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National Reciprocity You Can Believe In

Sensibly Progressive points out that the anti-gunners are acting like this is a done deal already, but it’s not.  The amendment has merely been proposed.  It hasn’t been voted on yet.  But since it’s proposed, we have the language, and I like it:

SEC. 1083. RECIPROCITY FOR THE CARRYING OF CERTAIN CONCEALED FIREARMS.

(a) Findings.–Congress finds the following:

(1) The second amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects the right of an individual to keep and bear arms, including for purposes of individual self-defense.

(2) The right to bear arms includes the right to carry arms for self-defense and the defense of others.

(3) Congress has previously enacted legislation for national authorization of the carrying of concealed firearms by qualified active and retired law enforcement officers.

(4) Forty-eight States provide by statute for the issuance of permits to carry concealed firearms to individuals, or allow the carrying of concealed firearms for lawful purposes without need for a permit.

(5) The overwhelming majority of individuals who exercise the right to carry firearms in their own States and other States have proven to be law-abiding, and such carrying has been demonstrated to provide crime prevention or crime resistance benefits for the licensees and for others.

(6) Congress finds that the prevention of lawful carrying by individuals who are traveling outside their home State interferes with the constitutional right of interstate travel, and harms interstate commerce.

(7) Among the purposes of this Act is the protection of the rights, privileges, and immunities guaranteed to a citizen of the United States by the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

(8) Congress therefore should provide for the interstate carrying of firearms by such individuals in all States that do not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by their own residents.

(b) In General.–Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 926C the following:“§926D. Reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof–

(1) a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, and who is carrying a government-issued photographic identification document and a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm, may carry a concealed firearm in any State other than the State of residence of the person that–

(A) has a statute that allows residents of the State to obtain licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms; or

(B) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes;

(2) a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, and who is carrying a government-issued photographic identification document and is entitled to carry a concealed firearm in the State in which the person resides otherwise than as described in paragraph (1), may carry a concealed firearm in any State other than the State of residence of the person that–

(A) has a statute that allows residents of the State to obtain licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms; or

(B) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes.

(b) A person carrying a concealed firearm under this section shall–

(1) in a State that does not prohibit the carrying of a concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes, be entitled to carry such firearm subject to the same laws and conditions that govern the specific places and manner in which a firearm may be carried by a resident of the State; or

(2) in a State that allows residents of the State to obtain licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms, be entitled to carry such a firearm subject to the same laws and conditions that govern specific places and manner in which a firearm may be carried by a person issued a permit by the State in which the firearm is carried.

(c) In a State that allows the issuing authority for licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms to impose restrictions on the carrying of firearms by individual holders of such licenses or permits, a firearm shall be carried according to the same terms authorized by an unrestricted license of or permit issued to a resident of the State.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to–

(1) effect the permitting process for an individual in the State of residence of the individual; or

(2) preempt any provision of State law with respect to the issuance of licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms.

(c) Clerical Amendment.–The table of sections for chapter 44 of title 18 is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 926C the following:

926D. Reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms.

(d) Severability.–Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, if any provision of this section, or any amendment made by this section, or the application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional, this section and amendments made by this section and the application of such provision or amendment to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

(e) Effective Date.–The amendments made by this section shall take effect 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

So Congress is explicitly claiming its powers granted by the 14th Amendment to override state law in the matter of carrying firearms.  Originally, I was against bills like this because they relied on abusing Congress’ power under the commerce clause, but this one I will get behind.  I think this is an appropriate exercise of Congress’ 14th Amendment powers.  Contact your senators, and make sure they understand you expect them to support the Senate Amendment No. 1618 to the Defense Appropriations Bill S.1390.

19 Responses to “National Reciprocity You Can Believe In”

  1. MicroBalrog says:

    This seems as if it would be a bit unfair to Vermonters, and some Alaskans.

    It also seems as if it would discourage states from passing Vermont-type laws because that would make it difficult for their residents to carry in other states. What gives?

  2. Sebastian says:

    The language covers people in Vermont and Alaska. They can carry in any state without a license, provided they aren’t prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.

  3. Boondoggie says:

    Under this bill, a CCW from Nevada would allow a person to carry in California. CA has concealed carry, it’s just almost impossible to get a permit. But if the state has a provision for concealed carry, they’d have to accept the permits from other states. Take that Barbara Boxer!

  4. melancton smith says:

    I think even Illinoisans can carry in the other 48! Daring considering how irresponsible we must be.

  5. Jeff says:

    @ Boondoggie: The most striking example would be that Sebastian could carry in NJ with his PA LTCF. Some jurisdictions in CA are effectively shall issue. Carry permits in NJ are for the politically connected only.

