David Kopel, Research Director at the Independence Institute in Colorado and a well-known figure in the gun community, recently published a brief and useful essay on The Volokh Conspiracy blog (now oddly a part of the Washington Post web site). In it, Kopel discusses the expansion of “shall issue” concealed carry laws in the United States from 1986 (just before Florida began the contemporary wave of right to carry laws) to 2014.
Although the rise of the right to carry era is not news, Kopel offers an excellent graphical depiction of the growing proportion of Americans who live in “shall issue” CCW states and the diminishing proportion in “may issue” or no issue states.
The graphic does not include the District of Columbia, and assumes that the Peruta decision affecting California and Hawaii will be upheld. But even with those two caveats it paints a dramatic picture of the liberalization of gun laws in the past quarter century.
As suggested by recent legislative movements toward permitless carry in West Virginia and Kansas — lamented elsewhere on the Washington Post site — the next frontier could very well be the currently hard to see purple sliver in the Kopel graphic above: unrestricted carry.