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NATIONAL CONCEALED CARRY AND “FIX NICS” — 36 Comments

  1. I’ll go along with GOA. Anything feinstien has put her hands on is not good. I’ll be joining GOA soon.

  2. Archer and TN-Man, I respectfully disagree.

    I’ve researched this rather a lot, and “full Faith and Credit” never has, even under the recent SC ruling RE: Gay marriage, applied to LICENCES given by a state.

    And whatever you THINK (And I think we probably have the same opinion on this) the U.S. Constitution guarantees, it in FACT guarantees what the USSC SAYS it guarantees. (Ask black people in the South about voting rights CA 1920).

    And right now, bearing arms outside the home is NOT something the USSC has upheld. In fact it has refused to hear NUMEROUS cases which were claiming that right, challenging state law. (Peruta Et Al.)

    I find it highly questionable that even if National reciprocity were passed and signed into law, that it wouldn’t be struck down immediately under 10A.

    Right to “bear” arms outside the home, is NOT a recognized right under U.S. Law. (I personally Wish is was, but it’s not). Therefore 14A does not apply.

    And I remind you both that “Privileges and Immunities” was rejected as an argument in McDonald v. Chicago, despite, I think, a terrific argument FOR it.

    I think the entire reciprocity thing is a PR move for Republicans and the NRA. Absent a serious pro-gun majority on the USSC and a ruling that we have the right to BEAR arms, outside our homes, I think it’s all political theater.]

    And if this bill passes, I will put money on it being struck down by the USSC sooner rather than later, based on the above.

    I WISH this was not true. But I believe that it is fact.

    Again, with respect, I simply disagree.

    • Bill – I am not quite as pessimistic, as you are, regarding the SCOTUS. It is true that the High Court has never found a right to bear arms outside of the home. But, again, they have never rejected such a right absolutely yet either. Rather, the SCOTUS, as you pointed out, has been running away and hiding from making this decision. They have passed over multiple opportunities to address this question.

      My view is that the current SCOTUS is refusing to make a decision because they are ideologically deadlocked. We currently have four Justices who support 2A Rights, we have four justices who are total leftists and who would gut the 2A in a heartbeat if they could do so. We have one Justice who sits the fence and could go either way. Neither the Pro-2A nor the Anti-2A sides of the Court are sure where the fence-sitter will come down on a decision. So, by mutual agreement, the Court is refusing to address the question until one side or the other feels comfortable that they will get a favorable outcome.

      So, in my view, it is not at all certain that the SCOTUS will strike down National Reciprocity in a heartbeat. Rather, they will put off making a decision on it as long as possible. This mindset will really only change if President Trump gets a chance to change the makeup of the Court with another appointment.

      As for the details of the Constitutional question, all I was doing was pointing out there there is ample room in the Constitution to find a right to bear arms if we have a SCOTUS that WANTS TO FIND IT.

      Finally, I agree that there is an element of political theater in this law. But, come on, there is political theater in EVERYTHING that happens in Washington. I think that the NRA and the Republicans HAVE TO at least make a push for this law. Even if the Democrats and their media lap-dogs make it almost impossible to succeed in the Senate, it is still worth the effort to show the Pro-2A community and the Republican base that a battle for their Rights was at least made.

  3. Actually, the Blue states have a point about “blood running in the streets”. That will be out of state permits holders shot by police. If the local people can’t carry, the police will not get accustomed to citizens being armed. That’s, what, 10 states? This law will do absolutely nothing good for CA residents, among others.
    If the law won’t recognize ALL permits everywhere, it accomplishes almost nothing. Hows that go? “Lots of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. Political expenditure, for what?

    • Will, I have to respectfully disagree. Arming travelers in some of our more populous states is far from “almost nothing.”

  4. Whatever a national reciprocity law looks like “if” it becomes reality, it will not please everyone. Look at HR218 of 2004, giving current and retired LEO’s cover when travelling outside their home states. It gives them no more rights than accorded civilian conceal carry folks in any given state. Yet, besides the years of law enforcement background and entitlement to a retirement plan, it requires a yearly range qualification required for all LEO”s of that state and is only good for a one year period based on the last qualification. Much more stringent than civilian carry requirements. While I’ve not heard of an actual case where HR218 was challenged, early on, several states indicated they would not not honor it.

