States Can Deny Carry Rights of Non-Residents, Says Legal Scholar

The debate is heating up around a concealed carry case currently before the Supreme Court.

Can a state deny residents of other states the right to carry concealed firearms within its borders?

According to one legal scholar, the answer is yes.

Arnold Loewy is the George Killam Professor of Law at Texas Tech School of Law, and he argued in an op-ed published over the weekend in Lubbock Online that Illinois has every right to prohibit residents from other states from carrying concealed.

“In recent years, perhaps in part due to judicial expansion of the Second Amendment, the number of horrific mass murders has risen exponentially,” he says. “Illinois attempted to do just that with the statute we are debating.”

The debate has been heating up in recent weeks in response to several gun rights cases in the petition docket at the U.S. Supreme Court. In Culp v. Raoul, petitioners are asking the court to decide whether Illinois has the right to deny permits to non-residents, and some observers thought the court might announce today their intention to grant this or another gun case. So far no decision has been reached, but the court is scheduled to conference again this Thursday to vote on which new cases to take.

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Only residents of Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Virginia who already possess concealed carry licenses may apply for the same kind of license in Illinois. Residents of all other 45 states are prohibited from even attempting to secure a license.

The reason, Loewy explains, is that Illinois officials want to protect their ability to monitor for criminal history and mental illness. They have determined that only four states have licensing schemes sufficient to uphold their standards.

“It is true that a duly licensed resident of Oklahoma may not be able to obtain a concealed carry license even if he is totally sane and lacking any criminal record,” Loewy says. “And why is that? It is because such an individual may at some point commit a serious violent crime or become mentally incapacitated and Illinois would have no way of knowing that because apparently Oklahoma’s monitoring system does not meet Illinois’ standard.”

Loewy points out that Illinois allows residents of other states to carry a firearm in their car or in a home with the permission of a homeowner.

“It is reasonable to ensure the safety of the entire populace that a person from a state with less stringent registration laws than Illinois, not be permitted to carry a concealed weapon therein. Given the concessions made to non-residents of allowing guns to be kept in cars and private homes, I think the legislation is reasonable and should be sustained,” he concludes.

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In contrast to Loewy, attorney Charles Moster argued in the same op-ed that Illinois’ scheme is unconstitutional. It restricts Second Amendment rights, Moster points out, and it introduces a troubling precedent for other restrictions.

“Such rationale opens a constitutional Pandora’s Box which would allow identical actions by other states,” he says. “In such situation, any restriction would be fair game. The resultant slippery slope is a fast track to the ultimate confiscation of guns, which historically paves the way to authoritarian control and the end of democracy.”

Moster also cited an amicus brief filed in Culp v. Raoul by eighteen states attorneys general.

“The right to concealed carry is denied, in a discriminatory and arbitrary manner, to the law-abiding and qualified persons in 45 states, who are prohibited from even applying for an Illinois concealed carry license (“CCL”) regardless of their qualifications,” the brife states. “Therefore, the Illinois prohibition on virtually all non-residents obtaining a concealed carry license for self-defense violates the Petitioner’s rights under the Second Amendment.”

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Scott W Syverson May 23, 2020, 11:11 am

    The arguments presented by Arnold Loewy are deflective, not reflective. They are meant to confuse the greater issue. If the 2A holds that we are allowed to “keep and bear arms” then how so are you to bear arms when on the move from state to state if that state does not recognize constitutional carry or open carry. If you cannot carry a gun openly or concealed, then how does one bear an arm at all? Does the 2A only apply to the yard of your residency? Or where you reside for 183 days of the year? Is carrying a long arm in a gun bag going to assuage states that refuse let you carry concealed or open carry. What is the difference between a gun bag and the actual weapon itself? Both are direct indicators of the presence of a weapon. Now examine Loewy’s argument of state’s rights in light of these questions.

  • John May 22, 2020, 2:35 pm

    It still seems that our courts and lawyers/attorneys, who are technically officers of the court, still do not remember that the US Constitution is the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND which most definitely still includes the Second Amendment, period. And while the Constitution is a restriction on federal authority, I’ve read that the 14th amendment was used to pass that same control of authority to all of the several states. Also, remember that the Constitution talks about the People and citizens and nothing about democracy, not one word.

