Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
States Eye Allowing Concealed Carry of Guns Without a Permit
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 3 years ago on
January 27, 2021

Share

SALT LAKE CITY — Republican lawmakers in several more states want to loosen gun restrictions by allowing people to carry concealed firearms without having to get a permit, continuing a trend that gun control advocates call dangerous.

Fifteen states already allow concealed carry without a permit, and lawmakers in nine others have proposed allowing or expanding the practice. GOP governors are backing the changes in Utah and Tennessee. Another bill expanding permitless carry in Montana has passed the state House.

Most states require people to do things like get weapons training and undergo a background check to get a permit to carry a gun hidden by a jacket or inside a purse. Groups like the National Rifle Association and state lawmakers who support gun rights argue those requirements are ineffective and undermine Second Amendment protections.

The proposed changes come after gun sales hit historic levels last summer — reflected in FBI background checks — amid uncertainty and safety concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, the struggling economy and protests over racial injustice. Since then, a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Against that backdrop, the efforts to loosen concealed carry requirements are a frightening trend for Shannon Watts, founder of the gun control group Moms Demand Action.

“It is dangerous to allow people to carry hidden, loaded handguns possibly without a background check or any training,” she said, adding that the annual rate of aggravated assaults with a firearm has increased 71% in Alaska since the state became the first to allow concealed carry without a permit in 2003.

The proposal in Utah would allow any U.S. citizen 21 and older to carry a concealed weapon without the now-required background check or weapons course. The bill does allow gun owners who want to carry a concealed weapon out of state to get a permit to do so after a background check and safety course.

Newly elected GOP Gov. Spencer Cox has said he supports the idea, in contrast to his predecessor and fellow Republican Gary Herbert, who vetoed a similar bill in 2013.

Supporters of the change argue that other state laws against such things as felons having guns and anyone carrying a firearm while intoxicated are enough to ensure guns are used safely.

“I have that right to protect myself, the Constitution says we have the right. Why are we putting a barrier for law-abiding citizens?” said Rep. Walt Brooks, the Republican lawmaker sponsoring the bill that got an early nod of approval from a House committee Friday. The software company president has represented rural southern Utah for about four years.

The Push in Tennessee Came After the GOP-Dominant General Assembly Relaxed the State’s Handgun Law

He pointed to a multistate study published in 2018 by the Journal of the American College of Surgeons that found loosening concealed carry permit laws didn’t lead to more homicides or violent crime. Utah does not require a permit for guns carried openly.

In Tennessee, Republican lawmakers are expected to push again to allow most adults 21 and older to carry firearms — concealed or openly — without a license that now requires a background check and training.

GOP Gov. Bill Lee backed the idea last year, though the proposal and others were put on hold amid the pandemic.

The push in Tennessee came after the GOP-dominant General Assembly relaxed the state’s handgun law in 2020 by allowing people to obtain a concealed-carry-only handgun permit that didn’t require them to demonstrate the ability to fire a weapon.

In Montana, the House recently passed a bill to allow people to carry concealed firearms without a permit in most places.

Similar bills that would allow or expand concealed carry without a permit have been introduced in Texas, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Alabama and Georgia.

In Texas, where the NRA plans to incorporate soon and where some lawmakers bring concealed handguns to work at the state Capitol, the GOP has listed the issue as one of just eight legislative priorities. The idea has failed to gain traction for years, though, and with the pandemic promising to be the predominant force in the upcoming session, its prospects are once again uncertain.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Former Clovis West Star Adrian Martinez Does It Again. He’s UFL Title Game MVP.

