That’s been my point all along. All it takes is arguing in good faith to agree on the truthful conclusion.

            1. What's not in good faith is that you are using the Appeal to Emotion fallacy by intentionally confusing the question of whether something should be done with the question of whether it is within the authority of government to regulate the doing.

              There are no criteria and there is no prerequisite to the right to keep and bear arms defined in the Constitution nor anywhere else in Founding-era writings. Rights can be lost after a judicial finding subject to due process but that's after the fact, not before.

              And no, the militia clause is not an implied prerequisite.

            2. To clarify (or perhaps extend) the comment above, it's not that I dislike the conclusion. It's that you have falsified your premise. Since you started with a false premise, your conclusion is invalid.

              1. I’ve made no appeal to emotion. My appeal is to logic.

                Demonstrating responsibility and proficiency is required everywhere people perform acts that can harm others. There is no reason to possess and carry a gun, unless it is intended to be used and people are going to be harmed.

                There is also no other reason to talk about a regulated militia immediately prior to the right to bear arms other than as a prerequisite. What else has a militia got to do with the right to bear arms?

                All our rights are contingent upon meeting the criteria of law which is always an expectation before it is broken. There is no logical reason not to require certification prior to bearing arms.

                If you can’t refute this logic, it is you who can only be appealing to emotion.

                1. Speech can harm others. There is no requirement, criteria or prerequisite before exercising your right to free speech.
                  A hammer can be used to harm others. There is no requirement, criteria or prerequisite before being allowed to buy and carry a tool.
                  Voting (such as for bad laws) can harm others. The only requirement, criteria or prerequisite before exercising your right to vote is an age minimum.

                  How many more counter-examples do you want before conceding that your premise is false? Demonstrating responsibility and proficiency is a good idea but it is not universally required.

                  To your second point, there are many plausible reasons to talk about a well-regulated militia that have nothing to do with it being a prerequisite. The writings of the Founders themselves makes clear that your claim here is false.

                  You are simply wrong that our "rights are contingent" upon anything. Our rights are "unalienable" and can only be lost after a finding subject to due process. Again, the order of events matters. Privileges may be granted subject to conditions - rights cannot.

                  Finally, there are many logical reasons to not require certification prior to bearing arms. The strongest one is that there is no one entity that can be trusted to execute the certification with perfect fairness and impartiality. History demonstrates time and again that the temptation to exploit the certification process to suppress one's political opponents is simply too great.

                  1. Speech and hammers have other purposes than causing harm. Guns don’t.

                    Speech doesn’t cause harm. Our reactions to it may, lying except in self defence is intended to cause harm, it should be criminalized.

                    What are those plausible reasons?. I want you to hear yourself say it.

                    You admitted that we don’t have the right to vote UNTIL we are adults. That is a criteria. Am I wrong?

                    Nothing in life is perfect. Your argument is based on an unreasonable expectation. Your fear is palpable. Who is appealing to emotion?

          2. For more on these issues search out the well-hidden essay "Vices are Not Crimes" by Lysander Spooner

        3. I dream of a day where gun control laws only apply to insane children.

    3. 1. No.

      2. Non sequitur - there is no authority or responsibility here.

      3. They did not do that.

      1. Also, little children and the insane already carry guns.

        I don't know where you live that children don't get firearms training.

        As for the insane, permits don't stop them and, frankly, just calling someone 'insane' and the stripping them of rights just leaves that open to abuse - do you advocate for labelling enemies of the state as 'insane'?

        1. gotta watch out double for the armed insane children.

          1. Police?

        2. “Leaves that door open to abuse“ I hear that a lot.

          How do you deal with the doors you encounter every day?

          Do you deny they exist and avoid them or have you learned to negotiate them?

          1. Is Agammon the state?
            How do you eat without stabbing yourself to death with a fork?

    4. I shot a musket with adult help at age 7 and most boys in my Grandparent's generation carried .22 squirrel rifles to schools and left them in the coat closet, then went out and shot up some food after school. I have no problem with youth under responsible adult supervision keeping and bearing arms.

      As for "insanity," under our system of justice, courts under the Judiciary have to adjudicate such matters as whether an adult is "incompetant" to handle their own affars, including keeping and bearing arms.

      Legislatures and Executives cannot make that determination, since that would be an Unconstitutional Bill of Attainder, you know, like The Enabling Act, The Law of Weapons, and The Nuremberg Laws in Germany.

      Until a ruling of "incompetance" is made, there will always be a chance of the "insane" getting their hands on arms.

