This may be the year that several more states will allow people to walk in public with concealed guns and no permit, reports the Washington Post. Gun rights advocates have had much success making it easier to obtain a concealed-carry permit. Applicants typically have to pass a background check. Some states also ask that applicants take a gun safety class, and some may reject applications if there is evidence of mental illness. A handful of states are far more permissive. Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Wyoming and Vermont don't require a permit at all for concealed carry in public. Vermont has never had such a requirement; Alaska went permit-free in 2003; Arizona in 2010; Wyoming in 2011 (limited to residents); and Arkansas in 2013.
These victories have been hard-wrung. “Even if a majority of the legislature or the governor might be in favor of concealed-carry laws, it's generally agreed that having some sort of training or background check is really important,” said Brian Malte of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Last year, Republicans took control of nearly a dozen state chambers, allowing permitless concealed-carry efforts to resurge in places like New Hampshire, West Virginia and Maine.The public has been tilting toward gun rights; a Pew poll last month showed guns rights supporters pulling ahead of gun control supporters 52 to 46. Gun control advocates say that about 18 states are looking at permitless carry laws this year.