Poll: Constitutional Carry

There are currently 16 constitutional carry states in the U.S. They don’t require any form of permit or training to carry a handgun. (Two states require carriers to be residents, and one requires the carry to be concealed.)

Do you think everyone should be able to carry without a permit?

  • Yes, the Second Amendment guarantees our right to carry.
  • Yes, but only after training.
  • No, people need to get trained and prove they can safely handle a firearm.

0 voters


I take a deep swallow whenever I answer one of these with no training required, but technically that is how it should be. My actual preference is “after training”, but that is a loophole that future politicians can drive a truck through. Today NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting is sufficient training, tomorrow Jeff Cooper has to come back from the dead and personally attest you are trained to his satisfaction.

What I would settle for right now is every non-constitutional carry state making it a Positive Defense that you qualified to receive a concealed carry permit at the time you were carrying even if you didn’t have one. That would make getting the permit a bureaucratic process for being able to prove to a police officer or other authority that you were qualified and thus not be charged for illegally carrying concealed. But if you didn’t want to get the permit you could still carry, you would just have to accept that if police found you carrying that they might detain you, and you might even be charged with the crime, but you should not be convicted of it. The impact would be roughly the same as constitutional carry (because police and prosecutors do not want to waste time on a lost cause, at least most of the time), but should be a lot easier to sell in many states. And indeed if you are in a state that required training to get a permit then you’d need to have it to claim the positive defense.


Yes. If you are an American citizen, who is not a felon, you have the Right to Keep and BEAR arms. No if, ands, or buts.


While I agree some/any type of training is a good thing IT SHOULD NOT BE A REQUIREMENT!


Now it’s a time to explain “NO” answer.
The Constitutional Rights have been discussed for years, and we probably never find correct interpretation.
I’m still nobody and not very experienced on this field, so whenever I’m not sure if I’m right, I always follow advices of wise and practiced people.
Here is the reason of my choice… I couldn’t express it better than these quotes, written by Massad Ayoob:

“Both knowledge and ability should be pre-requisites for the privilege of carrying a gun in public. It is my personal opinion that every applicant for a carry permit should pass a written examination on self-defense and lethal force laws and a close range qualification run over a combat pistol shooting course.
Some gun owners may consider this a suggested abrogation of their Constitutional rights. On the contrary, it is the failure to institute such controls that may eventually terminate the privilege of carrying concealed weapon for personal safety.
Every well intentioned citizen who shoots a shoplifter or a petty thief or a bystander with a wild bullet causes a public clamor to take away the privilege of keeping guns for personal defense, not only from him, but from me and from every other responsible citizen who chooses to arm himself.
It is a privilege that cannot be denied to the public by those who refuse to exercise or understand it themselves.
The right of all law-abiding citizens to bear arms is beyond Constitutional doubt, thought fine points of the Second Amendment remain the subject for heated debate. But beyond the general possession of firearms, the license to carry concealed, deadly weapons in public is not a right but privilege.
To be worthy to this privilege, one must be both discreet and competent with the weapon.
The gun-carrying man who lack either attribute is a walking time bomb.
The very application for the carry permit indicates that the applicant believes that there is a chance, however remote, that he will some day have to use that gun in the tense situation in public. It is only fair, therefore, to require him to prove that he is capable of using his gun with precision under pressure (in this case, the stress of knowing tha a poor score would cost him his pistol permit).
I feel there should be also a written examination to determine his grasp of the laws that govern self-defense and deadly force.”

But, @Jerzy, if we do what Mr. Ayoob (who I don’t always agree with, but greatly respect) says, the 2A becomes a privilege, not a right.

I wish everyone who owned a gun for self defense would seek out training. Honestly, I had my CHL for a couple of years before I carried a gun. I was not confident in my abilities.

" First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Second Amendment

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/full-text

Do we require a degree, or permit to use the 1st Amendment?


It is not for discussion. We may have different thoughts, but as members of this Community we respect each other.

EDIT - for @Fred_G.

No,it doesn’t.
He clearly said :

The right of all law-abiding citizens to bear arms is beyond Constitutional doubt,

the license to carry concealed, deadly weapons in public is not a right but privilege.

And that was what I agreed with.

Jerzy, the 2A is not a privilege. The RKBA is an inalienable right.

Questioning your opinion is not disrespect.

45IPAC, until the 1938 FFA, citizens were not subject to being disbarred their inalienable rights. One needs to question and understand why that changed. Now that the 1938 FFA, which was effectively repealed, though not entirely, and was rolled into the 1968 GCA, we have witnessed the increase in the number of people and groups of citizens that have been disbarred their RKBA - the so-called slippery slope. As much as we do not want bad people to do bad things, disbarring their rights has not prevented them from doing bad things, neither has it prevented them from illegally obtaining, possessing, and using firearms. 2020 has seen our rights being further diminished in Virginia, and that slippery slope has resulted in our slide down almost to the bottom where we have no RKBA.

We need to fight all bad legislation - and all legislation that infringes on our RKBA is bad.


I agree , I would be great for a gun owner to get some type of training but it should not a requirement.


Here is the question, would you prefer that people get training on gun safety and operation?