      But as bad as that may be, it will never be as bad as evil people getting hold of unlimited power in Government For those reasons, the sane and freedom-loving among us will never give up on our right to keep and bear arms and stand ready to use them against any threat, whether insane or evil, criminal or tyrant, Foreign or Domestic.

      Fuck off, Nazi!

      1. When I was a kid, every other truck had a gun rack in it at school, and during hunting season they all had rifles in them. Hell, our football coach was late for practice a couple times, because he had a free period at the end of the day, and would often go for a quick hunt before practice.

        1. Heck, he used to ask who had their pocket knife on them when he needed something cut, and had forgotten his. I wore a buck folding knife in school, as did a lot of boys, and no one said a thing about it.

          1. My children were taught by me how to shoot when they were six years old with a single shot “chipmunk” .22.

            They received Swiss army pocket knives a few years later and are licences firearm owners and hunters today.

            They had to meet my criteria when they were young, and the states when they became adults. They would easily meet the criteria of “a well regulated militia “.

            Why do you fuckwits advocate that anyone, who has demonstrated zero responsibility or proficiency be allowed to carry guns in public?

            1. I hope your children do not share your denial of historical reality and that they will be ready to fight off you and your fellow Jackboots if you ever want a repeat of the history you deny.

              I am all for responsibility and profiency in arms. Unlike you, however, free people don't need an order from Der Führer to have responsibility or get proficiency.

              Fuck off, Nazi!

              1. Civilization isn’t free fuckwit.

                Demonstrating responsibility and proficiency is the price of admission.

              2. History is repeating with Jews and Nazis working together in Ukraine.

                Negotiations continued, however, and an agreement was signed in 1933 between the Nazis and the World Zionist Organization which persisted until 1939 and the German invasion of Poland. The Ha’arava grew to become a substantial banking and trading house with 137 specialists in its Jerusalem office at the height of its activities. The sale of German products expanded to include destinations outside of Palestine, but the arrangement remained essentially the same as the one originally negotiated by Sam Cohen – that German Jews wishing to emigrate, rather giving up most or all of their wealth to the German government, could invest their money in a German bank which would be used for purchasing German export goods. The purchaser could then redeem his investment when the goods had been sold and after he had arrived in Palestine. The German government set the rules and the emigrant would lose typically in excess of 30% of his investment and, eventually, 50%.


    5. Is anyone really surprised that the Nazi thinks the federal government should determine who should be allowed to bear arms?

      Fuck off, slaver.

      (Oh, and young children were taught how to properly handle firearms all the time when the founding fathers were alive you mendacious fuck stick.)

      1. How do you reconcile that Jews are funding Nazis to fight in Ukraine.

        It doesn’t surprise me that you can’t.

    6. By relating how you were well trained and responsible to operate firearms at a young age you are only strengthening my argument that meeting criteria is a prerequisite for the right to bear arms.

      I don’t hear any stories about throwing loaded guns into cribs or playpens or handing them out to patients in asylums.

      You would be advised to embrace the original criteria of “a well regulated militia” which is enumerated in the constitution, Your denial of its existence only weakens the right to bear arms.

      1. ok then we can apply prerequisites to other constitutional rights too. how about this. we require an iq test, civics test and current events test to vote. stupid people can no longer vote. or how about this? only property owners can vote. if you support prerequisites for 2A then if you hold a consistent ideology you must also support it for the other rights. as you said demonstrating responsibility and proficiency is the price of admission.

        1. “if you support prerequisites for 2A then if you hold a consistent ideology you must also support it for the other rights “

          We already do. Rationally, for the most part.

          Everyone has the right to life and liberty until they break the law or threaten the life of another. That’s a criteria.

          You can pursue happiness only while staying within the law.

          Not everyone can vote.

          Civilization has a price of admission. Responsibility being commensurate with authority is one such price.

          1. Except for voting age, no, those are not criteria before being allowed the rights. Those are crimes the consequence of which is that you could lose the rights. The order of events matters.

            1. The order of events doesn’t matter for voting age. That demonstrates that the order doesn’t matter.

              If that’s your whole argument, consider it refuted.

              1. Ah, I see my mistake. I thought I was discussing with someone rational who merely disagreed with me. By this comment, I see that you are a troll willing to intentionally misinterpret what was written. I'm sorry to have wasted my time and yours.

                1. You have demonstrated that you're the one arguing in bad faith,

                  You just don’t like being wrong.

                  Run away with your tail between your legs.

          2. you avoided the question (of course). do you support what i said or not?

            1. I said we do apply criteria to our rights already and that we usually do so rationally.

              I disagree with your suggestions for criteria because I don’t think they are reasonable.

    7. "Authority is commensurate with responsibility."

