Trying to Keep Up With Permitless Carry Regimes

The Dean of North Carolina Bloggers, John Richardson of No Lawyers Only Guns and Money, does a much better job of keeping up with America’s changing concealed carry laws than I do.

In fairness to myself, it’s hard to keep up. Already in 2021, four additional states have adopted permitless concealed carry laws: Utah, Montana, Iowa, and Tennessee. This brings the total to 19 “Alaska Carry” states plus Vermont. As I wrote yesterday, we are truly in a Permitless Carry Era.

John recently posted Part XII of the story of the expansion of gun carry rights since 1986, based on a graphic produced by Rob Vance. The graphic shows the percentage of the US population that lives in states government by different concealed carry regimes from no issue (red) to unrestricted (blue).

According to Vance’s calculations, the following percentages of the US population live under each carry regime.

  • No Issue (HI) — 0.4%
  • May Issue (CA,DC,MD,MA,NJ,NY,RI) — 27.0%
  • Shall Issue — 55.7%
  • Permitless — 16.9%

Of course, reality on the ground is more complex than this. As I and others have noted, some counties in California are may issue, at least one is de facto no issue (San Francisco), and some are de facto shall issue.

But the pattern shown in Vance’s graphic reflects the broader reality of the United States in the permitless carry era.

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