What is the United States history on CCW?


October 21, 2004, 09:23 PM
My question is what state and year was the first to have CCW for law abiding citizens?

I believe Texas has had this law for many years but it was my belief that it was open carry

I also believe that this law should have always been in effect throughout history..

Why is it that just in the last ten years more and more states are passing this law? Thanks for any information...drf

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Standing Wolf
October 21, 2004, 09:39 PM
Why is it that just in the last ten years more and more states are passing this law?

Lots and lots of law-abiding American citizens demanded it of our elected representatives. You don't always get what you ask for, but you never get what you don't ask for.

As for the history of concealed carry, I believe it's actually fairly simple: we were free to carry firearms, openly or concealed, until shortly after the Civil War, when the first so-called "gun control" laws were passed to prevent freed slaves from keeping and bearing arms.

I believe Vermont's carry law, which is to say: a prohibition against prohibiting the carrying of firearms, dates to the early years of the twentieth century: 1903, 1906, or thereabouts.

Many counties, especially those in the west, have always issued concealed carry licenses to law-abiding citizens, and some states, again especially those in the west, have never passed laws prohibiting open carry.

October 21, 2004, 09:40 PM
New York City's Sullivan Act of 1911 required licenses to carry concealed. This NYC law came about in response to the assassination of a New York politician in New Jersey. Prior to 1911 no license was required.

Since 1911 license issuance has been very restrictive in NYC.

El Tejon
October 21, 2004, 10:52 PM
Good grief! Where does this mythology about Tejas come from?:confused:

drf, the very first statutes were those found in the Southern Black Codes which forbade blacks from bearing arms in the antebellum South. Indeed, racism is the root of gun control. One needed a license to carry arms (or Southern law flatly denied blacks guns). Licenses were readily available to whites, but not to blacks.

At the same time, Northern states had no laws against carrying arms and thus no need for "CCW" laws. As there was no statute against it, so it was no offense.

After the Civil War, the Southern states again implemented licensing schemes to prevent the freedmen from exercising their right to arms. Congress passed the 14th Amendment to extend the Bill of Rights to the states so that blacks could defend themselves against Southern tyranny.

A Southern Supreme Court put a damper on that in the name of white sumpremacy by holding that the Bill of Rights would be applied to the states selectively, not as a whole. Guess which of the BoR have yet to be held to be applied to the states.

Around the turn of the century more legislation was aimed at blacks via the "Son of Ham" laws which regulated the carrying of arms in the South in the name of crime control. Again the laws were targeted toward blacks.

In other parts of the country laws were aimed against immigrants. For example the "Sullivan Law" in New York City was aimed at preventing Italian-Americans from arming themselves.

A few years later laws modeled on the Southern "Son of Ham" laws were passed in the North in the name of "crime control" during Prohibition and shortly thereafter. The government causes crime by prohibiting alcohol and then "solves" crime by destroying freedom--outstanding.:rolleyes:

The CCW reform started in Florida back in 1987 when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I took the ferry to Shelbyville which in those days was called . . . oh, wait. The duck hunters put up a mighty quacking, but believe it or not the NRA actually helped restore some rights (thank you, Harlon Carter and your revolt at Cincy).

The Florida reform has served as a template for reform in other states as you know how lazy lawyers are and they love to copy. In the last 10 years the NRA has had political success at the state level with these reforms, but there is much work to do.:)

Jim March
October 22, 2004, 04:11 AM
Sigh. Too much mis-information here to ignore.


The first gun control in the colonies involved bans on the sale of guns and ammo to natives, some laws date to the mid-1600s.

Laws stripping blacks of arms were disorganized and often allowed for a master's permission or in the case of freemen, a sheriff's or police chief's permission. These were significantly strengthened after the Nat Turner rebellion of 1831 in which 55 whites were killed by slaves in Virginia.

Meanwhile, starting around 1818, the "Southern Frontier" along the Mississippi river valley was turning into a mess of white-on-white violence, mostly connected to duels, barroom brawls and gambling fights. Laws were passed in this area specifically banning concealed handguns and large knives, and is the earliest version of the "open carry good, concealed bad" mindset. This period ended circa 1850ish with the rise of the "Bible Belt" religious cultural change in the South. See also Clayton Cramer's "Concealed Weapon Laws of the Early Republic: Dueling, Southern Violence, and Moral Reform":


(There's also some summaries of this research out there, EMail Clayton if interested.)

