Nicknamed the “WV Keep, Bear and Drive with Arms Act,” House Bill 4048 was passed by the West Virginia Legislature and signed by Governor Jim Justice on March 9, 2022.
On May 5, 2021, Utah HB 227 went into effect, in part because of the testimony of a defendant charged with seven counts of felony discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony. The new law triggers a pretrial, judge-only hearing process once a defendant alleges he or she was acting in self-defense or defense of others.
New York had a law that prohibited adults from generally carrying a firearm (including a concealed handgun) upon their person in New York without a state-issued license. These licenses were only issued upon proof of “good moral character” and “proper cause.” This is frequently referred to as a “may issue” licensing scheme, which is not based on objective criteria.
Senate Bill 1262, signed by Governor Brad Little on February 25, 2022, will go into effect on July 1, 2022. This legislation amends Idaho Code § 46-1008 to expressly protect concealed weapons licenses, firearms, ammunition, and components during declarations of “disaster emergencies.” These changes were spurred by the actions of state and local governments during disasters such the COVID-19 pandemic and response.
On March 30, 2022, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed into law the “Vote Without Fear Act,” which generally makes it unlawful to openly carry a firearm at or near any polling location in Colorado during an election. Proponents argue this new law is intended to prevent voter intimidation at the polls and other locations where voters cast a ballot. Opponents argue the new law essentially requires law-abiding gun owners to forgo one constitutional right (the Second Amendment) in order to exercise another (the right to vote).
Now that Governor Brian Kemp has signed the bill making permitless carry law for the state of Georgia, half the country is on board with dropping state licensing requirements to carry a gun. That’s a significant jump in a short period of time and a fantastic nod toward Second Amendment rights.
The Missouri House of Representatives recently passed new legislation that would further strengthen Missouri's Second Amendment rights. The bill, filed as HB 1462, garnered 101 Yeas and 40 Nays and would allow concealed carry permit holders to carry their guns while on publicly-funded transportation (with limited exceptions). In addition, the minimum age requirement for obtaining a Missouri concealed carry permit would be reduced from 19 years old to 18 years old. Concealed carry permit holders would also be able to carry into houses of worship. Finally, the legislation would criminalize celebratory gunfire in an effort to protect citizens from stray bullets.
Michigan Representative Elissa Slotkin made headlines for a series of Tweets on December 15, 2021, where she stated that she intended to introduce a “Safe Guns, Safe Kids Act” in Congress. The proposed legislation is intended to palliate the school shooting and deaths that occurred in Oxford, Michigan, on November 30, 2021.
Currently, under Florida law, a Concealed Weapons or Firearms License (CWFL) issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is required, with limited exceptions, for anyone wishing to carry a concealed firearm on their person in public.
On December 2, 2021, Governor Tom Wolf vetoed Senate Bill 565, which would have provided constitutional carry for Pennsylvania. While unfortunate, this veto came as no surprise to Pennsylvania gun owners.