States kicked off 2022 by introducing a slew of gun-related legislation. Fortunately, most bills are in favor of gun owners. Lawmakers in five states are pushing for constitutional carry. Below are some bills and proposed agendas that may impact you if you live in one of the mentioned states.
This is a list of proposed legislation. These bills have not been passed into law. We will keep you informed on any future updates.
In December 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced that he planned to target the gun industry by allowing Californians to sue “anyone who manufactures, distributes or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts” for damages. “If [Texas] can ban abortion and endanger lives, [California] can ban deadly weapons of war and save lives,” he stated.
Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-18) introduced SB 1327, modeled after Texas’ Senate Bill 8 (abortion law), which would permit citizens to take legal action against those who manufacture, distribute, transport, import into California, or sell “assault weapons, .50 BMG rifles, ghost guns, or ghost gun kits.”
Based on a New York law passes last year, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-19) and others recently introduced Assembly Bill 1594. The bill would permit government agencies and citizens to file civil lawsuits against those involved in the sale, production, distribution, import and marketing of firearms or failing to prevent illegal gun use and creating a public nuisance.
Assemblymember Chris Ward (D-78) has introduced AB 311 in an effort to ban “ghost guns” sales at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County.
Gov.Newsom recently appeared in Del Mar alongside California Attorney General Rob Bonta, legislators and local leaders, and announced his plan to support the anti-gun bills being introduced by lawmakers this legislative session.
Rep. Shane Stringer (R-102) sponsored the “constitutional carry” bill (House Bill 6) that would authorize individuals to carry a pistol or other firearm concealed or in a vehicle without a permit. A permit is currently required in the state. “I am a firm believer that law-abiding citizens should not be punished and forced to get a permit to carry a firearm when the criminal element is not,” Rep. Stringer declared.
During Gov. Kay Ivey’s (R) state of the state address on January 11, she indicated that she intends to support constitutional carry in the state.
Rep. Rob Brooks (R-60) and other Republican lawmakers introduced AB 495, which would allow individuals with a concealed carry permit to have a gun in their vehicles while picking up or dropping off their kids at school. Currently, a person could face felony charges for being on school property with a gun. This bill is an effort to help people protect themselves and their family members in the event of a shooting on school grounds. “I think it’s very important to allow parents to protect themselves and their families as they go about their day,” co-sponsor Sen. André Jacque (R-1) stated.
Two other pro-gun bills to monitor are AB 498, which proposes to lower the minimum age to 18 years old for a person to be eligible to apply for a license to carry a concealed weapon, and SB 619, which maintains that citizens have the right to carry a weapon in the state.
Sen. Melissa Agard (D-16) and Rep. Shelia Stubbs (D-77) plan to introduce a bill that would require a had a 48-hour waiting period for gun purchases.
Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-52) reintroduced his “lawful carry” gun bill or HB 1077 that would remove the need for law-abiding citizens to obtain a government-issued license to carry a handgun. “This law is about the law-abiding Hoosier. They shouldn’t have to go through a process to be fingerprinted. They shouldn’t have to wait 30, 60, 90 days to get a permit,” Rep. Smaltz indicated. “We should not bind lawful people to those sort of steps.”
SB 14 would allow certain persons who are at least 21 years of age to possess or carry a handgun without a license.
On January 6, New Hampshire lawmakers in the Senate voted and passed HB 307, which protects New Hampshire gun owners by strengthening the state’s preemption law. The bill prohibits local government agencies from banning firearms, ammunition, knives and firearms components and accessories. (Note: HB 1636, HB 1668, HB 1096 and HB 1151 were also introduced.)
Nebraska lawmakers are preparing to address expanding gun rights. On January 5, Sen. Tom Brewer (R-43) introduced Legislative Bill 773. This bill would remove the need for an individual to have a permit to carry a concealed weapon and prohibit regulation by cities, villages and counties.
Sen. Dave Lawson (R-C15) introduced SB 172 in an attempt to remove permit requirements for concealed carry.
Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has stated that he plans to loosen handguns restrictions in the state by endorsing constitutional carry. He announced his plans on January 5, at Adventure Outdoors in the city of Smyrna, accompanied by state lawmakers and members of the NRA, GA2A, and Georgia Hunting and Fishing Federation.
“In the face of rising crime across the country, law-abiding citizens should have their constitutional rights protected — not undermined,” Gov. Kemp declared in a press release. “As I said on the campaign trail in 2018, I believe the U.S. Constitution grants our citizens the right to carry a firearm without the approval of [the] government. For law-abiding Georgians, the 2nd Amendment is their carry permit, and I look forward to working with members of the General Assembly to get Constitutional Carry across the finish line this legislative session.”
Sen. Sally Harrell (D-40) has introduced SB 344, which would require gun owners to have training to possess a handgun or long gun.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 319 (the “Georgia Constitutional Carry Act of 2021”) and it will now move on to the Senate for a vote.
Rep. Sandra Scott (D-76) introduced two bills, HB 962 and HB 971, which would require gun owners to store their firearms in a secure manner and report if a firearm has been lost or stolen.
Florida: Sen. Tina Polsky (D-29) is attempting to pass a law that requires the safe storage of firearms. There are others gun-related measures and proposals also being pushed by Democrats this session.
Missouri: Sen. Steven Roberts (D-5) is proposing SB 1016 that requires gun owners to have a concealed carry requirement within St. Louis’ city limits. Missouri is currently an open carry state. On the contrary, HB 1462 and HB 1660 would allow concealed carrying of firearms on public transportation systems and transporting nonfunctional or unloaded firearms on public buses.
Sen. Lauren Arthur (D- 17) introduced SB 936, which modifies provisions regarding the unlawful possession of firearms.
“My bill would do three things,” Sen. Arthur stated. “It would make it a crime under the Missouri law for anyone who’s been convicted of domestic violence to possess or own a firearm, it allows courts to prohibit a person under a restraining order from having or buying a gun while the order is in effect and it requires the court to inform the Missouri state highway patrol and the FBI when a person is convicted of domestic assault.”
Sen.Eric Burlison (R-20) sponsored SB 666, which provides that there shall be a presumption of reasonableness that the defendant believed such force was necessary to defend him or herself or a third person.
Washington: Rep. April Berg (D-44) has sponsored HB 1618 that prohibits weapons at election-related offices and facilities subject to limited exemptions for law enforcement officers and security personnel. Rep. Tana Senn (D-41) also introduced HB 1630, which restricts weapons in certain locations. (SB 5568, SB 5217, SB 5407, SB 5690, SB 5078, HB 1901, HB 1705 and other gun bills were also introduced this legislative session.)
Virginia: Republican lawmakers have introduced four new bills to expand gun rights in the state. SB 75 would remove the prohibition from carrying firearms or explosive material within state buildings.
HB 292 would remove the requirement that concealed handgun permit applicants demonstrate competence with a handgun by completing an in-person course and adds the option for applicants to demonstrate competence by completing an electronic, video or online course conducted by a state-certified or National Rifle Association-certified firearms instructor.
HB 204 would decrease from five business days to three business days the time provided for the Department of State Police to complete a background check before a firearm may be transferred.
HB 23 would repeal the prohibition on the carrying of dangerous weapons in a place of worship without good and sufficient reason while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place.
HB 827 would require that any firearm received by the locality pursuant to a buy-back program shall be offered for sale by public auction or sealed bids to a person licensed as a dealer.
HB 509 would repeal the procedure by which any attorney for the Commonwealth or law-enforcement officer may apply to a general district court, circuit court, or juvenile and domestic relations district court judge or magistrate for an emergency substantial risk order to prohibit a person who poses a substantial risk of injury to himself or others from purchasing, possessing or transporting a firearm.
New Mexico: Rep. Pamelya Herndon (D-28) introduced legislation, HB 9 (the “Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act”), which would hold parents responsible for a child using their gun to commit a crime. You can view her press conference here.
Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-13) sponsored HB 156, which would make it a crime to possess a magazine that can hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition. Likewise, Rep. Meredith Dixon (D-20) sponsored HB 68, which would increase the penalty for unlawful possession of a handgun.
Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R-32) introduced SB 188, which would require all individuals employed in New Mexico by a film production company that has firearms or firearm ammunition physically located on the premises where filming is taking place to have a valid certificate of competency in the safe handling of firearms pursuant to the Hunter Training Act. The bill is in response to the Rust film tragedy that left Halyna Hutchins, the director of photography, dead.
Michigan: Democratic lawmakers proposed four new bills (SB 550, SB 551, SB 552 and SB 553) that would regulate gun storage at home. Also, Democratic lawmakers intend to reintroduce SB 856, SB 857 and SB 858 (nicknamed the “red flag” bills).
Arizona: A handful of gun-related bills have been introduced by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the Arizona State Legislature. For instance, SB 1123, introduced by Sen. Wendy Rodgers (R-6), would allow certain permit holders to carry guns on college campuses. (Seven other gun bills introduced include HB 2414, HB 2473, HB 2472, HB 2316, HB 2166, SB 1252, HB 2448 and SB 1177.)
Tennessee: Rep. Bruce Griffey (R-75) introduced HB 1769 (“Kyle’s Law”), which requires the state to reimburse a criminal defendant for all reasonable costs incurred in defense if the defendant was charged with a criminal homicide offense and found not guilty due to the justification of self-defense. “[U]nder the law I’m proposing, if someone in TN is placed in the same situation as Kyle Rittenhouse in the future, he/she can at least be financially compensated,” Rep. Griffey stated. “My bill will help deter what happened to Kyle Rittenhouse from happening to someone in Tennessee and will help protect the right of Tennesseans to self-defense.”
Also, Rep. Rusty Grills (R-77) has proposed HB 1898, which would amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 39-17-1351, by deleting the language “handgun” wherever it appears and substituting instead the language “firearm” and by deleting the language “handguns” wherever it appears and substituting instead the language “firearms.” It would allow permit holders to carry other firearms besides a handgun.
Rep. Chris Todd (R-73) has introduced HB 1735, which would lower the age requirement to obtain an enhanced or concealed handgun carry permit from 21 years to 18 years of age.
Iowa: Sen. Zach Nunn (R-15) has introduced Senate File 2002, which would prohibit state and local law enforcement officers from enforcing federal laws, regulations, executive orders and other rules infringing on the right to keep and bear arms. “We want to protect our law enforcement officers on the front line who are serving the community,” Sen. Nunn explained, “not deputize them as agents of a department or agency to go in and infringe upon Iowans’ Second Amendment constitutional rights.”
The Committee on Labor and Business Relations introduced SF 2250, which would prohibit an employer from restricting an employee from carrying, transporting or possessing firearms or ammunition.
Sen. Michael Hough (R-4) sponsored SB 338, which would authorize a person to apply for preliminary approval of a permit to wear, carry or transport a handgun without completing a certified firearms training course.
Utah: Sen. Chris Wilson (R-25) and Rep. Cory Maloy (R-6) have introduced SB 115, which would address the firearm preemption statute in the state and provide more clarity. “We are committed to protecting the Second Amendment rights defined in the U.S. Constitution by our founding fathers,” Sen. Wilson stated. “In recent years, local governments have attempted to exploit loopholes in state law to regulate firearms at conventions, not acting in the best interests of all Utahns.”
Rep. Brian S. King (D-28) sponsored HB 133, which would require criminal history background checks for the transfer of a firearm between persons who are not federal firearms licensees.
Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-33) has introduced SB 1331, which would permit concealed handguns to be carried on college campuses.
Rep. David Hardin (R-86) and two other Republican lawmakers sponsored HB 2984, which would protect law enforcement officers from being penalized if they refuse an order from the federal government to confiscate firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition from gun owners.