In 1856, the Dred Scott decision supported not just slavery, but racist laws in general.

Upon the end of the Civil War in 1865, southern states passed "black codes" to replace the pre-war "slave codes" - slavery may have been ended, but the Dred Scott case was still having a major influence. These "black codes" universally disarmed blacks. See also Clayton's "Racist Roots of Gun Control":


...and my own "sequel" to it, "A Practical Guide To Race And Guns":


In 1868, the passage of the 14th Amendment outlawed statutes that were race-specifically biased. However, the Supreme Court allowed laws that were designed to discriminate while managing to avoid the name of the racial group to be screwed - see also the Williams case mentioned in my article above.

Concealed carry laws that required a discretionary "permit" (but everybody knew only blacks would be prosecuted) flourished across the South right up until fairly recently (1950s/60s and beyond, until replaced with shall-issue within the last 20 years).

Meanwhile, in New York City in 1911, the Sullivan law required discretionary permits for both gun ownership and carry (separately). By design, this was a paperwork nightmare. Post WW1, it spread considerably in Northern and Western states, reaching as far as Oregon by the early 20s.

Alarmed, the NRA proposed an alternative: discretionary gun carry permits, but no serious restriction on ownership. This was proposed Federally as a "uniform handgun law" in the early 1930s, failed, but was adopted by a LOT of states such as California in 1923.

To be fair, while the NRA knew that discretionary carry laws were going to be enforced on a racist basis, they were proposing this as an alternative to the more stringent NYC-type (Sullivan) law.

Gun control stopped being a big issue from the beginning of WW2 though the 50s and into about the mid-60s. Even then, the assasinations and percieved "chaos" didn't do much to alter CCW rules.

By the 1970s, a few states (Indiana going back to the 1920s, WA State starting 1966, a couple others) had decent carry laws but for the most part things were either still discretionary or zero-carry.

Florida's 1987 CCW reform was a big breakthrough because as part of the compromise, mandatory training was included. This recipe was what the South needed BAD because the racist nature of the discretionary system could no longer be ignored. The South made the most changes but the new "Florida style CCW-with-training" proved popular elsewhere too, esp. as it's never been linked to an increase in problems and no state with a working shall-issue system has ever gotten rid of it as problematic.

It's now the dominant sort of CCW system.

Alaska's 2003 conversion from Florida-style to "Vermont carry" proved that the Florida model could be a stepping stone to a genuinely constitutional system...which mostly eliminates the concern of the "Vermont or bust!" crowd.

The next most probable conversions to shall-issue are Wisconsin and Minnesota - the latter almost had it last year but their Supreme Court didn't like how it was put in procedurally so a new law will have to be drafted.

But then again...don't count California out.

It's got me in it :D.

October 22, 2004, 11:40 AM
Here's a visual history of recent years:

edited to delete out-of-date image -- see below


October 22, 2004, 11:46 AM
Thanks, Pax, may I borrow that gif?:)

October 22, 2004, 12:00 PM
It's my gif, and I prefer that people link to it, rather than copy it, so that they automatically update when I make changes.

(I'm currently waiting on Wisconsin and Kansas to pass shall-issue bills).

Progress in Right-to-Carry (http://www.gun-nuttery.com/rtc.php) http://www.gun-nuttery.com/rtc.gif

October 22, 2004, 12:09 PM
jdege ~

Thank you! for making that wonderful image. I had just opened my reply screen to explain that I'd borrowed it from another poster (pittspilot, I think), when I saw your post.

In future, I'll link to it instead of copying it.

Thanks again.


S Roper
October 22, 2004, 12:11 PM
I remember seeing something on History channel where they said in the West many towns did not allow firearms, and people were required to hand them into the Sheriff.

October 22, 2004, 12:14 PM

Thanks for making my day, man. That gif rocks. I'm planning on moving my family to Pennsylvania from NJ in a few years after my daughter graduates from high school, and I can't tell you how it feels to hear something positive about gun control lately.

October 22, 2004, 01:38 PM
Great website! That graphic shows one thing for certain--that the fight is not in vain and we CAN win! :D

Now to just increase the number of us Green states.

October 22, 2004, 07:10 PM
Great information everyone. could you tell me what unrestriced is?drf

October 22, 2004, 07:32 PM
Unrestricted means anyone can carry without having to get a permit.

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