In 2014, Guam passed a shall issue concealed carry bill to reform the existing “may issue” law. The chief proponent of the bill was Senator Anthony Ada. Senator Ada said that one of the reasons he pushed for the passage of the reform was the Peruta case in the Ninth Circuit. Guam falls under the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit.
In 2014, concealed carry license rose from about 100 to 700. In 2015, 800 more licenses were added. While not precise, firearms registrations indicate that about ten percent of the population are firearms owners.
Almost 600 concealed firearms licenses were issued in Guam in 2014 — a dramatic jump from previous years, when the numbers hovered around 100, according to Guam Police Department data. In 2015, more than 800 licenses were issued.
Sen. Tony Ada attributes the dramatic jump to a bill he authored in 2014, which became law that year.
“P.L. 32-150 was enacted in May of 2014,” Ada said. “It makes sense that any jump in the number of concealed (firearms licenses) issued thereafter beyond the previous norm can be attributed to the law’s enactment.”
According to Ada, the law eliminated subjectivity in the language from “GPD may issue” to “GPD shall issue” a concealed firearms license if applicants meet requirements stated in the law. He said changing the language was important to get Guam back in compliance with the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution, which grants the right to keep and bear arms.
There have not been any adverse consequences to the new law. More than one percent of the inhabitants of Guam now have a concealed carry permit. In 2016, Senator Ada introduced a reform into Guamanian firearms law, changing the requirement that a person be a citizen of the United States, to the requirement that they be a legal resident. This reform removes an unconstitutional aspect of the previous law. The reform, bill 236-33, passed the Senate and was signed into law by the Governor.
The legislative attitude on Guam is much friendlier to Second Amendment restoration than on the neighboring Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). In the CNMI, the legislature and local elites are fighting the establishment of Second Amendment rights at every opportunity.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.