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What Constitutional Carry Really Means…

What Constitutional Carry Really Means…

What Constitutional Carry Really Means…

The state of Utah recently passed a constitutional carry bill, which says a person can carry a concealed handgun without needing a permit. Once this bill got passed I heard from a few instructors who were afraid they were going to go out of business because nobody would take their classes anymore.

Obviously, they hadn’t bothered to read the bill. The bill passed by the state of Utah says that a person can carry a concealed handgun as long as the gun is unloaded. In other words, Utah passed a virtually worthless bill.

As I’ve said many times before during my training courses… 

It is pointless to carry concealed if you don’t have a round in the chamber. I’m pretty sure the next time you’re at an ATM machine, some guy isn’t going to tap you on the shoulder and say “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that in about 10 seconds, when you’re walking to your car, I’m going to pull out a knife and try and stab and rob you, so you might want to load your gun now.”

In reality, attacks happen fast and you won’t have time to chamber a round. In fact, according to the FBI, the average gunfight lasts 4 seconds. Also, according to the FBI, 95% of gunfights happen within 7 yards. That means your gun better come out fast because your attacker will be close to you.

Another reason I’m not a huge fan of constitutional carry is… 

It doesn’t do you any good when you travel. If you want to travel to Idaho or Arizona or Florida you need to have your Utah concealed carry permit because obviously those states want to make sure you are certified by your own state since they are granting reciprocity.

I guess the bottom line is if you want to walk around with an unloaded gun and you never plan to leave your state, then constitutional carry is for you. As for me, I’m happy with my multiple concealed carry permits that allow me to travel to every state that I actually want to visit.

I will admit that it would be nice if in my lifetime we get to a point when we have a national permit that is recognized in all 50 states. But the only way that’s going to happen is if California breaks off into the ocean and states like Maryland, Hawaii, and New York vanish somehow too. (If it happens, I will miss my in-laws.)

But for now, get multiple permits and please understand the laws when it comes to the permits. What I mean is, I’m sure there are going to be a number of Utahans walking around with loaded guns and no permit because they heard constitutional carry got passed and they didn’t read the law that says the gun must be unloaded.

So even if you don’t live in Utah, it’s wise to take a few minutes and Google your state’s government website (for instance, Virginia concealed carry) and make sure you understand the laws.

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  • Clint

    ” If you want to travel to Idaho or Arizona or Florida you need to have your Utah concealed carry permit” Don’t actually have to worry if you travel to Arizona, we have real constitutional carry here, concealed or unconcealed, just remember to load it once you get out of Utah, we don’t like unloaded guns around here.

    • ogroup

      Clint- I never seen a state (AZ) with so many signs with “No Firearms”yeah you’re maybe partially right but the more time you handle a weapon the chances go up with accidents. So AZ is gun friendly state, but cannot go anywhere with one.

      • Clint

        This is true there are many businesses who are not enlightened but I wouldn’t say you cannot go anywhere, I specifically avoid those posted places and have no problems finding many other places to shop, eat, or play. However, while respecting your rights to defend yourself Arizona respects the property owner’s right to make the rules on their own property. You can’t really fault the state for that as it’s up to the individual in question.

        • tionico

          yeah, the “rights” of the business owner count for something.. but HE needs to rememver I carry for MY protection, and of those round about myself. If HE refuses to allow me that right on HIS publically accessible premises, then HE should fully bear the liability for my safety. He won’t. IF a place is open to public access, it is open to bad guys as well, precisely the types against which I wish to protect myself. This “respect” for the property rights of individuals ends when they open their property to public access, as in restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores. When they install metal detectors and provide a means for lawfully armed to check their weapons whilst on their premises, and fully bear liability for harm to their patrons, then I will agree they can have their places “gun free”.. but let’s assure they are FULLY gun free and safe. The local greengrocer’s place is no more safe from harm than the street outside…. I can be armed outside, I must be able to be armed inside as well. After all, MY safety is MY responsibility, right? He can’t deny ME the ability to provide and refuse to provide it for me. THAT will be the next battle on arms in the hands of the public. Any place publically accessible should also be accessible to an armed public. Else we establish wooden barrels full of carp to be shot at will. Protect me or permit me. Don’t deny me.

