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.
Link to Gun Watch

5 comments:

Douglas2 said...

"The first significant one was in 1911, the infamous Sullivan Act, designed to protect organized crime."

I'm trying to work out if that was intentional.

Anonymous said...

I dis agree with the end wording in this clause. lawful purpose leave it open to interpretation for later abuse It should read any other reason. too many people refuse to consider the power and effect of the 9th amendment in the bill of rights. We have un enumerated rights. Those rights are any issue that is not specifically addressed in the state or federal constitutions. If the wording to delegate the authority to the law makers is not written they were never delegated the authority to address the issue. the law makers do not have the power to make laws that was never delegated to them. If this is not a fact then why do we have constitutions? A constitution is a contract between the people and the government they create for what that government can do and what it can't do. Every issue the government may address must be in the printed word of that contract. Any issue not addressed in written wording has no delegated authority from the people. The government may not increase its power without the approval of the people by an amendment to the constitution, state or federal.

Dean Weingarten said...

I thought I had the link to the Sullivan act article. It is there now.

There is no question that the Sullivan act was pushed by Big Tim Sullivan, one of the leaders of the Tammamy Hall gang, and that he did it to protect his enforcers. From the article:

The father of New York gun control was Democratic city pol “Big Tim “Sullivan — a state senator and Tammany Hall crook, a criminal overseer of the gangs of New York.

Anonymous said...

Changing state constitutions from "Shall not be infringed" standard of review to "government's compelling interest" is a very bad idea. I don't believe the gun owners understand the full implications of adding judge-invented rules to state constitutions. I hope the gun lovers in those states don't live to regret that decision?

Harold Smith said...

gun control=genocide