    So, it’s my understanding that nobody short of a Constitutional Convention, for and by the People, may change or alter the 2A. This would imply that no government at any level may pass restrictive gun ownership/possession of firearms, as long as these restrictions abide by the Law of the Land and do not in any way infringe on our protected 2A rights.

    It appears that such things as state-mandated regulations about concealed carry, residency qualifications, guns per month, CCW permit requirements, etc. are required only of those who are not Citizens or one of the People, aka American Sovereigns, and are willing to give their consent to accept such restrictions. The courts seem to pride themselves on their unique ability to know and understand what the Founders were thinking when they wrote, and ratified, the obvious intention of the 2A. Also, what was the definition of the word “infringed” back then? I see no such exceptions as those being offered by the courts or states who wish to diminish our freedoms by fallacious thought and deed in our present times.

    I truly believe the American People have been fed a well-packaged web of lies gradually over generations and often think that the truth is utterly preposterous and it’s speaker a raving lunatic.

  • William Young May 22, 2020, 2:14 pm

    Having lived and operated one of the largest manufacturing operations in the state of Illinois for over 40 years. It was with great pride and justice that in 2010 we decided to move and subsequently terminate some 1600 employees. The “government” of the great state made it too difficult and unprofitable to remain. The cost was high, especially for the employees left behind, but for the others who we hired in the state of Texas it was a God sent welcome. As the Plant manager, I carried a Illinois CC permit, it too took an act of God to acquire and a army of attorneys to get it done!

  • Scott Morris May 22, 2020, 12:36 pm

    I wonder where those of us who fall under the LEOSA HR 218 bill. If qualified under this bill, rights are granted in all 50 states, with some restrictions.

  • Sonny May 22, 2020, 12:10 pm

    Do the tech magazines have to stoop to this too? I get opinions on “an expert” from all the news agencies. Some say that the other’s facts are false rumors. Other say the world is growing, shrinking, turning diamond-shaped, or whatever. Do you NEED every kook you can find so you can say “ONE EXPERT”? I bet you can find one doctor who believes that the Martians have landed. Please spare us from “We found this one guy who…….”

  • Rangemaster11B May 22, 2020, 11:22 am

    Another argument for national CCW reciprocity, or better yet, enforcement of the 2A.

  • AmericanIcon May 22, 2020, 11:06 am

    Article VI, Paragraph 2: “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land”

    Article IV, Section 2: “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.”

    Bill of Rights, Preamble: “The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added…”

    Bill of Rights, Article II: “A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

    Bill of Rights, Article X: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    For those of us not handicapped by a law school ‘education’, the error of Loewy’s reasoning is obvious: The RIGHT to keep and bear arms is protected under the federal Constitution, by ratifying that Constitution the individual States ceded the authority to interfere with that right to the federal government, which in turn was clearly prohibited from abridging it.

    In point of fact, any federal, state or local government arbitrarily restricting that right (except for those confined in penal institutions, and similar limited exceptions) is guilty of denial of rights under color of law, and should be prosecuted

    • JOHN SMITH May 24, 2020, 3:37 am

      the best thing for Oklahoma not honor Illinois driver licenses they make a lot ticket money thanks js

  • joefoam May 22, 2020, 9:21 am

    His statement that mass shootings have ‘risen exponentially is false’, making his whole argument moot.

  • Mark - IN. May 22, 2020, 8:59 am

    I was once a resident of the People’s Republic Of Illinois and will never miss it. OUR U.S. Constitution means nothing and doesn’t apply to them, they and their 600 pound liberal leftist governor argue. ANYONE that intends to live there or move their business there need to have there heads examined. By the way, can you imagine being so morbidly obese that you get up from a chair and a femur in one of your thighs breaks? Incredible. Get up from a chair, put your body weight on your legs and one of the femur bones in one of your thighs…breaks from trying to support your morbid obesity. Do an internet search if you don’t believe me. “Illinois governor breaks leg”.

    • clayton preston May 22, 2020, 10:47 am

      i live in Illinois now. my time is short here and soon i will be moving to a state where people love guns…Kentucky.

    • Rex May 23, 2020, 11:14 am

      Unfortunately, I reside in ILLinois governed by the rotund tyrant Jelly Bean Pigster. We’re only here because of a grandchild whom I haven’t seen in nearly three months. Freer states like Kentucky, Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa are all within driving distance and under consideration for a new abode.

