Is It Time for Federal Reciprocity of Concealed Carry Permits?

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by alvagoldbook, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Former Guest

    Jul 14, 2008
    Found a good op-ed here:

    Is It Time for Federal Reciprocity of Concealed Carry Permits?

    Like a lot of people down here in Texas, I keep a gun close at hand. This usually means one in my vehicle and one on my person. I’ve kept one in my vehicle for nearly two decades and one on my person since 1998, when I got my first concealed carry permit. It’s hard to beat the protection that my concealed carry permit affords my family and friends, even if they aren’t armed. The fact that I am armed means they are safer when with me whether they realize it or not; and everything from annual FBI crime numbers to state-by-state statistics prove this to be so.

    However, when I drive outside the borders of Texas, I have to be careful. In many other states, I cannot keep a loaded gun in the car, and, in some states, I cannot even have my handgun on my person (although I have a Texas license to do so). As a matter of fact, there is such a lack of uniformity amongst the states with concealed carry permits that I cannot even carry my handgun in every state that offers concealed permits to its citizens. This means that when I drive into certain states that offer concealed carry licenses to their citizens but don’t recognize the Texas license as valid within their borders, I actually have to unload my gun and lock it in my trunk to be legal.

    Have you ever stopped to ask yourself this hard question -- how many criminals give their victims time to open the trunk, grab and load their guns before continuing to attack them? Don’t think too hard on that one. You know the answer is “none.”

    To remedy this illogical scenario, the NRA pushed a federal concealed carry law which seemed to gather a lot of steam early, only to have support among congressmen and congresswomen wane. I think it’s high time we put our voices and our energy behind this effort and let congress know we want to see such a law passed pronto.

    There are at least two strong justifications for national reciprocity. The first springs from the Second Amendment itself, where we read that the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.” With these words, our Founders were hedging in a natural right and thus placing it off limits from federal or state government interference. Moreover, as Justice Antonin Scalia rightly concluded in the Heller case, our Founders did not want a city government -- such as San Francisco, Chicago, or D.C. -- to infringe upon it either. No government constructed by man has the right to deny us the rights that are ours by way of birth.

    In other words, laws or policies that infringe upon our natural rights are wrong whether those laws or policies emanate from the President, the Congress, the court system, a state government, or the San Francisco City Council. Our Founders gave no government a veto over natural rights. This is why Ted Nugent is quick and accurate in saying he “has a concealed carry permit called the Second Amendment.”

    Government-issued laws that limit our right to keep and bear arms are infringements on natural law itself. Like the Supreme Court said in the Heller decision, natural rights are preserved by the Constitution, and the right to self-defense is a natural right. It’s our right as humans, not something the government granted us out of its good grace.

    And because laws that restrict natural rights are in violation of natural law, they are unethical. What could be more unethical than to ban the possession of a weapon that a woman could use to fend off a would-be rapist when it is a given that the rapist, who possesses a criminal mind, will certainly also be in possession of a criminal weapon?

    Now approach the problem from a completely different angle -- the fact that some states recognize the concealed carry licenses of certain states but not of others is confounded stupidity. Think about this: Oregon issues concealed carry licenses to citizens in its state and recognizes the concealed carry licenses of states that border Oregon, but if I drive to Oregon, I cannot conceal and carry my handgun because they do not recognize the Texas license. The silly thing about this is that a central part of the Oregon licensing process is an FBI criminal background check and this is also a central part of the Texas licensing process. A federal bureau ultimately decides who does and who doesn’t get a concealed carry license in both states, yet the states share no reciprocity regarding the licenses themselves. This is simply too arbitrary to be rational, and it is a perfect example of the illogical, liberal mind.

    In an ideal world, if you are old enough to buy a handgun, you should be permitted to carry it; regardless of your city or state residence.

    This point is essential: other state-granted licenses -- marriage licenses, drivers’ licenses and such -- are recognized by every state regardless of their origin. The Constitution’s “full faith and credit” clause mandates that. So why should Massachusetts invite gay couples to go there to marry, confident that other states will have to honor those marriages, when I can’t take my handgun into Massachusetts with my Texas license?

    Consider the example of the woman fending off rapist once more, but add something else into the mix: she has a concealed carry license from state “A” which is not recognized in state “B,” although both states depend upon the FBI for ultimate validation of their licenses. Think of her at a red light, listening to the radio in her car, thinking about how nice it will feel to get to the hotel and relax when suddenly her passenger’s door is jerked open, a thug jumps in who says he has a gun, and orders her to pull over and undress. She has no recourse, because her gun is locked in the trunk. In an instant, the unethical laws concerning concealed carry reciprocity contribute to immorality because a given state has mandated that the woman remain defenseless.

    The inherent weaknesses of concealed carry laws that aren’t uniform are the same weaknesses that are characteristic of every part of the liberal agenda. The promise made to us is “peace and safety,” yet liberals lack the power to bring about either while denying us the one thing that could do both: the freedom to exercise our natural rights.