Of course. The issue is that when the government gets involved, it then becomes an issue of how much time and money? We know with government, those numbers always grow. Just look at the states that require training. The cost and hours required vary dramatically, so there obviously is not some magic number that is the correct number - as we all know, training and practice is a life long endeavor. There is no such thing as too much training and practice, but how much is enough? Who’s standard is correct? Why should the government dictate whether or not you are “allowed” to protect your self and family? We know felons are disbarred the RKBA, yet they carry. They obviously did not get government approval and training, yet we should put our lives and the lives of our loved ones in danger because the government states we are not “allowed” to exercise an inalienable right protected by our constitution?


I agree with everyone that thinks ‘rights’ do not require licensing or certification.
I agree with everyone that thinks personal freedoms/rights do not extend so far as to jeopardize the communities safety.


  • My state requires training but training does not really equate to proficiency. Training checks a box indicating a seed has been planted. With luck it will get watered (practice, practice, practice) . But in the end proficiency and responsibility still fall upon the individual, their ability to retain knowledge, and the amount of time they are willing/able to put into responsible ownership.
  • If only people who defend the 1st against ‘truth in reporting’ proposals while calling for restrictions on the 2nd could see the irony in their actions. I know we like to explain how the 2nd protects the 1st, but the 1st also protects the 2nd. In the end neither will exist without the other.
  • Rather than legislating training or a licensing process (that will NOT equate to proficiency or retained knowledge) perhaps there is a way to incentivize proficiency.
    Free range time or park passes at state facilities for demonstrating a minimum skill level.
    Free one year NRA/GOA membership for demonstrating certain skills (build membership AND promote proficiency/safety).
    Honorary USCCA membership for a year for demonstrating certain skills. I don’t know what honorary is, but maybe access to online training, member mailing, but no legal protection?

Note: I reserve the right to stimulate discussion in a more ‘spirited’ manner once the currently pervasive socio-political tensions have subsided (hopefully for good). :blush::grin::blush::grin:


I voted yes because it is our right. However, I believe that protection goes both ways. We want to be protected from a person intent on causing us harm, but if we aren’t responsible and train, we put other law abiding citizens at risk. While you may be able to hit paper at x yards with no experience, can you do it constantly? Can you, with no training, recognize what the line of fire is in a split second, and be aware of what is beyond your target? Can you recognize situationally, when it is best to act, to reposition, wait, whitness only? If you make the decision to carry a firearm, you should be responsible enough to get the training to be efficient and as safe as possible, for yourself and the citizens that could be effected by your actions. Purchasing a firearm does not automatically make you qualified to use it safely and responsibly.

Training should be universal, in the schools, as part of a normal civic education. Along with lessons on the rest of the Bill of Rights.

Presumably then every legal resident will understand the responsibility that attaches to each right.

Would not attach mandatory training to the individual decision to constitutionally-carry, however. Any more than a person would need to pass, say, a literacy test before they could vote.


although some felons shouldn’t have weapons. What happens when some state makes speeding tickets a felony? No more legal gun owners.


Non-violent felons should get their rights back, after they serve their time. If they are too dangerous to own firearms, they are to dangerous to release back into society, IMHO.


I know. I’m just glad we discuss and respect other opinions.

To clarify the words I’ve used - there were about carrying in public, not 2nd Amendment. We all agree we have RIGHT to posses and “bear” (this word unfortunately creates the problem), but people have to understand what does it mean to pull the trigger in public.
It is easy to stand on Constitutional right side to bear the firearm in public… until the moment you (or your Family’s member) take a bullet which should finish the threat not bystander’s life. The bullet shot by panicked or stressed out gun owner.
People have right to bear but responsibility for other’s life comes with something more than just right.

1 Like

Idaho just passed an amendment to the constitutional carry. Over 18, resident and non resident can carry concealed. We have what is called enhanced, take a one day class, fire 99 rounds. Enhanced has reciprocity in several states. WY? No requirements, go to local sheriffs dept, apply for concealed, ONLY APPLY no class, then that permit has reciprocity in several states. We have the right to bear arms, baseball bats, slingshots, pitchforks, flamethrower, knife, martial arts, etc and so forth. No training required for pitchforks that I am aware of. In my case, firearms, I was dumber than a post. I was dangerous. The point being, I was responsible for training and knowing my states laws and castle doctrine. How many drivers on the road, have not taken a driving course? Double edge sword.

1 Like

Arizona has been a Constitutional Carry State since 2010. I have seen some bad, but mostly good as a result. I completely agree there are some who should never own or touch a firearm. I would rather have that than restrictions to my right to carry a firearm. Constitutional Carry is the only Constitutional Law. Better to have dangerous liberty than to have safe tyranny. Be your own protector, the best way to do that is training.


Great question, If I could trust politicians to abide by the constitution and not try to tear down the system I would be much more open to licensing than I am now. Currently in today’s political climate concealed permit holders and gun owners have been doxed by newspapers. I vote that no one should know no 4473’s either. The NICS system should be looked at as well, are they actually deleting the data? Would there be a cost? Depends on society. If we got more involved with those around us, be more polite, adhere to traditional values better than we are now, and didn’t use social media as much, all humans would trust their neighbors more.