Two more states signed into law legislation permitting their residents to constitutional carry. This makes Iowa and Tennessee the 19th and 20th states to allow responsibly armed Americans to concealed carry handguns without a permit. This is great news for new and veteran gun owners in both states who are seeking to better protect themselves.

The Hawkeye State

On April 2, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa signed House File 756 into law. The new law permits Iowans to purchase and carry a handgun without a permit. “Today I signed legislation that protects the Second Amendment rights of Iowa’s law-abiding citizens while still preventing the sale of firearms to criminals and other dangerous individuals,” Reynolds stated in response to signing the bill into law.

The bill previously passed in the Iowa Senate with a vote of 31 to 17 before making its way to the governor’s desk. “The right to keep or bear arms is a fundamental right,” Republican Rep. Steven Holt said. “So a lot of our citizens feel they should not have to pay a $50 fee to [the] government [for] — a permission slip, basically — a permit.”

The law will take effect on July 1. Iowans will no longer have to obtain a permit to purchase through a private dealer. However, they will have to go through a background check or present a permit to purchase from a federally licensed dealer. Also, a provision was added stating that if a private seller sells a gun to a known felon or someone who shouldn’t own a firearm, the seller could be charged with a Class D felony.

“More and more we are seeing states like Iowa implement constitutional carry laws so that gun owners can freely exercise their right to self-defense. For too long, our nation’s gun laws have slapped red tape on law-abiding citizens rather than recognizing all Americans’ natural-born right to protect themselves and their families,” U.S. Concealed Carry Association President and Founder Tim Schmidt declared in response to Reynolds signing the bill. “The USCCA applauds Gov. Reynolds for taking this important step to better protect all Iowans. Further, we encourage all gun owners across Iowa to seek the proper education and training necessary to be responsible and safe gun owners.”

The Volunteer State

Today, Tennessee joined Iowa when Gov. Bill Lee of Tennessee signed HB 786 into law. Lee began pushing for constitutional carry in 2020 so Tennesseans can better protect themselves and their families. The bill allows members of the military between the ages of 18 and 20 and adults 21 years old and older to open carry or concealed carry without a permit. This piece of legislation passed in the Tennessee House of Representatives with a vote of 64 to 29 and made its way to the Senate, where it was approved on March 18. Like Iowa’s House File 756, the bill will take effect on July 1.

Among the U.S. Concealed Carry Association’s more than 570,000 members are 15,000 Tennesseans. “We applaud Gov. Lee for signing this important piece of legislation into law and making it easier for Tennesseans — especially members of our military — to exercise their right to self-defense. This removes the barriers for thousands of law-abiding Tennesseans to better protect themselves and their families,” said Schmidt. “While the law may not require it, the U.S. Concealed Carry Association looks forward to continuing to provide proper education and training for the thousands of new gun owners in Tennessee and millions more throughout the country.”

An Upward Trend

Millions of new gun owners across the country are taking the responsibility for their safety into their own hands. Lawmakers in some states are beginning to appreciate this. Iowa and Tennessee responded favorably, and hopefully others states’ lawmakers will follow suit by allowing their residents to be able to better defend themselves and to uphold their Second Amendment right.