When did concealed carry become illegal?


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RM
August 8, 2010, 05:40 AM
I assume at some point in the United States, there were no laws restricting people from carrying a concealed weapon. When did states start making concealed carry illegal and what were the reasons? Thank you.

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Art Eatman
August 8, 2010, 07:26 AM
A lot of states began passing laws at the state level after the Civil War as part of the Jim Crow racial package of restrictive law. Many cities had already instituted some sorts of ordinances.

The NYC* Sullivan law was early in the 20th century, and was purely a racial thing, per comments in the debates before passage.

*Or is that a state law?

Alchymist
August 8, 2010, 07:51 AM
I put a lot of history into Chapter 8 of my book "Resurrection of America" - "Restoring the Constitutionís Second Amendment".

Any THR member can get a Word.doc copy of that chapter by request. Just drop an email to patriotsfire at gmail.com. :what:

Drail
August 8, 2010, 09:22 AM
Almost immediately after Lincoln freed the slaves.

gc70
August 8, 2010, 10:02 AM
Several states adopted laws against concealed carry well before the Civil War, although the practice did not become widespread until driven by racial motives after the Civil War. The initial laws were often aimed at riverboat gamblers and other shady characters and was based on the idea that honorable men did not need to be sneaky and hide a gun.

RDak
August 8, 2010, 10:40 AM
Several states adopted laws against concealed carry well before the Civil War, although the practice did not become widespread until driven by racial motives after the Civil War. The initial laws were often aimed at riverboat gamblers and other shady characters and was based on the idea that honorable men did not need to be sneaky and hide a gun.

That's pretty much what I have remembered about this.

hugh damright
August 8, 2010, 02:04 PM
I remember reading something by Clayton Cramer asserting that concealed carry laws were largely aimed at dueling ... http://www.claytoncramer.com/books/concealed.pdf

Bighouse Doc
August 8, 2010, 02:22 PM
The original laws against CCW began as an effort to protect violent, pro-slaveholder mobs against resistance from armed abolitionists.

Many of the abolitionists, for religious reasons, would not flaunt their arms openly. This gave them a tactical advantage when pro-slaveholder mobs directed violence against them.

I believe Louisiana passed the first law. It was justified in court with some argument that it was "..an affront to manly combat..."

Florida still used it's laws to disarm blacks as late as 1941. Quote from Watson vs. Stone 1941.

"...The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population and in practice has never been so applied. . . . [The] Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the negro laborers and to thereby reduce the [number of] unlawful homicides . . . and to give the white citizens in sparsely settled areas a better feeling of security. . . . There has never been, within my knowledge, any effort to enforce the provisions of this statute as to white people, because it has been generally conceded to be in contravention of the Constitution and non-enforceable if contested...."

-Doc

Zoogster
August 8, 2010, 03:22 PM
The restrictions on carrying arms gained great momentum after the slaves were freed. There was some prior restrictions however.

Concealed carry in particular was disliked in some parts of the nation, because it was felt that an honorable man with no ill intentions did not need to hide their weapon and could legally open carry it.



Open carry was legal in most of the United States, and concealed carry was a little more restricted some places.




In California concealed carry licenses were created in the 1920s (concealed carry was legal without a license before) in order to disarm Asians and Hispanics.
Or as put at the time of passage to have a "salutary effect in checking tong wars among the Chinese and vendettas among our people who are of Latin descent."
This made California one of the very first states in the nation to issue Concealed Carry licenses or CCW permits.

Open Carry was outlawed in most circumstances in California in the 1960s to disarm black activists (like the panthers.)

razorback2003
August 8, 2010, 05:56 PM
It was illegal to conceal a handgun in Arkansas, except when on a journey, before the Civil War....I believe the same was the case for Tennessee.

After the Civil War...both Arkansas and Tennessee pretty much outlawed all carry (on the books) with some exceptions...such as being on a 'journey'....Texas did the same thing.

I know a lot of old timers back home in Arkansas who 'illegally' carried handguns before any sort of licensing system or claimed they were 'on a journey' all the time. The police looked the other way if you were not causing problems....especially if you were (not trying to say right or wrong)...white..clean cut..businessman..minister..housewife....If you were young..black...and rough looking...you were charged with carrying a weapon. I assume this was very typical for 'illegal' carry or 'illegal' conceal carry in most parts of the country until recently.