    That’s the nature of the beast. As much as folks like us think this should be a no brainer constitutional right, the truth is, everyone doesn’t think the same as we do. This includes slightly less than half of those black robed arbiters of constitutionality, The Supreme Court. As it stands now, slightly more than half of both houses of legislature concur with our beliefs. They are only emboldened to champion our cause because of a couple of recent positive 2nd Amendment rulings. If they are able to cobble together a workable bill and get it passed, it will be a positive. Think of a banana split sundae, would you turn it down because there is no cherry on top.

    HR218 was a compromise between those who thought it should have given retired officers more coverage and those who thought they should have none. It’s been in effect for 12+ years now and everyone has become comfortable with it. I predict the same for this bill. Once folks become comfortable with it, maybe some tweaks will be in order, but we need to get it first. Bickering among ourselves won’t help.

    I am covered by HR218 now, but the bill being discussed gives me the same coverage with a hell of a lot less requirements.

    • Just did my annual LEOSA qual a few weeks ago here in SC. It was the 30 round, off duty course, fired from the 3 yard line working back to the 15 yard line. Very basic skills that include drawing from the holster, one handed stage, reloading on the clock. No barricade shooting. Nothing advanced, but it does give the line firearms instructors an assessment of your basic skill level and safety with the gun.

      • Our department requires the full 50 round timed course of fire, complete with combat and tactical reloads, using department authorized weapons. The only variance they allow is you don’t have to use department authorized ammo. I’ve heard of others doing the off duty/backup up abbreviated course of fire.

  5. So close and yet so far. Does anyone really believe that NINE Democrats can be persuaded to support national reciprocity? My guess is that Schumer and Pelosi might “allow” a few vulnerable Dem senators in red states to vote in favor- among those include Donnelly (IN), Heitkamp (ND), Manchin (WV), McCaskill (MO- good luck flipping her), and Tester (MT). They will never allow nine to support the bill.

    That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the bill die in the Senate without a vote.

    Too bad- because we do already have partial reciprocity. It would be interesting to see data from this “consortium” of states to allow for an evaluation of the pros and cons related to reciprocity (e.g., crime rates, perception of safety, law enforcement support, administrative burden, etc.). Given previous research from the likes of Dr. Lott, pro-2A folks should have nothing to worry about.

    Although politicians rarely engage in data-based decision-making, dissemination of such data might influence the choices people make about where to live, where to travel, where to spend their money, and who to vote for. Thank goodness we still have the freedom to move about this wonderful country to find the place that affords each of us the best opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    • Sounds about right, & it kept Max Baucus in office long enough to retire at the Peoples expense, even though Max never did anything but “look Good” during his tenure in Office, & stabbed Montana Voter’s in the Back every chance he got!

      And now, we have Jon Tester trying to “Walk in Max’s Shoes”, hoping Montana Voter’s are Stupid enough to let him get away with the same lies, and Deceptions, that Max used so effectively, for over 20 years!!

      Paul

    • Yes, although the Leftists don’t care much about any fact that is contrary to their ideology, it is interesting to look at where we stand now. See this web site:

      http://www.handgunlaw.us/

      According to information on this site, we currently have:

      States with Constitutional (No Permit) carry = 9
      States with current universal Reciprocity = 15
      States with limited Reciprocity with other States = 16
      States with no (zero) Reciprocity with any other State = 10

      So, for 48% of the States (24 of the 50 States – Constitutional plus Universal States), the passage of National Reciprocity would make NO DIFFERENCE! The effect that this law would bring is already in place.

      For 16 of the States (32 %), a National Law would simply expand carry by varying amounts. For example, the State of Washington currently only recognizes permits from 9 other States. This would expand from 9 to 50 which is significant. On the other hand, Texas currently already recognizes permits from 43 States. Expansion from 43 to 50 is not so great a change.

      The biggest change would be in the deep blue, no reciprocity States (CA. CT. IL, HI, MA. MD, NY. NJ, OR and RI). These would be forced to go from zero States recognized to 50 States. However, they represent only 20% of the States.

      These deep blue States are the ones screaming that “blood will run in the Streets and criminals will run wild” if a National Law passes. We could point out to them that these visions of doom and gloom did not occur in the 48% of the States that are already there. However, they don’t want to hear such a fact. It conflicts with their ideology and is, therefore, heresy.

