The 5-4 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges was celebrated loudly as a victory for supporters of gay “marriage” Friday, and yet, the way the case was decided, using a new interpretation of the 14th Amendment’s due process clause, may have opened the floodgates for gun rights reform.
I argued Friday morning that the Obergefell decision validated concealed carry reciprocity nationwide.
By using the Constitution in such a manner, the Court argues that the Due Process Clause extends “certain personal choices central to individual dignity and autonomy” accepted in a majority of states across the state lines of a handful of states that still banned the practice.
The vast majority of states are “shall issue” on the matter of issuing concealed carry permits, and enjoy reciprocity with a large number of other states.
My North Carolina concealed carry permit, for example, was recognized yesterday as being valid in 36 states, which just so happened to be the number of states in which gay marriage was legal yesterday. But 14 states did not recognize my concealed carry permit yesterday.
Today they must.
Using the same “due process clause” argument as the Supreme Court just applied to gay marriage, my concealed carry permit must now be recognized as valid in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
What I didn’t know at the time is that a more expansive argument had already made by Marc Greendorfer in an amicus brief attached to the Obergefell case.
In retrospect, it seems short-sighted to believe that the majority decision by the five justice majority in Obergefell would only apply to something as narrow as one kind of state or local gun law.
As Greendorfer argues, if there is any intellectual and logical consistency in the Supreme Court’s arguments at all, the “due process” argument must be applied as equally to state and local gun laws, sweeping them aside entirely, and reaffirming the clear command in the Second Amendment that, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
All, state and local on concealed and open carry would seem to be invalidated, and citizens should be allowed to carry firearms, either openly or concealed, anywhere they want to go.
Dare the Court dare claim that the 14th Amendment’s due process clause only applies in specific and narrow instances?
[Rainbow Gadsden flag image via Pintrest, possibly originating from the work of Benjamin Sapiens at the Washington Blade]