Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Right-to-Carry Summary

Monday, May 16, 2011

Self-defense is a fundamental right. The constitutions of the U.S. and 44 states, common law, and the laws of all 50 states recognize the right to use arms in self-defense. In Beard v. U.S. (1895), the Supreme Court approved the common-law rule that a person "may repel force by force" in self-defense, and concluded that, when attacked, a person is "entitled to stand his ground and meet any attack made upon him with a deadly weapon." Courts have ruled that the police aren`t required to protect you, and cannot be held liable for failure to protect you.

In U.S. v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court recognized that the right to arms is an individual right, stating that it "is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence." In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Court ruled that "the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right," and that the amendment protects "the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation."

Before 1987, only 10 states had laws that did not impose arbitrary obstacles to the legal carrying of concealed firearms for protection. These laws are still in effect. Vermont law does not require a permit to carry a firearm openly or concealed; it prohibits carrying only with criminal intent. Seven of the 10 states have "shall issue" laws requiring firearm carrying permits to be issued to applicants meeting fixed, statewide standards, and two states fairly administer "discretionary-issuance" laws allowing permit-issuing authorities to approve or reject permit applications of qualified applicants.

In 1987, Florida adopted a "shall issue" law that became the model for laws adopted in 29 states thereafter. Thus, today, there are 40 Right-to-Carry (RTC) states. Of the 40, 37 have "shall issue" laws; two fairly administer "discretionary issuance" laws. Alaska, Arizona and Vermont do not require a permit to carry. (Alaska and Arizona also have "shall issue" permit laws, for individuals who wish to carry in states that honor out-of-state permits.)

Of the 10 remaining states and the District of Columbia, eight states and D.C. unfairly administer discretionary-issuance laws; Illinois and Wisconsin prohibit carrying entirely.

RTC laws have worked as intended. Since 1991, during which time 23 states have adopted RTC laws, violent crime has declined by 47 percent; in particular, murder has declined 51 percent. Those trends are through 2009, and the FBI has reported that total violent crime and murder dropped more than six percent during the first half of 2010. Permit-holders are more law-abiding than the rest of the public. For example, Florida, the state that has issued the most carry permits (having a large population and having had its RTC law since 1987), has issued nearly two million permits, and revoked only 0.008 percent (eight one-thousandths of one percent) of them due to gun crimes by permit-holders.

Criminologist Gary Kleck analyzed National Crime Victimization Surveys and concluded, "robbery and assault victims who used a gun to resist were less likely to be attacked or to suffer an injury than those who used any other methods of self-protection or those who did not resist at all." A study for the Department of Justice found that 34 percent of felons had been "scared off, shot at, wounded or captured by an armed victim," and 40 percent of felons have not committed crimes, fearing potential victims were armed.

H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, by U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), proposes that any person with a state-issued carry permit may carry in any other state, as follows: In a state that issues carry permits, its laws would apply. In states that don`t issue permits, a federal standard would permit carrying in places other than police stations; courthouses; public polling places; meetings of state, county, or municipal governing bodies; schools; passenger areas of airports; etc.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Right-To-Carry
TRENDING NOW
Urban Myth: Crime Doesn’t Pay – California City Authorizes Stipends to Gang Members

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Urban Myth: Crime Doesn’t Pay – California City Authorizes Stipends to Gang Members

In a special meeting on August 29, the nine-member City Council of Sacramento unanimously agreed to allocate $1.5 million in funding and to move forward with a “gun-violence reduction strategy” that will include cash payments ...

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

Gun owners received good news this week with the passage of the SHARE Act by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources (see related story). Meanwhile, progress continued to be made on another NRA legislative ...

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Most concealed-carry permit holders understand the potential pitfalls of traveling with a firearm, given the outrageous patchwork of state laws involved in even a short interstate trip. And while we haven’t posted much about reciprocity ...

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

Hunting  

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

As we have reported, this year’s version of the SHARE Act is the most expansive and far-reaching yet. Besides previously-introduced provisions aimed at enhancing opportunities for hunting, fishing, and shooting and broadening access to federal lands ...

NRA Backed SHARE Act Passes Committee

News  

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

NRA Backed SHARE Act Passes Committee

“Today marks an important step in protecting the Second Amendment freedoms of America’s hunters and sportsmen and strengthening our outdoor heritage,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA. “The SHARE Act will cut burdensome red tape that restricts ...

Bloomberg Spending Millions To Elect Anti-Gun Virginia Governor

News  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bloomberg Spending Millions To Elect Anti-Gun Virginia Governor

Billionaire anti-gunner Michael Bloomberg is at it again, pledging to spend $1 million through his gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety in an attempt to impact Virginia’s upcoming elections for governor and attorney general.

Wisconsin: Important Concealed Carry Legislation Scheduled for Committee Vote This Week

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Wisconsin: Important Concealed Carry Legislation Scheduled for Committee Vote This Week

This Tuesday, September 19, Senate Bill 169 is scheduled for a vote during the executive session in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  SB 169 would allow for the concealed carry of a firearm without a concealed carry license ...

NRA Applauds Reintroduction and Expansion of SHARE Act

News  

Hunting  

Friday, September 8, 2017

NRA Applauds Reintroduction and Expansion of SHARE Act

On Sept. 1, U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan introduced H.R. 3668, the Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act), a wide-ranging package of legislation aimed at promoting Second Amendment rights and America’s outdoor sporting traditions.

Washington Post’s Resident Anti-Gun Zealot Parades his Ignorance in SHARE Act Column

News  

Second Amendment  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Washington Post’s Resident Anti-Gun Zealot Parades his Ignorance in SHARE Act Column

Dana Milbank is not a serious journalist. A former White House correspondent for the Washington Post, Milbank now writes what can be characterized as a humor column for the paper.

Wisconsin: Constitutional Carry Passes Committee Vote

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Wisconsin: Constitutional Carry Passes Committee Vote

Today, Senate Bill 169 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with a vote of 3-2.  SB 169 would allow for the concealed carry of a firearm without a concealed carry license anywhere in the state where ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.