In the Carolinas, guns are allowed in bars. In Arkansas, you can take a gun into some churches and religious schools. In Indiana, you can keep a gun in your car on school property. In West Virginia, residents with concealed-carry permits can bring firearms into public recreation facilities such as tennis courts and swimming pools. Since the massacre in Newtown, 18 states have passed laws allowing guns in more places—but in only four states can you bring a gun into state legislative chambers.
“They did it everywhere but where they are,” Danny Jones, the Republican mayor of Charleston, W.Va., said of his state legislators. “The road to power is paved with hypocrisy. That’s what’s going on here.”
Why the disparity? Some of the laws are aimed at preventing towns and cities from enacting their own gun-control measures. Steve Hickey, a Republican state legislator in South Dakota who owns 17 guns, believes more guns make people safer. He sponsored a bill that allows some teachers to carry guns in schools, but opposed one that would allow them into the statehouse.