  6. Notice how the Left can go against federal drug laws, and get away with it. Several states have recreational marijuana laws, but it is still against federal law.

    Notice how the Left can have sanctuary cities and sanctuary states, also breaking both federal AND state law, I believe.

    Notice how the federal government has not been enforcing immigration laws, probably since the 1980s.

    Those of us on the Right want to exercise a human, God-given, Constitutional right, which has been taken away. We simply want what was legal in the past to be legal today. We want to end gun-carrying Prohibition. How frustrating. How aggravating.

    It must feel good to be a Leftist. You get almost everything you want. They get closer and closer to their utopia all the time.

  7. I want to know if HR38 is written such that anybody who wants to carry nationwide will have to have a license issued ONLY BY HIS STATE OF RESIDENCE. The reason I ask is that a lot of folks where we live have Texas non-resident licenses which are honored now in many states. If we now must go through all the hoops to get a license only where we live, this will make a lot of us just say “forget it”! Trying to maintain our non-resident Texas license costs money and lots of time. To try to get and maintain two licenses would be unreasonable and a waste. We do NOT want to relinquish our Texas non-resident licenses. I have not been able to find out what the rules will be in the new law.

    • Dave – The text of H.R 38 was written by lawyers so its meaning is subject to interpretation. The actual text is:

      “a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping,or receiving a firearm, who is carrying a valid identification document containing a photograph of the person, and who is carrying 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 or is entitled to
      carry a concealed firearm in the State in which the person resides, may
      possess or 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 that–

      (1) has a statute under which residents of the State may
      apply for a license or permit to carry a concealed firearm; or
      (2) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms
      by residents of the State for lawful purposes.”

      The above could be interpreted to be a residential permit requirement but it does not say so absolutely. It says the permit, that one uses, must be issued by “A State” (not necessarily one’s home State) and be valid in your State of residence. So, maybe a non-residential permit that is still valid in one’s home State would serve?

      Personally, I think the safest course would be to only use a permit issued by one’s State of residence. That way, there would be no question that it is valid. In some States, you don’t really have a choice. For example, California only recognizes California permits. They don’t accept a permit from any other State. So, if you live in California, it absolutely must be a California permit that you use for reciprocity in other States.

      The safe bet is to say, Yes, it does require a carry permit from your home State. Note, however, that this may not be the final language. If, by some miracle, it gets past the Senate, the Senate version is likely to be different. Then it would go to conference to create a final bill that becomes law. So, this language from H.R. 38 may not be the language of the final law (assuming it does eventually become law).

  8. I never thought I’d see the day and I hope that all the noise I’m hearing about this actually being an anti-gun bill are just that, noise.

    • I’m hearing a lot of noise about it being an anti-gun bill, too. Mostly that it establishes federal CCW permit standards and creates a national permitting system. However, I’ve found that the people making that noise, almost invariably have not read the bill. They’re just repeating a rumor they heard somewhere else.

      H.R. 38, as written, says that a CCW permit that has been issued to you and is recognized by your state of residence, shall be valid in all 50 states. It also says that CCW permit holders are allowed to carry on national lands and parks, and removes liability for the 1000′ “Gun-Free School Zones” (which could be handy when you’re visiting another state and don’t know where all the schools are). That’s all.

      No federal requirements, no federal permitting system. H.R. 38 is only a page and a half; surely a bill to create a federal permitting system that enhances federal agency powers (and explains where the necessary funding comes from) would not be so short!

      However, now that “Fix NICS” has been incorporated into it, there is some merit to the argument (the prior-restraint, preemptively-prove-your-innocence checks will not be “fixed” so much as “expanded”). But overall I believe CCW reciprocity outweighs NICS expansion.

      The real question, is WHY someone in the GOP decided they had to be combined.

      • The implication of the bill is that if you have not gotten permission from a state your right to keep and bear arms will be infringed. National CCW is feel good legislation for those who will not restrain the state and federal governments from violating your rights.

      • @Dan:
        While that is true, the alternative is the current status quo: without a reciprocity agreement between states, your right to keep and bear arms will be infringed, whether or not you’ve gotten permission from a state.

