More than half of the states have now adopted a decidedly pro-Second Amendment stance when it comes to firearms in the hands of private citizens.
This week, GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law in Florida, making it the 26th state to allow individuals to carry firearms for self-defense without a permit, part of a growing trend to affirm and protect Second Amendment rights across the country, Just the News reported.
Gun rights activists are now looking towards Nebraska and South Carolina, as these states are expected to consider legislation that would allow people to carry firearms without a permit in the near future. Activists attribute the recent rise in support for such laws to the violent riots that took place in the summer of 2020 and the subsequent increase in crime rates in many urban areas.
They see the “constitutional carry” movement as gaining momentum, and hope to see more states follow suit in the coming months, the outlet noted.
“The bottom line is Americans watched years, certainly a year of riots and arson and looting. And they decided that they needed to be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Not everybody wants to do that. But they recognize the right to do so,” retired Army Lt. Col. Willes Lee, a top official in the National Rifle Association, told the John Solomon Reports podcast on Thursday.
The upcoming NRA spring meeting in Indianapolis is expected to center around major points of discussion such as the rapid succession of states adopting permitless or constitutional carry laws and significant lawsuits aimed at protecting gun rights from blue state and Biden administration regulations and bans, the outlet noted further.
Individuals in Florida are now allowed to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, also known as “permitless carry.” The new law does not permit open carry of weapons and the firearms must not be visible to others.
Just the News added:
Permitless carry and “constitutional carry” are not strictly the same, but the terms are often used interchangeably.
Generally, “permitless” states may require that individuals meet additional requirements apart from a permit to carry. Constitutional carry states, meanwhile, impose no restrictions on an individual’s right to carry beyond their legal eligibility to purchase a firearm, according to the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.
“Some states with constitutional carry allow both open and concealed carry without permits while others only allow for one or the other,” the report continued.
LB77, also known as “permitless constitutional carry” in Nebraska, proposes that individuals who are legally permitted to purchase a handgun can carry it concealed without obtaining a permit or taking a safety class. The bill also seeks to eliminate certain local regulations, including the mandate that a purchase permit be issued by the local sheriff before an individual can buy a handgun.
Republican Sen. Tom Brewer sponsored the bill, which cleared its first vote in early March by a 36-12 margin, according to the Associated Press. Later that month, it cleared the second round by a 31-10 vote, the Nebraska Examiner reported. To become law, it needs to clear a third round in the legislature and obtain the signature of Republican Gov. Jim Pillen, who has expressed support for it.
The NRA’s Lee identified South Carolina as another state likely to pass permitless carry in the near future.
“South Carolina is teed up. Their House has a really good bill,” he said. “The Senate wants to make amendments. The NRA doesn’t support those Senate amendments.”