      Government is not the wellspring of responsibility. I'm not sure what our government has done in the past 2 decades to give you that impression. It could be more accurately stated that "personal liability is commensurate with responsibility."

      The founders did not say being in a militia is a prerequisite to bearing arms. They said "people" can bear arms in a manner that "shall not be infringed." The second amendment merely notes this individual right can be used to form organized fighting units from the civilian population in order to preserve their freedom. No part of 2A states militias are a prerequesite, only a great reason people should have arms.

      1. Any time anywhere authority is not commensurate with responsibility it is irrational.

        Can you provide a rational example of having the authority to do something irresponsibly?

        There is also no other reason to talk about a regulated militia immediately prior to the right to bear arms other than as a prerequisite. What else has a militia got to do with the right to bear arms?

        1. There are absolutely zero words within 2A that indicate militias are a requirement to bear arms.
          There are plenty of reasons to bring up militias before the right to bear arms that don't turn militias into a prerequisite of that right.
          Militias were used commonly during the Revolutionary War (the thing that was fresh on the founders' minds when they wrote the 2A). I could write a law that states: "The effectiveness of citizen-led militias in fighting our last tyrannical government is a great example of why people should be allowed to own guns without the government infringing on that right."
          Notice how the above example sentence brings up militias, even though it concludes by saying the people should be able to own guns without government infringement? There are zero words in my sentence that mention anything about militias being a prerequisite to the right to bear arms. Instead, the sentence communicates one of the reasons the right to bear arms in an uninfringed manner is a good idea. Your interpretation of the second amendment rests on a flawed interpretation of its syntax, to assume a "requires" qualifier exists that is nowhere in the actual language of the amendment.

          "Any time anywhere authority is not commensurate with responsibility it is irrational. Can you provide a rational example of having the authority to do something irresponsibly?"
          I'm not sure I'm understanding what you were trying to ask here, but I'll give a shot at answering. Governments and offices of authority often act in irresponsible ways. Take the national debt for example. Our federal government has spent the country about $30 trillion into debt with no plans to get us out of that. They've allocated money for programs that don't work, wars that last 20 years before we accept defeat. They've bought weapons that have been used on innocent people while holding themselves responsible for none of it. Have you yet concluded that Congress' power to control the budget or conduct war is irrational? If so, then you concede government is not responsible. Government's authority (from my examples: power of the purse, war powers, war oversight) is demonstrably not "commensurate" with responsible behavior. Does that answer your question?

          1. Your argument appears to be that the constitution states that the reason people should have the right to bear arms is to join well regulated militias. To join militias they need to demonstrate meeting the criteria of responsibility and proficiency.

            If it’s the purpose, it’s also the prerequisite.

            If you don’t understand the meaning of “Can you provide a rational example of having the authority to do something irresponsibly?", how can you ever refute it?

            Oops, that’s probably too difficult for you to understand.

            1. My argument is that the constitution A reason people (not THE ONLY reason) should have the right to bear arms. The second amendment describes no criteria of responsibility or proficiency to join militias, much less a requirement of joining militias. You're continuing to insert your own language into your reading of the amendment.

              A purpose is not a prerequisite. Simple as.
              If I said because you need to store money to pay for necessities like food/shelter, you should be allowed to keep a bank account, that doesn't mean you're only allowed to spend your money on food and shelter. You can also spend it on frivolities of your choice.

              "If you don’t understand the meaning of 'Can you provide a rational example of having the authority to do something irresponsibly?', how can you ever refute it?"
              I was just saying your wording was unclear. I made an attempt at answering the question. Instead of turning to personal attack, just let me know if it addresses your question. You seemed to be arguing that any government not acting responsibly is an irrational one and challenged me to provide an example of the government having the authority to act irresponsibly, to which I noted Congress has the power of the purse yet spends money irresponsibly. If that does not answer your question then please rephrase the question. Otherwise, my answer was fine all along and you're just attacking me rather than addressing my argument, which is a pretty bad faith behavior.

              1. Constitution gives* a reason...

                1. I usually figure that if someone hasn’t replied after 3 days, they aren’t going to. It was only a fluke that I saw your late reply.

                  You said, "The effectiveness of citizen-led militias in fighting our last tyrannical government is a great example of why people should be allowed to own guns without the government infringing on that right."


                  Well regulated militias demand personal responsibility and proficiency.

                  By stipulating “well regulated” they specifically excluded “just anybody or any militia”

                  There is no other reason to make that stipulation prior to the right to bear arms than as a criteria or prerequisite.

                  I never mentioned the government responsibility or authority. You did after you claimed not to understand.

