A Mississippi resident who receives a concealed carry permit and takes an eight hour course can now carry a gun on college campuses, in bars and in courthouses. As of this summer, Wyoming residents need no permits for concealed weapons. And in Indiana, private businesses must allow employees to keep firearms in their vehicles on company property. Those and other recent changes on the state level represent a growing shift toward loosening state gun regulations, according to University of Chicago professor Jens Ludwig. "When you look across the states, they are definitely moving in the direction of allowing concealed weapons in more locations," Ludwig says. Supporters of the trend see it as a boost for gun rights. The National Rifle Association tracks the legislation online and has praised the new state laws.

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