The Libertarian Republic has an interesting GIF up that displays the rapid political change on gun rights over the last 28 years in America, starting in 1986 when the vast majority of states were either “may issue” (where you have to prove to the government that you should have a gun permit) or “no issue” (where you can be denied your right to keep and bear arms entirely).
It is almost unimaginable how most of South were “no issue” states (even Texas!), and leftist Vermont was (and fortunately still is) an unrestricted state where you do not need any permits to conceal carry, also commonly referred to as “Constitutional carry” by gun rights activists.
And throughout this period, much to chagrin of anti-Second Amendment advocates, crime rates in all areas have been steadily going down in America as the number of concealed carry permit holders has skyrocketed and shows no signs of abetting.
Florida, for example, has issued 1.96 million permits since 1987, and Texas about half a million to its credit, while both started out as may issue and no-issue states, respectively, in the mid 1980’s.
By 2011, there were only two no issue states: Wisconsin and Illinois. That year, Republican Governor Scott Walker signed legislation mandating state officials switch to shall issue permits on application. In 2012, A federal court struck down Illinois’ overly rigid system, thereby officially ending the status of no issue permit issuing in America.
However, many Second Amendment proponents believe that gun rights will only truly be respected in America when the whole permitting system itself goes by the wayside, thus making every state an unrestricted “Constitutional carry” state. I wish them luck.
In the meantime, more states are also liberalizing restrictions on bringing personal weapons onto public property like universities, citing the problem of gun free zones as magnets for mass shootings who know they will not face armed opposition.
In my state of Idaho, such legislation just passed the state Senate, the relevant House committee in the state House of Representatives, and will be going up befor the entire lower chamber for a full vote in the coming weeks where it is expected to pass easily. Idaho Governor Butch Otter has indicated that he will sign the bill.