                  No, you never came close to answering my question.

                  1. Again, the "well regulated" militia part isn't a stipulation. It's an example of a potential use of arms.

                    "Well regulated" in the 1700s meant "well-practiced" or "proficient." The founders were saying that because people have demonstrated that gun owners that are well-practiced can fight off tyrannical regimes, they've demonstrated why civilian ownership of firearms is necessary to maintain a free state. If 2A meant what you think it does, the language would read: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the Militias to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

                    When asked what a militia meant, James Madison said the militia is "composed of the body of the people." Further, the Heller decision found that 2A is an individual right, meaning service with a government-ordained militia is not a prerequisite. Your reading of 2A does not adhere to the actual language of the amendment, nor is it consistent with the views of the guy who wrote it, or the Supreme Court.

                    Returning to your question about government having the responsibility to act irrationally, please feel free to rephrase the question. You originally said "Authority is commensurate with responsibility" which I interpreted to mean authority exists at a matching rate (a commensurate rate) with responsibility. I contested that this is not true and you countered by saying "Any time anywhere authority is not commensurate with responsibility it is irrational. Can you provide a rational example of having the authority to do something irresponsibly?" Responding to that prompt, I noted several examples of government having the enumerated authorities over the budget and war-making and them not using those authorities responsibly (massive debt spending and decades-long wars). I answered that question to the best of my ability, based on my interpretation of your use of words like "commensurate" and "authority." So again, if there's a misunderstanding, show me where I'm missing your point. This may be a simple difference in word choice, but insulting my intelligence rather than simply clarifying your question just gives me a reason to believe you don't actually care to hear an informed response to your question and would rather avoid it.

                    1. Another point about 2A: if it was only confined to militia use, people like Joe Biden wouldn't be talking about hunting deer wearing kevlar blasts or firing a shotgun in the air in self-defense. Those comments by Biden, no matter how inane, imply a recognition of the use of arms outside of a militia setting (hunting and self-defense). Militias don't hunt and I've never seen an example of a militia intervening against a mugging or home invasion.

                      Another note about 2A's language:
                      If I say "Bank accounts, being necessary to enter into a mortgage agreement, the right of the people to store money and enter financial contracts shall not be infringed" am I telling you that you can only use your money in a bank account and only use it to pay your mortgage? Or am I identifying one potential reason why you would want to store that money and apply it to a future use? Am I explicitly excluding your ability to use your money for anything other than a mortgage payment?

                      If you're about to start a new job where you have to commute in an area without public transit, and your wife says "because you'll need to get yourself to work, you should buy a car," is your wife forbidding you from using that car for non-work purposes. If she tells you to pick up milk from the store, is she saying (either implicitly or explicity) you better grab your bike or walk even if the place is 15 miles away and she's trying to put dinner on in an hour? Or can you get in your car and go buy some milk?

                      If you have any need of clarification about those above questions, feel free to ask.

  4. there will remain the question of whether less onerous regulations impose inappropriate, potentially prohibitive conditions on the exercise of a basic right.

    How could LESS ONEROUS restrictions on anything ever impose (more) inappropriate, potentially prohibited conditions on anything?

    Sullum should have finished the piece before recreationally medicating himself.

    1. You're bitching about something he did not write.

      He didn't put in that 'more', you did. What he wrote there is sensical - even reduced restrictions could still impose and undue burden. Not *more* of a burden, a lesser but still undue one.

  5. Does anyone know if non-residents can carry in a constitutional or permitless carry states?

    1. Why wouldn't they?

    2. I've never had an issue, but that's obviously not actually legal advice. 😉

      I will say that even the federal park rangers respected it.

      1. That would be incorrect. At least in my state which has Constitutional Carry, federal land follows a different set of rules.

      2. The only flack I ever got for open carrying when I lived in Alaska was a forest ranger. During hunting season, in a campground on the Russian River. He must have been new to the area, because my .44 revolver was one of the milder things I saw people carry on the Russian during salmon season.

    3. Some constitutional carry states do not allow non-residents to carry. Some issue a non-resident a carry permit howere others do not. For example- Wyoming is constitutional for residents only. They do not issue non-resident permits. NY does will not recognize any other state permits. Wyoming, New Hampshire and Maine will not allow a NY resident to carry even with a NY carry permit. However if a NY resident has a non-resident Utah permit they can carry in Wyoming, New Hampshire and Maine. If a NY resident had only a non-resident PA permit they can carry in Wyoming but not New Hampshire or Maine. It is a fantastically confusing system. We need National Conceal Carry Reciprocity legislation ASAP.

