In January 2021 the manuscript for my small book, Concealed Carry Revolution: Liberalizing the Right to Bear Arms in America, was at the publisher and when it was released several months later, it was already out of date. In the first months of 2021, five states passed permitless carry laws: Iowa, Tennessee, Utah, Montana, and Texas. I brought out an updated version of the book later that year. Alas, it appears that events in 2022 may necessitate a second update. Ohio, Alabama, and Indiana have recently passed permitless carry laws, and Georgia seems likely to join them soon.
These developments provide a good occasion to review concealed weapon carry permit laws in the US.
In last week’s video on Gun Culture 2.0, I mentioned the “Concealed Carry Revolution” as establishing an important aspect of the legal environment within which people practice armed self-defense today.
The liberalization of concealed carry laws over the past several decades represents a dramatic expansion of the right to bear arms in the United States. It is an integral aspect of contemporary defensive gun culture and facilitates the ongoing development of Gun Culture 2.0.
In this module we will review the development of concealed carry laws in U.S. history and consider how and why people choose to keep and carry guns for protection.
Despite the profound significance of the issue, no comprehensive but concise history of concealed carry laws in the United States yet exists. Concealed Carry Revolution seeks to fill this gap. It is available right now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or by special order through your favorite local bookstore. An electronic version should also be available soon.
An even better way to get a copy of the book is to make a small donation in support of my work through my “Buy Me a Coffee” page (like Patreon). Those who sign up as annual members will receive a free signed copy of the book and monthly supporters will receive a free electronic copy as a “Thank You!”
This small book (100 pages including extensive notes) was originally written as a chapter in my larger book on Gun Culture 2.0 on which I continue to work. As the chapter grew longer and the focus of that work shifted, I found myself with a great deal of material which had no obvious outlet.
If you happen to get a copy of the book, I would appreciate your review (honest, if necessary) on Amazon.com, Goodreads, or your favorite book review site.
As always, I am grateful for your interest in and support of my work in telling the story of American gun culture.
Not even a week after I posted a primer on concealed carry laws in the United States, Kentucky became the third state just this year to go permitless (joining Oklahoma and South Dakota). There are now 15 states in which anyone who can legally possess a gun can carry it concealed in public without a license (although various other restrictions on what, where, and when you can carry still apply).*
One of these is Vermont, which has never restricted concealed carry. The other 14 have what my friend Matthew Carberry calls “Alaska Carry” regimes. So called because Alaska was the first state, in 2003, to adopt a system in which the government issues but does not require permits to carry concealed weapons in public.