  • Ziggy May 22, 2020, 8:54 am

    At least according to John Lott, permitted concealed carriers are convicted of any crimes at a tiny rate. That rate is less than the rate for police officers and probably less than any other group you might name. Therefore there is no reasonable justification for the Illinois policy. It also means that if a concealed carrier is detained by police (say in a traffic stop or other such situation) it would be more logical for the CCW person to take control of the officer’s firearm “for everyone’s safety” than the other way around.

  • Paul May 22, 2020, 7:39 am

    Why is so hard for liberals to understand, the constitution can not be subjected to a poll to justify violating any of the amendments.If Illinois is concerned about what an FBI background checked (much more stringent) CC individual, MAY do in the future, why not apply that concern to those who have already broke the law and or are deemed mentally unbalanced. Repeat offenders are real rather than a perceive concern for what might happen. It would seem more logical or perhaps constitutional than attempting to monitor what a US citizen may or may not do. Again a US citizen who has underwent a FBI background check to get the CC carry permit from their state. I would suggest the problems Illinois has are home grown and attempting to blame your issues on the procedures of other states, whose systems function at a higher level creates the impression that Illinois is blaming others for their citizenries issues.

    • SD May 22, 2020, 8:16 am

      You said the magic word “logical”. Liberals do not know the meaning of the word

      • Philip May 22, 2020, 2:16 pm

        Though the liberal seems to claim “common sense” toward gun-related legislation.

  • Alan May 22, 2020, 7:38 am

    He must have missed the 2nd Amendment and the part of the the law that requires states to honor other states licences.

  • william Sweeney May 22, 2020, 7:18 am

    All this proves is that you can get a liberal to say anything.

  • Simon G May 22, 2020, 5:29 am

    Clickbait. Prof. Arnold Loewy said he thought it was reasonable and should be sustained, not that it passed Constitutional muster. It doesn’t and shouldn’t. It flies in the face of the Full Faith and Credit clause at a minimum.

  • stupidhooliganzooinpatient May 22, 2020, 5:12 am

    Garbage states

  • Liberty & Freedom May 22, 2020, 4:52 am

    Man’s INALIENABLE RIGHTS don’t end at any fictional border! And anyone who says they do is a true enemy

  • David Hammack May 22, 2020, 4:30 am

    What the “expert” fails to address is that The 14th Amendment guarantees that, “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States” That same amendment prefaces that with this definition of just who it protects, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside”, so NOT just citizens of their States, but any Citizen of any State in the UNITED States. Perhaps this is the “expansion” of which he speaks. In 2010, the SCOTUS restored the original intent of the 14th Amendment, which was gutted by the SCOTUS “Cruikshank Decision” while the 14th Amendment was still in its infancy.

    • David Hammack May 22, 2020, 4:51 am

      This case unwittingly supported the “Black Codes” in the Post-Civil War South. The Second Amendment unequivocally guarantees immunity from infringement of the right to keep and bear arms.

  • KO May 22, 2020, 3:31 am

    My definition of the E in EDC has always been been both Everyday and Everywhere, tempered only by the presence of metal detectors.

  • Paul May 20, 2020, 10:13 am

    I’m quite surprised that felon football players and rappers are not on the acceptable list????

  • Will Drider May 20, 2020, 2:11 am

    Right from the start a major ERROR: Thas never, not in any Court at any Level within the United States tha has “judicially expanded the Second Amendment”! The Courts only confirm what exists or in bad decisions apply Restrictions to what had existed previously which violates the caveat “shall no be infringed”.

    There was no need to read further.

  • Mike V May 19, 2020, 7:58 pm

    I stopped reading his expert advice when he dropped this chestnut…

    “In recent years, perhaps in part due to judicial expansion of the Second Amendment, the number of horrific mass murders has risen exponentially,”

    • william Sweeney May 22, 2020, 7:20 am

      I stopped before that, LMFAO!

    • Charles Dusha May 22, 2020, 7:46 am

      How could you have “Judicial Expansion” of an already all encompassing right? What we have had is a legislative and judiciary limiting of that right.

      • DaveGinOly May 22, 2020, 11:44 am

        We had a “judicial restatement” or “clarification,” for those who have forgotten what the 2nd Amendment actually says and means. There have been, as you say, restrictions on the right, necessitating the corrective judicial action.

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