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
Tennessee: Governor Bill Lee Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Tennessee: Governor Bill Lee Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Last week, Governor Bill Lee signed important self-defense legislation, House Bill 1264 /Senate Bill 705, into law.

Obama Lies about Guns… Again

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Obama Lies about Guns… Again

Despite no longer living in the White House, former President Barack Obama continues to be a headache to law-abiding Americans. On May 30, Obama spoke at a digital innovation event in Brazil. During the onstage ...

Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

News  

Friday, June 7, 2019

Don’t Say They Didn’t Warn You: Left Leaning Voices Question Democrats’ Anti-Gun Proposals, Fervor

If the 2020 Democrat presidential primary is any indication, that party’s base and donor class will accept nothing less from their nominee than commitments to sweeping gun control. And the contenders appear happy to accommodate ...

Pittsburgh Mayor Presents DICK’S CEO an Award for Gun Control Advocacy

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Pittsburgh Mayor Presents DICK’S CEO an Award for Gun Control Advocacy

On June 4-5, the annual Yale Mayors College & CEO Summit was held in New York City. The theme of this year’s CEO Summit was “Trumpeting the Issues without Becoming the Issue: Selective Use of CEO Voice.” ...

Advice Columnist Tells Father to Evict Daughter from His House for Owning a Gun

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

Advice Columnist Tells Father to Evict Daughter from His House for Owning a Gun

Amy Dickinson is an advice columnist who, according to the company that syndicates her work, “combines storytelling with advice that is rooted with honesty and trust.” “Ask Amy” appears in newspapers that include The Baltimore Sun, ...

New Jersey “Smart Gun” Law Gets an F Grade

News  

Friday, June 14, 2019

New Jersey “Smart Gun” Law Gets an F Grade

After signing six gun control measures into law a year ago, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy warned that “Our work is far from done.” Several new bills are now making the rounds in a state already notorious ...

Nevada: Deadline Tomorrow For Governor to Act on Anti-Gun Bill

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Nevada: Deadline Tomorrow For Governor to Act on Anti-Gun Bill

Tomorrow, June 14th, is the deadline for Governor Steve Sisolak to take action on Assembly Bill 291. 

Does a Suppressed Pistol Sound like a Nail Gun?

News  

Friday, June 7, 2019

Does a Suppressed Pistol Sound like a Nail Gun?

In response to reports that the Virginia Beach shooter used a firearm suppressor in carrying out his terrible crime, David Chipman, Senior Policy Advisor for the Giffords gun control group, claimed that a suppressed pistol ...

New Jersey: Assembly Judiciary Committee Begins Next Wave of Gun Control

Monday, June 10, 2019

New Jersey: Assembly Judiciary Committee Begins Next Wave of Gun Control

Nobody ever accused New Jersey of lacking gun laws, and yet, lawmakers in Trenton can’t seem to accomplish anything except pass gun bills.

NRA and CRPA Hosting Webinar Regarding Upcoming California Ammunition Background Check Requirements

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

NRA and CRPA Hosting Webinar Regarding Upcoming California Ammunition Background Check Requirements

On Wednesday, June 26, NRA and CRPA will be hosting a free live webinar discussing the upcoming ammunition background check requirements scheduled to take effect July 1. 

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.