search
top

Contradiction?

GOA is getting behind national concealed carry:

The Vitter bill treats concealed carry permits much the same as drivers’ licenses, where one state’s license is recognized in all other states.

In addressing the matter of reciprocity, the first concern of GOA and Sen. Vitter is that it be done constitutionally and that it respects states’ rights.

Unlike another senate reciprocity measure, S. 388, Vitter’s bill does not establish “national standards” for concealed carry. It simply says that states that allow concealed carry must recognize the CCW permits of other states.

State driver’s licenses are recognized by other states through reciprocity, in a similar manner to concealed carry licenses, and through a series of compacts between the states meant to govern drivers licensing.  The federal government has nothing to do with it.

I’ve said before, the only constitutional way I believe the federal government can force national concealed carry is to use its powers under the 14th amendment.  Most bills I’ve seen so far rely on the herpes theory of the commerce clause, meaning since the gun once moved in interstate commerce, the federal government can forever regulate anything having to do with that product, even if the activity in question is wholly intrastate.  While I’d love to see national concealed carry reciprocity, I don’t want to see it at the expense of furthering this deranged view of the commerce power.

UPDATE: Is it wrong of me to point out the irony of a “no compromise” gun group getting behind a bill that’s absolutely a compromise?   I mean, if we have a second amendment right to carry a gun in any manner we please without asking for government permission, then supporting a bill that would allow the licensing system to stand, and allow Illinois and Wisconsin to continue to violate our rights would be a compromise, wouldn’t it?

I eagerly await an explanation from Larry Pratt about how this incrementalist approach is anything other than a sell out.

22 Responses to “Contradiction?”

  1. chris says:

    why is everyone ok with so called ‘states rights’ on an issue that is federal… the federal government needs to reverse the court decision that calls CCW a states rights issue and mandate federal, nationwide CCW… after all the 2nd amendment is a federal law, and any laws that restrict it by the states should be invalid…

  2. Sebastian says:

    States don’t have rights. They have powers. Only people have rights. The federal government can’t mandate CCW, because they have no powers to do so under the constitution.

    If the states are not permitted to regulate concealed carry because of the second amendment, then Congress can legislate Vermont style carry using the 14th amendment. But it can’t just unilaterally impose reciprocity. Either it’s a right, in which case the states may not license it, or it’s not a right, in which case it’s outside the purview of the federal government.

  3. chris says:

    ive got no problem with the federal government mandating nationwide Vermont style carry… i mean isnt that what the 2nd amendment spells out?

  4. Sebastian says:

    I think they have the power under the constitution to do that. I obviously wouldn’t complain if they did.

  5. Sebastian says:

    That said, you can bet they will never do it. Alaska is the only state we’ve been able to get Vermont style carry passed in. Even New Hampshire and Wyoming didn’t want to pass it. Congress would never got that far out ahead of the states.

  6. Jim W says:

    I regret ever sending GOA any money. Lately they have become the most worthless pro-gun group in existence.

  7. Sailorcurt says:

    I’ve said before, the only constitutional way I believe the federal government can force national concealed carry is to use its powers under the 14th amendment.

  8. Sailorcurt says:

    Sorry, I don’t know how that happened but it posted before I was done editing. In reference to the above quote from the post:

    I disagree completely. US Constitution, Article IV, Section 1:

    “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records and judicial Proceedings of every other State; And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effects thereof.” [emphasis added]

    Concealed handgun permits are a “Record” and/or “Proceeding” and congress has explicit power spelled out in the above Section to pass laws to determine that a CHP “proves” qualification and define “the Effects thereof.”

  9. Sebastian says:

    Full Faith and Credit doesn’t apply to licensing. If it did, there’d be no way to license doctors, lawyers, or other professions in a single state. It mostly applies to judicial rulings.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Full_Faith_and_Credit_Clause

  10. ParatrooperJJ says:

    Well let’s look at GA, where CCW permits are issed by probate courts. It seems to me that that is a judicial record?

  11. Gunmetal says:

    We have to be careful about letting the fe(de)ral nose into the CCW tent. We may get the rest of the animal once that happens, and it won’t smell too good.

