America's Remarkable Shift Toward Expanded Gun Rights


At the Washington Post, Volokh Conspiracy blogger David Kopel writes about a chart (above) showing America’s move toward less restrictive gun laws.

The chart presumes that a recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling which finds that the 2nd amendment’s statement about the right to “keep and bear arms” really does mean that Americans have a right to both keep and bear arms, and shows the trend toward shall-issue (and even unregulated) carry laws.

Here’s Kopel, describing what the colors mean:

Purple states (concealed carry is allowed without need for a permit) have increased from Vermont only in 1986 to several states comprising about 4% of the population. Currently, the Purple states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Vermont, and Wyoming (residents only).

The Yellow states (arbitrary permitting) were the national norm in 1986, but they are now outliers. Unless the 9th Circuits’ decision in Peruta is overturned, California and Hawaii will have to become Shall Issue states.

This will leave Yellow states at less than 1/7 of the U.S. population.

Also remarkable is the correlation between the state-by-state liberalization of gun control laws and the sharp decline in violent crime and murder rates.



Gun rights opponents tell us that when guns are more readily available, we get more crime. But increased gun ownership, and relaxed gun laws, have not correlated with a spike in crime.

That sort of explodes the argument for gun control.