North Carolina Seeks Constitutional Carry

NC joins several others, with more expected.

A handgun resting on the Constitution of the United States of America with an American flag in the background.

North Carolina is the latest state seeking to join the ranks of others listing constitutional carry, or permitless carry, as a legal means of self-protection while carrying concealed.

Twelve states currently hold constitutional carry status and three have some form of limited, permitless concealed carry status. In North Carolina, legal gun owners can already open carry handguns in visible holsters. House Bill 69 would allow them to carry concealed without a permit. One of the bones of contention about the bill is that the state’s current carry permit required at least eight hours of training. House Bill 69 would do away with that training.

Concealed permit requirements vary wildly from state to state, with some requiring a half-day to a day of training, and some requiring none at all. There are several arguments to be had here. Carrying a gun is a serious responsibility; training should therefore be required. But, responsible gun owners will seek out training on their own. So it shouldn’t be required—they may already be experienced and desire a more nuanced course. Some say the cost of the permit can be prohibitive, even if it’s just $25. And that fee is tantamount to discrimination so should not be imposed. Training would be even more cost prohibitive.

The movement for constitutional carry nationwide has been picking up speed for the past two years. Last year four states passed constitutional carry freedoms: Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri and West Virginia. New Hampshire last week became the twelfth constitutional carry state. Other states include Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, New Hampshire, Vermont and Wyoming. Similar bills are expected to be introduced in many more states this year.