America Goes Unholstered: Constitutional Carry Sweeps Nation in 2023

27 December 2023. 2023 saw a seismic shift in the gun rights landscape, with the United States officially becoming a constitutional carry-majority nation. By summer, a staggering 27 states allowed qualified residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit, a dramatic jump from just 16 in 2021.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) hailed the development as a victory for self-defense rights and the Second Amendment. “The gun control lobby’s strategy backfired,” declared NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. “Americans in 11 states stood with freedom and the NRA.”

Constitutional carry laws essentially eliminate the need for permits, freeing residents from government permission to exercise their right to bear arms. Florida held the key to the national majority. In March, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the NRA-backed bill into law, making the Sunshine State the 26th to join the ranks.

“Constitutional Carry is in the books,” DeSantis declared, cementing Florida’s role as a champion of gun rights. Nebraska followed suit with Governor Jim Pillen signing their own constitutional carry legislation in April.

The list of states embracing unholstered freedom now reads like a roll call of conservative strongholds: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Interestingly, the rise of constitutional carry hasn’t necessarily translated to a surge in permit holders. Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC) founder John Lott reports a slight drop in permits issued nationwide. He attributes this to residents in new constitutional carry states no longer needing them.

“More Americans are actually carrying concealed firearms thanks to these laws,” Lott emphasizes. His study notes a 0.5% decline in permits compared to 2022, with states on both sides of the permit divide experiencing different trends.

2023’s gun rights revolution paints a vivid picture of a nation increasingly comfortable with armed citizenry. Whether this translates to greater safety or heightened risk remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: America has entered a new era of gun ownership, unholstered and ready to face the future.

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