How Free is Your State?

Posted: August 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

HOW FREE IS YOUR STATE?

A few months ago we discussed what the Second Amendment really does. In that article I mentioned that the Second Amendment, although it gets a LOT of attention, really does very little (if anything) to help you carry a concealed firearm. Not to take anything away from the Second Amendment, it is still (IMO) the most inspired writing to ever be incorporated into government, it just doesn’t give you the right to carry your concealed firearm (yet). What really protects the right to “Bear Arms” is each state’s constitution, more specifically the Right to Keep and Bear Arms provisions within the constitution. It is with the state that we find much more expansive rights than the Second Amendment will ever provide.

Below I’ve included overviews of the 44 states that have Right To Keep and Bear Arms provisions as well as the six states that do not. These were compiled by our friends at the Second Amendment Foundation (of which I am a life member and you should be too)! You can usually learn more about a state’s friendliness towards firearms by reading their constitution than any other way. Furthermore a state’s friendliness towards firearms usually reflects accurately on the overall freedom enjoyed by the residents. Read over the below provisions and see how well your state is protecting your freedom!

 

Alabama Constitution Article I, Section 26

That the great, general and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare… That every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.

Alaska Constitution Article I, Section 19

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. The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the State or a political subdivision of the State.

Arizona Constitution, Article 2, Section 26

The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the State shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men.

Arkansas Constitution Article II, Section 5

The citizens of this State shall have the right to keep and bear arms for their common defense.

Colorado Constitution Article II, Section 13

The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.

Connecticut Constitution Article I, Section 15

Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state.

Delaware Constitution Article I, Section 20

A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use.

Florida Constitution Article I, Section 8(a)

The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law.

Georgia Constitution Article I, Section 1, Paragraph VIII.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but the General Assembly shall have power to prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne.

Hawaii Constitution Article I, Section 17

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.

Idaho Constitution Article I, Section 11

The people have the right to keep and bear arms, which right shall not be abridged; but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to govern the carrying of weapons concealed on the person nor prevent passage of legislation providing minimum sentences for crimes committed while in possession of a firearm, nor prevent the passage of legislation providing penalties for the possession of firearms by a convicted felon, nor prevent the passage of any legislation punishing the use of a firearm. No law shall impose licensure, registration or special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition. Nor shall any law permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony.

Illinois Constitution Article I, Section 22

Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Indiana Constitution Article I, Section 32

The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State.

Kansas Constitution Bill of Rights 4

The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be tolerated, and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Kentucky Constitution Section 1

All men are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned: … Seventh: The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State, subject to the power of the General Assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons.

Louisiana Constitution Article I, Section 11

The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person.

Maine Constitution Article 1, Section 16

Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned.

Massachusetts Constitution Part The First, Article XVII

The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of the legislature; and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it.

Michigan Constitution Article I, Section 6

Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.

Mississippi Constitution Article III, Section 12

The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons.

Missouri Constitution Article I, Section 23

That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons.

Montana Constitution Article II, Section 12

The right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.

Montana Constitution Article VI, Section 13(2)

The militia forces shall consist of all able-bodied citizens of the state except those exempted by law.

Nebraska Constitution Article I, Section 1

All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the right to keep and bear arms for security or defense of self, family, home, and others, and for lawful common defense, hunting, recreational use, and all other lawful purposes, and such rights shall not be denied or infringed by the state or any subdivision thereof. To secure these rights, and the protection of property, governments are instituted among people, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Nevada Constitution Article 1, Section 11, [1.]

Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes.

New Hampshire Constitution Part First, Article 2-a

All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state.

New Hampshire Constitution Part First, Article 13

No person, who is conscientiously scrupulous about the lawfulness of bearing arms, shall be compelled thereto.

New Mexico Constitution Article II, Section 6

No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms.

North Carolina Constitution Article I, Section 30

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; and, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty. they shall not be maintained, and the military shall be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. Nothing herein shall justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons, or prevent the General Assembly from enacting penal statutes against that practice.

North Dakota Constitution Article I, Section 1

All individuals are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation; pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness; and to keep and bear arms for the defense of their person, family, property, and the state, and for lawful hunting, recreational and other lawful purposes, which shall not be infringed.

Ohio Constitution Article I, Section 4

The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.

Ohio Constitution Article I, Section 1

All men are, by nature, free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and seeking and obtaining happiness and safety.

Oklahoma Constitution Article II, Section 26

The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons.

Oregon Constitution Article I, Section 27

The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power[.]

Pennsylvania Constitution Article I, Section 21

The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.

Rhode Island Constitution Article I, Section 22

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

South Carolina Constitution Article I, Section 20

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. As, in times of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they shall not be maintained without the consent of the General Assembly. The military power of the State shall always be held in subordination to the civil authority and be governed by it. No soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner nor in time of war but in the manner prescribed by law.

South Dakota Constitution Article VI, Section 24

The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied.

Tennessee Constitution Article I, Section 26

That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.

Texas Constitution Article I, Section 23

Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.

Utah Constitution Article I, Section 6

The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the Legislature from defining the lawful use of arms.

Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State – and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

Virginia Constitution Article I, Section 13

That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

Washington Constitution Article I, Section 24

The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

West Virginia Constitution Article III, Section 22

A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use.

Wisconsin Constitution Article I, Section 25

The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose.

Wyoming Constitution Article I, Section 24

The right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state shall not be denied.

States Without Specific Constitutional Provisions:

Only six states fail to enumerate a Right to Keep and Bear Arms Clause.

1: California

2: Iowa

3: Maryland

4: Minnesota

5: New Jersey

6: New York

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