    Frankly I would prefer to keep the federal laws completely ignorant of CCW, or we will inevitably end up with federal licensing standards (regardless of what is claimed at the time of a bill’s introduction), and we know where that will lead us.

  12. What I’d like to see is the 14th Amendment’s Privileges and Immunities Clause revived. By its plain language it should protect our RKBA across state lines. Unfortunately, SCOTUS rendered it largely moot in the Slaughterhouse Cases, a decision which deserves to be consigned to the ash heap of bad judicial decisions.

  13. RobertG Arizona says:

    The whole concept of the states issuing CCWs bothers me, although I do have one. Yes, the Vermont model is best. The idea of the state allows us to carry-open or concealed-bothers me. It is a Right and not a privilege. That said anything that gets more people to carry, to get familiar with guns and self defense and fellow gun owners serves a purpose; we breakdown the anti-gun phobia out there, hopefully.

    We do know there are many hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people out there who would carry if they could. We need to reach them too. If the Vitter Amendment is a good idea I am not sure but I do trust Senator Vitter and hope he is right.

  14. Sebastian says:

    I don’t really agree with the licensing system either. If you can own a gun, you should be able to carry one without asking for permission. But getting that to be the recognized standard would be an uphill fight. I think the courts are likely to balk at a right to carry concealed. Ideally, they’d recognize a right to carry openly, but I’m skeptical they would even be willing to take it that far.

  15. RobertG Arizona says:

    That is all too true. As we have been losing Rights on an incremental bases we will probably have to take them back that way. Even if we get a favorable ruling on Heller it won’t be all we want. I have become an almost single issue voter. If a candidate is not strong on the RKBA he does not get my money and probably not my vote–there are terrible exceptions. I have used GOA ratings to send money to Congressional candidates trying to unseat a Panicky Person. It worked in getting Tim Walberg to knock off a RINO in the primary and win the seat.

    And I THINK that is what we have to do. Just work like hell in defeating gungrabbers, educating our neighbors about guns even if that means being polite to a Panicky Person from time to time. I really don’t see where we can get a lot of help from the courts anytime soon. Support pro RKBA candidates and some day we MIGHT get help from the courts. We will win some and lose some. But we need to always work and fight. And hopefully someday registrations, waiting periods and licenses will be history. That is my goal.
    National Security, privacy and the economy mean nothing if we lose. So I don’t plan to.

  16. Sailorcurt says:

    Full Faith and Credit doesn’t apply to licensing. If it did, there’d be no way to license doctors, lawyers, or other professions in a single state. It mostly applies to judicial rulings.

    You may be right, I really wasn’t looking at it from that point of view.
    As I’ve stated many times, I’m no lawyer. I’m not familiar with case law or anything like that, I just read the words. I would say that the article could easily be interpreted to mean that the federal government could regulate interstate licensing.

    The way I read it is that, should the fed pass a law stipulating that, say, a teaching license in a particular state is valid in any other state, that would be perfectly acceptable under the “full faith and credit” clause. As far as I know, the only reason that it isn’t true, is because no such federal law has ever been passed.

    I could be wrong and there may be some case law that says the full faith and credit clause doesn’t actually mean what it says…just like the Kelo decision stipulates that the eminent domain clause doesn’t mean what it says.

    But I’d be willing to bet that if, say, Montana suddenly decided that they weren’t going to recognize the driver’s licenses of any other state, it wouldn’t take long for the old “full faith and credit clause” to get dusted off and looked over again.

  17. Sebastian says:

    I’m actually not sure whether Congress has any legislative powers under that clause. I’m not a lawyer either, so I can’t say for sure. But I think this is one of those cases where the courts are pretty much the arbiters of the clause.

    The thing that keeps states from revoking their reciprocal licensing is all the problems it would cause for interstate compacts, and the problem of other states retaliating.

    Interesting also is that the states aren’t allowed to enter into compacts without consent of Congress. There was some talk about going after the Tobacco settlement using the novel legal theory that it was a compact between the states, not having any consent of Congress. IIRC, the way that typically works is if Congress doesn’t do anything about a particular compact, the states get implied consent. Oddly enough, judges are appointed with “advice and consent” of the senate, but that’s interpreted as requiring a vote on confirmation.

