There are now eight states in America where no permit is required in order to carry a concealed handgun on one’s person for self-defense, after West Virginia legislators overrode Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s (D) veto of a permitless carry law.
The West Virginia House overrode Tomblin’s veto on March 4 and the West Virginia Senate followed suit on March 5. WSAZ 3 reports that permitless carry “becomes law” 90 days from date of veto override.
This means there are now eight states where the Second Amendment is the only carry permit required.
It is important to note that there are still various rules that need to be learned and followed–in Montana, for instance, there are requirements for a permit in order to carry concealed in a city setting and many of the states have different rules for residents vs. non-residents–but apart from such caveats, permitless carry is the law of the land in Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Montana, Vermont, Wyoming, and West Virginia.
Alaska: The Alaska Department of Public Safety succinctly explains the state’s concealed carry law, “Alaska’s laws do not prohibit anyone 21 or older who may legally possess a firearm from carrying it concealed. A special permit is not required.” Alaska does have certain prohibitions as to where a concealed carry firearm cannot be possessed, such prohibitions include bars but differentiate between restaurants that serve alcohol and actual bars. The prohibitions also include private property where permission to carry is denied. The full list of prohibitions can be viewed here.
Arizona: Arizona’s carry laws are very similar to Alaska’s. If you are 21-year-old or older and are not barred from gun possession then you can legally carry a concealed handgun for self-defense without a permit. There are restrictions, one of which is a prohibition on carrying into “businesses serving alcohol for consumption on the premises.” You can carry in a such a business if you have an Arizona concealed carry permit, but such locations are off limits otherwise. The Arizona Department Public Safety lists other restrictions.
Kansas: Permitless concealed-carry became the law of the land in Kansas on July 1, 2015. Since that time the Kansas Attorney General’s website says, “A Concealed Carry Handgun license from Kansas or any other jurisdiction is no longer required in order to carry concealed firearms in Kansas for most individuals. So long as the person is 21 or older and lawful to possess firearms.” The Kansas Attorney General’s website also contains specifics on restrictions pertaining to concealed carry in the state.
Maine: Permitless concealed-carry became the law of the land in Maine on October 15, 2015. Maine.gov expounds: “Concealed carry without a permit is limited to people who are 21 or older, with the following exception: If a person is 18 years of age or older, and is on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard, or has been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or the National Guard, and is not otherwise prohibited from carrying a firearm, the person may carry a concealed handgun. ” Other restrictions tied to concealed carry can be found on Maine.gov.
Montana: According to the Montana Department of Justice, “You may carry a concealed weapon without a permit if you are outside the official boundaries of a city or town or the confines of a logging, lumbering, mining or railroad camp.” However, carrying concealed without a license is not permitted in municipal areas. The details on the restrictions for carry in municipal areas can be found on the Montana Department of Justice website.
Vermont: Carrying a concealed handgun for self-defense without a permit is lawful in Vermont. According to the NRA-ILA, “It is lawful to carry a firearm openly or concealed provided the firearm is not carried with the intent or avowed purpose of injuring a fellow man. It is unlawful to carry a firearm within any state institution or upon the grounds or lands owned or leased by such institution.” As with other states that recognize permitless carry, there are restrictions on where a concealed handgun can be carried–including schools, courthouses, etc. Those who plan to carry concealed in Vermont need to familiarize themselves with all restrictions before do doing.
Wyoming: It became lawful for Wyoming residents to carry a concealed handgun without a permit in 2011. But Wyoming has a number of restrictions differentiating between concealed carry requirements for residents and non-residents, and everyone who plans to carry in Wyoming should familiarize themselves with those restrictions prior to carrying. Smart Gun Laws provides a good starting summary of the Wyoming carry statutes.
West Virginia: The West Virginia House and Senate just overrode Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s (D) veto of House Bill 4145, sponsored by Delegate Saira Blair (R-Martinsburg). This means the Second Amendment will be soon be recognized as a sufficient carry permit for those 21-years old and older in West Virginia. HB 4145 also lowers the age for acquiring a concealed carry permit to 18-years of age, so that persons 18 to 20 years old can get a permit in order to carry a gun for self-defense prior to turning 21. Those planning to carry without a permit in West Virginia need to keep an eye on emerging information on official websites for the West Virginia government and follow pertinent restrictions.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.