The Economist: Constitutional Carry a ‘Troubling Trend’

gun carry
AP/Lynne Sladky

The Economist labelled the state-level movement toward eliminating concealed carry permit requirements as a “troubling trend.”

The result of this push is permitless carry, or constitutional carry, as it is more often called. States that go this way view the Second Amendment as a sufficient carry permit and do not require law-abiding citizens to get a permit from the state government before exercising their right to bear arms.

Twenty states have currently abolished their concealed permit requirement. Those 20 states are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. (NOTE: Utah’s constitutional carry law goes into effect May 5, 2021, and Tennessee’s takes effect July 1, 2021.)

Texas lawmakers are on the verge of passing constitutional carry legislation and Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has made clear he will sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.

The Economist referred to this move toward constitutional carry as a “troubling trend,” claiming:

Those championing permitless carry argue that having more armed citizens will help save lives. Tennessee’s governor, Bill Lee, has called his state’s new law “core to a strong public-safety agenda”. But there are reasons, such as law enforcement’s opposition, to be sceptical of this. In Tennessee and elsewhere, police have campaigned against permitless carry, saying it endangers them and makes it more likely that criminals and felons could walk around armed.

Felons, who are already barred from gun possession, are not allowed to carry a gun just because a state has a constitutional framework for law-abiding citizens.

Criminals in cities like Chicago, where there is a high amount of gun control, including the required acquisition of a Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card to own a gun, nevertheless possess and use guns for crime on a regular basis.

The Economist also argues against constitutional carry by claiming good guys with guns do not really stop bad guys with guns. They make this claim based on talking points from the president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a decades-old gun control group that consistently pushes for more restrictions on the exercise of Second Amendment rights.

Alaska adopted constitutional carry in 2003, Arizona in 2010, and Wyoming in 2011. On June 5, 2017, the NRA noted handgun murders declined in Alaska after the termination of the permit requirement. The “percentage of murders committed with a handgun” in Arizona declined as well and Wyoming saw “similar trends.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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