  18. Sailorcurt says:

    I’m actually not sure whether Congress has any legislative powers under that clause. I’m not a lawyer either, so I can’t say for sure. But I think this is one of those cases where the courts are pretty much the arbiters of the clause.

    The clause itself clearly says that congress has a legislative role in that respect. That’s the part that I bolded when I quoted it.

    The courts may have usurped that role, but I have no idea what precedent or case law exists and I just don’t have time to research it. My only point was that it’s not a slam dunk that legislating inter-state recognition of CHLs is unconstitutional. A plain reading of the clause implies that it would be perfectly acceptable for Congress to pass a “general law prescribing the manner” in which a CHL would be considered to “prove the proceeding and record” and “the effects thereof.”

    Besides which, they could always fall back on the old standby, the interstate commerce clause. Legal precedent has already established that congress is pretty much free to regulate every aspect of anything that has ever been transported in interstate commerce…and even those things that haven’t as long as interstate commerce in the items exists that could conceivably be affected.

    Or they could use the “carrot and stick” approach that they used to get the 55mph speed limit and seatbelt laws…withhold federal funds for any state that refuses to recognize other states’ CHLs.

    There are any number of approaches that could be taken. Technically unconstitutional all, but already established practice. Unintended consequences and all that…

  19. Saladman says:

    ‘Is it wrong of me to point out the irony of a “no compromise” gun group getting behind a bill that’s absolutely a compromise? … I eagerly await an explanation from Larry Pratt about how this incrementalist approach is anything other than a sell out.’

    I believe this misstates the concern of many supporters of GOA, including myself, which is that NRA leadership (of which I am also a member) has on several occasions made unnecessary compromises of 2A rights on new legislation in order to be involved in the process or try to forestall even worse legislation. This is a different kind of compromise than a positive but partial, incremental move back towards free exercise of 2A rights.

    Its a truism among gun owners that the gun-control movement has repeatedly taken whatever they could get, waited an election cycle or a full generation, and used that earlier compromise as a starting point for new negotiations. This is seen, correctly, as a reason to resist new gun control measures. An equally important corollary is that it will become necessary to actually retake ground, repeal existing gun control laws and expand the exercise of the right. Otherwise existing laws will always be available as a starting point for new demands by controllers. And it also appears that adopting the gun-controllers broad strategy of picking fights we can win, consolidating and repeating is useful to us. Strengthening the numbers of people involved in the shooting culture is useful to us.

    So unless you’re demanding that any gun-rights group that ever uses the phrase “no compromise” only works for immediate, simultaneous repeal of all gun-control laws and a return to pre-1934 rights, then yes, I do think you’re wrong about the irony.

    I am much more willing to think about the constitutional issue you raise, in fact I want to give that some more thought before I make up my mind on it, but I thought the “no compromise” point was a little willfully blind.

  20. Sebastian says:

    The clause itself clearly says that congress has a legislative role in that respect. That’s the part that I bolded when I quoted it.

    You’re right on this one. I was wrong on there not being a legislative power here.

  21. Sebastian says:

    Saladman:

    I am fine with the idea of incrementalism, and sometimes you do have to make a deal to lose a little instead of losing a lot. But there have been plenty of GOA affiliated groups that have taken NRA to task for supporting even things like concealed carry. Rocky Mt. Gun OWners, for instance, fought the idea of concealed carry in Colorado because it was something less than Vermont carry.

    If GOA is joining the incremental bandwagon, I welcome them, but next time they take NRA to task for the same thing, I’ll remember this one.

  22. Xrlq says:

    Full Faith and Credit doesn’t apply to licensing. If it did, there’d be no way to license doctors, lawyers, or other professions in a single state. It mostly applies to judicial rulings.

    You are correct that the Full Faith and Credit clause of Article IV, Section 1 does not apply to licensing; however, the Privileges and Immunities clause of the very next section does, at least when it comes to professional licenses. The P&I clause does not require Pennsylvania to allow me to practice law using my DC license, but it does prohibit Pennsylvania from conditioning my bar membership on Pennsylvania residency.

top