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
Gun Control Lobby Seeks to Thwart SHARE Act with Hysteria, Fear Mongering

News  

Hunting  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Gun Control Lobby Seeks to Thwart SHARE Act with Hysteria, Fear Mongering

The panic is now starting to set in amongst the gun control lobby, which is desperately searching for ways to smear a bill that has been around for years in various forms without attracting much ...

Washington Post Employs Deceptive Tactic on “Children” and Guns

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Washington Post Employs Deceptive Tactic on “Children” and Guns

The Washington Post has surpassed the Brady Campaign and Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety to take a place alongside the New York Times as the premier anti-gun propagandists in the country.

UK: Growing Support for Arming More Police

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

UK: Growing Support for Arming More Police

The UK’s fear of firearms, and potential weapons of all kinds, is well-documented. Subjects are urged not to carry any item, such as pepper spray, that might be adapted for self-defense. Officers take to social media to boast of ...

Long Term Trends in Gun Sales Remain Strong

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Long Term Trends in Gun Sales Remain Strong

Discussion of the state of the firearms industry began again with the release of the August NICS numbers. Allegations of a fading industry recur every month. Obama was the greatest gun salesman ever, Hillary Clinton ...

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 ...

Rhode Island:  House Gives Final Approval to Gun Control Bill

Friday, September 22, 2017

Rhode Island: House Gives Final Approval to Gun Control Bill

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello summoned lawmakers back to Providence in a rare September session, and the House passed an anti-gun bill Tuesday afternoon.  The session had abruptly ended in June with the budget and a ...

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

News  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

Demonstrating the importance of the gun issue to the American electorate, 35 percent of respondents reported that “gun rights or gun control” had an impact on their voting behavior. The issue was the highest-rated answer, ...

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

Hunting  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

As soon as the Hearing Protection Act was put forward on Jan. 9, 2017, leftists came out of the woodwork to criticize and misconstrue the goals of those who supported removing suppressors from the auspices ...

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 ...

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.

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.