Tag Archives: Constitutional carry

Oklahoma Senate Passes Constitutional Carry Bill

Oklahoma City, OK – The Oklahoma Senate passed concealed carry, or “constitutional carry,” legislation that would allow Oklahoma residents who are 21 and older, as well as military personnel 18 and older and legally eligible to own a firearm, to concealed carry their gun. The passage of Senate Bill 1212 would remove the current requirement of obtaining a concealed carry permit in order to carry a concealed firearm for self-defense and follows the Oklahoma House approving the legislation in a 59-28 vote on April 25.

The Senate passed the legislation by a 33-9 vote, according to a report by The Hill. Tulsa World reported that state Sen. Nathan Dahm (R), the author of the bill, said the legislation would have no effect on locations that have banned firearms such as governmental buildings and schools, and that “the bill would still require a background check currently required to purchase a firearm.” The Norman Transcript notes that “under current law, Oklahomans who are legally able to purchase a firearm are required to attend an eight-hour training course, undergo an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) background check, and be fingerprinted and photographed if they’re not already in the state system.”

A report from the Associated Press noted that “A background check would still be required before a person could purchase a firearm and handguns would remain prohibited in places where they are currently banned, including elementary schools, colleges, universities and government buildings. The bill also excludes anyone prohibited by state or federal law from owning a weapon as well as those convicted of assault and battery, domestic abuse, violating a protective order or drug crimes.” The AP also referred to a statement from Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation that announced the bill would remove “the training requirement for carrying a firearm as well as an extensive background check process that includes mental health and court records.”

Breitbart reported that “State Sen. Kevin Matthews (D-11) opposed the legislation, arguing that people should be required to obtain a permit for a gun, similar to obtaining a license to drive a car. Dahm refuted Matthews “by pointing out that the Second Amendment protects a constitutional right to bear arms, not a constitutional right to drive cars.”

Currently, there are twelve states that have passed legislation to abolish permitting requirements to concealed carry a firearm, including Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, and West Virginia. Breitbart reports that the majority of Montana and Arkansas recognize constitutional carry as well.

According to a report by Breitbart News:

FBI figures published by the NRA show that Alaska’s handgun murder rate “declined after the state enacted permitless carry in 2003.” Moreover, in the years since Alaska’s permit requirement was abolished “handgun murders have declined as a percentage of the total number of murders.”

A drop in handgun murders also took place in Arizona after that state abolished its concealed carry permit requirement in 2010. And in Wyoming–which abolished its permit requirement in 2011–handgun murders have declined as well.

The bill to eliminate carry permits is now at the desk of Republican Gov. Mary Fallin. Tulsa World reported that “Fallin, a Second Amendment supporter, signed legislation to allow open carry of firearms but has previously vetoed gun bills.”

Following Veto Override, Constitutional Carry to Become Law in West Virginia in 90 Days

West Virginia’s legislature enacted a constitutional carry bill on Saturday through a 23-11 Senate vote to override Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto of the bill.

According to WSAZ-TV, the bill is now set to become law in 90 days. HB 4145 legalizes the concealed carry of firearms by anyone 21 years of age or older who has not had his or her gun rights stripped via a court order. It also sets aside a process for individuals between ages 18-21 to obtain a concealed carry permit.

The W.Va. House also voted 64-33 on Friday to override Governor Tomblin’s veto.

The bill contains an additional provision which allows residents in the state to apply for a $50 tax credit for firearms training classes which Governor Tomblin criticized as “ill-advised and unclear.

[RELATED: West Virginia Legislature Overwhelmingly Approves Constitutional Carry]

West Virginia’s law enforcement officers have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe and helping us in times of need, and it’s disheartening that the members of the Legislature have chosen not to stand with these brave men and women — putting their safety and the safety of West Virginians at risk. It’s unfortunate that the concerns of officers from every law enforcement branch in the state, including the West Virginia State Police and university campus police officers, have been ignored by today’s action,” read a statement by Governor Tomblin according to Breitbart.

W.Va. Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wrote in a Saturday post on Facebook, “This is a good day for West Virginians and gun owners across the state. I applaud the Legislature for its quick work to override this week’s veto and expand gun rights by enacting constitutional carry.

[RELATED: Maine Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Bill Legalizing Concealed Carry Without Permit]

As the state’s chief legal officer and counsel in charge of criminal matters before the state Supreme Court and federal courts, I know that this legislation will not compromise public safety. This bill not only expands freedom, but will keep our citizens protected,” added Morrisey.

Follow Barry Donegan on Facebook and Twitter.

