Constitutional carry, meaning legal concealed handgun carry with no permit required – is it coming soon to a state near you? Well, probably not to our own beloved but increasingly purple Colorado, and certainly not to ever-more-loony Californey, where I am temporarily hanging my hat. But Alaska, where we plan to relocate in the not-too-distant future, has this law, and the practice is gaining ground. Excerpt:
“The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end,” President Trump claimed on Friday while addressing a National Rifle Association gathering in Atlanta. “No longer will federal agencies be coming after law-abiding gun owners.”
Well, that’s a relief. I was afraid the feds were risking repetitive strain injuries. It’s time for them to change things up and bash on some other freedoms. Somehow, I’m sure we can count on them to do just that.
But relief for self-defense rights might well be a thing, especially outside the nation’s capital. Look, for example, at the growing ranks of states recognizing people’s right to discreetly carry weapons without first seeking government approval.
That’s a practice I sometimes jokingly call “New York carry,” though I inevitably confuse people when I do. New York doesn’t encourage carrying a gun without a permit, they protest! Well, actually, it kind of does. When I worked in New York City in the 1990s, getting permission to just legally own a handgun was an ordeal (which I’ve described elsewhere), and a carry permit was out of the question for anybody who wasn’t well connected. For a while, I worked a job that had me returning to my apartment at 4th Street and Avenue B—a gentrifying but still sketchy neighborhood at the time—in the wee hours of the morning. The criminals, along the route, it seemed, had never received the memo about the city’s restrictive gun laws. Believe me, I carried.
In 1980 and 1981, I had a part-time job repossessing cars, which gig took me frequently into south Chicago, Gary and those types of environs. Not comfortable territory for a lily-white Iowa farm boy; so yes, I carried, a massive .45 caliber horse pistol shoved into my waistband under an ancient Army trench coat. I never used it or even displayed it, but I was comforted for having it, and if I had ever needed it I’d have needed it damned bad.
It’s common among the pro-Second Amendment community to point out that the Second is our carry permit; it does, after all, state a right to keep and bear arms, a right upheld by the Supreme Court. But the law is frequently an ass, and most states still don’t recognize this principle. It’s better in my estimation to get the permit and be within the law; but I’d much rather have the Constitution recognized to its original intent.
As George Carlin once said, “if you don’t like the weather, move!” Giving up Colorado for Alaska will be a big move for Mrs. Animal and yr. obdt. – but the move to a freer state will be worth the trouble.