Constitutional Carry Among States: Reciprocity for All!

Constitutional Carry Among States: Reciprocity for All!

Constitutional Carry Among States: Reciprocity for All!

For law-abiding, knowledgeable, and very conscientious-licensed concealed carry firearm folks, it is a very big hassle now to travel from your home state to other states, determine the applicable concealed carry (cc) laws, their requirements, and carry your self-defense handgun across state lines in the United States. You have to wonder are we really “united” in the same direction for our common self-defense purpose? Currently, there are many different and conflicting state and local laws implementing our Second Amendment and U.S. Constitutional Right to keep and bear arms in the United States. Yes, you can list the states that have “reciprocity” with your home state where you earned and received your cc license/permit. But, no state has reciprocity with ALL the other states. None have reciprocity with more than about 34 other states. Most states have reciprocity with only about 15 to 20 other states. Some have NO reciprocity with any other state (e.g. California.)

At this time, there are 5 states that have Constitutional Carry laws: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Vermont, and Wyoming, with others pending in Colorado, New Hampshire, Kansas, Mississippi, and Montana. Five states have NO license/permit requirements for cc (e.g. West Virginia is pending this week to be the sixth state.)

The various states interpret things differently, define terms vaguely in some cases, the scopes and applicability of laws vary greatly, and there are different requirements and penalties. Some states even issue cc licenses (e.g. Florida), while most issue cc permits. Some states require live-fire demonstration of competency with a firearm (e.g. Florida), while others do NOT (e.g. Oregon) to earn the license/permit. Utah, Florida, and Arizona issue multi-state, non-resident cc firearm licenses/permits that have NO state residency requirement and may be obtained by any legal resident of the United States. A student recently traveled from California to attend my Florida class, since the Florida cc weapons license was the only non-resident license available then to California residents that will allow them to legally carry in Florida. Should there be a universal cc law and/or license/permit? Should one state’s cc license/permit be recognized and accepted by ALL states?

The confusion and contradictions lead law-abiding gun owners to inadvertently butt heads with the law when they exercise their right to self-protection while traveling among states or temporarily living away from home.

An example is the Philadelphia, PA lady in August 2014 who obtained the necessary cc permit to carry her handgun in Pennsylvania, but was arrested in New Jersey for unlawful possession of a weapon. She was facing three years in prison for innocently disclosing that she had a firearm in her purse and a PA carry license for it to the New Jersey police officer who arrested her after a routine traffic stop. New Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the country and does NOT recognize carry permits from any other state.

Should our fundamental right to self-defense stop at the border of the state we live in? Should there be limitations or complete restriction on our right to defend ourselves when we cross our home state’s border? What a headache and you with the license or permit must keep track of the laws in all the states you travel across or temporarily live in, ergo you might break the law. Wouldn’t it be convenient and less complex, if one state’s cc license/permit was accepted by ALL states? What if there was one recognized license/permit (maybe even with the same requirements to apply with the same scope and definitions, authorities, and applicable laws and penalties)? Do you think this can happen?

The term “Constitutional Carry” refers to the legal carrying of handguns (weapons are defined differently among several states), either openly or concealed, without the requirement for a government license/permit. There is a bill currently in both sides of Congress called the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015 that supports the Second Amendment. It was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) and in the U.S. House by Representative Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.). I understand that it is not intended to override existing state cc laws or to dictate national standards for cc. Further, it is my understanding that it will merely ensure that ALL states respect and honor other states’ cc licenses/permits issued by other states. There would be true reciprocity among ALL states. The Act is not a law now and several believe that currently it will not become a law in the present political climate. That if it does pass in the Senate and in the House, it will likely be vetoed. However, some are striving with much effort for it. But others like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are striving against it.

In essence, it would allow those with present legal cc authorization in their home state to carry their handguns across state lines, as long as the states have their own cc rights. It would be like a state’s driver’s license now. Currently, you do not need a vehicle driver’s license from each state that you travel through. It would be nice to NOT have to get a cc license/permit or meet vastly divergent requirements from each state you travel through or spend time in with your cc handgun. You can probably see that this is a prime target for anti-gunners and other related issues.

