Ohio looks likely to be the next state to pass Constitutional Carry, with Indiana close behind. If these states go as expected, there would be 25 states with Constitutional Carry. Positive developments are occurring in Alabama and Georiga. There is a possibility that Nebraska could still pass a similar bill. If these states do enact such a law, it could impact the Supreme Court’s consideration of New York’s May Issue Concealed Carry law.
— On Tuesday, February 22nd, the Alabama state House passed Constitutional Carry by a 65-to-37 vote. The bill now goes to the state Senate. The Lt Governor in the state has endorsed the bill. Republicans have made passing the bill a priority in the state legislature.
— In Ohio, both the state House and Senate have passed slightly different versions of the bill. The House is now considering the Senate bill, and the House Oversight Committee heard testimony on February 8th. The committee passed the similar House version last year by an 8-to-5 vote and is expected to do the same with the Senate bill. Governor DeWine committed in writing to signing a Constitutional Carry bill, and the feeling is that he will be most likely to honor that promise if the bill gets to his desk before the May 3rd primary.
UPDATE: I am told that the bill requires some minor rewriting, but that the odds that it will soon get through the legislature are very high.
— In Indiana, the state House has passed Constitutional Carry, but the chair of the state Senate Judiciary Committee, Liz Brown, killed it last year. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear the House bill on Wednesday, February 23rd, but there is a lot of pressure within the Republican caucus to push Brown to allow a vote in committee on the bill.
Republican Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said he expected a Senate committee in the coming week to advance the bill loosening Indiana’s already lenient firearms restrictions that the GOP-dominated House approved last month.Associated Press, “Indiana Senate Could Change Stance on Handgun Carry Permits,” Associated Press, February 19, 2022.
The Republican governor, Eric Holcomb, has been quietly working behind the scenes to kill the Constitutional Carry bill because he doesn’t want to veto it. However, there is strong support within the Senate, just as there was in the House where it passed by a 64-to-29 vote supermajority, and the strong belief is that he will sign the bill if it gets to his desk.
UPDATE: Senator Liz Brown acted again for a third time to try to kill the Constitutional Carry bill. Yet, it is my understanding that Republican Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray is moving another version of the bill, one that is identical to the one passed in the House but with a different bill number on it, through the Senate Rules Committee. The odds of final passage are said to be high.
— In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp, House Speaker David Ralston, and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan have all made Constitutional Carry a priority this session.
UPDATE: The House version of the bill is scheduled to have a hearing as soon as next week. The Senate Rules Committee is likely to have a vote this week.