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Iowa and Tennessee Constitutional Carry Laws Effective on 1 July, 2021

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

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U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Iowa and Tennessee are two of the five states which have restored Constitutional Carry so far in 2021. In both states the Constitutional Carry (permitless carry) bills took effect on Thursday, 1 July, just ahead of Independence Day, July 4th.

Constitutional Carry is a reasonable facsimile of the state of the law when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. At the time, no state or federal law required government permission in order to carry personal weapons, either openly or concealed.

In Iowa, the Constitutional Carry bill contained other reforms. The bill was signed into law on 2 April by Governor Kim Reynolds. It removed the Iowa requirement for a permit to purchase a pistol, which was separate from the federal National Instant background Check System (NICS). From kpvi.com:

Effective July 1, Iowa no longer requires certain residents to have a permit to acquire or permit to carry to purchase handguns from federally licensed firearms dealers.

Iowa has moved from a relatively restrictive state, where you had to ask government permission to purchase or carry a handgun, to a state where the  Second Amendment is honored most of the time in most places. There have always been a few places where the carry of weapons was regulated, such as in prisons and powder houses. Private property owners could exclude armed people if they so desired.

In Tennessee, Governor Bill Lee signed the Constitutional Carry (permitless carry) into law on 8 April, a week after Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa signed their Constitutional Carry bill into law. From wsmv.com:

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Several new laws will go into effect today in Tennessee.

Among them, the controversial constitutional carry bill, which allows Tennesseans 21 and older to carry a gun without a permit. 

The legislation, signed into law by Governor Bill Lee earlier this year, removes the permit process required for Tennesseans to carry a handgun.

The bill in Tennessee has some controversial provisions. Some of these are:

  • If a person leaves a handgun in a motor vehicle, it must be locked up and out of sight.
  • People are prohibited from carrying a handgun if a Tennessee citizen has had two convictions for Driving under the influence (DUI) in the last ten years or once in the last five years.

The three other states who have restored Constitutional Carry in 2021, so far, are Utah, Montana, and Texas.

Most portions of the Montana Constitutional Carry bill became effective with Governor Greg Gianforte’s signature on 18 February. The university carry provisions were to go into effect on 1 June. They are being challenged in court.

The Utah bill became effective on 5 May 2021. The Texas law becomes effective on 1 September.

As of this writing, Louisiana is likely to hold a veto override session, where Governor Bel Edwards’ veto of the Louisiana Constitutional Carry bill may be over ridden. 20 states have restored Constitutional Carry. Vermont has always had Constitutional Carry, making 21 Constitutional Carry states at this time.

Those states are:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Mississippi 
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

The 21 states cover 56% of the land area of the United States of America.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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