Conclusion

Think about this universal cc reciprocity among all states. Investigate these new bills, research them, and decide for yourself. To me the idea of reciprocity among all states for cc self-defense is valid and a necessary step to support our Second Amendment rights. Do you agree? Please think about this, make your decision, then contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative SOON. If you agree ask them to support Senate Bill 498 and House Bill 923. I hope you agree with me that these very important bills need our immediate attention and action. As Horace said “Carpe Diem!”

CONTACT U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative at:

Telephone: 202-224-3121
Websites & Emails: www.senate.gov; www.house.gov

Continued success!

Photo by author.

This personal opinion article is meant for general information & educational purposes only and the author strongly recommends that you seek counsel from an attorney in your state or jurisdiction for legal advice and your own personal certified weapons trainer for proper guidance about shooting & using YOUR firearms, self-defense, stand your ground law, and concealed carry. This is not legal advice and not legal opinions. It should not be relied upon as accurate for all shooters & the author assumes no responsibility for anyone’s use of the information and shall not be liable for any improper or incorrect use of the information or any damages or injuries incurred whatsoever. 

© 2015 Col Benjamin Findley. All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in whole or in part by mechanical means, photocopying, electronic reproduction, scanning, or any other means without prior written permission. For copyright information, contact Col Ben Findley at [email protected].

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  • jimkimmons

    Sorry, but you can’t “ensure” that one state honor another state’s laws … you must require it. I’m a Libertarian, FFL holder, 10th Amendment and states rights supporter. As such, no matter how much I believe we should be able to carry anywhere we want because of the constitution, letting the Federal Government into ANYTHING ELSE is inviting bureaucratic overreach because that’s all they know.

    If this law has more than about three sentences, it’s got loopholes and ambiguous statements that feds will use to get into our rights even more.

    • asoro

      Obama would Veto it anyway….

      • jimkimmons

        Good point.

      • Mark Bruscke

        It’s hard to veto a bill considered “must pass”. Such legislation as National Reciprocity is often attached as an amendment to some other bill – such as a budget bill – so that the will of Congress will prevail over Presidential sentiments.
        If the President prefers to “shut-down” the Federal government over National Reciprocity, I can live with that.

    • Nobody

      I agree that the only way this would work is a sweeping decision that the Second Amendment in our Constitution means that unless someone’s rights have been diminished through the due process of law, then that person has the right to keep (own or possess) and bear (carry with, transport, both inside and outside the home, openly or concealed, loaded or not, cased or no, holstered or tucked into a waistband or pocket, et cetera) arms (anything created as or possibly construed as a weapon — anything IMO). That is, after all, what it says.

      • Mark Bruscke

        Our general strategy ought to support States’-rights regulation of guns with the intent of keeping Federal regulation to a minimum. That said, there remains a Constitution to be supported. The general strategy I’ve espoused – when applied to civil rights – would defend racial discrimination under State law. Is that our intent?
        We have a directly-applicable Constitutional principle of “full-faith and credit”. Congress is well within it’s powers to apply that principle to State-issued documents certifying a citizen’s status as 2A-able (i.e., certifying that he is not a prohibited person). States voluntarily respect driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, birth certificates, and the like, issued by sister-States. It follows that States can be compelled to respect the 2A-certificates of sister-States. We ought not shirk our responsibilities in urging our Congressmen to uphold the Constitution in States where our rights are defied.
        The Won’t-Issue States have brought-upon-themselves the National Reciprocity bills. They have had 25 years to consider relaxing their carry laws; they refused. They have had 25 years to consider issuing non-resident carry certificates setting standards for training and testing as high as they might see fit; they refused. Leaving Congress no alternative means of ensuring our rights are respected, the Won’t-Issue States must accept their fate: the Federal Constitution will prevail in their jurisdictions.
        The Won’t-Issue States represent an active threat to our rights. Bear in mind that these high-population States are rearing-up successive generations of hoplophobes to vote for Congressmen to represent their phobia.

