What does Constitutional Carry Mean

Discover what constitutional carry means, its history, benefits, examples of states with constitutional carry laws, case studies, and statistics. Learn about the impact of constitutional carry on public safety and individual rights.


Constitutional carry, also known as permitless carry or unrestricted carry, refers to the legal concept that allows individuals to carry a concealed firearm without the need for a government-issued permit. This concept is based on the belief that the right to bear arms is protected by the Constitution and should not be subject to government regulation. Constitutional carry laws vary from state to state, with some states enacting full constitutional carry laws while others have a hybrid system that combines constitutional carry with a permit system.

History of Constitutional Carry

The concept of constitutional carry traces its roots back to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, which states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This amendment has been the subject of much debate and interpretation over the years, with proponents of constitutional carry arguing that it guarantees individuals the right to carry a firearm without government interference.

Benefits of Constitutional Carry

One of the main arguments in favor of constitutional carry is that it allows law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights without having to navigate the often complex and expensive process of obtaining a concealed carry permit. Proponents also argue that constitutional carry laws can help to deter crime by allowing individuals to defend themselves and others in dangerous situations.

Examples of Constitutional Carry States

Currently, there are 21 states in the US that have enacted some form of constitutional carry law. These states include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Each state has its own specific requirements and restrictions for carrying a concealed firearm without a permit.

Case Studies

One example of the impact of constitutional carry laws is the state of Vermont, which has had unrestricted constitutional carry since its founding in 1791. Despite having some of the most permissive gun laws in the country, Vermont consistently ranks as one of the safest states in terms of violent crime rates. Proponents of constitutional carry point to Vermont as evidence that such laws can coexist with public safety.

Statistics on Constitutional Carry

According to a study conducted by the Crime Prevention Research Center, states that have implemented constitutional carry laws have seen a decrease in violent crime rates compared to states with restrictive gun laws. The study found that between 1991 and 2013, states with constitutional carry saw a 22% decrease in murder rates, a 22% decrease in aggravated assault rates, and a 30% decrease in robbery rates.


Constitutional carry is a controversial topic that has sparked heated debate among politicians, law enforcement officials, and the general public. While proponents argue that it is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution, opponents raise concerns about public safety and the potential for increased gun violence. As more states consider enacting constitutional carry laws, it is important for policymakers to carefully weigh the benefits and drawbacks before making a decision that could have far-reaching implications for public safety and individual rights.

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