      This need to be updated

      1. "However if a NY resident has a non-resident Utah permit they can carry in Wyoming, New Hampshire and Maine."

        I screwed up. If a NY resident has a non-resident Utah permit they can carry in Wyoming but -not- in New Hampshire and Maine. A Wyoming resident gets a Wyoming carry permit they can carry in New Hampshire and Maine (and others).

      2. You're talking about permit reciprocity. What does that have to do with CC, which by definition means no permit?

        1. Per your own 'federal land follows a different set of rules' statement above, Federal Law and the non-resident State's laws can/do supersede Constitutional Carry depending on the situation.

          Jefferey Reinking is on trial in an attempt to apply IL's gun laws in TN. Dominick Black plead out to providing Kyle Rittenhouse his gun despite Kyle having violated no law in possessing/handling it.

          1. Jefferey Reinking is on trial in an attempt to apply IL's gun laws in TN.

            And I've said since the beginning that I believe Jeffrey to be guilty of criminal accessory/illegally transferring a firearm under federal law and the FBI/DOJ fucked up trying to get him convicted under IL law. I think this is/was a deliberate attempt to end-around the 2A and 10A in a commerce-clause-like action.

            1. This is the first I've heard about it. I will do some research.

            2. Thanks.

            3. Yeah, it sounds like the father fucked up and broke a few laws. And used no fucking common sense. It's hard to feel sorry for him. I'm torn on this one after reading it. It sounds like he definitely broke Illinois law, by returning the guns but, his son had moved to Nashville around the time the guns were returned, so it seems like applying Illinois laws to someone who wasn't a resident of Illinois any longer is a stretch. Federal law prohibits the transfer of a gun to anyone who you know that has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution (by a court order, not for observation or voluntarily entered). The father was well aware of his son's mental health issues. So it seems like a slam dunk case under the 1996 federal law.

      3. "We need National Conceal Carry Reciprocity legislation ASAP."

        We need all states to accept the clear language of the Constitution.

        1. Indeed. The right to keep and bear arms needs to be as applicable in all 50 States as the rest of The Bill of Rights and as reciprocal as marriage, private contracts, and anything else people carry across State lines.

      4. No we do not. Unless you want California and New York to have a controlling say on what the requirements for a permit will be.

    4. Seems it would be covered under the Priviledges and Immunities Clause. If that document still matters.

    5. Yes. Anyone who can otherwise legally possess a firearm can carry.

    6. It almost certainly depends on the jurisdiction. Ohio's new law does not include a residency requirement in the definition of a "qualifying" adult but every state words it differently.

      This Traveler's Guide to the Firearm Laws of the Fifty States might answer your questions better.

  6. The Supreme Court has said the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep handguns in the home for self-defense. It will soon decide whether that right extends beyond the home. Since the Second Amendment protects the right "to keep and bear arms," and since the threat of criminal violence is heightened when people venture past their doorsteps, that question does not seem hard

    What about the question of whether the *First* Amendment extends beyond the home?

    1. as long as you keep your mouth shut.

      1. And get the proper permits and follow the rules.

  7. If my state has to accept a California drivers license (a privilege, not a right) they have to accept any and all licenses my state issues.

    1. Well, they would if we actually had equal protection under the law.

      1. That seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen. Sadly, I don't have the funding to take that to the supreme court.

      2. I was really hoping the gay marriage people pursued their cases under this thinking. I’m sure their lawyers were cognizant of the ramifications of them winning on those grounds though.

  8. I am of mixed feelings on this. Yes, there is the right, and it's Constitutional. But at the same time I do see a lot of people using Open Carry as a kind of fashion statement.

    I see guns that aren't properly holstered. I see people take out their guns to show other people. This is the bad side of gun culture. First rule of gun safety is not showing off.

    My family are basically rednecks. We drove trucks and went hunting. But to the best of my recollection, no one ever had a gun rack. No offense, but that's mainly a Southern thing.

    Gun rights? Fuck yeah! Gun safety culture? It's sadly lacking. I would be much more happy if the gun "nuts" spent a helluva lot more time promoting a culture of gun safety.

    1. This article is about constitutional carry, not open carry.

    2. There is no gun safety rule, let alone the first one, about showing off.

      The first rule is treat all guns as if they are loaded.

      1. He's like a living, breathing Lenny Wosniak *and* Alec Baldwin rolled into one.

      2. Showing off guns is pretty common. I wouldn't show off a loaded weapon, but I always clear a gun before handing it to someone else, because that's the way I was taught.