    • Col Ben

      Good points Jim. This week’s Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS) ruling (requirement) should apply to National Reciprocity for Concealed Carry. We all know that the 2nd Amendment rights apply to concealed carry (CC). So if a state must recognize same sex marriage license from other states, it makes sense that a state must also recognize CC license from other states. There are many rights that the 14th Amendment applies to for state-by-state recognition and application. The 2nd Amendment is certainly one. Under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, no State shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” To me the 2nd
      Amendment rights to keep and bear arms are among those protected by this clause. Remember also that using the 14th Amendment SCOTUS struck down Chicago’s gun ban in McDonald v. Chicago in 2010 and earlier in 2008 in D.C. v. Heller ruled that 2nd Amendment gun rights were “fundamental” to liberty. Justice Kennedy even expressed the majority opinion for same sex
      marriage by writing “The fundamental liberties protected by [the Due Process Clause] include most of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights.” This makes sense to me that there is a direct and significant relationship in the logic and rationale between license reciprocity. How about you?

  • Tugboat

    I am all for national reciprocity. I travel a lot between states and hate to have to pack up my carry gun at a state border. Self defense is a NATIONAL RIGHT and what you use for that right should be legal in all states. This would insure that the legal hassles of interstate transport problems in states like NJ and CA where having a gun in your possession while just passing through the state would be abolished.
    The state would still retain the authority to issue a CCW to their residents. It should be just like a drivers license good in all states

    • Col Ben

      Hi RR in NY! RR wrote to say an even better question would be: Why are there Time Constraints/Limits placed upon the ability to exercise a Right granted by the U.S. Constitution? Many CCW are issued with an expiration date: To the best of my knowledge, a Right does not come with an expiration date, or am I not allowed the Right to Vote, exercise Freedom of Religion or the Pursuit of Happiness after a certain period of time? Food for thought! Thank you.

      • Ernie

        All good points. I too agree that it is OUR NATIONAL RIGHT to bear arms regardless of state borders. If it is necessary to have a permit/license in any state, then all states should accept them. I would also agree that it may be necessary to make requirements the same across the board because of the yahoos and yo-yos that get permits without any type of training. But you can’t really hold that against them because there are several highly trained individuals that have been in the news lately for accidentally shooting them selves or others. It is a RIGHT, trained or not.
        I personally don’t have a permit here in CA yet, costs too much. I have to lock my pistol in a box, separate from the ammo, to transport it to and from work if I want to have protection when at home or at work. Hope nothing happens in between or I’ll have to tell the perp to wait so I can unlock the box, get my gun out, load the ammo, and then say ok we can go now. Also, hope I don’t have to stop at a store and leave my gun in the car while I shop. These things just don’t seem safer or self-defending and not much of a RIGHT to me. If it costs too much or you have to jump through too many hoops to defend yourself and/or family, we might need to change it to RICH AND PRIVILEGED TO BEAR ARMS.
        It all seems pretty simple to me. National requirements to CC that is governed by the individual states, but accepted throughout because you know the criminals don’t get permits.

        • Mark Bruscke

          Admittedly, there are yo-yos who get no training or not enough training. I am adamant against tolerating any national standard for training as a prerequisite to getting a carry-certificate. That’s too much like a literacy test to vote. I’m willing to endure a training requirement from a State. My home State has no training requirement but my non-resident certificate States have more-or-less of a requirement.
          If there is a concern for a race-to-the-bottom on National Reciprocity then – I think – there is another avenue to get there. Congress could exercise its power to prescribe the “discipline” for the militia and then include females in the militia. “Discipline”; what might this term mean in the context of the militia? Trigger discipline? Muzzle discipline? Target and ground discipline? Rules of engagement for the lawful use of force? These sound like a good place to start. Now, then, all citizens and lawful resident aliens not of tender age would be subject to a national standard of discipline.
          The States have an implied duty to train their respective militias in the discipline prescribed by Congress. I suppose that they have considerable leeway in enforcing that training requirement. A perfectly reasonable place to begin would be to require applicants for a carry-certificate to evidence that they have been trained according to the discipline prescribed by Congress to meet their militia duties.
          Such an approach would move us to a national training standard under a perfectly Constitutional mandate. (Any 2A-able person should retain the right to keep a gun in the home and transport it to recreation venues without the prescribed training.) The advantage would be that it would promote gun training as a militia DUTY; NOT as a prerequisite to exercising a guaranteed right. It may become the start of reviving training in the martial arts as a mandated component of the curriculum for an adequately-educated citizen.
          Admittedly, Congress might prescribe the discipline for the militia at an onerous level. What is the risk of such a possibility? Would Congressmen from the rights-respecting States allow the prescribed discipline to be set above the level that would be met by their constituents? That is a possibility; however, were that to occur the least of our fears would be this particular means of a deprivation of rights.

