Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

A Generation of Right-to-Carry Shows Nothing is Beyond Our Reach

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Generation of Right-to-Carry Shows Nothing is Beyond Our Reach

As the Right-to-Carry movement approaches its 30-year anniversary, no states serve as better examples of the enormous progress gun owners have made in securing our rights than Missouri and Florida.

In 1992, when shall-issue concealed carry legislation was proposed in the Missouri House, a Springfield News Leader editorial dismissed the legislation as “outrageous.” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board called the measure a “License To Kill.” Weeks later, the Post-Dispatch quoted a state lawmaker, who remarked, “I’m not interested in letting some cowboy out on the street with a concealed weapon.” The legislation passed the House, but faltered in the Senate.

On April 6, 1999, Missourians were given the opportunity to vote to enact Right-to-Carry by referendum. Following a bitterly-fought campaign, that included anti-gun modification of the approved ballot language and robocalls from First Lady Hillary Clinton, the Right-to-Carry measure fell just short, 52 percent to 48 percent.

The narrow margin and underhanded tactics didn’t prevent gun control supporters from crowing about their victory. A New York Times editorial called the result “a major defeat that can only add to the momentum for reasonable gun control.” Handgun Control Inc. contended that the results were evidence that “the political clout of the NRA is waning.”

Despite this setback, NRA was resolute. Then NRA-ILA Executive Director Jim Baker assured Missourians, “While we weren’t successful in passing Right-to-Carry this time, I promise this isn’t the end, but the beginning of our offensive.”   

Today, with all but a handful of intransigent states recognizing the Right-to-Carry, the most important battle is to secure National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity. This legislation would ensure that your ability to exercise your right to self-defense doesn’t end at the state line.

NRA made good on that promise in 2003, when the Missouri Legislature voted to override a veto by Gov. Bob Holden of shall-issue concealed carry legislation, making Missouri the 36th Right-to-Carry state.

Today, law-abiding Missourians don’t need a permit to carry for self-defense.  Last year, the Missouri House and Senate voted to override a veto by Gov. Jay Nixon to enact constitutional carry. The measure made Missouri the 10th state to allow gun owners to carry a concealed firearm without first obtaining government permission.

In a single generation, Missouri went from denying its residents the right to carry, to full recognition of that right. This sea change stands as a testament to the power and persistence of gun owners and the virtue of our cause.

In 1987, when former-NRA President Marion Hammer’s tireless efforts led Florida to pass the first Right-to-Carry law, few could have predicted the sweeping progress to come. State lawmakers predicted Florida would become an “armed camp,” and forecasted “calamity and carnage.” Famously, the national media labeled Florida the “Gunshine State.”

Of course, history proved these hysterical projections false. Florida’s homicide rate fell in the years following enactment of Right-to-Carry. FBI Uniform Crime Reporting data shows that the murder rate in Florida for 2015 was less than half of that recorded in 1987. Analysis of permit revocation data from Florida and other states has repeatedly shown that Right-to-Carry permit holders are more law-abiding than the general public.  

Ask Your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators to Support Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Please contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative TODAY and urge them to cosponsor and support passage of S.446-- the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017-- in the Senate, and H.R.38 -- the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017-- in the House. You can contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative by phone at (202) 224-3121, or click Take Action below.

TAKE ACTION TODAY

Moreover, Americans have come to recognize the public safety value of robust recognition of the Right-to-Carry. In 2015, Gallup asked survey takers whether they thought the U.S. would be safer if more people exercised the Right-to-Carry. A majority responded that the country would be safer with more individuals carrying firearms. The nation’s positive experience with Right-to-Carry is also likely to have impacted attitudes towards handguns generally. The percentage of the public that supports a handgun ban plummeted from 42 percent in 1987 to a mere 26 percent in 2011. 

Before the movement began in 1987, only ten states had meaningful Right-to-Carry laws. Currently, 42 states respect the Right-to-Carry, with twelve embracing permitless carry.  This is a remarkable record of achievement.

Today, with all but a handful of intransigent states recognizing the Right-to-Carry, the most important battle is to secure National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity.  This legislation would ensure that your ability to exercise your right to self-defense doesn’t end at the state line.