DON'T MISS

Long Prison Stint for Fresno Man Busted in Child Solicitation Sting

DON'T MISS

3 Days in Space Were Enough to Change 4 Astronauts’ Bodies and Minds

DON'T MISS

An Emotional Win for Theaters, Hollywood: ‘Inside out 2’ Scores Massive $155 Million Opening

DON'T MISS

Oxfam CEO Slams UK Arms Sales Amid Gaza Crisis

DON'T MISS

Israeli Airstrikes in West Bank Claim Child Victims Amid Escalating Tactics

DON'T MISS

Gavin Newsom and the Legislature Far Apart on College Spending as Budget Deadline Nears

DON'T MISS

Visalia’s Stephen Vogt Has Guided Young Guardians to Top of AL Central

DON'T MISS

‘A Hellscape’: Dire Conditions in Gaza Leave a Multitude of Amputees

DON'T MISS

Will Finishing Touches to $2B Fresno Budget Occur in Public?

UP NEXT

2 Killed When Vintage Plane Crashes During Father’s Day Event at Southern California Airfield

UP NEXT

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore to Issue Over 175,000 Marijuana Pardons

UP NEXT

Squaw Valley Man Allegedly Killed by Lifelong Friend

UP NEXT

Tyson Foods Heir Suspended as CFO After Second Alcohol-Related Arrest

UP NEXT

Supreme Court, Siding With Starbucks, Makes It Harder for NLRB to Win Court Orders in Labor Disputes

UP NEXT

US Reporter Evan Gershkovich, Jailed in Russia on Espionage Charges, to Stand Trial, Officials Say

UP NEXT

Supreme Court Rules California Man Can’t Trademark ‘Trump Too Small’

UP NEXT

Drunk Driver Gets 15 Years to Life for Deadly Fresno Taco Truck Crash

UP NEXT

Rep. Costa Blasts GOP House For Holding AG Merrick Garland in Contempt

UP NEXT

AP Sources: 8 Individuals Possibly Linked to Islamic State Arrested in US

An Emotional Win for Theaters, Hollywood: ‘Inside out 2’ Scores Massive $155 Million Opening

1 hour ago

Oxfam CEO Slams UK Arms Sales Amid Gaza Crisis

1 hour ago

Israeli Airstrikes in West Bank Claim Child Victims Amid Escalating Tactics

1 hour ago

Gavin Newsom and the Legislature Far Apart on College Spending as Budget Deadline Nears

1 hour ago

Visalia’s Stephen Vogt Has Guided Young Guardians to Top of AL Central

1 hour ago

‘A Hellscape’: Dire Conditions in Gaza Leave a Multitude of Amputees

2 hours ago

Will Finishing Touches to $2B Fresno Budget Occur in Public?

2 hours ago

Man Plotted Mass Shooting in Atlanta to Incite ‘Race War,’ Officials Say

2 hours ago

Longtime Southern Baptist Leader Paul Pressler, Accused of Sexual Abuse, Dies at 94

2 hours ago

California’s Democratic Leaders Clash With Businesses Over Curbing Retail Theft. Here’s What to Know

2 hours ago

Former Clovis West Star Adrian Martinez Does It Again. He’s UFL Title Game MVP.

The awards keep coming for former Clovis West and college football standout Adrian Martinez. He led the Birmingham Stallions to a 25-0 victo...

4 mins ago

4 mins ago

Former Clovis West Star Adrian Martinez Does It Again. He’s UFL Title Game MVP.

13 mins ago

Long Prison Stint for Fresno Man Busted in Child Solicitation Sting

41 mins ago

3 Days in Space Were Enough to Change 4 Astronauts’ Bodies and Minds

1 hour ago

An Emotional Win for Theaters, Hollywood: ‘Inside out 2’ Scores Massive $155 Million Opening

1 hour ago

Oxfam CEO Slams UK Arms Sales Amid Gaza Crisis

1 hour ago

Israeli Airstrikes in West Bank Claim Child Victims Amid Escalating Tactics

1 hour ago

Gavin Newsom and the Legislature Far Apart on College Spending as Budget Deadline Nears

1 hour ago

Visalia’s Stephen Vogt Has Guided Young Guardians to Top of AL Central

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend