Anti-gun zealots love top-down approaches. After all, lobby the right congressmen and women, get a law passed, and it has ramifications throughout the nation. Working at the state level is harder because it requires doing the same thing, but doing it 50 times. As the meme says, ain’t nobody got time for that!
But what they don’t like is when groups like GOA and the NRA take that same top-down approach.
At the San Diego Union-Tribue, the editorial board has suddenly discovered federalism and are trying to hit GOP lawmakers with the hypocrisy claim.
With 213 co-sponsors — including Reps. Darrell Issa of Vista, Duncan Hunter of Alpine and 208 other Republican lawmakers — the House is sure to pass a bill that won committee approval Wednesday that would let people permitted by one state carry a concealed gun in any other. The bill’s original sponsor — Rep. Richard Hudson, R-North Carolina — calls it crucial to protect the Second Amendment.
But the bill has the potential to create chaos in states like California with strict concealed-carry laws — and shows House Republicans’ hypocrisy on the question of states’ rights. Contrary to Hudson’s implication, none of the state laws his bill would supersede violate the Second Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court has laid out quite clearly the ways states can regulate guns for lawful users.
When it comes to the federal government’s role, Republicans in state capitals have for decades pushed back at federal dictates, most recently on Obamacare and water rights. Yet when it comes to constitutional state laws on guns, this principle evaporates. That it’s happening so soon after two of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history makes it all the more unfathomable. Here’s hoping Senate Republicans have fewer hypocrites — and more members willing to tell the National Rifle Association no.
Yes, a case could be made that a national reciprocity bill would impede state’s rights, enshrined in the Tenth Amendment oh-so-long ago.
It’s also a bogus argument.
As Hot Air‘s Ed Morrissey noted some time back, the Full Faith and Credit Clause also applies here. Just like my marriage license is recognized not just in Georgia where we were wed, but also in Alaska, New York, and California, and just like my driver’s license is recognized in all 50 states, so too should my concealed carry license.
While the Tenth Amendment should matter on any number of things, Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution wasn’t eliminated simply because the Tenth Amendment was passed. The amendment clearly states that anything not covered by the Constitution went to the states unless the document also blocked the states from doing it too.
The Full Faith and Credit Clause also doesn’t specifically exempt state gun laws either.
While Full Faith and Credit Clause may not be the justification given for HR 38, it doesn’t negate the fact that the bill does more to restore Full Faith and Credit than anything else Congress has proposed long, long ago.
Many lawmakers understand this, which is why they’re siding with the bill. Well, besides the fact that it also eliminates the ridiculous burden on people to navigate draconian laws in order to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, that is.
So a group of liberal newspaper editors may have discovered federalism at last–don’t expect it to last, by the way–but they only do so to hammer pro-gun politicians with it. Too bad they don’t really understand the Constitution so they can grok how wrong they really are.