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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.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

South Carolina: NRA-Endorsed Self-Defense Legislation Passes Committee

Yesterday,  H. 4703 was favorably reported out of the House Judiciary Committee.  This critical self-defense legislation had no opposition ...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Arizona: Pro-Gun Bills Scheduled for Hearings Tomorrow

This week, the Arizona State Legislature has scheduled hearings for several important pro-gun bills.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Anti-Gun lawmakers Introduce Gun Confiscation Bill in Georgia

With a complete disregard for the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental rights of Georgia residents, state Representative Mary ...


Monday, February 1, 2016

West Virginia: Permitless Carry and Sunday Hunting to Be Considered this Week

This week, the House of Delegates is likely to consider House Bill 4145, important legislation that would allow ...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Oregon: 2016 Legislative Session Convenes; Senate Bill 1551 Pulled from Hearing Agenda

Yesterday, the Oregon State Legislature convened its 2016 legislative session.  As previously reported, both Senate Bill 1551 and ...


Friday, January 29, 2016

Chief Justice Barack Obama?

Here’s perhaps the most compelling argument we’ve heard against Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House. Continuing her streak ...


Gun Laws  

Friday, January 29, 2016

New Jersey Actor Faces Jail Time over Possession of Air Pistol during Movie Shoot

If it seems as though that every couple of months there is another high-profile gun control injustice in ...

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Florida Report: BIG Day for Gun Owners in Florida -- Four Victories

Today, HB-163, Open Carry by Rep. Matt Gaetz was heard in the House Judiciary Committee and PASSED by a Vote of 12-4.  HB-344, Stand Your Ground/Burden of Proof by Sen. Rob Bradley PASSED THE SENATE ...

Monday, February 1, 2016

South Carolina: Important Self-Defense Legislation Needs Your Help!

With the South Carolina Legislature’s 2016 legislative session underway, a number of bills which could affect your Second ...


Thursday, February 4, 2016

National Rifle Association Statement on 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling in Kolbe v. Maryland

Fairfax, Va.— Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement in reaction to today's ruling by the federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in ...


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.