Monkeyleg
August 8, 2010, 06:39 PM
The Sullivan Law was/is for NYC only.

In his book "The Cowboy, The Samurai and The Sword", David Kopel documented editorials from the New York Times which made reference to: pistols found "chiefly in the pockets of ignorant and quarrelsome immigrants of law-breaking propensities"; "the practice of going armed...among citizens of foreign birth"; and a disturbing fondness for handguns among "low-browed foreigners".

In the first three years after passage of the Sullivan Law, 70% of those arrested under the law were Italian.

geekWithA.45
August 8, 2010, 06:46 PM
In the first three years after passage of the Sullivan Law, 70% of those arrested under the law were Italian.

Also note that permits were easily and routinely available at the Tammany hall associated Democrat clubs to members in good standing.

wiiawiwb
August 8, 2010, 09:33 PM
It's sort of ironic isn't it that NYS only allows concealed carry of handguns.

TexasBill
August 8, 2010, 11:59 PM
Texas only allows concealed carry of handguns. That's an improvement over the prior state of affairs. In 1871, the Texas Legislature prohibited the carrying of any handgun, knife, club, brass knuckles, etc., openly or concealed. No licenses and only a very few exceptions, none of which guaranteed you wouldn't be arrested. This state of affairs lasted until the 1990s, when we finally got a law allowing CHLs.

Rifles and shotguns were not included in the law.

oldcorporal
August 9, 2010, 12:22 AM
I'm new here, but I'd like to correct a couple of things. The Sullivan Act (or Law) is statewide, was passed in 1911 by a fella named Timothy Sullivan. He was a stooge for the Tammany Hall machine, and it was intended for use against rival politcal organizations just as much as it was to be used against "inferior people" like Italians, etc.

It doesn't cover just guns. Knives, brass knuckles and just about any other weapon that you can carry concealed. I remember reading about somebody being prosecuted under the Sullivan Act for defending herself with a hatpin. That might be just a story - you all know how these things are, but it is an extremely restrictive law.

And the NYC cops think that it really does keep their paradise from becoming a total moonscape. Which is pretty odd when you consider the fact that other cities have managed to avoid that fate. Just goes to show how parochial people can be!

Bighouse Doc
August 9, 2010, 08:08 AM
The Sullivan act was passed to enable the law to prevent Italian, and other immigrants from lawfully resisting the predations of the Irish mob that ran Tammany Hall.

Like most people when confronted with organized violence, the less influential immigrants armed themselves.

This made trouble for the Irish mob who proceeded to pass laws against their victims.

-Doc

Sicari
August 9, 2010, 08:59 PM
Great case Doc! Illuminating



148 Fla. 516, 4 So.2d 700

Owen Sparks
August 9, 2010, 09:40 PM
There is nothing in the Constitution that disqualifies a firearm from protection under the Bill of Rights simply because it is carried concealed. Would you tolerate this level of infringement on other constitutionally protected items such as newspapers and Bibles?

gc70
August 9, 2010, 10:17 PM
Here is a great reference website for historic state court decisions (http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndcourt/state/2ndstate_index.htm) related to the Second Amendment. Most of the earliest decisions, prior to the Civil War, involved concealed weapons.

Firearms were certainly represented in the early cases: 1840 Alabama (http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndcourt/state/194st.htm), 1841 Indiana (http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndcourt/state/192st.htm), 1845 Indiana (http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndcourt/state/187st.htm), and 1856 Louisiana (http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndcourt/state/182st.htm).

Interestingly, about half of the concealed carry cases involved edged weapons rather than guns: 1822 Kentucky (http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndcourt/state/200st.htm), 1840 Tennessee (http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndcourt/state/193st.htm), 1844 Tennessee (http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndcourt/state/188st.htm), and 1850 Louisiana (http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndcourt/state/184st.htm).

Restrictions on "free persons of color" were not limited to concealed carry, but to possession of weapons: unlicensed weapon - 1844 North Carolina (http://www.constitution.org/2ll/2ndcourt/state/189st.htm).

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