“This bill basically will protect law enforcement against being forced to take an illegal order from a chief or a sheriff or municipality or a county or a state agency to violate a citizen’s constitutional rights,” Rep. Hardin stated.
Sen. Lonnie Paxton (R-23) has sponsored SB 1366 in an attempt to amend the current language related to open carry and rifles.
“You are supposed to carry your rifle in a vertical position, so the barrel is pointing up or down and not pointing at people, we do not, right now, have that in statute,” Sen. Paxton stated.
Minnesota: Rep. Steve Sandell (D-53B) has introduced House File 2705 in an attempt to would ban all magazines over 10 rounds, require gun owners to register almost all semiautomatic firearms, turn over or destroy magazines with capacities of 10 rounds and more.
SF 3378 would modify the law regarding concealed carry, ban the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, ghost guns, and other weapons and prohibit open carry.
South Dakota: Gov. Kristi Noem (R) stated that she intends to eliminate taxes and fees associated with concealed carry permits in South Dakota “We also guarantee the right of our people to keep and bear arms,” Noem said. “It will not cost you a penny to exercise your Second Amendment rights in South Dakota.”
New York: Sen. George Borrello (R-57) has introduced S.8026, which would eliminate the “duty to retreat” clause from New York self-defense statutes. “Law-abiding citizens should have the right to defend themselves and their loved ones no matter where they are when they face a violent attack,” Sen. Borrello stated.
Colorado: Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-37) plans to introduce a bill this legislative session to raise the minimum age to purchase assault-style weapons from 18 to 21 years old. Democratic lawmakers also intend to introduce other anti-gun measures, such as a bill to ban open carry at or near polling sites and to eliminate “ghost guns.”
Rep. Ron Hanks (R-60) has proposed HB22-1033, which would grant person who is at least 21 years old and permitted to possess a handgun the same authority to carry a concealed handgun as a person who holds a permit to carry a concealed handgun.
Sponsored by four Democratic lawmakers, HB22-1086 (the “Vote Without Fear Act”) would prohibits a person from openly carrying a firearm within any polling location or central count facility, or within 100 feet of a ballot drop box or any building in which a polling location or central count facility is located, while an election or any related ongoing election administration activity is in progress.
Sen. Ronald D. Kouchi (D-8) introduced SB 3043, which would increase the time a permit to acquire a firearm can be used from 10 days to 30 days.
West Virginia: Eleven Republican sponsored HB 4048 (the “WV Keep, Bear and Drive with Arms Act”), which would clarify that persons may lawfully possess loaded rifles and shotguns in their vehicles unless the totality of the circumstances indicate that those persons are attempting to take wildlife.
Ohio: The House Government Oversight Committee plans to take another look at HB 325, sponsored by Rep. Scott Wiggam (R-1) and a handful of other Republican lawmakers last May, which would ensure the preservation of rights regarding firearms during an emergency. It will also consider SB 215 and HB 455. The former would allow an individual at least 21 years old to carry without a permit.
Kentucky: Republican legislators introduced HB 124, which would ensure postsecondary facilities, local governments and units of state government “cannot prohibit the carrying of concealed deadly weapons.” Also, HB 122 would lower the age requirement for carrying a concealed and deadly weapon from 21 to 18.
Sen. Paul Hornback (R-20) and Sen. McGarvey (D-19) plan to introduce legislation called the “Crisis Aversion and Rights Retention (CCR)” bill, which would temporarily restrict a mentally ill person’s access to his or her firearm.
“[W]e may not always have the current governor that we have, and even the current governor felt it was necessary to call out whether a firearms business is an essential business or not,” said Sen. Lakey. “When somebody is making an order of a disaster emergency and they’re determining which businesses are essential and which are not, this [the bill] clarifies that those are essential.”
Connecticut: Governor Ned Lamont (D) announced that he plans to support a package of legislative proposals to end gun violence in Connecticut. These bills will attempt to close certain “loopholes” in certain gun safety laws.