    As a conservative, I hold state’s rights in the highest regard and believe that federal intrusion on state issues has only diminished the level of real self-government in this country (we saw this clearly with abortion in Roe vs. Wade). In truth, I abhor federal intrusion. But in the case of concealed carry licenses, it is already a federal issue; for it is ultimately the federal government, not the states, that decides who will and who will not receive a permit through the work of the FBI.

    Therefore, why not push them to go all the way and mandate uniformity in reciprocity that accords with the tenets of the 2nd Amendment? Were this to happen, the woman at the stoplight would still make it back to the hotel for a relaxing night and a call home to say goodnight to her children, even if she had to kill an attacker to do it.
  2. KING64

    KING64 New Member

    May 11, 2007
    Washington State
    Is it time for nationwide reciprocity? Yes, I believe it is long overdue. I am also a great supporter of states rights but when it comes to this particular issue I see little in the validity of those who oppose reciprocity.

    A step in the right direction was H.R. 218, the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act of 2004, which grants a nationwide CWP to active and retired law enforcement officers. Now is the time to expand that to include CWP reciprocity between all states for all citizens who meet qualification and requirements

    A step in seeing reciprocity will come to fruition only if there is standardization of requirements for such license. If there is a hodge-podge of rules and requirements for the issuance of a CWP it will be difficult to get all states on board.

    The requirements for nationwide CWP for active and retired LEO's is somewhat more stringent than many state CWP's in that it requires annual re-qualification for renewal of the license. This qualification is completed at the home department's own range or an approved designated private range. I have no problem with that requirement.

    We all need to begin a campaign with our elected "representatives" to bring about state reciprocity for CWP holders.

  3. Millwright

    Millwright Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    Well I'll take t'other side on this. I don't - then, now, or ever, want the Federal "gummint" involved. The power to control is the power to ban.

    While we might not like the current hodgepodge, its up to the gun culture to organize and pursuade the various states to enact reciprocity. As a minority - and not one neccessarily well loved - we have far more opportunity to pursuade legislators to side with us than we have with Congresscritters. Hell, just take a scan of what most of the "gang of ten" have to say about managing our energy - despite polls, letters, phone calls, e-mails and countless blogs, rants and editorials to the contrary. >MW
  4. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    So long as the states have each their own rules on what constitutes eligibility, there will be no universal reciprocity.

    Now, should the Federal Government mandate reciprocity, they would also have to mandate the uniformity of eligibility.

    Should the Federal Government set the rules for eligibility, the Federal Government also, by definition, sets the rules for ineligibility.

    Which side of the rules mentioned above would you expect to find the Federal Government making stronger? Do you really think the Federal Government will make it easier for MORE people to carry? Or would you expect the Federal Government to try to make it so FEWER people are eligible?

    Who has been painting rules on the barn wall at night?

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2008
  5. berto64

    berto64 Active Member

  6. vthompson

    vthompson New Member

    Jun 13, 2008
    Western West Virginia
    I would love to see this happen, but I dont think that it will happen any time soon And if it does, I will have to agree with armedandsfe and say that it will have to be at the State level instead of Federal.
    I think the best thing that we can do is start by asking and putting pressure on our State Attorney Generals. Their offices are who works out the reciprocity issues now.
  7. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Yes, I think it's time.

    No, I don't think it should be done by Congress.

    But I think a federal judge will handle this for us in the next couple years--quite by accident--with the homosexual marriage licenses. It will set a precedent that will be impossible to ignore, no matter how hard they try.
  8. KING64

    KING64 New Member

    May 11, 2007
    Washington State
    Millwright, you make the argument on the other side that is valid. The Feds can give, and the fed's can taketh away. The ultimate would be for the states, severally, to work out the necessary compact(s) to provide for reciprocity. The problem, as has been demonstrated many times, is that such universal agreements are very hard to come by. As time goes on I would suspect more states will come to reciprocity but to expect all 50 to do so will be a long time coming. I, of course, have the advantage (at least until congress would rescind H.R. 218) to have a nationwide CCW permit. It would be my wish that every citizen would have that advantage.
  9. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Former Guest

    Jul 14, 2008
    I think all of us are gonna have to wait and see how the recent supreme court decision is going to play out. It might lead to reciprocity all by itself. I wouldn't count on it though. I also have serious doubts that this can be achieved on the state level, especially when you consider the different views on gun ownership is by the general public, depending on where you live. How likely does anyone expect this to happen in illonois or new hampshire? Of course, getting the federal government involved is a slippery slope, and probably wouldn't be a positive one given the current makeup of our government. looking for a brave judge to rule that reciprocity is needed nationwide is a bit hopeful, considering that the judicial branch is always weiry to rule on controversial topics. Needed, but likely to happen? I have my doubts.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  10. I'm for it, but the problem for me is the Constitution. The Second Amendment has never been applied to the States via the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process clause (as have some other provisions of the Bill of Rights), so the "right to keep and bear arms" only applies as against the United States, not the States. And, keep in mind that the States are not hierarchically inferior to the U.S., they're different and parallel governments. So, under the Constitution, State law governing possession and use of firearms is a matter strictly regulated by the constitutions of the various states, and state law pre-empts federal law on that point. Federal regulation pre-empts state law to the extent that the United States is pursuing a policy that is expressly defined as one that the U.S. is responsible for; that's why U.S. law has to do with transfer of firearms, not possession - the United States has exclusive authority over regulation of interstate commerce.

