The Corner

Missouri Becomes the Eleventh Constitutional Carry State

Per KY3, another pointless permitting regime bites the dust:

Missouri lawmakers have overridden a veto of a wide-ranging guns bill that will let more people carry concealed weapons and give them greater legal rights to defend themselves.

The Republican-led Legislature enacted the law Wednesday by a 24-6 Senate vote and a 112-41 vote in the House. Both exceeded the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.


The usual suspects will, of course, cry bloody murder. They’ll say that the move is “insane” and that’s it “irresponsible”; they’ll argue — as usual – that it will lead to “blood in the streets”; and they’ll do their best to pretend that this is all part of a “new experiment.” But none of those things is actually true. Constitutional carry is not rare: As of today, constitutional carry states outnumber “may issue” states (if “constitutional carry” is outré, what does that make California?). It is not “new”: Vermont has had it for its entire history, Alaska since 2003, Arizona since 2010, and so forth. And, as Robert VerBruggen has noted, it is not dangerous: “What we have learned” from the data, VerBruggen writes:

is this: A bunch of states started letting almost any random person walk around with a gun, and if anything good or bad resulted, it doesn’t reliably show up in the data. That’s something in itself.

(Those states, for those who are interested, are Vermont, Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia and Wyoming — plus, to a lesser or qualified extent, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Montana, and Oklahoma.)

When VerBruggen suggests that permitting systems don’t do anything at all, he means, of course, that they don’t do anything at all to the crime rate. Naturally, they do a number of things to the people who have to obtain them. Depending on the state, a permit can cost up to $450, it can involve time-consuming prerequisite steps, and it can delay for months the exercise of a constitutional right. If there were evidence that these impositions did something worthwhile, they might — might — be defensible. But there’s not. So they’re not. Good on Missouri’s legislature for acknowledging that. Let’s hope that others follow suit before long.


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