Constitutional Carry, May Issue, Shall Issue…. What does it all mean?
What If Your First Amendment Right Was Similar To Your Second?
By Jay Busch
Constitutional Carry. Constitutional Carry. Constitutional Carry.
While saying it three time doesn’t make George Washington appear and grant your state constitutional carry, the number of States that allow it is on the rise.
On July 1st, Kansas become the sixth state in the Nation to recognize constitutional carry, joining Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Vermont and Washington. Now before we dive too deep into this you may be asking yourself “What is constitutional carry?”
Currently, there are three primary classifications of carry categories for states, Constitutional Carry (or unrestricted), Shall-Issue and May-Issue. These are ordered in descending order of restrictions in place.
May Issue States, including California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Washington DC (ok, technically not a state, but you get the point), require that applicants provide a varying degree of information and meet extreme criteria before the state deems that person “competent enough to carry a firearm.”
In most cases, unless an applicant can prove an “imminent threat to their livelihood” or a “valid” reason in the state’s eyes to issue a permit, the state will deny them a permit (and in turn infringe on their Second Amendment liberties.) Luckily, the number of May-Issue states has dropped from 25 in 1986 to 8, concentrated primarily in the New England area, by 2015.
May-Issue is a slippery slope because it leaves the decision up to a Sheriff or Judge who could be swayed by their own personal agenda.
Statistically speaking if you are reading this article you more than likely live in a state that has Shall-Issue permits established. This category covers 36 states nationwide and is the middle ground between fully restricted and Constitutional Carry.
A State that abides by a shall-issue mantra means that to obtain a permit in that state, one simply has to meet certain training requirements and pass a background check. If those two stipulations are met, the state is than required to issue you a permit.
States that abide by this licensing method do not require any training or permit to be issued by the state. Simply put, if I didn’t carry a gun and one day decided to do it, all I would have to do is purchase a firearm. That’s it. From there I can leave my house with a concealed weapon without applying for any permit or having any sanctioned training whatsoever.
The big debate between all three methods of carrying a firearm in any US state comes down to most people’s viewpoint on government in general. People, like myself, that are constituionalists at heart, are strongly opposed to state’s that make me pay out of pocket (in essence a tax) to exercise a constitutional right. Lets look at a different protected Constitutional right.
People say stupid things every day. You might think what I am saying here is stupid, and that is fine. It is my right to say it and your right to call me stupid. Whether it is in person, over the internet, or non verbally, people are able to freely say things because of our First Amendment right. Take this example (yes I know this is not a perfect analogy, but it does prove my point, so I am going to use it.)
What if, upon birth, you were guaranteed the right to free speech under the constitution. However, before you could exercise that right, you had to prove that you were not stupid. Once you got to a certain age (also established by the state), your state would have three options. Your state could be constitutional speech, May-Issue, or Shall-Issue regarding your constitutional right.
With constitutional speech, your state would allow you to exercise the First Amendment without proving anything or applying for a permit. You would walk out the door every day and have the ability to say whatever you wanted as long as it did not infringe on anyone else’s rights.
Next, if your state was Shall-Issue, all you would have to do is take a course explaining your right and what you can and cannot say legally. Finally, the class would wrap up with a “live fire” debate where students could show to the licensed instructors that they know how to not say anything stupid.
Finally, if you lived in New England or in California, you would be abiding by a May-Issue regulation. The process for getting your speech permit would be similar to the process in the Shall-Issue states with one small twist. If the government didn’t think that you had the capability to safely string sentences together or if you could not prove a need to be able to speak freely, than they could, without ever meeting you, deny you your constitutional right.
Is this scenario that I outlined above likely to happen in America? Probably not. Could it based off the current limitations on our other constitutional rights? Absolutely, and when it happens it will be too late.
Take a look at countries that do not have a First Amendment and have their media’s controlled by the government. How is the quality of life and treatment of citizens in countries like North Korea, Syria, Cuba, China, Russia, Libya, and Belarus? Are they allowed to say the things I just wrote in this article?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that anyone should be able to walk down to 7-11 and purchase a Slurpee and a Glock 17, but at the same time I think it is outrageous and unconstitutional for the state to have the veto power on me exercising my constitutionally protected rights.
This country is seeing a continuation of gun rights expansion as evidenced by states like Kansas. In the liberal progressive era that we live in, we need to continue to fight not for increased liberties pertaining to firearms, rather to invigorate the current system to restore it to it’s original intent.