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Shall-Issue Nation

No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money has a stunning visual of the progress of shall-issue reform over the year. Still, a lot of people live in may-issue states. To be more accurate, you’d have to break this out by jurisdiction, however. There are jurisdictions in California now that are shall-issue. More than ever before. That’s going to cover a lot of people. Delaware is also a permissive may-issue state, especially in Kent and Sussex counties. Many jurisdictions in New York will issue carry permits on a shall-issue basis. Same with Massachusetts.

Of the states that are may-issue as a matter of law, only New Jersey, Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Maryland are broadly restrictive on a state-wide basis. So as a practical matter, the picture looks even better than it would appear here. Still, it’s pretty apparent that carry is the next major battle we’ll be fighting in the Courts, and it’ll be interesting to see what direction the Court decides to go in. I think most likely, it’ll be a recognition that carry is protected, but with the states retaining a fair degree of leeway in regulating how arms are permitted to be worn. It would be interesting, in that case, to see how many restrictive jurisdictions legalize open carry, but keep their concealed weapons licensing regimes highly restrictive. I’m also interested in seeing how the courts deal with carry in a vehicle.

4 Responses to “Shall-Issue Nation”

  1. Matthew Carberry says:

    “I’m also interested in seeing how the courts deal with carry in a vehicle.”

    Because vehicles are given some search and the like protections as pseudo-extensions of the home?

    That makes sense.

    Define what you mean by “carry in a vehicle” though.

    Wearing a gun on the body while driving (absent a provision to do so outside the vehicle)? Having an operable (loaded) firearm in easy reach (not unloaded or locked and cased)?

  2. Harold says:

    Based on what I remember the last time I checked this out, in no way can Hawaii be counted as a de jure shall issue state, only people in very narrow categories can get licenses (e.g. those transporting a lot of cash). NJ is the same way, with only 1,900 licenses issued, but it’s de facto instead if be based on what the law says.

  3. RKV says:

    Sebastian, glad you enjoyed the graphic. I had a good time putting it together. Enjoy your site btw.

  4. Sebastian,

    You wrote: “There are jurisdictions in California now that are shall-issue. More than ever before. That’s going to cover a lot of people.”

    I think that the number of objectively “shall-issue” counties in California is exceedingly small. To be sure, there are “friendly” counties where you have very good odds of being issued a license (if you’re not a criminal, to some subjective degree), but those are not what should be called actual “shall-issue” licensing authorities for a whole host of reasons that matter.

    I’ll be expanding on this soon when we publish reports generated from the CA DOJ’s response to our 2010-2011 Sunshine Initiative audit at http://www.calgunsfoundation.org.

    -Brandon

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