        1. Brandybuck may as well have said, "The first rule of firearms is 'no gun shows'." His assertion really is ignorant of American culture in general. If I show off my gun by printing 3 holes within a half inch on paper at 100 or more yards, do we ban putting marks on paper?

          Even if you show off a loaded gun and shoot someone, shooting someone is the crime, not holding a loaded gun. Admittedly, stupid games can and do win stupid prizes, but adding stupid rules to stupid games doesn't intrinsically reduce the number of stupid prizes.

    3. This is the bad side of gun culture. First rule of gun safety is not showing off.

      This is the bad side of free speech culture. First rule of speech safety is not to shoot your mouth off.

    4. Gun racks are not a southern thing. They were common in Idaho, Montana and Eastern Washington growing up. As for showing off a gun, as long as it's unloaded and your watching where the muzzle is pointed, I don't see a problem with it. On open carry, I've never really seen anyone with an improperly holstered gun. I'm sure it might happen, but I can't think of a situation that I've seen it. And I open carry a lot when I am in the field or working on the range. Usually it's a .22 magnum revolver for dealing with coyotes and gophers, but when in bear territory it's a Redhawk .44 magnum.

      1. On open carry, I've never really seen anyone with an improperly holstered gun. I'm sure it might happen, but I can't think of a situation that I've seen it.

        The only way *I* get to decide if your gun is improperly holstered is if/when your gun, bullets, or both come out of it. Otherwise, I may think your gun is improperly holstered and I'm free to let you know, but it's not definitively improperly holstered. More importantly, and as I said above, there's no other way for me to address the situation without compounding the stupid game and running the risk of awarding or winning stupid prizes.

    5. Have you tried not mixing your feelings about idiots not being safe with your feelings on constitutionally protected rights?

  9. Handgun Carry Permits Transform a Right Into a Privilege


    1. Handgun Carry Permits Transform a Right Into a Privilege

      Even better

  10. It's also well known that the Sullivan Act, which is NY's may issue law, is just another Jim Crow leftover and we all know that "proper cause" meant being white. Granted today it means "doing 'favors' for someone in the issuing position" and the favor will often depend on the particular someone and their position. It's kind of like having a frenemy with benefits.

  11. You have a constitutional right (Privileges and Immunities clause) to freedom of movement, but you still need a driver's license.

    1. Let's dig into the driver's license angle.

      I can own any and all vehicles I want and at any age. I can legally drive them on any private property without a license and without insurance. (Noting here permission is required for property other than personally owned) It is not until I take them onto public property that a license and insurance is required.

      So in comparison I would be able to own as many and any weapon I want and can afford, at any age. Legally able to utilize it on private property without a license or insurance. Legally able to transport from one private property to another (again, permission for private property not personally owned). It wouldn't be until I wanted to carry one in public that I would need a license or insurance.

      Really sure that's the angle you want to go with?

      1. Moreover, my ability to own, carry, and operate a weapon on public property is limited not by the speed at which the weapon operates or the destructive force it is capable of inflicting on humans, but only by the collective volume of depreciation those weapons do to public property while in transport. Indeed my weapon could be ready to self-destruct, have the safety mechanisms in complete disrepair (or dysfunctional 'as normal' straight from the manufacturer), or even just, through my own incompetence, escape my control roll downhill and kill a dozen people at any minute but, as long as it doesn't emit too much carbon (unless it's a vintage weapon) while it's on public property, I'm violating no law while owning/operating it on public property.

  12. I am four months into my eleventh year of a lawsuit challenging California's loaded and unloaded Open Carry bans which includes a secondary challenge to California laws prohibiting the issuance of licenses to openly carry handguns to residents of counties where the population is 200,000 or more. I challenge the license requirement and all of the ancillary statutes such as fees and "good cause" as they apply to licenses to openly carry handguns.

    My lawsuit is not limited to handguns. I challenge the bans to the extent that they apply to the open carry of rifles and shotguns as well.

    I agree that a fundamental, enumerated right cannot be conditioned upon a government-issued permission slip but unless SCOTUS contrives a right to concealed carry, concealed carry is not a right protected by the Second Amendment.

    Notwithstanding that all of the so-called gun-rights groups have told the courts in their lawsuits that Open Carry can be banned in favor of concealed carry and told the courts that the government can require permission slips, none of them has explained how concealed carry makes anyone safer.

    Perhaps you can ask the heads of these so-called gun-rights groups to explain how concealed carry isn't a danger to the public.

    Concealed carry is not a visual deterrent. Concealed carry does not give fair notice that the concealed carrier is armed so that the persons around him can govern themselves accordingly. Concealed carry does give one a secret advantage which American courts and legislatures have characterized as evil for over 200 years.

