State Level Right to Bear Arms

44 states have constitutional provisions concerning the right to bear arms.  Some are modelled after the seconds amendment, some make it painfully obvious that it is an individual right.

Below are the ones that are clearly an individual right (for hunting, self defense, or any other lawful purpose).

Alaska: Basically anyone who isn't a felon, and who is a resident, can carry concealed any time with no permit needed.

Alabama: "That every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state." Ala. Const. art. I, § 26.

Arizona: "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the State shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men." Ariz. Const. art. 2, § 26.

Colorado: "The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons." Colo. Const. art. II, § 13.

Connecticut: "Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state." Conn. Const. art. I, § 15.

Delaware: "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use." Del. Const. art. I, § 20.

Florida: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense (p.85)of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law." Fla. Const. art. I, § 8.

Idaho: The people have the right to keep and bear arms, which right shall not be abridged; but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to govern the carrying of weapons concealed on the person, nor prevent passage of legislation providing minimum sentences for crimes committed while in possession of a firearm, nor prevent passage of legislation providing penalties for the possession of firearms by a convicted felon, nor prevent the passage of legislation punishing the use of a firearm. No law shall impose licensure, registration or special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition. Nor shall any law permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony.

Idaho Const. art. I, § 11.

Illinois: "Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Ill. Const. art. I, § 22.

Indiana: "The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State." Ind. Const. art. I, § 32.

Kansas: "The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be tolerated, and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power." Kansas Bill of Rights § 4.

Kentucky: All men are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned:

....

Seventh: The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state, subject to the power of the general assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons.

Ky. Bill of Rights, § I, para. 7.

Louisiana: "The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person." La. (p.86)Const. art. I, § 11.

Maine: "Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned." Me. Const. art. I, § 16.

Michigan: "Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state." Mich. Const. art. I, § 6.

Mississippi: "The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons." Miss. Const. art. 3, § 12.

Missouri: "That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons." Mo. Const. art. I, § 23.

Montana: The right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons.

Mont. Const. art. II, § 12.

Nebraska: All persons are by nature free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; among these are ... the right to keep and bear arms for security or defense of self, family, home, and others, and for lawful common defense, hunting, recreational use, and all other lawful purposes, and such rights shall not be denied or infringed by the state or any subdivision thereof.

Neb. Const. art. I, § 1.

Nevada: "Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes." Nev. Const. art. 1, § II, para. 1.

New Hampshire: "All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property, and the state." N.H. Const. part 1, art. 2-a.

New Mexico: No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms.

N.M. Const. art. II, § 6.

North Dakota: All individuals are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inalienable rights, among which are ... to keep and bear arms for the defense of their person, family, property, and the state, and for lawful hunting, recreational, and other lawful purposes, which shall not be infringed.

N.D. Const. art. I, § 1.

Ohio: Constitution (Article I)

§ 1.01 Inalienable Rights (1851)

All men are, by nature, free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and seeking and obtaining happiness and safety.

§ 1.04 Bearing arms; standing armies; military powers (1851)

The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power.
Oklahoma: "The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons." Okla. Const. art. 2, § 26.

Oregon: "The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power." Or. Const. art. I, § 27.

Pennsylvania: "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defence of themselves and the State shall not be questioned." Pa. Const. art. I, § 21.

Rhode Island: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." R.I. Const. art. I, § 22.

South Dakota: "The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied." S.D. Const. art. VI, § 24.

Tennessee: "That the citizens of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime." Tenn. Const. art. I, § 26.

Texas: "Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime." Tex. Const. art. I, § 23.

Utah: "The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the State, as well as for the other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the legislature from defining the lawful use of arms." Utah Const. art. I, § 6.

Vermont: That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State--and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

Vt. Const. ch. I, art. 16.

Washington: "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men." Wash. Const. art. I, § 24.(p.89)

West Virginia: "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use." W. Va. Const. art. III, § 22.

Wisconsin: The people have the right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation, or any other lawful purpose. (Art. 1, § 25) [passed November, 1998]

Wyoming: "The right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state shall not be denied." Wyo. Const. art. I, § 24.

California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York do not have constitutional provisions on arms.
Reply
Replies:
Comfortably Anonymous
1/22/2004 1:04:42 PM
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml . If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.