        Baby steps. Of course nationwide permit-less “Constitutional” carry would be ideal, but national reciprocity is still a good step. Don’t let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

  9. Mr Meador has a good point….actually, before 1934, felons kept their 2nd Amendment rights…..the 1934 Firearms Act took away violent felons’ gun rights..OK. But the ’68 Act took away gun rights from all felons. We should revert to the ’34 prohibition… only for violent felons.

    • I agree. Lots of ‘felonies’ are for things like littering or misunderstanding laws (or just not even being aware of them.) You can become a felon just for finding a Eagle feather and keeping it!!!

  10. I’m sick of pro-gun people fighting amongst themselves! This is good legislation that we should support. If we don’t, it will be business as usual. Failure is not an option, unless we shoot ourselves in the head. It’s time the pro-freedom people quits being wimpy and man the hell up!

  11. Do you think there’s an element of cynicism in the objections of some pro-gun groups? I’ve noticed a definite tendency for most of them to be constantly sounding the fund-raiser alarm even when there’s no legislative threats looming, or elections coming up.

    Also, are the objections about losing the right to a buy a gun over an unpaid traffic ticket true?

    • IANAL, but as I understand it, technically, if you have an unpaid, overdue traffic or parking ticket from another state, and have returned to your home state, you are a “fugitive”.

      This has never, to my knowledge, been an issue for someone trying to purchase a firearm, but if unpaid, out-of-state traffic and parking tickets will be reported to NICS under the “fugitive” rule, then the answer is yes. Technically. (And again, IANAL.)

      • What ya’ll are speaking of is the reciprocal agreement states have on out of state traffic violators not being able to go home and ignore tickets issued in other states. While states won’t extradite such scofflaws, they agreed instead, to refuse to renew drivers licenses or vehicle registration until the violator takes care of the outstanding out of state citation (yes, this information is included on all state computers nationwide and is checked every time you renew state permits). If there is a such clause included in the proposed nationwide carry law, I’m guessing it would include the renewal or issuance of a concealed carry permit until outstanding misdemeanor/traffic violation warrants are addressed in other states, same as driver’s license or registrations. No big deal, not a permanent ban, just a delay until you face up to the charges.

  12. I have read all i can find on this. Very difficult to find any nonhysterical info. Thanks for another reference.

  13. Sadly, this bill still has a very large hill (more like Mount Everest) to climb. The gun-grabbers know that President Trump will sign it if it gets past the Senate. So, the Senate is their last and best chance to kill it dead. They are pulling out all the stops to do so. The anti-gun billionaires are pouring millions into the effort. The Left is whipping their lap-dogs in the media up to full cry against it. The lies that they are peddling are just a small part of the effort.

    One is their cleverest lies is that this is a “State’s Rights” violation. Since the Left normally runs roughshod over State’s Rights, Republicans are normally pro-State’s Rights. The Left hopes some weak-minded Republicans will swallow this false claim of this bill being a State’s Rights violation. The Left, with this lie, hopes to peal off some of the Republican support for the bill.

    If that fails, they will still use this lie to cry that any Republican who votes to support this bill is “guilty” of “Hypocrisy” for voting against State’s Rights. This is the biggest “Whopper” of all!

    The concept of State’s Rights arises from the 10th Amendment which reserves powers, not granted by the Constitution to Congress, to the States or to the People. So, by claiming that Carry Reciprocity is a State’s Rights issue, the Left is basically claiming that Congress has no (zero) constitutional authority to regulate the bearing of Arms across State lines. This is a ridiculous idea. There are at least three (3) sections of the Constitution (the Commerce Clause, the Full Faith and Credit Clause and the 2nd Amendment) which could be interpreted as granting Congress this authority. Therefore, the claim that Congress has “No Authority” in this area and that it is, therefore, a State’s Right is so over the top that it is hard to imagine! How can it be a State’s Right issue when it affects Interstate movement over multiple State lines!

    And yet, if this bill does somehow get over the hurdles that the Left is busy erecting in the Senate and does become law, we can immediately expect the Left to launch a whole host of lawsuits based upon the idea that the law is unconstitutional and violates State’s Rights. We can also expect the Left to “shop around” for a Leftist Judge to agree with them and to try to strike it down. It may eventually end up in the Supreme Court if it passes.

    The anti-gun mania of the American Left is truly beyond belief. It surpasses the mania of even the most extreme religious zealot. A suicide bomber has nothing on the American Left when it comes to extremist behavior!