Maine Governor Signs Constitutional Carry Bill Legalizing Concealed Carry Without Permit

On Wednesday, Maine Governor Paul LePage signed Legislative Document 652 into law, a bill that removes the requirement that lawful gun owners age 21 and up first obtain a permit before carrying a concealed firearm. The bill also allows veterans and active-duty military members to carry concealed without a permit starting at 18 years of age.

This bill authorizes a person who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. This bill also authorizes a person to possess a loaded pistol or revolver while in a motor vehicle or a trailer or other vehicle being hauled by a motor vehicle,” read the bill’s legislative summary.

Bearing Arms notes that Maine, which is already an open carry state, now joins five other states in allowing “constitutional carry,” a phrase describing a legal environment in which citizens retain their Second Amendment right to carry a concealed firearm without being required to apply for a permit. Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, and Vermont are the other five states that allow the practice. Wyoming allows a lesser form of constitutional carry that only applies to state residents.

[RELATED: Kansas Governor Brownback Signs Constitutional Carry Bill into Law]

WCSH-TV notes that law enforcement agencies were split in their opinions on the bill, as Maine’s State Police offered their support for LD 652’s passage, whereas the Maine Chiefs of Police Association spoke out against it.

The Maine chapter of the anti-gun group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America issued a statement condemning the passage of the bill and claiming that it makes “it legal for certain violent criminals and people who have never handled a gun to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public.” However, the new law does not allow the possession of firearms by individuals such as violent felons who have had their Second Amendment rights stripped through due process.

According to Reuters, the new law will take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the state’s legislature, which is expected to happen in mid-July.

It’s encouraging to see a governor stand up for the rights of their constituents, instead of caving to the demands of anti-gun billionaire [Michael Bloomberg] from New York City. On behalf of the NRA’s five million members, we would like to thank Gov. LePage, Senator Eric Brakey, and the House and Senate leadership for their work in pushing this legislation through,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. WMTW-TV notes that groups funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ran ads opposing the passage of LD 652.

Maine’s concealed carry permit process, which requires a licensing fee, gun safety test, criminal background check, and an assessment of the citizen’s moral character, will remain in place for those traveling residents who want to take advantage of Maine’s concealed carry permit reciprocity agreements with other states.

Kansas Governor Brownback Signs Constitutional Carry Bill into Law

On Thursday, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed a constitutional carry bill into law that, starting July 1, legalizes the concealed carry of firearms by law-abiding individuals age 21 and older, whether or not they have obtained a permit. Effectively, the law lifts the pricey permit requirement that previously prevented some Kansans from lawfully exercising their constitutional right to bear arms in self defense. According to The Kansas City Star, Governor Brownback said, “We’re saying that if you want to [carry a concealed firearm] in this state, then you don’t have to get the permission slip from the government. It is a constitutional right, and we’re removing a barrier to that right.”

The state will continue to provide concealed carry permits for those who are interested in obtaining one in order to carry concealed firearms in one of the other 36 US states that recognize Kansas’ permits. The above-embedded video by KAKE-TV notes that, under the law, Kansas businesses retain the right to post signs prohibiting the concealed carry of firearms on their property.

Critics of the law decried the fact that concealed carriers will no longer be legally required to take an eight hour gun safety class. State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-Wichita) told The Kansas City Star, “That’s a major responsibility to carry a gun, whether it’s concealed or not. And it’s scary… I predict from the legislation that — and it’s going to go quick, it’s going to be July 1 — we’re going to see some accidents, possibly deaths.”

Kansas State Rifle Association president Patricia Stoneking said that her group has been working for ten years to pass the legislation. As a next step, she would like to see the age restriction on constitutional carry lowered to 18. Said Stoneking, “Eighteen-year-olds are allowed to open carry, and they go to war and put their lives on the line to protect this country… I believe we can lower the age to 18 at some point in the future. I think after everybody sees that there are not going to be any of the dire predictions coming true, and they relax a little bit, then we can talk about that.”

KAKE-TV reporter Ben Jordan said, “Governor Brownback has signed every major gun rights bill sent to him since he’s taken office.” Kansas is now the sixth US state to allow for the concealed carry of firearms without a permit.

Exclusive Interview With Larry Pratt: “Gun Owners of America Is A Muslim-Free Zone”

Glenn Beck is not happy with the National Rifle Association. On his radio show, he actually threatened to quit the organization if its board member, Grover Norquist, was re-elected, calling Norquist a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer.