      • dogshawred

        I read this more than once before realizing who actually posted it. I must respond, REALLY from you this question. The right to bear arms affirmed by the 2nd Amendment has absolutely nothing to do with CCW’s issued by state governments. It is those state governments who infringe upon our rights as citizens to bear arms that dictate time limits on the PRIVILEGE they grant to a citizen to carry concealed within that state.
        ~
        You are correct in acknowledging that rights have no expiration, but you mislead citizens when you confuse CCW’s issued by states and the rights of man to defend him/her self in whatever manner necessary.
        ~
        Regarding any law by the federal government causing conflict with state laws, they need to mind their own business. Most of the states are doing well on their own without the feds mucking it up for them. The feds can’t take care of their own business right how can we expect them to anymore or want them to do any more.
        ~
        Prime example…look at what they are trying to do with M855 ammo.

        • Col Ben

          HH Capt, USMC says- Any common sense among our Congressmen that support the 2nd Amendment? I am a firearms instructor with 40+ years of
          experience and I have 4 CCL in four States and I had a Must Issue license when
          I was an intelligence operative. Now as a FFL , I see the answer more clearly.
          The ATF has the leadership necessary to set the standard for the States to
          pattern their CCL requirements and those that adopt those standards should have
          reciprocity.Others, such as Utah , are ,and will continue to be non-compliant
          and their CCLs should be worthless. Ashamed to say, I have one. If we believe, as instructors, that a CCL license demonstrates a need to be tactical with a handgun, maybe our students need to demonstrate not only safety , but marksmanship , and that standard could be set by the ATF( since the NRA is not a federal agency).

          In the absence of State responsibility to adopt federal certification standards, the ATF and Congress could allow CCL status as a provision of FFL status or status as a FFL Trainee/Licensee ( non dealer). Think you can sell this approach? You seem to have more common sense in your analysis than most .

          • dogshawred

            There is absolutely NO need for states to adopt any BATFE established standards, it is not the role of the agency to dictate or advise state governments in formulating their state laws by legislation.
            ~
            With your experience you should know exactly how all government intervention turns in too full blown control. The all seeing, all powerful feds just can’t get enough control over the citizens they are elected to serve, NOT to put them into servitude.
            ~
            Sorry, NO to your approach. What you mistake as common sense is an understand of what ever citizen should be demanding from their government, LESS GOVERNMENT.

        • Mark Bruscke

          The expiration date is a fairly minor issue; at least with the present state of telecommunications. Theoretically, if I hold an unexpired carry-certificate and get arrested the cops know that they ought to make some effort to collect my guns because – tentatively – I could have become a prohibited person. If my carry-certificate has expired they can avoid making such an effort.
          If-and-to-the-extent that a cop or FFL wants/needs to verify the validity of a carry-certificate he can do a database inquiry and discover whether the certificate has been suspended or revoked.
          My expectation is that validity periods of carry-certificates will probably lengthen in the decades to come as we all recognize that the expiration date ceases to serve much of a purpose.
          It’s fine to discuss questions of Constitutionality – such as expiration dates – but we need to put most of our effort into fighting for the important issues of our cause.

          • Trythis Last

            one sensible use of an expiration date is to re-establish your fitness.
            Did you go blind since you permit was issued?….etc

            The bigger issue , to me, is a permit…period.
            The only concession to the 2nd that I think makes sense is verifiable safety training.
            We all know that in the 1700s safety training ( at home by dad) was a sure bet.
            Today I wouldn’t bet a nickel on that.
            So… the purists who know only one word…”infringement” would have it that ANYBODY…ANYBODY can go buy a gun and use it with no questions asked and no concern for the respect and safety of fellow citizens……..what to do about that?

          • dogshawred

            Mark, I’m so sorry. If you feel that an expired carry permit/license is enough provocation for a LEO to confiscate your guns, because you could have become prohibited to own a firearm.
            ~
            Why are U so willing to give up your rights? Really, why don’t you just walk into jail and offer yourself up to be jailed, I imagine they could find something in your past you have done wrong. Just give up all your freedoms.
            ~
            A permit/license is an infringement of your rights in the first place, so we all have give up something to be able to carry, but I will not lay down and die just because they say so. That is the important issue.

        • Trythis Last

          REALLY….(most) states are doing well…
          How about NY, NJ, MD, VT, IL,KS,, etc…
          When they screw you suffer.

          It would really be a wonderful utopia if all the states agreed on sensible rules…but….every state has groups, professionals, who make their living by creating trouble and cashing in on it.

          Expect big time pushback on the road to utopia.

      • Trythis Last

        There are several answers.
        1. Money grubbing Gov’t
        2. Things change…are you still fit and safe today as you were 4 years ago?
        3. Nothing is forever…..trees do not grow all the way up…
        4. About those other RIGHTS….BE VERY CAREFUL ….there are those who want to take those rights too…extinguish them tomorrow.

    • Steven

      I only have one issue with your comment. Self defense is a HUMAN right, not a National right. Rights are not limited to geographic borders.

    • Trythis Last

      Is it fair to assume that you support evidence of safety training?

  • jar1807

    There isn’t any doubt this should be the law everywhere. But, it is and will be an uphill battle in many States. In some States today, you can’t even carry within the State even if you have been issued a CC Permit. Worse, you can’t even carry in the Town where your permit has been issued. That’s because, the Police Chief who is chartered with issuing permits, routinely issues permits with restrictions such as a target restriction which ONLY allows carry to and from firing ranges. That might not be the case for a neighboring Town so permit holders in those Towns get carry rights you don’t. Confused? Well, hear this, the restrictive Town I just described does allow transport to another State. So, you can travel to another State with your guns and carry in that State assuming it recognizes your home State permit even with its restrictions. But, those States are increasingly difficult to find if you happen to live in MA that does not recognize permits from any other State and, as described earlier, doesn’t recognize permits from other Towns within MA.

    • Trythis Last

      One big problem with your post is revealed within it.
      Just what/which law is that you feel should be the law.
      if towns within a state can’t agree, how do you propose to to get 50 states and “X” towns to agree.

      It might be possible by the Feds, but don’t bet on it.

      • Mark Bruscke

        It seems to me that the situation prevailing in MA (and RI) demonstrates the failure of “May-Issue”. Suspend knowledge of reality for just a moment and imagine what “May-Issue” might mean if fairly administered. So, suppose ‘Ol Joe is a bit tech’ed. Sometimes has a temper. His police chief – under May-Issue – might consider his application for a carry-certificate and: refuse to issue any certificate; authorize a certificate restricted to the range or the municipality; authorize a State-certificate; or, an Inter-State certificate. That would be May-Issue with sensitivity to personal characteristics and local conditions.
        Now, reintroduce reality. May-Issue is rarely applied with sensitivity to anything other than pure-politics. Men-of-means are issued carry-certificates. Employees of big businesses are issued carry-certificates. Ordinary citizens are summarily denied. Experience shows that there are hardly any exceptions to this generalization; carry-certificates are not a de-facto right under May-Issue; they are a vehicle of political privilege.
        As a nation of 50 States and DC, we have to decide: Is the 2A a right worth respecting? Is free speech or search & seizure a such a right worth respecting? If it is, then it is fundamental and applies wherever the Constitution of our nation obtains. It is not merely a power – it is the DUTY – of each of the 3 branches of our Federal government to defend that right throughout its jurisdiction.
        To whatever extent towns, counties, States or territories refuse to respect the 2A they must be compelled to do so. They had the opportunity to reform – to demonstrate that May-Issue would be administered liberally – they demonstrated that they would not exercise discretion in a non-discriminatory manner.

        • Trythis Last

          I am all for the 2nd.
          My issue is with the purists who only know one word…”infringement”
          In the 1700s when the 2nd was written it was a solid bet that every kid got trained in safe responsible use of firearms.
          Today I wouldn’t bet a nickel on that.
          Yet the purists insist on NO restrictions at all… buy a gun …and use it.
          In support of the 2nd I would propose two things
          1. You need verifiable proof of safety training before you can buy a
          gun
          2. Then buy a gun with no questions asked, but with MAJOR
          penalty if you use it in a crime or accidentally injure/kill
          somebody.

          Forget about Shall Issue/may Issue/ and even background checks…let the 2nd “flY”…but GOd help you if you screw up…NO ifs, buts, ands, ors, mental pleas or anything…you PAYBIG TIME.

