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Language Available for HR822

Thanks to John Richardson for updating with the language. I like the bill overall, as it bases its authority on the 14th Amendment, but does not bet the farm on it, as it also bases it on the commerce power as well. My only concern is I worry the language isn’t clear enough, and leaves some weasel room for states like New Jersey and cities like New York:

(b) A person carrying a concealed handgun under this section shall be permitted to carry a handgun subject to the same conditions or limitations that apply to residents of the State who have permits issued by the State or are otherwise lawfully allowed to do so by the State.

The concern here is that New Jersey’s condition and limitation is chiefly whether or not you have a need. Fortunately, that is clarified a bit in the next subsection:

(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 or permit issued to a resident of the State.

What if New Jersey simply declares that it does not issue unrestricted licenses, and that the restrictions are subject to a needs based test? Clearly that goes against the spirit of the law, but it’s weasel room. Also, my understanding is that a resident of the State of New York that has an unrestricted permit may still not carry within the City of New York, without having a separate permit from the City of New York. I don’t know enough about how New York Law is structured, but I’m not sure this bill will allow you to carry in New York City.

This bill also does not have the same provisions for those in Vermont who do not have the option to get a license to carry, but Vermonters can get covered by obtaining a non-resident license from another state. That provision was likely left out to increase the chance of passage.

UPDATE: From New York Penal Code:

License:  validity. Any license issued pursuant to this section shall be valid notwithstanding the provisions of any local law or ordinance. No license shall be transferable to any other person or premises. A license to carry or possess a pistol or revolver, not otherwise limited as to place or time of possession, shall be effective throughout the state, except that the same shall not be valid within the city of New York unless a special permit granting validity is issued by the police commissioner of that city.

So in New York State Law, the City of New York is off limits as a matter of state law, without a license from the City of New York. While this reciprocity bill preempts local law, it does not preempt state law in the matter of where one can and can’t carry. There is a very plausible argument that under this bill, New York City is off limits without a license form that city. Also consider this section:

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preempt any provision of State law with respect to the issuance of licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms.

If people are going to have faith in this bill, the language needs to be rock solid and clear. Otherwise someone is going to end up in prison.


14 Responses to “Language Available for HR822”

  1. ZK says:

    It sounds like this would mean the death of restricted licenses anyways, if the carrier also held a permit from another state.

    That sounds fine by me.

  2. Eck! says:

    NY have unique laws in that NYC or Kings and Queens County have grandfathered law that dats to when they were part of the Crown. This allows them greater latitude to create local law not common to the rest of the state.

    Used to live in LI NY, the the Poconos PA, and now the Volkspublik MA. You think I’d learn.

    Eck!

  3. ZK says:

    Or maybe not, depending on how they choose to interpret the commas.

  4. BigHayden says:

    After carefully reading the bill, this is how it affects us in PRNJ…

    Residents of the other 49 states (including WI and IL, as they can obtain non-resident permits from the usual suspects) could carry in NJ, though they would still be prohibited from carrying hollow point ammo, which may preclude any responsible citizen from carrying in NJ anyway.

    Residents of NJ could carry in 47 states on a non-resident permit from the usuals (UT, FL, NH, VA, etc), but not WI, IL or NJ.

    Bottom line? Everyone in the United States could carry in NJ except the residents of NJ. This bill isn’t even remotely helpful unless we win Muller v. Maenza (SAF v. NJ).

  5. Jim W says:

    Why not just do a 50 state survey and set a basic federal set of places wherein carry cannot be prohibited? I would bet you that 30-40 states have nearly identical licensing and carrying rules. Make this the default rule.

    Here’s my idea for reciprocity legislation:

    -no person may be prosecuted for carrying a concealed weapon if that person has a license to carry a weapon. It does not matter if the prosecuting state did not issue the license.

    -no person may be prosecuted for possessing any weapon or weapon part if that person has a license to carry a weapon and possessing or carrying the weapon or weapon part would be legal in the person’s home state. It does not matter if the prosecuting state did not issue the license or if possession of the weapon or weapon part in question is illegal in the prosecuting state.

    -no person may be prosecuted under any law if a concealed weapon is inadvertently revealed in public. This restriction does not apply if the weapon was revealed for the purposes of committing a forcible felony.

  6. Chas says:

    A federal constitutional carry law would eliminate these complications. The Second Amendment is the only license to carry a gun that an American needs.

  7. Kevin P. says:

    BigHayden, once everyone except NJ residents is allowed to carry in NJ, perhaps the absurdity of the situation will reduce the resistance to allow unrestricted carry in NJ.

  8. Speaking as a NJ resident, I’d be very happy to be able to travel anywhere in the US on my Maine carry permit. It may not affect our ridiculous domestic laws, but we’ll work on that separately.

  9. Tirno says:

    I think we can fix the phrasing to get us into NYC:

    (b) A person carrying a concealed handgun under this section shall be permitted to carry a handgun subject to the same conditions or limitations that apply to residents of the State or any political subdivision thereof who have permits issued by the State or any political subdivision thereof or are otherwise lawfully allowed to do so by the State or any political subdivision thereof.

    (c) In a State or any political subdivision thereof, 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 or permit issued to a resident of the State or political subdivision thereof.

  10. BigHayden says:

    Kevin P.,

    I believe that’s precisely when the full-on PSH’s will begin.

  11. btr says:

    There is a major problem with concealed carry in a state not your own: the federal Gun Free School Zones Act bans carry within 1000 feet of school unless you have a permit issued by the STATE in which the school is in:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun-Free_School_Zones_Act_of_1990

    It is virtually impossible to travel around in a state without passing within 1000 feet of a school. This means that most of the people who carry outside their own state are probably committing federal felonies!

    This desperately needs to be fixed in this legislation.

  12. Matthew Carberry says:

    btr,

    That law hasn’t been challenged since it was found unCon and the wording “corrected”. Not sure if it’s been enforced on anyone strictly for lawful carry, versus carry in the commission of another crime as a tag-on charge.

    If you want to raise the stupid flag on it even higher, anyone who open (or concealed in AK, AZ and VT) carries without a permit -even in their own state- is a violator.

    Forget actual Constitutional issues, strictly on a practical basis given the prevalence of unlicensed legal carry of one kind or another nationwide it should never have passed at the time and definitely needs to go now.

  13. Hank Archer says:

    Don’t know if you caught this today. Christie comments on possible changes to NJ gun laws.
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/260583/christie-new-jersey-s-gun-laws-robert-verbruggen

  14. V65Fan says:

    Here’s a good one for you. I know of a U.S. citizen currently residing north of the border. He can legally carry in 33 states. He’s gone through the year of expensive hoops necessary to acquire and possess a handgun in Canada legally.
    He carries in The U.S., but since he enters at NYS, he has his firearms locked, cased, unloaded, ammo separate, as per “Title 18”.
    Suddenly, U.S. Customs decided to violate the Sixth Amendment and place NYS pistol laws above Federal firearms safe transport law. He was nearly arrested on a presumptive felony charge–at least 5 years in a NYS penitentiary–or thousands of dollars for an attorney.
    Moreover, suddenly, ATF and Customs cannot decide what form he needs to fill out to cross with firearms–if any.
    They have to admit U.S. citizens, but they don’t think that they have to admit their firearms.

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