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Onslaught Against National Reciprocity

National Reciprocity is seriously disturbing the powers that be. One of the things I use to determine whether we’re fighting for something that matters is the people it’s pissing off. So far HR822 is making the grade on that count.

One of the first memes is this butchers states rights. That would be true if this bill were based solely on the commerce power of Congress, but it is largely based on Congress’ 14th Amendment power to pass legislation to protect Constitutional rights. There is a very strong case to be made that post Heller and McDonald, Congress has a power to protect the right to bear arms. There is also a case to be made on Congress’ power to legislate Full Faith and Credit.

It would also seem now that Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey represents law enforcement in its entirety. Since Philadelphia is leading the charge in Pennsylvania to revoke or modify our reciprocity agreement with Florida in Pennsylvania, he was invited to testify against our Constitutional rights before Congress.

One of our opponents arguments is that most licenses to carry are simple documents that are easy to forge. This is true. The reason is because a concealed carry license is not meant to be used for identification, which is what the state drivers’ license is for. Under this bill, you’d be required to carry identification in addition to your license to carry. Ramsey testified that a person that the lack of standards is a problem. Our opponents are going to push to get some federal standards in the bill in an attempt to scuttle it.

Truth is, if there are federal standards, it becomes a more dubious exercise of federal power. The 14th Amendment only allows you to protect a right, and then only to the agree the right is recognized by the Courts, and the Full Faith and Credit clause is arguably also limited. This bill only forces states to recognized each other’s permits, and not much more. It also stipulates the person had to be eligible to possess firearms under federal law.

31 Responses to “Onslaught Against National Reciprocity”

  1. MicroBalrog says:

    Wouldn’t this make it more difficult – politically – for local advocates to push for Alaska carry?

  2. FatWhiteMan says:

    States don’t have rights, people have rights.

    To me this is not even a 14th Amendment issue. This is no different than using Full Faith and Credit to force states to recognize each other’s driver’s and marriage licenses.

  3. chris says:

    Yea, Full Faith and Credit should cover this long before the 14th gets referenced.

  4. Rob K says:

    I think crying “state’s rights” is going to backfire on them quite nicely.

  5. Right Wing Wacko says:

    I initially had some reservations on this bill. No… I was not one of the people that had a States Rights objection. My objection was simply once the Feds get involved they tend to get even more involved as time goes on.

    As it is, I like this bill and the fact that the Brady’s are getting their panties all tied up in a knot makes it even better.

    Besides…. it will be nice to FINALLY be able to travel south to Oregon again (I live in WA)

    I’ll also be able to go back to only having a WA permit, and save the $$$ that it costs to keep up the UT permit.

  6. People keep saying specifically that Bloomberg is afraid we’ll be able to carry in Central Park, but I’m not at all sure we will be. Not as a result of this act, anyway.

    The NRTCRA would force NY State to treat a Florida permit the same way they treat an unrestricted NY State permit, but an unrestricted NY State permit doesn’t allow carry in NYC. For that, you need to get a specific permit from the City itself, and the act doesn’t say anything about city permits. They’ll probably claim the whole city is a “sensitive place”, and the NRTCRA doesn’t force them to let you carry any more than it forces a state to let you carry in courthouses or restaurants.

    I expect we’ll need at least one test case before you can feel comfy carrying in Times Square.

  7. Ed says:

    Ramsey can’t advocate change in Pennsylvania, what is going to DC going to do? I bet Mayor Bloomberg paid for his travel to DC so Ramsey can play the role of sock puppet. Psst.. Ramsey if this is a state rights issue, guess what Pennsylvania can sign a reciprocity agreement with Florida. You can’t have it both ways!

  8. Andy says:

    Personally I think the NRA has picked a good time to get this bill through. It puts a lot of anti politicians in a tough spot in a year they can’t afford to be put into a tough spot.

  9. SidViscous says:

    What I’m concerned about is will this law have much of an effect at all. For instance, mere possession is a crime in some states, for example MA, this is to include ammunition, or even components that can be made into ammunition, for example a spent .22 case.

    Now I may have my NH LTC, so carrying concealed in MA would be legal.

