The National Association for Gun Rights are worried about federal intervention into the issue of concealed carry, going so far as to adopt the utterly ridiculous moniker for this bill, “National CCW Registration Act.” Understand that I don’t belittle anyone who has concerns about the feds getting involved in traditionally state issue of concealed carry. Those concerns are completely legitimate, andÂ prior to McDonald and HellerÂ I shared them. Nonetheless, many of NAGR’s points are ridiculous, and I’ll take on some them to explain my opinion on the matter.
While the idea that all states should recognize a concealed weapons permit is sound public policy, the use of the anti-gun federal bureaucracy to implement it is simply foolish.
Once the Federal Government is in the business of setting the standards for concealed carry permits, itâ€™s only a matter of time before they start using that power to restrict our rights.
This won’t use a federal bureaucracy. There won’t be any Department of Reciprocity Enforcement. It’s just that the federal law offers a defense in court if a state chooses to arrest someone with a firearm, who is licensed by any state to carry it in a state other than their state of residence. NAGR’s concern seems to be that Congress will come along later and set federal standards.
But the devil is truly in the detailsâ€¦ and the details are where H.R. 822 gets sticky.
This bill isnâ€™t just about the right to carry for self defense â€” itâ€™s a battle over the role of government and the ability to restrict our Second Amendment rights.
There are no details. The bill is remarkably simple. If you have a license from any state, you can carry in any other state that issues concealed carry licenses under the same standard for an unrestricted license in that state. The only exception is your state of residence, or states that prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons. For people who live in Vermont, they can go next door to NH and get a non-resident permit, which would allow them to carry in every state except Illinois (which prohibits concealed weapons entirely).
Even worse, once this bill starts moving, anyone can amend the bill with anything â€¦ and no legislation can bind a future Congress in any way. And that doesnâ€™t count what Obamacrats in the Department of Justice might dream up as the â€œregulationsâ€ to carry out the legislative â€œintent.â€
That’s an excuse for never passing any pro-gun law. Congress can always turn around and screw us. There’s never any time when that’s not the case. The “Obamacrats” in the Department of Justice don’t have any power to draw up “regulations” that Congress doesn’t give them. HR822 does not grant bureaucrats any rule making authority.
I believe I should be able to carry concealed â€” without a permit â€” in all 50 states. Thatâ€™s what â€œbear armsâ€ means. Believe me, thatâ€™s a long-term policy goal for the National Association for Gun Rights.
That’s wonderful. I agree. But the world we live in is one in which only four states allow carry without a permit. All but one still have a permit option. We might be able to grow that by a few states in a few years, but it’s not going away any time soon. In addition, I view that the courts are highly unlikely to invalidate the requirement of a concealed carry license, provided the licenses aren’t issued in an arbitrary and capricious manner. Because it doesn’t measure up to your ideal is not an excuse for not improving our current reality.
Once gun owners let the Obamacrats start mandating whether states recognize permit reciprocity, they will want to mandate what it takes to get and keep those permits.
No one is allowing “Obamacrats” to mandate anything. The only thing this bill mandates is reciprocity. It establishes no federal standard. Understand that the main source of Congressional power to pass this bill is the 14th Amendment. Court precedent does not allow Congress to take the legislation farther than the courts have been willing to go. The Courts were pretty clear there’s a right to carry, but have been vague about how the bounds of that right are defined. That’s the reason this bill does very little. Establishing federal standards for reciprocity would be a considerably more dubious exercise of the 14th Amendment power. So would creating federal standards by which states issue permits, which it seems NAGR is more concerned about. That would be gun control. Congress can always pass gun control. This bill is not anywhere close to gun control. It would also be a highly dubious exercise of federal power to impose licensing standards on states even under the commerce clause.
Not to mention this legislation would shred the Constitutional Carry provisions that are on the books in Arizona, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming.
That is absolute nonsense. It’s just not true at all. This bill only covers reciprocity. Arizona, Alaska, and Wyoming still issue permits for reciprocity purposes, even if they do not require it to carry in that state. Vermont does not issue permits, but New Hampshire will issue to residents of Vermont on a shall-issue basis. A Vermonter with a NH permit can carry in every state someone with a Texas permit can under HR822.
It doesnâ€™t stop with just concealed carry. Theyâ€™ll co-opt the bill to expand the national Brady Registration Check system to block military veterans with PTSD or individuals with misdemeanor convictions from even OWNING firearms â€” much less use them for self defense.
They can always do this. This is like arguing that we shouldn’t build a missile defense system because the Russians might decide to nuke New York. Congress can always pass gun control. The reason they haven’t is because they fear us.
They will use this bill as the foundation to create a federal database of CCW permit holders. And then they can link it everywhere the Feds have database connections â€” state police, doctors and insurance companies under Obamacare, and Medicaid/Medicare.
The worst that could happen down the line is that an anti-gun Congress tinkers with the requirements for reciprocity to be enforced. You can bet that every gun rights group will oppose that. At worst, you fall back on state reciprocity, since the feds wouldn’t mandate reciprocal licensing for all but the most strict states. Everything else going through Dudley Brown’s active imagination would amount to a new gun control bill that does not involve the subject of reciprocity. Congress could pass a bill forbidding states from allowing concealed carry any time it wanted. That’s not an excuse for doing nothing.
Thatâ€™s why you and I have to make noise, now!
Please call your Congressman at 202-224-3121 (send an email, too; you canÂ get that link here) and relay the message that gun owners oppose H.R. 822, the Trojan Horse gun control bill. Make clear that you want to keep the Federal Governmentâ€™s hands off the state-run CCW permit system.
<sarcasm>I think I can speak for gun owners everywhere in sincerely thanking Dudley Brown for giving some of our weak kneed critters the “pro-gun” cover they need to vote against a bill many of them would rather not vote for in the first place.</sarcasm> We are truly our own worst enemies. Who needs the Brady Campaign, VPC, and CSGV when you have NAGR?