Gun rights supporters have pursued this critical legislation for more than a decade. In that time, there have been some close votes and a few setbacks. But just like in Missouri, Florida and numerous other states, with a relentless and organized effort from America’s law-abiding gun owners, National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity will become law.  After thirty years of the Right-to-Carry movement we’ve come a long way, but we won’t rest until it is the law of the land for all Americans.

Chris W. Cox

BY Chris W. Cox

NRA-ILA Executive Director

Follow This Contributor

Chris W. Cox has served as the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of NRA, since 2002. As NRA’s principal political strategist, Cox oversees eight NRA-ILA divisions: Federal Affairs; State & Local Affairs; Public Affairs; Grassroots; Finance; Research & Information; Conservation, Wildlife & Natural Resources; and Office of Legislative Counsel. Cox also serves as chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), the Association’s political action committee; president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which focuses on non-partisan voter registration and citizen education; and chairman of NRA Country, an effort to bring country music artists together with NRA members in support of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.

TRENDING NOW
Concealed Carry Reciprocity Passes U.S. House of Representatives!

News  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Passes U.S. House of Representatives!

In a resounding show of support for the Second Amendment, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a legislative package that included H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, and H.R. 4477, ...

House Passes Concealed Carry Reciprocity

News  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

House Passes Concealed Carry Reciprocity

The National Rifle Association applauded the United States House of Representatives on Wednesday for passing the most far-reaching expansion of self-defense rights in modern American history. The National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 passed ...

Burlington Police Chief Puts New York Politicians Before Vermonters

News  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Burlington Police Chief Puts New York Politicians Before Vermonters

As H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, comes closer to becoming law, the arguments against the legislation are increasingly strained. There are disingenuous appeals to federalism by those who would happily burden firearms owners under ...

Kicking a Gift Horse in the Teeth

News  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Kicking a Gift Horse in the Teeth

As we approach the Christmas season and the start of a new year, many of us look for ways to assist the needy and brighten the holidays for those less fortunate. It’s no coincidence that ...

Victory in D.C.! Shall-Issue Concealed Carry Coming to the Nation’s Capital

News  

Monday, November 20, 2017

Victory in D.C.! Shall-Issue Concealed Carry Coming to the Nation’s Capital

In a stunning development, District of Columbia officials decided in October that they would not appeal a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit concerning the District’s discretionary concealed carry licensing ...

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Florida Action Report: Florida Carry cuts off its nose to spite its face – AGAIN

Once again Florida Carry, Inc. has demonstrated a lack of concern for Concealed Weapons and Firearms License holders.  License holders continue to be abused by law enforcement, prosecutors and the courts.  When firearms, that are ...

FACT CHECK: Rep. Thomas Massie Spreading Misinformation About Comprehensive Self-Defense Legislation Pending in Congress

News  

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

FACT CHECK: Rep. Thomas Massie Spreading Misinformation About Comprehensive Self-Defense Legislation Pending in Congress

In a recent Facebook Post, Congressman Thomas Massie (KY-4) included several inaccurate statements about H.R. 4477, the Fix-NICS bill. Below are some facts to set the record straight:

Rosie O’Donnell and Kim Kardashian West Aren’t Entirely Against Guns, Just You Having Them

News  

Friday, December 1, 2017

Rosie O’Donnell and Kim Kardashian West Aren’t Entirely Against Guns, Just You Having Them

In the late 1990s and early 2000s no celebrity pushed gun control more than comedienne and actress Rosie O’Donnell. Longtime NRA supporters will remember the famous incident in 1999 where the arch-gun control supporter ambushed actor and ...

U.S. House of Representatives to Vote on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, Next Week

News  

Friday, December 1, 2017

U.S. House of Representatives to Vote on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, Next Week

In a huge win for Second Amendment supporters, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday held a mark-up of H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, and favorably reported an amended version of the bill to the full House. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Florida Action Report! Antigun Republicans EXPOSED in Committee Hearing

Three (3) progun bills die at the hands of anti-gun Republicans

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.