      • Darion Marcus Aguilar

        I live in flagstaff and 90% of stores let you carry, I carry openly everywhere.
        You must be in phoenix which has some really crap areas.
        Also any stores with no gun signs, I just take my open carry 357 and pocket carry it.
        The no gun signs aren’t law, all they can do is ask you to leave.
        If you refuse to leave you can get arrested for trespassing that all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/gray.wanderer.3 Gray Wanderer

      Concealed carry in Arizona without a permit is only for Arizona residents. If you are from out of state you need a concealed carry permit to carry concealed in Arizona.

      • Darion Marcus Aguilar

        “Concealed carry in Arizona without a permit is only for Arizona
        residents. If you are from out of state you need a concealed carry
        permit to carry concealed in Arizona.”
        WRONG JACKASS stop spreading ignorance!
        ARS 13-3102
        In Arizona, a person over age 21 may legally carry a concealed
        firearm or deadly weapon without a permit within the state, except for
        certain prohibited locations, and must disclose the fact to a law
        enforcement officer if questioned. Although no longer required, a CCW
        permit may still be obtained and has certain advantages, including
        reciprocity with many other states having CCW laws.

        Open carry allowed?
        Yes
        Yes

        May carry openly without permit/license.

  • Andylit

    The premise of this article is absurd. The “Constitutional Carry” concept has nothing to do with a single state statute regarding CCW. The only relationship is in the nullification of single state restrictions.

    What the rest of the nation understands is that the 2nd Amendment, by its nature, prohibits any state from preventing CCW (or open carry). The obvious exceptions are in cases where a criminal has forfeited said right as part of a criminal conviction or has been judicially found to be mentally incompetent or insane.

    • Clint

      Maybe a little harsh, “constitutional” in these cases refers to the state’s constitution specifically defending the right as opposed to the national constitution, the states have no power to alter federal law so arguing for federal constitutional carry (which I do think would be good) is also beside the point, if states do a good job protecting their citizen’s rights it’s still a victory. However, Utah’s unrestricted carry is pointless if it’s then restricted by not allowing you to keep it loaded, which I think was what the author was saying.

      • Andylit

        Disagree, although I will concede that my ire should be directed at whoever wrote the headline.

        “What Constitutional Carry Really Means…”

        I was led here seeking enlightenment on a national topic only to find a mislabeled local problem. My skin is thin today and I have no patience for misleading headlines. I expect such from professional journalists and adjust my attitude accordingly.

  • Dave

    I’m rather wearied by the “it is pointless to carry concealed if you don’t have a round in the chamber” argument. If you are really tuned up and you see the threat coming, you can react in about 1.5 seconds if you are drawing from a strong side belt holster. If you are really tuned up and you see the threat coming and you need to add in racking the slide, you can respond in about 3.5 seconds (faster with practice). To say it becomes worthless when you are paying an approximate two second delay for carrying without a round in the chamber is bordering on silliness. Would you *really* tell a person that having a firearm with fifteen rounds but not ready to fire from the holster is the same as not having the firearm in the first place?

    I advise my CFP students to pay attention to news stories of attacks and think about what they might do in that situation. I advise the author to do the same.

    Let’s take a really easy example. Would you argue that the teachers and other adults at the Newton School would have been just as ineffective at countering the goof had they had firearms without a round in the chamber?

    I just went back through a few of the most recent stories on KSL and SLTRIB (searching on “gun”) that recounted stories of an attack, or countering an attack. Hmmm… the pastor had plenty of time to counter the burglar (on drugs), the cop had ample warning time with the dog attack (though the cop was likely carrying loaded), the home invasion in Wyoming is iffy — but then you could have a round in the chamber at home if you like.