    1. The idea is that you don't know who might be armed, so the criminals will be less likely to assault people because they might be armed. I know that physical crime decreased dramatically in Kootenai county after Idaho loosened it concealed carry laws when I was a kid. Turned out 1 in 4 adults in Kootenai county had applied and received a concealed carry permit, and with those odds, it wasn't worth the risk of assaulting strangers on the street, because even if they aren't carrying, chances were someone else on the street was carrying. With open carry it's pretty easy to determine who is and who isn't carrying.

      1. Not hard at all as it turns out to describe why concealed carry is a deterrent to crime. If you know you have a 25% chance of the person your mugging carrying a pistol, and you can't see who is carrying, is it worth it to mug random people?

        1. soldiermedic76 - Do you really believe that muggers do the math before mugging someone?

          I should have added that the benefit of Open Carry, coupled with a ban on concealed carry, is that it filters out the 99 percent of people who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a weapon. Cowards won't openly carry a firearm, neither will the degenerates who seek a secret advantage.

          1. Yes, I do. It's been shown in several studies of inmates in prison. It is also supported by data comparing crime stats before a state passed concealed carry to after concealed carry was passed.

            1. Also, it's immaterial. Either the criminals do the math or the math does them. Their choice. In the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

              Moreover, concealed vs. open carry isn't a 2A issue, it's a 1A and 4A issue. If you concede that they have a right to be armed, you aren't challenging people's ability to be armed, you're compelling their speech as to their armament and conscribing how they can secure their persons and effects. Our current situation isn't the only possible infringement of the 2A or The Constitution/BOR more broadly. Forcing everyone to carry an unloaded weapon in their right hand at all times while keeping the bullets in their pockets, or even off their person, would still, pretty equally violate the 1, 2, and 4A.

              1. A very unique and sound argument! I never thought of concealed-carry bans and permits as forced speech, but that makes perfect sense! Much obliged for that argument!

  13. "[C]riminals will be less likely to assault people because they might be armed."

    If that were true then shall-issue cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. would be among the safest cities in the nation instead of the most dangerous.

    "With open carry it's pretty easy to determine who is and who isn't carrying."

    That is why Open Carry enhances public safety and why concealed carry is a danger to the public.

    1. No. Shall issue is much more restrictive and almost a blanket ban on concealed carry. May issue means they can't deny unless you have a criminal conviction. Illinois and the District of Columbia, like New York and California, are shall issue and only the wealthy usually are privileged enough to get permits. Philadelphia for example only had 7200 licensed to carry in the whole county out of a population of over 1.6 million. Idaho has a similar population to Philadelphia, doesn't require a license to carry concealed and still has exponentially more people who maintain a licensed that they aren't required to have.

      1. Kootenai county, ID with a population approximately 100,000 people have more concealed carry license holders than Philadelphia county, PA and Kootenai county you don't even have to have a license to carry concealed. If I was going to choose someplace to commit crime, it would be in Philadelphia, not Coeur d'Alene, because it's much more likely that who I commit the crime against will be armed in Coeur d'Alene than in Philadelphia.

        1. idaho has constitutional carry.

          1. Which I had already stated.

      2. Correction, all except Philadelphia are May Issue not shall issue. Sorry. However, even despite being shall issue Philadelphia has an extremely small number of license carriers. New York, Illinois, California and DC are all May Issue not shall issue.

        1. Shall issue means they have to issue a license for anyone not barred by law from having a firearm, and may issue is the more restrictive version. So, even if it is shall issue, it does no good if no one gets a license. In constitutional carry states, we don't need a license to carry.

          1. Now most constitutional carry laws do have some provisions, such as when you are stopped by law enforcement you are supposed to inform them you are carrying and offer them to secure the firearm until the encounter is resolved. I've never had that happen, they usually ask before I can inform them.

            1. I've never once had one actually request me to have them secure my weapon, they usually ask me where I have it, e.g. if it's in a hip holster on my right hip (usually it's in my center console). And then they ask me not to access my center console until after they are finished with me. They have universally been very polite about it to. I've lived in two constitutional carry states, Alaska and now Montana (Idaho is now constitutional carry but it was a may issue state when I lived there). The cops just assume everyone is carrying and it is no big thing.

    2. There’s no point having a gun if you can’t carry and use it.

      As far as I’m concerned if people can demonstrate responsibility and proficiency in all such aspects of carrying and using, staying in accordance with laws, they should be free to do so.

      As long as uncivilized gun enthusiasts demand that no demonstration of responsibility and proficiency as awarded by an accredited third party is required, anti gun activists will have a reasonable complaint.

