On Thursday February 18th, the NRA reported that Montana officially became the 18th US state to abolish the requirement for a permit in order to concealed-carry a pistol. The massive wave of ‘constitutional carry’ sweeping the united states has been a bright spot for conservatives and other supporters of liberty. The popular gun-rights policy underscores alarming levels of polarization within the united states, though.

While 18 conservatives states have eliminated restrictions on gun rights over the past few years, progressive states have consistently increased restrictions on gun rights. States like California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Illinois, and others have been chipping away at firearms freedoms for decades. Today, it is essentially impossible to (legally) own a firearm in NYC, and it is nearly impossible to legally carry a pistol in the other other aforementioned states. The Utah legislature also passed a permitless carry bill earlier this month. If their governor were to sign the bill, Utah would become the 19th state that allows gun owners to carry without a permit.

This smart woman carries a pistol for self-protection

This growing divide illustrates that the states are not united; they are increasingly divided, heading in diverging directions. One ideology does not govern the entire US. In fact, the people of the united states have at least two different ideologies. One side supports ever-increasing government power, while one side supports ever-increasing freedom.

The problem? The federal government has also consistently taken steps to centralize power. This means that the politicians in DC believe that they know what’s best for EVERYONE in all 50 states. Joe Biden and the Democrats who now run DC, for example, believe that they should make it impossible for anyone in the union to own a firearm. As these policies are passed into law, the 18 increasingly gun-friendly states will face a major challenge. Will they capitulate and give up their recent gains and allow DC politicians to ban guns, will they declare themselves ‘sanctuaries’ from unjust federal laws, or will they leave the crumbling union altogether?

UPDATE: With the additions of Arkansas, Utah, Iowa, Tennessee, Indiana, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio, 25 of the 50 states in the union now allow residents to carry concealed pistols without a permit.

UPDATE: On April 3rd, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB543 into law. This legislation will allow all Floridians 21 years and older to carry concealed handguns without a permit beginning July 1st. The bill passed the House and Senate with large majorities. The bill seems to prohibit people from having firearms in many places, including all schools, all government buildings, and any place where alcohol could be present. Florida is the 26th state to allow concealed carry without a permit.

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