    Now, there have been Sup. Ct. cases in which movement of persons from state to state has been held to be an activity "affecting interstate commerce" and therefore the proper subject of regulation. The Mann Act, for example, which prohibited transporting persons of the female persuasion across state lines for immoral purposes (even if there's no money changing hands).

    So I think that the best approach to such legislation would be to assert a Congressional finding that freedom of movement among the states is in the national interest, that people have a natural right to defend themselves wherever they go, that people who have been subjected to scrutiny sufficient to allow them to be the recipients of firearms in interstate commerce and to carry such firearms pursuant to the laws of their states of residence ought to have the same rights and privileges no matter where they go in the United States, because to interfere with such rights and privileges is an impingement upon Congress' regulation of interstate commerce. Be it therefore resolved, that the Firearm Owners' Protection Act of 1986, be, and hereby is, amended to provide that every state shall honor the issuance of a license or permit authorizing the person to whom it was issued to the same extent as is observed with respect to its own citizens pursuant to licenses and permits granted by it; and to extend to such grant of license or permit, full faith and credit as the sovereign act of a sister state to the same extent as it would to such licenses and permits which it issues to its own residents.
  11. Well argued, user, yet I still must disagree with handing even more control of firearms possession and use over to the Federal government. Every time we, as an allegedly free people, give additional authority to government, particularly the sovereign government, that control is virtually never returned to the people and their local representatives. Look at how the authority of the Federal government has grown over the last 3/4 century and more. Where once there were so few Federal laws that the Feds did not even bother to maintain a prison system of their own--they farmed out the few federal prisoners to state facilities--now they must maintain a total of 109! That alone is frightening.

    Thomas Jefferson said it best: "The government that governs least, governs best."
  12. Big Al

    Big Al New Member

    Aug 10, 2008
    My vary first post on this site, I can only say that the only good CCW law I've ever seen is the one we have here in Alaska. You van get a permit if you want one or you can go ahead and carry concealed without. I think this should be across the country. I feel this should be a fought for issue in every state in America. I don't care if ever thief (except politicians) carries.:D I just want to be on equal footing with the bad guys.

    I wonder what the crime rates would be like.
  13. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    I don't think that a judge will intentionally do this. I think a judge will rule that all state-issued marriage licenses must be accepted by other states, even those states that do not allow all types of marriages (homosexual marriages).
    The obvious result of this is that all state-issued carry licenses must be accepted by other states, even those states that do not allow their own people to carry.
    Many states have a CCW permit that probably won't qualify. Indiana (and probably some other states) has a "License to Carry Handgun." And if a state-issued license is to be accepted by all other states, then that means all kinds of licenses.
  14. Pistolenschutze - I'm with you on the Jeffersonian Republicanism. I tell people that a true Virginia conservative is an Eighteenth Century British Liberal. So I'm with you on keeping the United States within the bounds of Constitutional legitimacy. But in this case, I see such legislation as a regulation of the degree to which the individual states may limit the rights of citizens, as opposed to a regulation of the citizens' rights and privileges. I suppose there's always some backdoor manipulation that could be done once an inroad has been made, but I'd argue that the inroad was the National Firearms Act of what was it, 1933? So I don't see much of a threat to just plain folks in that idea.

    And I don't travel much, me and the Venerable Bede, you know. But I drive from Virginia to W.Va. with two brief forays into the panhandle of Western Maryland, where I have to stop the car and pack the gun up in the trunk to please the Pro-Crime State ("Free State", Hah!) of Maryland, then stop again and unpack when I get to gloriously wild and wonderful West Virginia. So I can really sympathize with people who have to drive through, say, New Jersey, Illinois, and other pro-crime states where they must feel like sitting ducks.

    There was a commercial a while back, in which a little girl uses her cuteness to get a young man to buy her a dessert in a restaurant. When her mother expresses surprise, the girl smiles and says, "just like shooting fish in a barrel.", and I thought, just like shooting unarmed citizens in the District of Columbia. I've come to the conclusion they can't be that stupid. There's some reason why they want to promote crime.

    And the only way to counter that perversity, as I see it, is the amendment I proposed.
  15. jinn

    jinn New Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    You are one of the first forum posters anywhere that I have seen use the phrase "gun culture".

    Did you read "Unintended Consequences", by John Ross?
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