    • I’ve heard the “States’ Rights” argument against national reciprocity before. I destroy it thusly:

      The Tenth Amendment states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People.”

      Note the little line in the middle there that everyone seems to forget: “nor prohibited by it [the Constitution] to the States“.

      The Second Amendment is a very clear prohibition against infringements on the right to keep and bear arms, the Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection” extends the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment to all citizens of all states, and the Tenth Amendment prohibits states from restricting those rights.

      Thus, individual rights supersede so-called “States’ rights”. States can make their own laws, but no state has the right or authority to infringe on citizens’ rights.

      If someone wants to cite the Tenth Amendment to argue against CCW reciprocity, use the same Tenth Amendment — the whole Tenth Amendment — to unravel their argument.

      • Your thinking is sloppy. The preamble to the first ten amendments make it perfectly clear that the purpose is to clarify that the enumerated powers are not, themselves, without limit. The Commerce Clause does NOT give the feds the right to feds the right to regulate movement across state lines. It only gives them the right to regulate COMMERCE (which, at the time, referred to the wholesale movement of goods for purposes of trade). The second amendment makes clear that neither this power, nor the power to tax can be used to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. The second is also a restriction on the states. The first amendment is explicitly a restriction on CONGRESS while the second is binding on the states because the language does not restrict itself to congress. The point is that requirements for CCW permits are themselves unlawful infringements. ou do not protect a right by submitting to its infringement.

        Yes, the arguments of the gun controllers are specious and stupid. Those supporters of gun rights who advocate for extending permits are undermining the right by agreeing that it can only be exercised by permission.

      • Dan – I understand your point. You believe, as many do, that the 2nd Amendment means what it says and that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Yet, the majority of people (and certainly the Courts) have long held that none of the rights, listed in the bill of rights, are unlimited. Currently, there are nine (9) States that have implemented carry without a permit which comes closest to this idea. That still leaves 41 States that see it differently.

        I get your “no compromise” position on this question. However, realistically, we are not going to get the whole loaf at one sitting. We need to gradually take bigger and bigger bites of the loaf to succeed and to prevent the Left from stealing away the loaf altogether.

        I think that, even in the early period of America, limits were envisioned on the right to keep and bear arms. For example, the Constitution of the State of Tennessee (which is almost as old as the U.S. Constitution itself – dates to 1796) says:

        Section 26. That the citizens of this state have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime.

        So, some regulation of the right to bear arms was envisioned even back in 1796. I am not arguing against “Constitutional Carry”. But it is unrealistic in an environment contaminated with a leftist media, leftist education system and (in many cases) leftist judges, to demand an unlimited 2nd Amendment when we have to fight, tooth and claw, just to get the 2nd Amendment recognized at all!

      • @Dan:
        How is my thinking sloppy? You just said, in different words, what I just said!

        To whit:
        – The Second Amendment is a prohibition on the government.
        – The Second Amendment’s prohibition is incorporated to all the states via the Fourteenth Amendment (see MacDonald v. Chicago [2010]).
        – The Tenth Amendment grants all powers not specified for the federal government to the states, except for those prohibited by the Constitution, which includes the prohibition in the Second Amendment.

        My point is, when someone claims “States’ rights” to infringe on individual rights and cites the Tenth Amendment, a complete reading of the Tenth Amendment (including the “nor prohibited by it to the States” part) undermines their claim.

      • @TN_MAN:
        You yourself seem to believe, as I do, that the Second Amendment protects a much more expansive right to keep and bear arms than is currently recognized by governments at any level. Maybe it’s not unlimited, per se, but certainly not as restricted as it currently stands.

        That said, we’re also in agreement that we’re not going to get those unconstitutional restrictions undone in one swoop; it’s going to require incremental steps. We lost the wider right in baby steps, and we’ll have to reclaim it in baby steps, one legislative or judicial victory at a time.

  14. I tend to believe GOA’s take on the blending of the two bills. It may well be poison now. No good can come of anything Feinstien touches.

  15. Sure, Fix NICS is good, but non-violent felons with 10yr clean record should be excluded from denial list. Many young persons with minor felony offenses are good citizens. Americas are forgiving when mistakes are sometimes made.

    • They should restore gun rights to all felons twenty years after the last felony. People are less prone to violence as they get older especially the ones that stay out of trouble. And old people should, when possible, have the right to defend themselves.