          Otherwise, I agree…may-issue STINKS

  • coyote-hunter

    Makes too much sense…government will never allow it…

  • Trythis Last

    If all it does is mandate that each state reciprocate… I vote NO.
    As I understand it in at least one state (GA.?, Fl?) you only have to pull the trigger, ONCE to get a license.
    I DON’t want those yo-yos running loose in my state!
    There is a (good, valid) reason why some states decline to honor cc licenses from other states!

    Reciprocity of “reasonable” licensing standards is like utopia.
    How to convince FL or GA… Or NY (at the other extreme) that “reasonable” is what YOU mean?

    I am against bigger Govt, but it seems that only the Feds can accomplish a good, reasonable, uniform standard….. Or… Might that be possible thru NRA or GOA or both working together.

    Have you ever read a mostly accepted “Standard Licensing” proposal?

    I’ll bet that (legal) Driver’s License requirements are more similar across states than are cc requirements.

    BUT…..WILLY NILLY RECIPROCITY JUST BECAUSE ?….. FORGET IT.

    When I call or fax my Senator, what do I ask him to do?

    Trust me. I want to roam freely and without my lawyer… But I don’t want to roam into a no mans land and I don’t want untrained yo-yos roaming in my territory.

    • John Havercroft

      So, you can show us all the real world danger in a state such as Washington from all the untrained “yo-yos” running around with concealed firearms because we have no training requirement for our CPL? Or is all this danger a figment of your imagination fueled by the propaganda you have been fed by the anti-gun groups and the government telling you who is safe to carry a firearm and who isn’t?
      Show us the proof that this fear in your mind equates to real danger in the real world? We’ll wait while the crickets continue to chirp in the background.

      • Mark Bruscke

        Excellent point John; and I’ll second it with PA. The untrained-yo-yo argument is overwrought. It’s a pretty rare duck who prefers to remain ignorant of his responsibilities as a gun-keeper; fewer-still who want to carry ignorantly.
        In any case, the States that Won’t-Issue or would grant bilateral reciprocity on a very restricted basis COULD have had it their own way. E.g., NJ COULD have remained Won’t-Issue for its citizens but granted a Non-Resident Carry Certificate to anyone who would meet its onerous training requirement. Living just 2 miles from the NJ line, I would have MET NJ’s training requirement NO MATTER how ONEROUS! What recourse do I have for relief? I can’t appeal to the NJ legislature as a non-citizen of NJ. I can only appeal to Congress. What means does Congress have of defending my rights? Pretty much it’s limited to some imposition of full-faith and credit. If that leaves NJ vulnerable to my ill-trained sister Pennsylvanian; well, that’s just NJ’s tough luck. NJ would not endure me carrying on its terms; it will endure my ill-trained sister Pennsylvanian.

        • It is interesting that you would mention full faith and credit. If you read all of the suggested bills for nationwide reciprocity you will notice that none of the bills include any language regarding the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms or full faith and credit. The bills contain language that establish the Federal government’s authority to regulate based upon interstate commerce. That’s what’s wrong with these bills. They do nothing to establish the individuals’ rights to bear arms, they only establish the authority of the Federal government to regulate it.

          • Mark Bruscke

            “. . . none of the bills include any language regarding the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms or full faith and credit. The bills contain language that establish the Federal government’s authority to regulate based upon interstate commerce. ” That is fascinating! That can’t be an accident. Do you have any insight – speculation even – as to why they resort to interstate commerce and avoid 2A or full-faith and credit?
            It occurs to me that Congress would retain a lot of control under the interstate commerce base. E.g., they could restrict National Reciprocity to interstate truck drivers but withhold it from motorists traveling for leisure. The present language probably imposes no such conspicuous restriction; but, having chosen the interstate commerce basis, Congress could, at any future date, constrain the exercise of interstate carry.
            Interesting as this line of inquiry might be, my sense is that it doesn’t matter much. (Please read this as an invitation to enlighten me.) The main issue in my mind is for National Reciprocity to inoculate the citizens of the Won’t-Issue States against hoplophobia. Ten years after these States have enjoyed concealed-carry the practice won’t be nearly so controversial.
            More than ANY OTHER ISSUE, we need to NORMALIZE the RKBA in liberal urban precincts. Once ordinary people regard RKBA as a normal fundamental Civil Right then it won’t be politically possible to roll-it-back.
            In urban areas the majority of voters will still NOT carry. Nevertheless, each such voter will have 2 or 3 acquaintances who DO carry. And, they will be inclined to acquiesce to their practice.

