By: José Niño

Despite much of the political chaos taking place in the United States, the success of Constitutional Carry has been a bright spot for freedom lovers. Constitutional Carry is the simple concept that any law-abiding individual can carry a firearm without having to obtain a permit.

It’s been the most successful pro-gun fight in the last three decades. Dean Weingarten of AmmoLand put things into perspective in a recent post, showing that the majority of the territorial United States has Constitutional Carry as law of the land.

Things weren’t always that way. In 1791, the year the Bill of Rights was ratified, lawful Americans did not need to obtain a permit to carry firearms in most public spaces. However, that changed over the course of modern American history. For the longest time, Vermont was the only state with Constitutional Carry, owing largely to a 1903 state Supreme Court ruling that enacted unlicensed carry in the state.

Alaska ended the century-long Constitutional Carry drought in 2003 by establishing its own unlicensed carry law. Subsequently, Arizona embraced Constitutional Carry in 2010 when then-Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed Senate Bill 1108 into law.

Since then, 25 states have followed suit in making Constitutional Carry the law of the land. These include the following:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Once Florida’s unlicensed carry law goes into effect on July 1, 2023, 65% of the US’s land area will have some form of unlicensed carry on the books.

“Constitutional Carry is just one piece of the pie when it comes to restoring gun rights in the U.S. and believe me the gun control ghouls never sleep when it comes to cooking up schemes to undo or weaken gun freedoms. Criminal safe zones, aka so-called ‘gun-free’ zones, are just one tactic gun grabbers use to disarm law-abiding citizens, even in Constitutional Carry states. When it comes to gun rights the National Association for Gun Rights must keep on its toes and forever play whack-a-mole with those who would eradicate our freedoms,” declared Dudley Brown, President of the National Association for Gun Rights.

Constitutional Carry’s success should leave gun owners with a strong sense of optimism. Gun owners have every reason to be disenchanted with the federal government due to how it has not been responsive to their demands to roll back unconstitutional infringements on their right to bear arms. In response, they have shifted their focus towards state-level legislative efforts. This shift in political behavior has resulted in 27 states with Constitutional Carry as law of the land. Other red states such as Louisiana and South Carolina could conceivably join the ranks of Constitutional Carry in the next year or so.

We must never forget that the fight to restore freedoms in America is not a walk in the park. It’s going to feature a lot of short-term failures and hiccups. However, these low points serve as learning experiences that activists can build off of.

If Constitutional Carry has taught us anything, it’s that we must be prepared to play the long game if we want to completely restore the right to bear arms in America.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at [email protected]. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.