According to Beck, Norquist has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is closely related to the terrorist group Hamas. “I mean I just, I am that concerned that he is a very bad influence and a very bad man that if this is who the NRA decides to put on their board of directors I don’t think I can be associated with them,” Beck said.

“I think Glenn Beck is right to be concerned,” said Larry Pratt, Gun Owners of America’s executive director. “And we just hope that he might be comfortable over at the Gun Owners of America someday.” Pratt said that his organization has a strong anti-Muslim Brotherhood stance.

“Muslims, when they’re in power, don’t like you having guns. They disarm the populace and certainly anyone opposed to them won’t have a gun,” he explained.

This isn’t the first time concerns have been raised by the Gun Owners of America about the NRA. When Congress was considering expanding background checks post-Sandy Hook, the NRA had a questionable stance: “The NRA had initially years ago written the background check legislation, so they were not comfortable opposing an expansion of background checks to private sales and in fact were supporting it,” Pratt said.

“It doesn’t stop crime, but it sure gives the government a dandy list of who owns guns,” he said of background checks.

With the NRA’s support thrown towards the legislation, the Gun Owners of America and its concern for Second Amendment rights stepped in.

“We were so concerned about it,” he said. The group turned to its email list, which they jokingly call the “Piers Morgan Memorial Email List” due to how large it grew after the former talk show host had heckled the group.

The group had its members and allies write and call their elected officials.

“A week later, they [NRA] announced that they were doing a 180,” he said. Under pressure, the NRA had changed its views.

“It was marvelous to behold, because one of the bill’s sponsors went running to the media, saying that he’s been betrayed,” he explained. “There was a vote, and happily, that was it. The measure died. That was due to people writing their members of Congress, emailing them in this case, or telephoning them as we encouraged. It got results. Numbers count.”

Another group the Gun Owners of America is taking aim at is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). They hope the ATF is disbanded.

“This is something that Gun Owners of America has advocated for years. This is a blood-drenched agency who is responsible for the death of many, many, many Americans,” he explained. “They had never been able to discover what their role was except gun control.”

“Trying to make gun owners criminals by catching them in non-violent, statutory-type crimes has been about the best that they can come up with. They don’t serve any purpose.”

Pratt encouraged Second Amendment patriots to get more involved by joining the organization and its email list, saying it is effective.

“That is the tool that was used to defeat post-Sandy Hook gun control push. Obviously, it works,” he added.

Listen to Joshua Cook’s entire interview with Larry Pratt.

Texas Senate OKs Handgun Open Carry, Governor To Sign

On Monday, handgun open carry legislation moved one step closer to Texas law after it passed the Texas State Senate.

Senate Bill 17 would allow citizens with concealed carry permits to open carry handguns.

The 20-11 vote was unsurprisingly divided on party lines with 20 Republicans voting in favor and 11 Democrats voting against the bill.

The bill needs to then pass the Texas House, and then it will ultimately land on the governor’s desk.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has made it clear that he will sign an open carry bill if it is sent to his desk.


BenSwann.com has covered the open carry movement for years (see here, here, here and here) and it appears that grassroots activists are finally seeing their dreams come true. Texas activists have worked diligently on getting this bill passed; some even were arrested for standing up for their right to carry firearms.




Though handgun open carry is a positive step in the right direction, it is just a first step. Constitutional carry is what many activists want in Texas.

Justin Delosh, executive director for Come and Take It Texas, said that the government shouldn’t be making money off of gun permits.

“We support the right to concealed carry and the right to open carry.  We think it’s unethical for the state to profit off a person’s ability to defend themselves.  So we’re pushing for both without a permit,” Delosh said.

“Constitutional Carry means that if you’re legally allowed to possess the firearm, you should be able to carry it openly or concealed without a permit,” Delosh said.

Since the right to bear arms is part of our Constitution, requiring citizens to need a permit or have state-mandated training is unethical.

“We’re all for more training, we’d love to see everybody get more training.  But to make it state-mandated, to me it’s just unethical,” Delosh said.

Joshua Cook interviews Kory Watkins, Coordinator Open Carry Tarrant County in an exclusive interview below:

West Virginia Legislature Overwhelmingly Approves Constitutional Carry

Last week, two gun rights bills prevailed in the West Virginia Legislature and are now on their way to Governor Tomlin’s desk. SB 347, a constitutional carry bill that would legalize the concealed carry of a handgun without a permit for all individuals in the state age 21 and up who are legally allowed to own firearms, passed the WV House by a margin of 79-21 and was supported by the Senate with 32 for and 2 against. The West Virginia Legislature also voted nearly unanimously in favor of another bill, SB 284, which would require the local chief law enforcement officer to sign off on purchases of Title II items such as fully-automatic weapons and noise suppressors, restricted under the National Firearms Act, for those who have passed background checks.