    However possession of a firearm or ammunition would be illegal without a Mass FID or other qualifying licensing.

    An argument could be made that the NH LTC is qualifying, but it is not spelled out that way, and MA gun law is so convoluted there would be nothing to stop them from arresting and bringing up on charges.

  10. Sid,

    There are an awful lot of interesting conditions and effects to this act, and I’m surprised at how little ink seems to have been spilled discussing them, or discussing the act at all, really. It’s a staggeringly big deal, but the discussion seems to be limited to “gun controllers get breathless editorial published somewhere” – “gun rights advocates note breathless editorial”. Maybe I’m just not reading in the right places.

  11. Pol Mordreth says:

    Sid:
    Since MA issues Out of State permits, and so allows carry without a Mass FID, i think you would be in the clear. However, the first case might be a bitch.

  12. Pol Mordreth says:

    Edit: Non-resident LTC. Not out of state permit.

  13. Matthew Carberry says:

    “Wouldn’t this make it more difficult – politically – for local advocates to push for Alaska carry?”

    micro,

    Why would it make it more difficult?

    The states that have permitless CCW also have permits specifically to allow for reciprocity, except Vermont and that’s due to how they got permitless carry Judicially a century ago.

    Nothing in this bill enables me as an Alaskan to carry out-of-state without utilizing my AK CHP so there’s no risk to a state to go permitless and allow me, as AZ and AK do (not sure if WY is permitless for non-res), to carry off my permit.

    States don’t go AK carry for outsiders or as some sort of marketing, they do it for their own citizens’ convenience (and rights of course).

    This bill has no effect on in-state carry by residents one way or another, it’s irrelevent.

    Except perhaps to drive a given “may-issue” state to become effectively “shall-issue” so their own residents will have at least the access to carry in their own state that non-res visitors do.

  14. Dave says:

    It’ll be great as a NJ resident to watch all the non-residents carry, while we still can’t…

  15. Matthew Carberry says:

    Dave,

    I’ll think of you when I visit the family in HaddonTownship. ;)

  16. Garrett Lee says:

    Personally, should this pass, I would expect for the right to carry to be removed entirely in places such as Hawaii and New Jersey. DC used to be may-issue when you couldn’t have a handgun – but shifted to no-issue after Heller.

  17. Matthew Carberry says:

    Garrett,

    There are something like 4-6 lawsuits pending, at least one waiting for the Supremes in the upcoming session IIRC, to establish that some form of effectively shall-issue (whether open or concealed) carry is part of the Right. Off the top of my head they’re in CA, HI, IL, DC and I think MD and NJ.

    While HI and NJ might try to eliminate their “possible in name only” carry it’d be more of a gesture than an effective response at this point. Particularly since this bill contains a statement of Congress defining the Right to include the right to bear outside the home. The Courts have to take that into account as they rule from (if it passes) passage forward.

    Not that most anti-gunners aren’t fond of futile gestures.

  18. harp1034 says:

    Who says that Obama would not veto the bill? I say pass it anyway that way we can see who our friends are.

  19. Sean says:

    Where were the complaints against the verifiability of H.R. 218 in 2004 from these Police organizations and Mayors? How much of the police brass signed off on the petition to stop “potentially fraudulent” police from carrying under that bill?

    More unfettered cow crap, dishonestly, and double standards from these groups.

    When do we stop taking them seriously the next time they need legislation passed? I’ve about had enough.

  20. >Who says that Obama would not veto the bill? I say pass it anyway that way we can see who our friends are.

    This might get through Congress, but only if it’s in a separate bill, with plain, succinct language intended to be read by the voter as we get nearer to the 2012 elections.

    No way in the world would they attach this to some sort of “must-pass” FAA funding or anything like that.

    Oh, and they have to be sure that Obama will veto it and that they don’t muster enough critters to actually override the veto.

    Please don’t forget what the (R) fsckers always do when they get into power.

  21. dagamore says:

    I for one have never understood why other states have to recognize my drivers license, but not a LCCP, License to Cary Concealed Pistol.

    I am for this type of bill, it does not add in any new federal requirements, yet, it just forces other states to recognize my license from another state, just like they do with just about every other license.

