Republican Rep. Richard Hudson (N.C.) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would require states to recognize each other’s gun carry permits.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 would address the patchwork nature of the country’s gun carry laws. Currently, each state decides which other states’ gun carry permits it will recognize. Some states recognize all other states’ permits, other states recognize no other states’ permits, and many fall somewhere in between. Gun rights advocates have long decried the web of local laws as confusing and unfair–one in which a wrong turn or missed exit could end in an otherwise law abiding gun owner unintentionally committing a felony.
“Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that,” Hudson said in a statement. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense solution to a problem too many Americans face. It will provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits.”
Sources within the major gun rights organizations have consistently said that a national reciprocity law is among their top priorities, along with a pro-gun Supreme Court pick and reform, for the upcoming congress. Now, after announcing the bill had been drawn up before the new year, Hudson has introduced his take on the proposal.
I think that the odds of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (PDF) passing both houses of Congress with minimal changes/amendments and being signed into law by President Trump by this summer are fairly high.
And yet, I’m of very mixed feelings about it.
While I’d be thrilled that I’d no longer be disarmed and treated like a second class citizen when I visit my friends in the Northeast (other than needing to acquire some “NY legal” downloaded magazines, and another few boxes of Federal Guard Dog 9mm to get around New Jersey’s ignorant ban on hollowpoint ammunition), I frankly am opposed to federal gun laws.
All of them.
I don’t want more federal gun laws, but instead want the federal gun laws that exist (the National Firearms Act of 1934, Gun Control Act of 1968, etc) repealed or declared unconstitutional.
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.
Based upon my plain reading of the Second Amendment, in the broader context of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution as written and accepted in the early 1790s, along with the broadsheets, letters, and other collected historical documents of the Founding Fathers, it is very clear that they meant that the federal government had no roll at all when it came to determining the arms and ordnance owned by the American people.
In their time, citizens owned unreservedly owned muskets, handguns, fast-firing rifles with 20-round detachable magazines (the Girandoni pictured below, one of which was owned by Thomas Jefferson), mortars, cannon, howitzers, rockets, pivot guns, early auto-cannon, and private warships capable of carrying all of these weapons and flattening coastal cities if they so desired.
And they wanted it that way.
Let me say that again: It is beyond the scope of the federal government to pass any gun laws, of any kind. The Founders never even considered it.
Federal gun laws are a botched and blatantly unconstitutional 20th century statist concept that should be crushed in the 21st century by either reform-minded legislators or the U.S. Supreme Court.
If laws restricting firearm ownership are valid anywhere, it would belong at the state level, as state constitutions allow it. This would necessarily mean an uneven patchwork of laws, which is both frustrating and infuriating, but is “least worse” and most constitutionally-correct option.
We need to get away from this beggar’s concept that we ask permission from the federal government. We, the People, are the power. Our Constitution and its Amendments are written to constrain the government, not the people.
It’s time we start repealing federal laws and shrinking government and take back our core human right to bear arms for our self-defense.
In my opinion, the only federal gun laws that we should be passing are those that dismantle the existing federal gun laws that trample our core liberties.
I’ll freely admit that I’ll take advantage of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 when it becomes law, but it will be a bittersweet moment, as it is one more unconstitutional federal gun law that I don’t believe the Founders wanted to exist.