    Do you tell your students that only a strong side holster is acceptable? After all, it would take longer to get a gun from a ankle holster or deep carry holster than it would to rack the slide, so I’m guessing that is too long in your opinion.

    I’m sure you know that in greater than 70% of the instances when a gun is produced in self defense, the attacker decides the attack isn’t worth it. Do you assert that a gun with no round in the chamber has no deterrent effect?

    I would bet that the percentage of defensive uses of firearms where the victim loses because of a two-second disadvantage in firing is less than 1%. Care to take the bet?

    • Austin

      Yes ill take that bet…even odds? Can we settle through BOA transfer or Paypal?

    • Clint

      In a Newtown or other barricade type situation where you are trapped and need to fight back, and you know the threat is coming, then yes it doesn’t matter, you can chamber at leisure while waiting for the attacker to get close to you. If on the other hand you’re being robbed at knifepoint, then yes, that 2 seconds is likely going to get you killed. It’s about like leaving it on your nightstand at home instead of carrying it with you while you do your gardening or mow the lawn, yeah, you can get to it in time depending on the circumstances, but when the circumstances aren’t in your favor what good is it?. As I understand this new Utah law though you can’t even have the magazine in so it’s really stretching your capabilities to defend yourself.

    • cojo

      Thanks Dave, but too many “ifs” in your argument.
      Count ‘em.

    • tionico

      it has been proven many times taht it takes a determined attacker about one and a half seconds to close 7 yards and engage their victim. Barely enough time, as you stated yourself, to draw from a strong side belt holster. Add the two seconds to place a round into battery, and I’m dead. Sorry, no thanks. I’ll carry hot. I started out with an empty chamber, but after reading several real life situations, I began to ask “can I reliably draw, chamber, present, and fire in the time it took THAT guy to close with his victim? Sometimes, maybe. Far too often, not at all. As I began to trust myself more and my comfort level increased (tne newness wore off), I made the change, and won’t even consider going back. Two seconds can be a long eternity. And easily result in my entering a longer one. A determined perp cal close thirty feet in two seconds, another twenty in the time it takes to only draw. That’s a total of fifty feet or so. Too big a territory to constantly survey and guard. I will be forced to make my decision to draw a LOT sooner…. and in places that alone could be worse than a potential attack.. most jurisdicions take a VERY dim view of brandishing without cause. A perp outside the seven yard window of threat is not yet a lethal threat unless he, to is armed… and then again, if HE is armed at fifty feet, I’m more likely dead with my hand on the slide trying to chamber a round. YOu do a disservice in neglecting these hard facts as you teach. At least, present options, alternate scenaria, and give the students the information they need to make their own wise decision.

    • Fred8

      I’d say it depends on what the law means by “unloaded”. If it means you must remove the magazine, take the round out of your other pocket, put it into the magazine, reinsert the magazine, and then chamber the round – well then, an “unloaded” weapon will not help much in most critical situations – you’d be better off hitting the attacker over the head with the weapon.

      I have a friend that carries a full magazine with a blank in the chamber. The first BANG scares the heck out of the attacker and the second, well …

    • Chris

      Complete hogwash! When do the majority of malfunctions occur? The answer is the action of feeding a cartridge into the firing chamber. If you’re willing to take that chance that the action will work properly with no jams, than by all means, carry unloaded, but when you do experience that malfunction you won’t have too much time to worry about it – you’ll be dead

  • Dave

    And I have no idea who’s picture was put by the post I just posted. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-L-Fisher/551253990 Paul L Fisher

    Do some research. As others have noted, Arizona has ‘real’ Constitutional Carry. Idaho, allows open carry with no license or permit.

    I guess one out of 3 ain’t bad but if you don’t check those facts, why should we believe anything you write?