    3. This is the "non-instantaneous results" fallacy fascists and communists alike use to deny the way libertarian spoiler votes gradually repeal bad laws. If those cities were dangerous when only dirty minions and other predators had guns, they were likely safer the day after such laws were repealed, with data accumulating as folks find out about then take advantage of their newly-discovered freedom. All government coercion relies on the initiation of deadly force by pet-shooting cops. Reducing that kills fewer people and incites less reprisal.

  14. Sullum puts out a libertarian-ish article every so often to disguise his true focus - bashing everything and everyone associated with Donald Trump, as well as anyone who questions the stolen 2020 presidential election.

    1. Oh goody. Another Trumpanzee to ban. I've had to put them in alphabetical sockpuppet order the looters crank out so many...

  15. the author is confused about the terms "license" and "permit". the term "permit" means that i need permission to do something. the term "license" means that i can absolutely do it but the state want to track and know that i'm doing it. there is a huge difference. if a state is a "shall issue" state then by definition there is no permit needed, but a license may be required. in my state i hold a "concealed pistol license" because my state is a "shall issue" state.

    if you're going to write an article like this you should really get educated and know what you're talking about.

    1. I don't know if the author is confused about those terms but you sure are. Within the context of official permissions, "license" and "permit" are synonyms. A "license" to practice medicine is required before you have permission to do that.

      More counter examples - A fishing license gets you permission to fish but the state doesn't track your fishing and doesn't even care if you never put a hook in the water. A building permit gets you permission to build and the city will most definitely track what you built and will inspect your work afterward.

      The only difference is in a connotation of time - "permits" generally expire after a pre-defined period of time while "licenses" are generally held until revoked. Consider 'driver's permit' during training vs 'driver's license' once you've passed the test. But even that connotation has many exceptions.

      1. maybe in general the terms can be interchangeable, but is specific contexts you cannot. for example my state, there is NO permit but there is a license.

        1. That is very authoritatively written. And wrong. The author is making distinctions that are not recognized in law* nor by the dictionary. Whether to call something a "permit" or a "license" is an arbitrary choice by the legislature.

          * The author is apparently from Nairobi and maybe there is such a legal distinction between the terms in that country. But there is no such distinction in any jurisdiction in the US that I am aware of. Nor is there any such hard distinction in Israel - the other source of examples used in the article. On the whole and despite the very good writing, this is an example of "don't believe everything you read on the internet".

      2. Now define a right... Stumped? See Tara Smith, "Moral Rights & Political Freedom" on Amazon. Observe today's Ukraine where the right of the people to keep and bear arms is infringed.

  16. No, they INFRINGE A RIGHT. Rights are not "transformed", they are violated.


  17. Open versus concealed, social culture versus heavily restricted, gun crime versus constitutional carry....

    The author has gone beyond comparing apples and oranges. He is comparing fruit salad and ice cream.

    There are precious few clean studies of the impact of gun laws on cities and states because there is little clean enactment that is long term. In my home state, we had to have a law enacted that simply explained the newly enacted law from the previous year. Then, this year, they simple enacted another law making both previous laws moot. When I went to reapply because my Enhanced Concealed Carry permit had expired and I missed the renewal window, the state employee working the counter did not understand the current application criteria. The 8 hour training course is waived for veterans. She wrongly believed the waiver applied to active duty service members. Thankfully, I had a copy of my training certificate from before the waiver was available.

    Point being, that in our fairly open gun culture state, the law is applied in a confusing manner and by state employees who do not understand the law which is repeatedly changed.

    We cannot have clean studies when issuing permits is erratic and the situation is compounded by capricious local officials. There are too many audit videos available in which the local law enforcement simply does not know or completely misunderstands the laws in their community. Citizens similarly misunderstand the laws also. And quite obviously, criminals disregard the laws.

    All of that makes any study of the impact of gun laws murky at best and still does not ask the salient question. Does the government have the authority to infringe on a citizen's bearing of arms?

    The author did a poor job defining his terms. Constitutional carry laws are not as obvious as he indicates nor can we intuit their relative impact. Further, time is required to assess the impact of laws and that assumes a government can adequately administer the permits.

    1. Jackbooted minions of the looter Kleptocracy have no trouble intuiting the impact of those sorts of coercion-reducing rights.

  18. From what I read in the news, anything likely to deter robbers, rapists and looters, thereby obviating the need to summon a Kleptocracy Kop to come shoot robber, rapist, dog and victim alike, then help the looter search the bodies for cash and dope... is a reduction of harm measure. That packing heat also secures freedom from coercion is icing on the cake. Looters, I'll wager, will see things differently.

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