Saturday, November 01, 2014
States Constitutions without an explicit Right to Keep and Bear Arms
There are six states that have constitutions that do not explicitly protect the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The last state to add such a protection was Wisconsin, in 1998. The last stage of the process to amend the state constitution was a referendum. It passed with 74% of the vote.
The six states that do not have state constitutional protection are listed below. It is not surprising that these states are some of the least supportive of gun ownership and the second amendment.
New York: Dominated by New York City, New York has often taken the lead in introducing and passing extremely restrictive gun laws. The first significant one was in 1911, the infamous Sullivan Act, designed to protect organized crime. The latest is the so called "Safe Act" passed with out debate in the middle of the night. New York is ranked 50 by Guns & Ammo (G&A) and A- on the Brady score card.
New Jersey: New Jersey gun law starts with the premise that everything to do with guns is illegal. The state then tells you under what very restrictive conditions you may own, shoot, transport, or for a tiny number of mostly judges and retired police officers, carry a gun. New Jersey is ranked 49th by G&A, A- on the Brady score card.
California: California has a history of gun laws designed to keep minorities disarmed. California is the only state in recent years to mostly ban the open carry of firearms. California is ranked 47th by G&A, A- by the Brady center
Maryland: One of the few remaining "may issue" states, Maryland's gun laws are some of the most restrictive in the nation. Maryland is ranked 43 by G&A, A- on the Brady score card,
Minnesota: Minnesota gun law could be far worse. Its gun laws are above the bottom 20%. The state has a well organized state level of second amendment supporters. Minnesota is ranked 39 by G&A and C on the Brady score card.
Iowa: While Iowa is a middle of the road state on firearms restrictions, it was one of the last ones to pass shall issue legislation. Iowa is ranked 38 by G&A, and C- on the Brady score card.
It is clear that state constitutions offer some protection for your rights. Several ballot measures this year are meant to strengthen a states constitutional protections. Most recent of these to pass was in Missouri. Alabama's amendment 3 will be on the ballot in a few days.
G&A ratings here, 2014:
Brady ratings here, 2013:
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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