    • Davy Boy

      Jason does advise to check the laws of each state. As I read the law passed by Arizona legislature, we from out of state would have to assure Arizona’s LEOs that we are legal to carry back home, whereas locals must prove residency. Both fail the “truly Constitutional carry” test. Show me your law; if I err, I’ll own up to it.

      • Clint

        You must be legal to “own” at home and over 21 but it would be up to the LEO in question to prove that you aren’t, they don’t have people stopping to ask for your papers because they see you with a gun. Cops around here are used to guns and they pretty much ignore them and if you’re being stopped for something else they’re probably going to check your ID anyway which solves those other problems.

      • Darion Marcus Aguilar

        “As I read the law passed by Arizona legislature, we from out of state
        would have to assure Arizona’s LEOs that we are legal to carry back
        home, whereas locals must prove residency. Both fail the “truly
        Constitutional carry” test. Show me your law; if I err, I’ll own up to
        it.”

        Your completely ignorant about Arizona constitutional carry law.
        ALL USA citizens who aren’t prohibited possesses can carry open or concealed unlicensed in Arizona.
        So clown no own up to being totally wrong!
        Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) permits issued?
        Yes
        Yes
        ARS 13-3112

        ARS 13-3102
        In Arizona, a person over age 21 may legally carry a concealed
        firearm or deadly weapon without a permit within the state, except for
        certain prohibited locations, and must disclose the fact to a law
        enforcement officer if questioned. Although no longer required, a CCW
        permit may still be obtained and has certain advantages, including
        reciprocity with many other states having CCW laws.

        Open carry allowed?
        Yes
        Yes

        May carry openly without permit/license.

  • Guest

    All you knowitalls sure know how to ruin a good thing ! You guys jump all over the author just so you can show us all how smart you are ! SHUT UP already !!!! I and would guess that most of us could care less how smart y’all think ya are. The author is getting out info that some or most of us might not otherwise receive, so get off his back ! IF YOU GUY’S ARE SO SMART THEN STOP READING THESE ARTICLES AND WRITE YOUR OWN !!! Oh wait, noone would read them! Cuz nobody cares what you think !!! Y’all are irritating ! What I get out of what he is saying is that if a person wants to conceal carry to Idaho or Arizona from their home state, then they would have to travel through states that do not honor their states ccw but do honor Utah’s. Was that so hard ???

    • Clint

      Except you don’t have to travel through any other states to get to idaho or arizona from Utah, and yes facts do matter…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Ess/100000666571492 Dan Ess

      Funny, all I got out of the article was that Utah has a mostly useless Constitutional Carry Law. But they do have one of the best Carry Conceal Permits in the Nation.

  • Varmonter

    i guess i don’t get it.Why would an otherwise fairly gun friendly state like Utah pass a law

    like this..why not just leave it the way it was?

    i s this some sort of political agenda or what??

    I live in VT We have constitutional carry.. always have..

    some folks even refer to it as “Vermont carry”

    Our only problem is that VT doesn’t issue permits Which stinks as far as reciprocity goes.

  • CarryTheTruth

    I was the first to post a factual comment on Constitutional Carry, with specific regard to Idaho’s laws. Mr. Jason, et. al., can’t CarryTheTruth and disallowed my factual comment.
    As such, it only shows an exceeding bias that all you hafta do is “follow the money” as to why the likes of Mr. Jason oppose Constitutional Carry. Shame on you Mr. Jason, et. al., USCarry.

  • Tim

    I think if you check, the Utah Governor vetoed the bill

  • rev. dave

    The way I’m reading this article, it seems there is some confusion between ‘legal carry’ in particular states, and “Constitutional Carry” – which I believe is one of those terms not defined in law (since I’ve yet to see that definition), and so varies as much as the definition of ‘assault rifle’. (Feel free to show me the definition if I’m wrong – I would in fact like to know such definition.)