According to Guns.com, the dispute over Title II items stems from the fact that the law currently allows local chief law enforcement officers to deny transfers of ownership of Title II weapons and accessories between individuals who have passed a background check for arbitrary or personal political reasons. SB 284 would require CLEOs to approve the transfers. American Suppressor Association president Knox Williams pointed out, “When the National Firearms Act of 1934 was signed into law, computerized background checks did not exist. At that time, the CLEO signoff was the only means by which individuals applying for a transfer of an NFA item could be vetted. Since 1934, technology has come full circle, but the now antiquated CLEO signoff requirement has remained.” SB 284 would allow the background check to work as intended.

SB 347, on the other hand, simply allows law-abiding gun owners to carry a pistol or revolver in a concealed fashion for self-defense without obtaining a permit. Individuals would be permitted to carry in such a fashion in public and while traveling in automobiles. However, the bill prohibits gun owners from carrying at public schools, the WV Capitol, and courthouses within the state. The State Journal notes that the bill originally extended constitutional carry to any lawful gun owner over 18, but an amendment tweaked the minimum age to 21 with an exception for individuals between 18 to 21 who serve in the military.

US Senator Joe Manchin (D) opposes SB 347, as does the West Virginia Sheriff’s Association. Another opponent of the bill, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, made news when he was caught mocking supporters of the legislation with a sexually-provocative dance that offended a parent of a child who witnessed the gaffe.

Republicans Kill Pro 2nd Amendment Bill in South Carolina


Sen. Lee Bright, who is challenging Sen. Lindsey Graham, sponsored a bill that would restore 2nd Amendment rights to South Carolina citizens. Recently Governor Nikki Haley (R) backed the proposal that would “make it legal for most South Carolinians to carry guns – concealed or in the open – without a permit.”

The bill, Constitutional Carry, stated that the 2nd Amendment is the only permit a citizen needs in order to exercise his right not simply to keep arms but to bear them as well. Unfortunately, the bill failed with a Republican majority in the senate. Only 4 Republicans voted to advance the bill out of the judiciary committee: Lee Bright, Shane Martin, Katrina Shealy, and Tom Corbin.

Sen. Larry Martin (R) was a strong and vocal opponent of the bill. One of his constituents, who asked him to advance the bill, received this response from Martin: “If the 2nd amendment has been as you interpret it, why hasn’t SC law reflected that for the last 140 years? I’m sorry but you are describing an “unlimited” right that has never been the case with the 2nd Amendment. My view of the 2nd Amendment has always been the right to own guns and keep them in our homes, business, and property and not to wear a gun whenever to wherever I pleased.”

Last week the 9th Circuit Court ruled on a 2nd Amendment case citing that citizens not only have the right to “keep” arms, but the right to “bear” them, contradicting Martin’s interpretation.

The key part of the court’s ruling was:

The Second Amendment secures the right not only to “keep” arms but also to “bear” them—the verb whose original meaning is key in this case. Saving us the trouble of pulling the eighteenth-century dictionaries ourselves, the Court already has supplied the word’s plain meaning: “At the time of the founding, as now, to ‘bear’ meant to ‘carry.’” Heller, 554 U.S. at 584.3 Yet, not “carry” in the ordinary sense of “convey[ing] or transport[ing]” an object, as one might carry groceries to the check-out counter or garments to the laundromat, but “carry for a particular purpose—confrontation.” Id.

Sadly, South Carolina is one of the 6 states that prevent citizens from exercising the full rights provided in 2nd Amendment.

As noted by Breitbart, Arizona made the move to Constitutional Carry in April 2010, when Governor Jan Brewer (R) signed a law recognizing an AZ citizens’ right to carry handguns openly or concealed without a permit. When she signed the bill she said, “This bill not only protects the Second Amendment rights of Arizona citizens, but restores those rights as well.”

Mississippi has adopted Constitutional Carry for those who carry firearms openly and Oklahoma passed an open carry bill in 2012.

Gov. Haley has openly supported the bill and recently signed Restaurant Carry into law that allows CWP holders to conceal carry in restaurants that serve alcohol. Gov. Haley made a statement regarding Constitutional Carry, “Criminals are dangerous, and I think every resident should be allowed to protect themselves from criminals.”

State senator Shane Martin told Joshua Cook via Facebook regarding Constitutional Carry: “We tried. Unfortunately we are outnumbered.”