Keep DC out of reciprocity and let states work it out

Many gun owners are cheering the House passage of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. On the surface it makes sense to compel states to honor concealed carry permits. There are major problems with the bill that gun owners need to be aware of so we can truly defend the 2nd Amendment.

Before I go into the dangers of letting the federal government mess with our 2nd Amendment rights and impose its will on states, let’s talk about the other portion of the bill that most Republican lawmakers hope we don’t notice. FixNICS is not only an inappropriate emotional response to recent shootings, but it’s also redundant.  It has extensive, bipartisan support. I can only assume that the reason it has broad support from otherwise conservative representatives is because they haven’t read it.

It’s a disaster of a bill on several levels. It compels administrative agencies, not just courts, to adjudicate your second amendment rights. The verbiage in the bill allows for extensive leeway to usher in policies not unlike the Obama era policy of denying 2A rights to people on social security who have others administer their financial affairs, a policy President Trump rescinded in February. It’s also a policy any future President or Congress can re-implement under this bill.

Having FixNICS in place won’t make it “double illegaler” for the courts to fail to report, nor will it prevent clerical errors. It WILL however, cause thousands of people to be added to the background check system without due process.

On to National Reciprocity…

While the idea of forcing California or New York to honor the permit of a gun owner from Texas is a delightful one, it’s a case of “be careful what you wish for.  You just might get it”.

State recognition of permits issued in other states needs to happen through a compact between the states, not via federal mandate.  The minute we say to the federal government:  “We trust you to implement a new law controlling where we can carry,” is the minute we say to a future gun-grabbing Congress:  “We trust you to amend and regulate this new law controlling where we can carry.”

A federal level law regarding national carry could easily lead to a federal level law regarding national training standards or a federally issued permit, rather than 50 different ones.

“We don’t need DC to tell us it’s okay to conceal carry our firearms,” said Federalist Party co-founder JD Rucker. “They told us it was okay with the 2nd Amendment. How states enforce their laws concerning guns is up to the states as long as they don’t infringe on the 2nd Amendment itself. DC should be protecting our rights, not telling us the process by which we can exercise them.”

As of this writing, a law abiding gun owner can obtain a non-resident Utah permit to carry, and a non-resident Florida permit to carry.  Just having those two permits, enables the gun owner to carry in up to 32 states, due to existing reciprocity between the states.

Is that a perfect system?  Nope.  It still leaves 18 states off limits.  But I would rather be barred from carrying in 18 liberal states, and work at the state level to get that changed, than put the power in the hands of the federal government to implement other nationally mandated requirements around a federally controlled National Reciprocity bill.

One Comments

  • Rafi Metz 13 / 12 / 2017


    While I definitely understand where you are coming from, I think we can look at it the other way. The 2A is in the US Constitution. National reciprocity isn’t a state issue but a federal one. The states should not be able to abridge rights that are in the Constitution. Therefore, I think the principle of federalism is inappropriately being applied here. Perhaps there is something that I am overlooking here. A response would be very much appreciated.

    Thank you for all that you do.

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