Constitutional carry is a topic that has been gaining increasing attention in the United States in recent years. The concept of constitutional carry revolves around the belief that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants individuals the right to carry a firearm without needing a permit or license. 

Many states have adopted this approach to gun ownership, while others require a permit or license to carry a firearm. 

This article will discuss constitutional carry, what states currently observe it, and what it means for gun owners and public safety.

What is Constitutional Carry?

Constitutional carry has been a hot topic of discussion for years, and the debate over whether it should be allowed continues to rage on. Constitutional carry means that individuals can carry a firearm in public without a permit or license.

This is a significant victory for gun owners who believe in the Second Amendment. They see it as the ultimate expression of their right to bear arms and an essential component of their freedom. Allowing them to carry a firearm without government approval makes them feel empowered to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm.

However, not everyone is convinced that constitutional carry is a good idea. Opponents argue that it could increase crime and pose a safety risk for the public. They say that without proper training and background checks, people who carry firearms could be more likely to misuse them, leading to increased gun violence.

State Laws and Constitutional Carry

The number of states that have adopted constitutional carry laws continues to grow. As of 2023, 15 states have adopted some form of constitutional carry, and more are considering similar legislation. For those who want to carry a firearm for personal protection, this means they can do so without the need for a permit or license, as long as they meet specific requirements such as age and not being prohibited from owning a firearm.

However, it’s important to note that even in states that allow constitutional carry, there are still restrictions on where and how firearms can be carried. 

For example, some states still prohibit carrying firearms in certain places, such as government buildings, schools, and airports. Additionally, some states require individuals to notify law enforcement officers if they have a firearm during a traffic stop.

What States Support Constitutional Carry?

Each state determines the requirements and any limitations on the carry of firearms. Listed below are the States that allow permitless concealed carry (PC) and the minimum age requirement:

  • Alabama (PC-21)
  • Alaska (PC-21)
  • Arizona (PC-21)
  • Arkansas (PC-18)
  • Georgia (PC-21 years old or 18 for military)
  • Idaho (PC-18)
  • Indiana (PC-18)
  • Iowa (PC-21)
  • Kansas (PC-21)
  • Kentucky (PC-21)
  • Maine (permits recognized; see Maine reciprocity section for details or PC-21)
  • Mississippi (PC-18)
  • Missouri (PC-19 or 18 for military)
  • Montana (PC-18)
  • New Hampshire (PC-18)
  • North Dakota (PC-18 for residents only and concealed carry only)
  • Ohio (PC-21 as of June 12, 2022)
  • Oklahoma (PC-21 or 18 for military)
  • South Dakota (PC-18)
  • Tennessee (PC-21 or 18 for military)
  • Texas (PC-21) 
  • Utah (PC-21) 
  • Vermont (PC-18)
  • West Virginia (PC-21)
  • Wyoming (PC-21)

To carry a handgun, the individual must be: 

  • Able to lawfully possess a handgun per federal law (e.g., not a felon or an individual with a conviction of domestic abuse) and any state requirements
  • Be in a place where the person has a legal right to be

You can learn more about State gun laws here.

What Started The Permitless Carry Debate?

The debate surrounding constitutional carry is rooted in the United States Constitution, penned by our founding fathers over two centuries ago. The Second Amendment clearly states that citizens have the right to own and carry firearms without any restrictions or regulations. 

Gun advocates who support constitutional carry believe that the Constitution protects this fundamental right and that any licensing or training programs imposed by states are unconstitutional. They argue that restoring citizens’ right to carry firearms without government intervention is simply a restoration of their constitutional rights rather than an expansion.

Court Cases About Constitutional Carry

In the past, most non-gun enthusiasts were unfamiliar with constitutional carry. However, constitutional carry became a buzzword among pro-gun citizens when Arizona joined the growing list of states that relaxed their gun regulations in 2010. 

This movement gained momentum after the landmark case, District of Columbia v. Heller, in 2008. The case involved a police officer restricted from carrying a firearm in his own home by Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court eventually ruled that the Second Amendment protected an individual’s right to bear arms, including for self-defense and property protection. 

While the court did not specify whether this right extended beyond personal property, the decision marked a turning point for gun rights advocates. 

The case was followed by McDonald vs. City of Chicago in 2010, where the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment applies to states. This decision helped to resolve some of the ambiguity left by the previous ruling and is seen as a vital moment in protecting our Second Amendment rights.

Our Thoughts

The people of the United States value their independence and are very protective of their constitutional rights. For those who support constitutional carry, restoring the right to bear arms is not an expansion of the Second Amendment but rather a reinstatement of a principle established by the founding fathers.

At Havok Holsters, we are committed to providing you with all the necessary equipment to carry your firearms safely and responsibly under the founding fathers’ principles.