Last updated on: 1/22/2024 | Author: ProCon.org

Should Adults Have the Right to Carry a Concealed Handgun?

Carrying a concealed handgun in public has been permitted in all 50 states since 2013, when Illinois became the last state to enact concealed carry legislation. Some states require gun owners to obtain permits while others have unrestricted carry and do not require permits. For more on concealed carry, explore the ProCon debate.

PRO (yes)

Pro

Nikki Haley:

“My stance on guns: As a CWP [concealed weapon permit] holder, I am pro 2nd amendment and pro 10th amendment and will defend both. I would support open carry and reciprocity with any other state. The horrible shootings we have seen over the past few years have been related to individuals with mental health so my [South Carolina gubernatorial] administration went right to the source. My first year in office we dramatically increased funding to mental health by $16 mill the first year and $11 mill this past budget. I am committed to helping those with mental health issues get the help they need while defending our 2nd amendment.”

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Nikki Haley, facebook.com, Dec. 27, 2012

Pro

Donald Trump:

“I think that maybe someday that bill [concealed carry with reciprocity between states] will pass but it should pass as a separate [bill]. If you’re going to put concealed carry between states into this bill [which contained broad gun control measures], we’re talking about a whole new ballgame. I’m with you [in wanting concealed carry reciprocity], but let it be a separate bill. If you add conceal carry to this, you’ll never get it passed.”

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Elizabeth Landers, “Trump Shuts Down Scalise’s Concealed Carry Push,” cnn.com, Feb. 28, 2018

CON (no)

Not Clear or Not Found

Joe Biden:

“I am deeply disappointed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. Since 1911, the State of New York has required individuals who would like to carry a concealed weapon in public to show a need to do so for the purpose of self-defense and to acquire a license. More than a century later, the United States Supreme Court has chosen to strike down New York’s long-established authority to protect its citizens. This ruling contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all….

I remain committed to doing everything in my power to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer. I have already taken more executive actions to reduce gun violence than any other President during their first year in office, and I will continue to do all that I can to protect Americans from gun violence.

I urge states to continue to enact and enforce commonsense laws to make their citizens and communities safer from gun violence. As the late Justice Scalia recognized, the Second Amendment is not absolute. For centuries, states have regulated who may purchase or possess weapons, the types of weapons they may use, and the places they may carry those weapons. And the courts have upheld these regulations.”

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White House, “Statement by President Joe Biden on Supreme Court Ruling on Guns,” whitehouse.gov, June 23, 2023 https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/06/23/statement-by-president-joe-biden-on-supreme-court-ruling-on-guns/

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr:

No position as of Dec. 21, 2023