    I read where many of our founders and prominent citizens of the time carried multiple weapons always, because they lived outside of town where self-defense was all there was and a man was considered responsible for the safety of his family. This meant perhaps a rifle (loaded), two pistols (loaded), a large knife AND a tomahawk all at the same time. So this has influenced my thinking to where I believe that ‘Constitutional Carry’ would mean that I could carry whatever weapons I am capable of, as many I am capable of carrying, loaded or sharpened as the case may be, wherever I choose to go – market, saloon, school, church, courthouse – no matter.

    But ‘the law’? Now that is a horse of another color.

    • Clint

      You’re right, there is a big distinction between the two, I’m not sure why some of these places are prohibited. Schools are sensitive but the people following the law are not the problem, but public sporting events? Why? That’s exactly where you likely need protection. Polling places? As long as its concealed you can’t be seen as intimidating… Courthouse? Well, maybe courtroom. I suppose they’re afraid of people taking the law in their own hands but honestly those kinds of people aren’t going to be dissuaded by the law either.

      As far as ‘what’ you can carry I think AZ is the closest, any weapon you can legally own including most knives, swords, axes, bats, machine-guns, hand grenades, rifles, shotguns, pistols. You can carry them open or concealed.

  • tionico

    just like your seatbelt…. bad guys, either criminal or negligent drivers, never make appointments. If they did, I’d only have to carry/buckle up when I knew I was headed to an appointment with trouble.

  • Pistolero

    The Constitution puts no limit on the type of arms a person can carry, nor on the manner of carry. Therefore, the only proper definition of Constitutional Carry is that I can carry whatever I want, wherever I want, whenever I want, openly or concealed, at my discretion. Anything less is an abridgement of my rights, and therefore unconstitutional on its face.

    • Fred8

      The Constitution puts no limits on free speech either; but you are not free to yell FIRE in a crowded theater; or to commit libel, or slander. It is not as cut and dried as you pretend. Limits like required training and prohibiting access for criminals are reasonable and not unconstitutional.

  • CIGARTOM

    EVERYONE NEEDS TRAINING IN THE HANDLING OF FIREARMS. AS A RETIRED MILITARY MAN WITH A LOT OF FIREARMS EXPERIENCE, WE STILL NEED TO PRACTICE SAFE HANDLING. A PERSON WITHOUT THE PROPER TRAINING IS A DANGER TO ANYONE AROUND THEM. I SAW THAT IN VIETNAM WHERE MANY PEOPLE HAD NOT BEEN TRAINED ON SOME WEAPONS AND WAS A DANGER TO THE SQUAD. I KNOW SOMETIME WE DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO TRAIN SOME EXCEPT ON THE JOB TRAINING. GIVING CITIZENS THE RIGHT TO BEAR AND CARRY FIREARMS IS FINE, BUT PLEASE GIVE THEM SOME TRAINING. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.

  • rqfreedom

    Regarding a round in the chamber or not…it’s really a personal decision. If you choose not to chamber, you absolutely must train that way. One smooth motion, draw, rack, shoot. It doesn’t take an extra 2 seconds. Yes, I know there are situations that require split second quickness. There are also situations where your gun gets taken from you and you have a chance of wrestling it back knowing there’s no round in the chamber. There are the situations where a little kid gets hold of it (heaven forbid) and is not capable of chambering a round. There’s good and bad. What scenarios do you most anticipate? Each must make a personal choice, based on their most likely scenarios, and how they plan to train at the range.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lorin.c.partain Lorin Chane Partain

    I am of the opinion, that open carry = constitutional carry. Concealed carry permits are really permits to conceal, not carry. There is a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, but not to conceal them. For that you need a permit. The traditional carry in America for most of our history bears out my view and was the dominant view until relatively recently when concealed carry permits began to become more common starting in the late 80s. Now they have become equivalent in people’s minds, except that legally they are not. Unfortunately there are states that forbid open carry, and that should be struck down immediately, but I don’t see how requiring a permit to conceal is unconstitutional, it’s not. You may argue however that it is immoral and wrong, but unconstitutional? No.

