As the gun lobby seeks to gut gun safety laws across the country, it is facing loss after loss trying to pass permitless carry bills in statehouses. Permitless carry bills would dismantle concealed carry permitting systems and allow dangerous people — including domestic abusers, felons and convicted stalkers — to carry hidden, loaded handguns in states with no permit and no safety training.
So far this year, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America volunteers and in-state allies have helped stop permitless carry bills from becoming law in eight red and blue states:
- Georgia, where the bill failed in the Republican-controlled state legislature;
- Kentucky, where the bill failed in the Republican-controlled state legislature;
- Montana, where the bill was vetoed by a Democratic governor;
- New Mexico, where the bill failed in a Democratically controlled statehouse;
- South Dakota, where the bill was vetoed by a Republican governor, and the GOP- controlled House failed to override him;
- Tennessee, where a permitless bill failed in a Republican-controlled committee (although other versions of permitless carry are still pending);
- Utah, where versions failed in the Republican-controlled statehouse; and
- Virginia, where the legislation failed in a Republican-controlled statehouse.
To stop these bills, our Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors have descended on statehouses, testifying in committees, meeting with lawmakers and making calls to oppose permitless carry.
These defeats are significant in their own right because they demonstrate that lawmakers and voters in red and blue states support states having core safety standards before someone may carry a concealed handgun.
But they are all the more important because the gun lobby is hard at work trying to gut the nation’s gun laws in Congress. At the top of the gun lobby’s priority list is concealed carry reciprocity, federal legislation that would gut our nation’s gun laws and make the weakest link the law of the land — radically redefining who can carry hidden, loaded guns anywhere in America. The gun lobby wants to make permitless carry a national standard by forcing states to recognize the standards other states have for who can carry a concealed handgun in public, even those states with significantly weaker standards – or worse, no standards at all (i.e., permitless carry).