Less than a decade ago only a handful of states have what is now commonly called, “Constitutional Carry.” In fact, in 2012 only four states had Constitutional Carry: Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, and Wyoming.
Now, seven years later, the number of states with Constitutional Carry stands at 16.
Efforts will be underway next year in states like Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Alabama, and Georgia to pass Constitutional Carry and keep the momentum going for gun owners.
However, there is a trend that is concerning with what types of Constitutional Carry bills are being passed.
Three of the states that have passed Constitutional Carry have done so with restrictions against non-residents.
This means that if you travel to Wyoming and North Dakota you are not allowed to conceal carry without a permit as a non-resident. Idaho has a restriction on non-residents concealed carrying without a permit inside city limits.
What is more confusing about these arbitrary restrictions is that these states would be considered more “conservative.” They all have Republican legislatures which should have easily passed the less restrictive models of Constitutional Carry.
In Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, and every other Constitutional Carry state, all Americans can carry without a permit. So why is it that Idaho, Wyoming, and North Dakota are making this issue more complex?
This is not a trend we want to see continue.
As other states look to pass Constitutional Carry, there is a chance they will look at Idaho, Wyoming, and North Dakota and copy their versions of Constitutional Carry.
That is not an ideal situation for the pro-2nd Amendment movement.
At a time when gun owners are under constant assault, we have very few states willing to pass pro-gun legislation. When pro-gun bills are passed, we need them to be as strong as possible.
Gun owners in Idaho, Wyoming, and North Dakota need to repeal their “resident” requirements for Constitutional Carry as quickly as possible.
The Idaho Second Amendment Alliance has made efforts in the last few years to repeal the restriction on non-residents having Constitutional Carry inside city limits. This effort has met resistance in the Capitol from the Republican establishment.
Idaho’s version of Constitutional Carry is particularly confusing because the “resident” requirement only applies to city limits. Outside city limits, a non-resident has Constitutional Carry, but when they cross the line into a city, they need a permit.
How does a resident or non-resident even know where those invisible lines are?
Idaho recently lowered the age limit of Constitutional Carry inside city limits from 21 down to 18-years-old. Some lawmakers on the House and Senate floor rightfully claimed that the city limit lines were arbitrary and didn’t really make sense. They were concerned that 18-year-olds would inadvertently violate the law not knowing where the lines to the city began or ended.
That same reasoning can easily be applied to non-residents.
If these three states can repeal these requirements, we can hopefully avoid other states passing Constitutional Carry with the same anti-2nd Amendment restrictions.
Republican-led legislatures have no reason to pass watered-down versions of Constitutional Carry.
We would implore these states, led by Republicans, to correct the errors they made in passing Constitutional Carry with residential restrictions.