  22. Chas says:

    “One of the first memes is this butchers states rights.”

    States should have the right to have their licensees respected by other states. It’s a matter of mutual courtesy that makes life better for everyone in the US. Federal law has been very helpful in eliminating the petty, juvenile squabbling that can occur between states with regard to drivers licenses; it can do the same with regard to CCW licenses.

  23. Brass says:

    Here’s a question I hope someone can answer. I live in CO and because of the restrictions involved I am ineligible for a CCW in this State. So, I got a FL CCW and all was good. Then, about 8 months later, CO passed a law granting reciprocity to on CCWs issued in the State in which you reside. Frowny face as now I can concealed carry in 37 States but not my own.

    The question(s): If passed, how will national reciprocity affect me? Will my FL CCW allow me to carry in all 50 States or will I still not be able to carry in CO? Or, because I don’t have a CO CCW, will I only be able to carry in FL?

    Any ideas?

  24. Jake says:

    The question(s): If passed, how will national reciprocity affect me? Will my FL CCW allow me to carry in all 50 States or will I still not be able to carry in CO? Or, because I don’t have a CO CCW, will I only be able to carry in FL?

    @ Brass: IIRC, the national reciprocity bill is similar to what you say CO has – the permit has to be issued by your state of residence for you to be given reciprocity.

    Unless I am mistaken (or something changes), existing reciprocity agreements – the reason FL CCWs are recognized in so many states – should not be affected by the bill. You would still be able to carry in the same states you can now.

  25. IIRC, the national reciprocity bill is similar to what you say CO has – the permit has to be issued by your state of residence for you to be given reciprocity.

    From the text of the bill:

    …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 handgun (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, in any State, other than the State of residence of the person

    (Emphasis mine.)

    I see no language here or elsewhere to indicate that only resident permits are given reciprocity.

  26. Jake says:

    @ elmo: Thanks. I was probably remembering an earlier version of the bill, then.

    …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 handgun (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, in any State, other than the State of residence of the person

    The part I’ve emphasized here could be read so that brass would still not be allowed to carry in CO unless he has a CO issued permit. I believe that’s actually the intent – to keep someone residing in a state from getting around that state’s restrictions.

    Basically, non-resident permits would be recognized in any state that allows CCW, except for the state you live in. So, as a Virgina resident with a VA CHP, I could CCW in any state that allows it at all, but Brass, as a CO resident, could use his FL non-resident permit to CCW in every (free) state except CO.

    I know why they wrote it that way, but it’s still silly. “Cross an imaginary line, and you’re no longer trustworthy.”

  27. I’m in the same boat. As a NJ resident with a Maine non-res carry permit, NRTCRA would let me carry everywhere but Illinois and the old homefront.

    I know why they wrote it that way, but it’s still silly. “Cross an imaginary line, and you’re no longer trustworthy.”

    Baby steps.

    A damned big baby step, but still. ;)

  28. Brass says:

    @Jake and elmo, much obliged for the input.

  29. MP5 says:

    If the National reciprocity does come to fruition, I think there should be mandatory training. It’s too easy to get a PA CCW and then not have a clue about the laws. It just makes every PA CCW holder aware of the gun laws in PA and also make them aware of other state’s laws they may be visiting.

  30. Ian Argent says:

    Whose mandated training?

  31. Jake says:

    @ MP5: So, how much should someone expect to spend on this mandatory training? Should it be $50? $100? $500?

    How long will it take for federally mandated training for reciprocity to become federally mandated training simply to get an in-state carry permit? How long until the fedgov raises the cost enough to exclude anyone but the rich from concealed carry?

    This is why I am severely hesitant about the idea of Congress even trying to poke their noses into this. Because once that law is passed, they can add “recommended” training. Then they’ll make that training mandatory for reciprocity. Then they’ll push the states to make the federally approved training mandatory for getting the permit in the first place. Once they’ve done that, it’s a simple regulatory matter to adjust the requirements and to raise the price so high that no one but the rich and well connected will be able to carry firearms.

    When has the government ever left well enough alone when they have an excuse to mess with it?

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