Thursday, April 13, 2017 – Joe Randomguy
New legislation is moving through the United States Congress that would allow for nationwide reciprocity for concealed carry permits. This means that, if you have a permit in your home state, federal law would make sure that the permit is honored in every other state of the Union. Individual state gun laws would still be respected, but your permit would be valid as you move from state to state.
The current bill comes to us in the form of U.S. Senate Bill 446, The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 and is sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R) Texas. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action has even signed on in support of this bill, “The current patchwork of state and local gun laws is confusing and can cause the most conscientious and law-abiding gun owner to run afoul of the law when they are traveling or temporarily living away from home,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA. “Senator Cornyn’s legislation provides a much needed solution to a real problem for law-abiding gun owners.” Cox went on to say, “Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines”. Most gun owners will agree with Cox on this, but, in the end this legislation is flawed and poses potentially significant risks to the rights enumerated by the 2nd Amendment.
Of primary concern is the fact that the legislation still requires gun owners to purchase a permit from their home jurisdiction in order to exercise an inherent right that is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America, “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”. This issue is fairly clear and easily managed, but a second more ominous problem arises with implementation of the bill should it pass. As always the devil is in the details.
Once the legislation passes and people are free to move about the country, how will local law enforcement officers determine the legitimacy of permits they may encounter? This will become a “public safety issue”. Well not really, but anti-gun groups and law enforcement executives who prefer an unarmed citizenry will claim it to be. This will necessitate an interstate compact between agencies issuing permits so that a simple computer check will let officers know your Alabama permit is valid when you are in Idaho or any other state. This will take money to create and maintain. Suddenly we have a nationwide database of permit holders complete with any information provided to the issuing agency.
Law Enforcement Agencies will seek federal funds to aid in the purchase of software, equipment and personnel. It will become clear that the task of maintaining this network of databases for 3007 counties, 64 parishes, 19 organized boroughs, 11 census areas, 41 independent cities and the District of Columbia needs a federal overseer to make sure that information is readily available. This will eventually lead to a call for a national concealed carry permit and with that we will be pretty close to a national gun registry.
To many this will appear to be conspiratorial or tilting at windmills, but the path is clear and the threat to our right is quite real.
There is a solution, a very simple solution. That solution is Constitutional Carry. Simply allow law abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense anywhere at any time without requiring a monetary tribute to a local sheriff.