Gun Rights Gain in the States

March 24, 2003
Gov. Bill Owens (R.) signed a "shall-issue" law setting uniform state standards for concealed gun permits, and another bill to pre-empt local gun laws, preventing municipalities from imposing rules on gun owners that are stricter than state law.

May 1, 2003
A state appeals court ruled that local officials in the town of Ferndale can’t impose additional restrictions on the carrying of guns beyond those already in state law.

April 28, 2003
Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R.) signed a "shall-issue" law, requiring local authorities to issue concealed carry permits to any qualified applicant.

May 5, 2003
By large majorities, both houses of the state legislature passed a "shall-issue" law. Democratic Gov. Bob Holden (D.) has promised a veto, but it most likely will be over-ridden.

New Mexico
April 8, 2003
Gov. Bill Richardson (D.) signed a "shall-issue" bill for concealed carry permits.

North Carolina
March 19, 2003
The state Senate, by a vote of 46-3, approved a bill recognizing as valid concealed carry permits from other states.

March 12, 2003
The state House, by a 69-28 vote, passed a "shall-issue" bill allowing law-abiding citizens who take a training course to obtain a concealed handgun permit for personal protection. The Senate is poised to do the same, but legislators are watching the state supreme court, which may strike down the state’s longtime ban on carrying concealed weapons-perhaps making the new law unnecessary.

April 10, 2003
Gov. Mark Warner (D.) signed a bill pre-empting local gun laws, making it easier for residents to carry concealed firearms.

West Virginia
March 28, 2003
Gov. Bob Wise (D.) signed a bill blocking cities and municipalities from filing suits against the lawful firearms industry for crimes committed with guns.