What the Naysayers Simply Won’t Admit About Constitutional Carry

posted on June 1, 2023

In this interview, Charles C.W. Cooke, a contributor to America’s 1st Freedom and a senior writer with National Review Online, takes on the rhetoric anti-Second Amendment activists (some of whom are politicians) throw about whenever a constitutional carry bill comes up in any state.

These activists claim there will be “Wild West shootouts” in the streets and more, but then, after constitutional carry passes—none of that ever happens.

During the legislative debate for constitutional carry in Florida, for example, the usual adjectives were there—“extreme,” “reckless” and “dangerous”—but it was notable that nobody who was wielding them could explain why.

Declaring her opposition to the measure, state Rep. Anna Eskamani of Orlando (D) insisted, “I want to make sure that the right people who are supposed to have access to guns are the ones who do while ensuring those that are not supposed to don’t.”

But this, of course, has nothing whatsoever to do with the changes that Florida has made. As Rep. Chuck Brannan (R), one of the bill’s sponsors, pointed out, constitutional carry does not “change who can and who cannot carry a gun,” and “people that are prohibited now are still going to be prohibited.”

Likewise, Florida has made no changes to how guns are bought and sold in the state, to the rules governing where and when guns may be carried or to the sorts of firearms whose ownership is permitted. What has changed, as Brannan explained, is that Floridians—like the residents of now 26 other states—will no longer be obliged “to go through the hoops of getting a permit from the government to carry their weapon.” That, in objecting to this, the bill’s sponsors decided to talk about something else altogether should tell us how weak their case really is.

It has now been 20 years since American states began to abolish their permitting systems, and there has never been a persuasive argument as to how that development could possibly make us less safe. Each and every time a legislature takes up constitutional carry, we are informed that the proposal will inevitably turn the state into the “Wild West,” but that never occurs; in fact, no state that has passed such a law has ever seen a realistic attempt to repeal it. This, by itself, shows that the public does not see the problems with our freedom that anti-Second Amendment activists always falsely claim is there.



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