Republicans argued that they are trying to protect Second Amendment rights and that allowing law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed weapon without a permit would increase public safety because people could more easily defend themselves. Republican Sen. Tim Neville, the sponsor of the legislation, said people sometimes have to wait months before being able to get a concealed-carry permit.
"I think one of the key concerns that we have on the Second Amendment side is the actual ability of people to protect themselves. That's what this legislation is all about," he said.
Four states — Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming — have passed legislation allowing concealed carry without a permit.
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