The rise of Constitutional carry? April 12, 11:51 AM · Kurt Hofmann - St. Louis Gun Rights Examiner Does Thune amendment treat a right like a privilege? 'Gun Laws' author says it's time to push 'freedom to carry' The campaign to discredit defensive handgun carry 'Licensed' defensive handgun carry: Are we doing it wrong? Arizona now joins the ranks of Vermont and Alaska. Tucson Gun Rights Examiner Chris Woodard informed us last Thursday of the happy news that Arizona will (absent a surprise veto from Governor Jan Brewer) become the third state to recognize Constitutional carry. At present, only two states, Alaska and Vermont, recognize the right to carry a concealed firearm without first having received a government issued permission slip. The likelihood of Governor Brewer vetoing the bill is considrered rather small--she has been a reliable supporter of gun rights in the past. Brewer spokesman Paul Senseman said she has not made a final decision on whether she will sign the bill. "But she has a long track record of strong, vigorous support of the Second Amendment," he said. The bill goes to her desk today, and the Arizona state constitution does not give her a great deal of time to decide whether or not to veto--if she has not acted on it by Saturday, April 17th, it becomes law. Such legislation as this needs to be the eventual goal of every pro-carry movement, in every state. As I said back in January: As gun rights advocates, we argue that the Second Amendment exists to protect an inalienable right--one, indeed, that shall not be infringed. At the same time, though, we have endeavored to persuade the states (successfully, in the vast majority of states) to allow us to ask for (and pay for) a license to carry with us the means to defend our lives and our families. Our "success," in other words, has taken the form of reducing the bearing of arms from a fundamental right, to a privilege. In asking for that privilege, we have lent implicit legitimacy to the denial of that which we should demand as free citizens. I am not disparaging movements, like that in Illinois, to bring about licensed defensive handgun carry. Illinois is a long way from approving Constitutional carry, and those who wish to be "law abiding gun owners," without sacrificing the means of effective self-defense, need some option. The far more progressive goal of Constitutional carry can be the intended final product, to be built on the very modest foundation of licensed carry. Missouri, on the other hand, has less distance to cover to reach the goal of Constitutional carry. That needs to become a major priority next year. As long as we treat the right to keep and bear arms as a government-issued privilege, rather than a Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual, we have little room to complain about the government doing the same.