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. They allow 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.
Armed Assembly: Guns, Demonstrations, and Political Violence in America
Armed demonstrations are nearly six times as likely to turn violent or destructive compared to unarmed demonstrations.
The Role of Guns & Armed Extremism in the Attack on the U.S. Capitol
The attack on the U.S. Capitol is the latest demonstration of the danger armed extremism poses to our democracy.
Armed COVID-19 Protests Exploit Open Carry Loophole
Lawmakers should close the open carry loophole and regulate open carry, particularly at demonstrations held on capitol grounds.
Permitless Carry: Carrying a Concealed Gun in Public with No Permit and No Training
Permitless carry legislation is part of the NRA’s broader agenda to weaken and repeal important gun safety measures.
Guns in Public
Armed Extremism Primer: The Boogaloo
The boogaloo movement has risen to national prominence as a new and dangerous subset of the extreme right in the United States.Fact Sheet
More Than Brawlers: The Proud Boys and Armed Extremism
Many far-right groups, including the Proud Boys, use fearmongering and conspiracy theories in an attempt to stop any reform of gun laws.Fact Sheet
Stand Your Ground Laws Are A License to Kill
Stand Your Ground laws distort the public perception of lawful self-defense and encourage people to shoot first and ask questions later.Fact Sheet
The Danger of Guns on Campus
Guns on campus are likely to lead to more shootings, homicides, and suicides, and they’re unlikely to prevent mass shootings.Fact Sheet
Armed and Dangerous: How the Gun Lobby Enshrines Guns as Tools of the Extreme Right
For decades, the gun lobby has enabled extremists to access guns through its opposition of common sense gun laws.Report
A Nation of Survivors: The Toll of Gun Violence in America
In a recent national poll, 58% of adult respondents said they or someone they care for have experienced gun violence in their lifetime.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 that many prohibited individuals end up receiving permits to carry.Fact Sheet
State-by-State Danger of Overriding Concealed Carry Laws
While all 50 states allow the concealed carry of firearms, standards for carrying vary dramatically across the country.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