Constitutional Carry: Can We Reach 30 States In 2024?

by Tommy Grant

As we enter 2024, it’s interesting to note that more than half of the states in the union now have a “permitless” or  constitutional carry law on the books. Yes, you read that right: Lawful Americans in 27 states can now carry a concealed firearm for defense of themselves and their families without jumping through government hoops, navigating endless red tape and paying a fee to practice their Second Amendment rights.

That’s obviously a good thing, as the founders never intended for lawful citizens to have to ask the government for permission to keep and bear arms. That fact was bolstered by the 2022 Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which, among other things, affirmed the right to bear arms for self-defense outside the home.

In 2023, two states were brought into the constitutional carry fold. Florida became number 26 last April when that state’s “permitless” carry measure was signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. The law took effect in July. Nebraska followed by passing a similar measure that was signed into law by Gov. Jim Pillen and took effect in September.

So, what might 2024 hold? Is it possible to reach 30 states—a full 60% of America—by the end of the year? The answer remains to be seen, of course, but there are some states actively pursuing such a law.

In South Carolina, two “permitless” carry measures that weren’t passed last year are pending when lawmakers return later this month. One, H 3594, received bipartisan support in the state House and reportedly has the support of Republican Gov. Henry McMaster.

In Louisiana, a constitutional carry bill never made it out of a Senate committee because of problematic  amendments that would have compromised the bill’s purpose. It’s likely, however, that constitutional carry will again be considered in 2024, and supporters vow to fight until the battle is won.

Also, in North Carolina a constitutional carry measure, HB 189, was on the move in 2023 but was also derailed in committee by amendments that added a mandatory training and education requirement. Still, supporters of the measure, including the National Rifle Association, intend to keep the pressure on in the Tar Heel State.

In case you’re wondering, states that now have a constitutional carry law on the books include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming. 

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