As promised, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has signed legislation to allow citizens over the age of 21 in the Commonwealth to carry a concealed firearm without a permit, bringing the number of states with so-called “Constitutional Carry” to 16.
The law takes effect in July. Bevin is the third governor this year to sign such legislation, the other two being South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt. All three are Republicans.
The National Rifle Association, which supported the legislation, applauded the governor for signing the bill that “fully recognizes the constitutional right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm.”
Kentucky has joined Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming, and gun owners in other states are quietly working toward the same end. What those efforts are likely to require is a change in the makeup of their respective state legislatures and assemblies, and in the governors’ offices.
Kentucky is like several other states, including Washington, that already allow open carry without a permit. Constitutionally, Washington has always been an open carry state.
The right to bear arms, as protected by the federal constitution, makes no distinction about the manner in which the arm is carried. That much was summed up in a remark from Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.
“This law is a common sense measure,” Cox said in a prepared statement, “that allows law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right of self-protection in the manner that best suits their needs.”
According to WAVE News, Kentucky citizens will still be able to get a carry permit that would allow them to carry in other states with reciprocal agreements. But in Kentucky, the permit will not be necessary.
The other end of the spectrum can be found in Washington, where there is legislation pending to mandate a training requirement for the first time since 1935 to obtain a concealed pistol license.
And there’s a new move in New Jersey by anti-gun Gov. Phil Murphy and Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to release information about the manufacturers of “crime guns” found in the state. The term “crime gun” may be a misnomer since no firearm is manufactured to be used in a crime.
The Murphy-Grewal effort will reveal the number of guns recovered by counties and cities, including the type and caliber of those firearms, and the source state of those guns. The story estimated some 80 percent of guns used in crimes come from other states, suggesting that they entered the state illegally, and there was no background check when those guns changed hands.