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Legislating Against Non-Problems

My example of Colorado earlier really has me steamed, not so much because it presents an intractable barrier to reciprocity with Colorado.  Indeed, I plan to talk to Tom Corbett, our state Attorney General, about approaching Colorado with a reciprocity agreement with Pennsylvania.  What has me steamed is it’s an example, which happens in areas other than guns, but happens especially with guns, of legislating to solve a non-problem in a way that wouldn’t help even if the problem existed.

What can be the public safety rationale in banning non-resident licenses?  If the goal was to keep Colorado residents from seeking out of state licenses in lieu of having to obtain a license from Colorado, that could have been easily accomplished without cutting into the reciprocity law as much as lawmakers have chosen to do here.

The application process for a Florida license, is identical whether or not you’re a resident of that state.  You must go through training, you must submit fingerprints, and you must have a clean criminal record.  When carrying in Colorado, persons in possession of a license, whether in state or out of state, are bound to follow Colorado law.  So what problem is this an attempt to solve?  I can see the rationale in preventing Colorado residents from using foreign permits, even if I think the legislature is trying to solve a non-problem here.  But why cut that deep into reciprocity?

I don’t think they could come up with a good explanation for this.  I doubt they could provide any serious evidence that there is an actual problem.  What happened is, Democrats were elected, and wanted to pass something against concealed carry.   Knowing full well a repeal of right-to-carry would probably piss off too many people, they went with this option.  People outside of Colorado can’t vote after all, and they can all feel good that they “strengthened Colorado’s weak guns laws”.   The symbolism of guns has always been more important than the actual hunk of metal itself, especially to the political left.

When laws like this are passed without any compelling reason or rationale, other than to strike a blow against a frowned upon liberty, it’s polarizing.  It justifies saying no to everything, no matter how innocuous or trivial, and no matter how great the public interest.

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