Amending such policies to include items like good cause requirements wouldn't violate the Second Amendment's protections, since the court's rulings limit the amendment's protections and establish standards that firearms must meet to be protected and exempt from regulatory oversight. Some might argue here that District's limitations apply only to the federal government, but a subsequent ruling in McDonald v. Chicago uses the 14th Amendment to apply District's decision to the states as well.
I Can Take My Rifle Where?
While the compulsory aspect of shall-issue provisions are troubling, a weapons permit is only as good as what types of weapons the state allows and where it allows a permit holder to carry them. States like Hawaii, Illinois and New Jersey pursue stringent regulations on firearms, but they're largely in the minority, with most states employing very relaxed (if any) controls. Here are a few common themes among states:
- Most do not require a state-issued weapons permit to actually purchase a firearm
Only four states require a permit to purchase a long-barrel shotgun or rifle. 14 states require a weapons permit to purchase handguns.
- Often, states do not require the owner to register the firearm(s) that they purchase
The District of Columbia and Hawaii require long gun owners to register their firearms. Those two, alongside California, Maryland, Michigan, New York, and Washington state mandate registration for handguns
- There are states that don't require a license to own a firearm
Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts and D.C. require a license to own long guns. Hawaii and Massachusetts are joined by New York with required licensing to own handguns.
- Some states allow firearms to be carried in the open, loaded with ammunition, even in federally prohibited areas
Twenty four states allow long barrel rifles and shotguns to be carried in the open. Of these 24, sixteen allow this without a license of any kind. Thirty five states allow handguns to be carried openly, and of those 35, eleven permit open carry of handguns without a permit. In light of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown CT, there are several counties where the school board permits teachers or staff with weapons permits to keep their weapons on school grounds.
- There are few bans on assault versions of permitted firearms
Outside of any federal statute, the states can adopt and enact restrictions on assault weapons. At present only eight states have enacted restrictions of some kind on assault rifles and assault-type shotguns and ten have regulations on assault-style handguns
- Many states do not offer further restrictions, or honor the federal government restrictions of firearms under the National Firearms Act (NFA)
Nineteen of 50 states follow the government's regulatory ban on NFA-restricted long barrel firearms and the same number commit to the NFA prohibitions on handguns.