Guns in Public
What is the problem?
Carrying a gun in public is a tremendous responsibility. Common-sense public safety laws help keep guns out of places where they don’t belong. They also ensure that people who carry concealed guns in public have undergone a background check and gun owner safety training.
Many states lack common-sense public safety laws that ensure core public safety standards are met prior to carrying guns in public. Many also fail to prohibit guns in sensitive areas where guns don’t belong. Public safety laws should be implemented to prevent violent criminals and people who pose a threat to public safety from carrying guns and ensure that those carrying guns in our communities are trained in basic safety techniques. In addition, effective laws discourage violent conflict and encourage people to deescalate confrontations rather than using deadly force.
What are the solutions?
Require Permits to Carry Concealed Guns in Public
It is legal to carry a concealed handgun in public in all 50 states. A substantial majority of states require a person to have a permit to carry a loaded, concealed handgun in public. States should not allow the carry of concealed guns in public without one.
Strong Standards for Carrying Concealed Guns in Public
Carrying guns in public is a tremendous responsibility. States should set strong minimum standards for carrying concealed guns in public to ensure that people who are too dangerous or irresponsible to carry guns in our communities are blocked from doing so.
Block Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Federal concealed carry reciprocity (CCR) legislation would gut state standards for who may carry hidden, loaded handguns in public. CCR would force each state to recognize the concealed carry standards from every other state, even those that have dramatically weaker standards—and those that don’t require any permit at all.
Repeal Stand Your Ground Laws
Stand Your Ground laws allow people to shoot to kill in public even when they can safely walk away from the danger. These laws threaten public safety by encouraging armed vigilantism, allowing a person to kill another person in a public area even when there are clear and safe ways to retreat from a dangerous situation.
Prohibit Guns in Sensitive Areas
All fifty states and the District of Columbia allow civilians to carry concealed guns in public places. Laws differ in each state, but certain sensitive areas are always unsafe for guns.
Prohibit Open Carry
Carrying firearms visibly in public, known as open carry, is a dangerous policy. It is exploited by white supremacists and opposed by law enforcement and the public. Members of hate groups regularly openly carry guns in a show of intimidation.
Keep Guns off Campus
Guns have no place on college campuses. Campuses have unique risk factors, such as high rates of mental illness and an increased use of alcohol and drugs, that make the presence of guns potentially deadly.
Guns in Public
Armed and Dangerous: How the Gun Lobby Enshrines Guns as Tools of the Extreme Right
What the dangerous confluence of reckless rhetoric, gun lobby influence, and armed extremism means for democracy.Report
Armed COVID-19 Protests Exploit Open Carry Loophole
Jeff Kowalsky, “People Take Park in a Protest for ‘Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine,’ at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan on April 15, 2020,”…Fact Sheet
A Nation of Survivors: The Toll of Gun Violence in America
“The fact is gun violence has taken so many lives. And not just in Florida or D.C. or Chicago. Gun violence is everywhere and, as…Report
“Concealed Carry Reciprocity” Would Force States to Rely On Concealed Carry Permits Issued By States with Ineffective Systems
Some states have such poorly administered permitting systems and record submission practices that many prohibited individuals end up receiving permits to carry. The quality and…Fact Sheet
State-by-State Danger of Overriding Concealed Carry Laws
This chart shows each state’s standards for who may carry a concealed firearm in public.1Federal law prohibits several narrow categories of…Fact Sheet
“Concealed Carry Reciprocity” Forces States to Let Domestic Abusers Carry Concealed Handguns
While “concealed carry reciprocity” would effectively repeal existing state protections against abusive dating partners, legislation from Sen. Klobuchar and Reps. Donovan and Dingell would protect…Fact Sheet
State Firearm Preemption Laws
State firearm preemption laws are a relatively recent phenomenon inconsistent with centuries of American history in which cities and rural areas had different gun laws.Fact Sheet
The SHARE Act Is Dangerous and Unnecessary
Bottom Line: Silencers pose a significant danger in the wrong hands, making it harder for bystanders or law enforcement to identify and react quickly to…Fact Sheet
Concealed Carry Permits are Nothing Like Driver’s Licenses
Myth Concealed carry permits should be treated just like driver’s licenses. Just like a person licensed to drive in any state, a person allowed to…Fact Sheet