  6. Chad says:

    So Sebastian would be able to carry in NJ with a PA LTCF. As I read it this is because he has a “valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm” and because NJ “has a statute that allows residents of the State to obtain licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms”.

    How does this affect someone from NJ, though? As I read it, an NJ resident could have a “valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm” if they have a non-resident FL CCW permit (FL being _a_ State.) However, as I further read it, he would be allowed to carry (almost) everywhere else _except_ NJ because he “may carry a concealed firearm in any State other than the State of residence”.

    Does this seem like a valid reading? (IANAL, YANAL, etc.)

  7. Jeff says:

    Chad, I agree with how you read it. Sucks for the NJ resident, but it’s a proper application of federal power to enforce the full faith and credit clause. Here in MA we have a similar situation. LTCs are may issue at the discretion of town police chiefs. So, effectively, various towns in MA are de facto shall issue, may issue, or de facto no issue. Non-resident LTCs are issued by the state police and are de facto shall issue.

  8. Pete says:

    If it passes Jersey definitely, and California maybe, will get rid of concealed carry.

  9. Carl in Chicago says:

    melancton smith Said,
    “I think even Illinoisans can carry in the other 48! Daring considering how irresponsible we must be.”

    Darned right. Now get back on your cage before ‘da mayor finds you loose and out of line again.

    Seriously … it dawns on me that this amendment, if passed, might motivate some of the very restrictive may issue states to move to no-issue status (like IL currently is). And, it seems to me, this would droop the lawsuit fruit awfully darned low. We have the right to keep arms generally wrapped up now … but the right to bear them is far from secured as a “national” right.

  10. Carl in Chicago says:

    It also dawns on me that such an amendment is good timing, considering the incorporation case on the near horizon.

    I’ve long suspected that Illinois prohibition of bearing arms might just fall due to judiciary action, rather than legislative (though we have been working that angle very hard).

    A federal carry reciprocity law, coupled with incorporation of a fundamental right to bear arms against the states? Illinois’ prohibition on bearing arms would not stand a chance.

  11. Sebastian says:

    There is no Full Faith in Credit clause involved here. It’s entirely 14th Amendment. Full Faith and Credit doesn’t apply to licensing.

  12. Jeff says:

    That’s what I get for getting my legal education from wikipedia. :P

  13. Jake says:

    Hmm. This language is different than what I’ve seen previously. Before, there was no mention of residency, and no mention of restricted permits.

    I’m a bit indifferent about the residency part – while I think it would be a legal and Constitutional landmine to use federal law to allow someone to ignore their own state’s laws by getting a permit from another state, I also liked the idea of people in restrictive may-issue localities being able to effectively thumb their noses at the local power mongers who decide who’s “important” enough to get a permit.

    The bit about out of state permits being equal to unrestricted permits is good. It’s easy to see those same local power mongers treating out of state permits as restricted just to discourage others from relying on this law – something that would probably take years and tens of thousands of dollars to sort out in the Courts, and ruin at least one person’s life in the process.

  14. Matthew Carberry says:

    Based on the argument given in the text, this same kind of Amendment should be created to eliminate the GFSZA.

    If not eliminate:

    At least drop the 1,000′ restriction as grossly outdated given most states lack of permits required for open and car carry.

    Better, and more consistent, make it exactly resemble the terms of Park Carry, “as per the law of the state”.

  15. Little Steve says:

    Thanks for the link … unfortunately I got pretty much everything wrong at my site. It is based on the 14th amendment, not the “full faith” clause. I hadn’t found the text to read it at that time.

  16. Little Steve says:

    Thanks for the link … unfortunately I got pretty much everything wrong at my site. It is based on the 14th amendment, not the “full faith” clause. I hadn’t found the text to read it at that time.

    Thanks for posting the real info!

  17. Joe D. says:

    Let’s get this one passed!!

  18. Carl in Chicago says:

    I have written my Senators. :-()

    Seriously, I did.

  19. Carl in Chicago says:

    I have read several comments elsewhere, that are critical of the amendment for its usurpation of states’ authority to regulate the bearing of arms …

    I disagree. On a matter of first principle, both state and national governments are obligated to protect fundamental rights and liberties of the people. Among these is the guarantee of the right of the people to bear arms, which shall not be infringed. I believe that states do not have the authority to infringe the right to bear arms … so this issue of usurpation of states’ powers is a non-sequitur.

    Do you also oppose 2A incorporation because it would usurp states’ authority to regulate arms? Generally, no, because we believe that infringing the right to arms is beyond the authority of any governmental body. The writing is on the wall. If there shall remain any doubt about this at the current time, those doubts must vanish when the 2A is incorporated against the states.

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