Constitutional carry, also known as permitless carry, is a hot-button issue in the world of gun rights and politics. The basic idea behind constitutional carry is those law-abiding citizens shouldn't have to obtain a government-issued permit to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms. However, many so-called "constitutional carry" bills that have been introduced in recent years have come with significant limitations, such as restrictions on open carry. In this article, we'll argue that a constitutional carry bill without the ability to open carry is not truly a constitutional carry bill and that such restrictions violate the principles of individual freedom and liberty that are at the core of conservative and libertarian ideologies.
First, it’s important to understand the history and purpose of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1791 in response to fears that the newly formed federal government would try to disarm the population, thereby rendering them defenseless against tyrannical abuses of power. The framers of the Constitution believed that an armed citizenry was necessary for preserving individual liberty and maintaining a free state, as stated in the famous words of Thomas Jefferson, "The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
In light of this historical context, it’s clear that the Second Amendment was designed to guarantee the individual right of citizens to bear arms for self-defense, without government interference. This means that law-abiding citizens should be able to carry firearms for self-defense, regardless of whether they have a government-issued permit or not. In other words, a true constitutional carry bill would allow individuals to carry firearms both openly and concealed without the need for a permit.
However, many so-called "constitutional carry" bills that have been introduced in recent years have come with significant limitations, such as restrictions on open carry. These restrictions not only violate the principles of individual freedom and liberty, but they also undermine the purpose of the Second Amendment by rendering citizens defenseless in certain situations. For example, an individual may not be able to openly carry a firearm in a public park or on a public street, even though they are in a high-crime area and are at risk of being attacked. This leaves them with no means of protecting themselves and their loved ones, thereby making them vulnerable to criminals and other dangerous individuals.
There’s also evidence to suggest that open carry restrictions do not make communities safer. In fact, some studies have shown that states with open carry restrictions have higher crime rates and lower levels of public safety compared to states with more permissive open carry laws. For example, a 2016 study by the Crime Prevention Research Center found that states with constitutional carry laws (which allow for both open and concealed carry without a permit) have lower violent crime rates than states with restrictive open carry laws.
In conclusion, a constitutional carry bill without the ability to open carry isn’t truly a constitutional carry bill, as it violates the principles of individual freedom and liberty that are at the core of the conservative and libertarian ideologies. Moreover, open carry restrictions don’t make communities safer and only serve to render law-abiding citizens defenseless in high-risk situations. We urge lawmakers to support true constitutional carry legislation that allows individuals to carry firearms both openly and concealed without the need for a government-issued permit. This’ll ensure that citizens are able to exercise their Second Amendment rights and protect themselves and their loved ones, while also promoting public safety and individual freedom.
Written By: Stephen Despin