If 2020 and 2021 were the years of the pandemic, 2021 and 2022 might be called the years of constitutional carry. After all, Alabama, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming have all passed some form of legislation allowing citizens to carry firearms without a permit just in these recent times.
On Friday, Georgia joined them.
“Georgia’s state Senate passed the state’s constitutional carry bill on Friday, setting Georgia up to become the 25th state in the union to not require a permit to carry concealed firearms for legal gun owners,” Fox News reports. “The 34-22 vote sends the bill to the desk of GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, who is expected to sign it. The bill passed the state House on Wednesday.”
The Constitution should be our carry permit, and I look forward to signing a Constitutional Carry measure this year to enshrine hardworking Georgians’ ability to protect themselves and their families in Georgia law. #2A pic.twitter.com/iWkl8VHo2z
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) March 2, 2022
That’s 10 states in just the last two years. And it’s still possible that Florida will pass constitutional carry this year.
These are some big gains in a very short period of time for gun rights advocates.
In fact, it’s enough to make some wonder just how this happened. After all, in 2018, it seemed pro-gun gains were unlikely for the foreseeable future. The tragic Parkland school shooting had just happened, and a traumatized nation was desperate for answers. The mainstream media and gun control activists pushed hard for their anti-gun policies and seemed to have the momentum.
That held for the rest of that year and the next.
However, when the pandemic hit, people got scared. They didn’t know what was coming, so they wanted to be ready. They bought firearms at a record-breaking rate. They bought out gun store inventories, then reached out to online outlets, sure they would find a ready source, only to learn they’d been lied to about how easy it was to buy a gun via the internet.
A lot of people became educated about the Second Amendment and the current state of gun laws.
Then, of course, we have President Joe Biden.
Having an anti-gun politician in office always helps sales in the firearm industry. But it also appears to have fired up legislators in red states. While they appear to be content to do nothing when a Republican is in the White House, they may feel duty-bound to step up and pass pro-gun legislation during Democratic administrations. The fact that Biden ran on gun control only amplified this backlash—and it has resulted in real reforms.
Thanks to the passage of constitutional carry in all these new states, millions of law-abiding Americans will no longer face burdens in exercising their constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.
Since those burdens include things like fees, training classes that people have to pay for, and travel to meet permitting requirements, the biggest winners from this won’t be gunmakers so much as poorer people in these states who can now exercise their rights without having to jump through costly hoops.
As a Georgia native and gun owner, I’m appreciative that the bill here has passed. As an American who values my rights and the rights of other Americans, I’m even more appreciative.