  • Laurence L. Anderson

    before I saw the bank draft which said $7250, I accept
    …that…my mother in law really bringing home money part time on their
    computer.. there sisters roommate haz done this for less than eighteen months
    and by now paid the morgage on their villa and got a brand new audi. this is
    where I went, fab22.comCHECK IT OUT

  • wildwillie

    peaceable journey law permits you to travel threw other states with a loaded gun

  • Cindy

    I’m getting a permit in the state of Colorado . Do I need to get another permit for the state of Utah?

  • Darion Marcus Aguilar

    “Concealed carry in Arizona without a permit is only for Arizona
    residents. If you are from out of state you need a concealed carry
    permit to carry concealed in Arizona.”
    WRONG anyone in Arizona who isn’t a prohibited person (felon) can carry a gun open or concealed without a permit.

    Get your facts straight, that also goes for the moron who wrote this crappy story.

  • Darion Marcus Aguilar

    “Another reason I’m not a huge fan of constitutional carry is…

    It doesn’t do you any good when you travel. If you want to travel to
    Idaho or Arizona or Florida you need to have your Utah concealed carry
    permit because obviously those states want to make sure you are
    certified by your own state since they are granting reciprocity.”

    Um Mr expert Jason Hanson, constitutional carry states like ARIZONA don’t require residence for constitutional carry, neither does Vermont nor Alaska.

    This is a VERY poorly researched article, you’re spreading MISINFORMATION and you sound like a clown.

  • Darion Marcus Aguilar

    “guess the bottom line is if you want to walk around with an unloaded
    gun and you never plan to leave your state, then constitutional carry is
    for you. As for me, I’m happy with my multiple concealed carry permits
    that allow me to travel to every state that I actually want to visit.”
    Um Mr Hanson in constitutional carry states ARIZONA,VERMONT,ALASKA and Wyoming, FULLY loaded guns are perfectly legal. And only Wyoming has a residency requirement for unlicensed concealed carry.
    Your article is worthless you know DICK about constitutional carry laws so STFU please.

  • Darion Marcus Aguilar

    “Jason Hanson
    is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed
    Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry
    Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training
    without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit
    Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.”
    Well seeing that this hanson clown wrote a book on concealed carry, you would think he knows about constitutional carry laws.
    He did ZERO research for this pathetic article and I think his book has to be pure garbage as well.
    Hey hanson all constitutional carry states let you carry LOADED guns and all but one let non resdients carry . Your article is pure garbage the CIA has no standards if you were actually in it anyway???

  • Darion Marcus Aguilar

    To the imbecile that wrote this article this Arizona’s constitutional carry law.
    Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) permits issued?
    Yes
    Yes
    ARS 13-3112

    ARS 13-3102
    In Arizona, a person over age 21 may legally carry a concealed
    firearm or deadly weapon without a permit within the state, except for
    certain prohibited locations, and must disclose the fact to a law
    enforcement officer if questioned. Although no longer required, a CCW
    permit may still be obtained and has certain advantages, including
    reciprocity with many other states having CCW laws.

    Open carry allowed?
    Yes
    Yes

    May carry openly without permit/license.

    Do you see anything about unloaded guns or residency requirements?
    How come you didn’t spend 2 second checking this law before crapping out your horrid article?

  • Darion Marcus Aguilar

    “It doesn’t do you any good when you travel. If you want to travel to
    Idaho or Arizona or Florida you need to have your Utah concealed carry
    permit because obviously those states want to make sure you are
    certified by your own state since they are granting reciprocity.”

    Well Mr moron “obviously those states want to make sure you are
    certified by your own state since they are granting reciprocity.”
    UM NOPE constitutional carry states of Arizona,Alaska,Vermont don’t require any permits for out of state residents to carry there.
    And Wyoming lets non residents open carry without a permit as well.
    So I guess you just can’t be bothered fact checking when vomiting out a worthless article.
    Hanson you suck and only a moron would buy your book.