  • ItalianScallion

    Carring and knowing what to do when the shit hits the fan are two differant animals. Only expierenced gun owners should be allowed.

  • xrayne1 .

    Here’s our email we sent today.
    Feel Free to Copy and paste it.

    How ridiculous would it be if law abiding citizens were required to obtain separate driver’s licenses for every state they expect to pass through on their annual road trip across the country? Yet, this is currently the situation for citizens who are CCW permitted in their home state.

    Basic driving laws are the same no matter what state, hence any state’s drivers license is sufficient evidence of responsible use of an automobile on America’s roadways. So, it should also be that any CCW be recognized as evidence of a law abiding, responsible citizen exercising their Constitutional Right to carry anywhere within our United States!

    Our elected officials are expected to uphold the laws of the Constitution on behalf of your fellow citizens. Therefore, we request you support the enactment of the Reciprocity bills currently in Congress, ie.. Senate bill #498 and house bill #923.

    Thank you for your expedience regarding this important matter.

    Sincerely,

    • BobS

      —-How ridiculous would it be if law abiding citizens were required to obtain separate driver’s licenses for every state….
      You could be if the states decide not to cooperate on the matter. Some states issue unrestricted licenses at age 16 1/2. You cannot use such a license to drive unrestrictedly in some states (e.g. New Jersey) that have a higher age.
      —-Basic driving laws are the same no matter what state,

      Accepting this as true (dubious) carry laws vary quite a lot.

    • How do I find these bills? I have been searching but it never comes up with the bills Senate bill #498 and house bill #923.

  • BobS

    Driver’s licenses are recognized by state agreements and multi-state compacts. It has nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution. Those who support federally mandated recognition will rue the day it happens. You do not want the central government involved in this issue. Full Faith and Credit is designed to prevent the requirement of duplicative legal processes. It is not designed to allow people to skirt a state’s laws. For instance a couple married in state A with a 13 year old bride may be legal. It does not follow that state B, with a minimum age of 15 is required to recognize this marriage. FFC works in that if the marriage in state A would have been lawful if contracted in state B, then the couple does not have to remarry in state B to be considered legally married there. For things such as permits and licenses for ongoing activities (concealed carry, practicing law or medicine, etc.), forcing recognition would drive all standards to the lowest level and essentially erase state boundaries. A very bad idea.

    • Mark Bruscke

      There are no bilateral agreements among States recognizing sister-States’ driver’s licenses. There are 2 things that make States honor one-another’s documents: one is the penumbra of the Federal full-faith and credit law; the second is a pragmatic recognition that it’s unrealistic to conduct regulation of birth, marriage or driving via any alternative means. Licenses/permits/registrations to practice professions are yet another dimension of the notion of “full-faith and credit”. Because the activity conducted – medicine, barbering – take place within one or another particular State jurisdiction and because the activity is a business or profession, States have more leeway.
      Inter-State carry – however – is an activity of a character quite distinct from either business/profession vs. purely personal (birth, marriage). It’s also somewhat distinct from driving. Full-faith and credit could be imposed by Congressional mandate on driver’s licenses under the penumbra of the Federal right to travel. It has not been so imposed because the States have not forced the issue by dishonoring sister-State driver’s licenses.
      Inter-State carry is entitled to protection by the penumbras of the rights to: travel; and self-defense. Carry – whether intra- or inter-State – is protected explicitly by the 2A. Congress is explicitly empowered to impose full-faith and credit in any such case where the rights of sister-State citizens is denied. Ever more legitimate in this case because 40 States respect the Right-to-Carry while only 11 jurisdictions deny this right. Congress is entirely justified in exerting its power in light of the fact that there are more than enough States to adopt a Constitutional Amendment to impose inter-State carry on the rights-denying States.
      Bear in mind that the rights-denying States COULD have RETAINED control over the means by which carry in their States would be regulated. These States REFUSED the opportunity and so, must forfeit any exercise of discretion. (E.g., the rights-denying States COULD have issued non-resident carry certificates on high – even onerous – standards of testing and training.)

  • CMD

    Arkansas is not a Constitutional Carry state. The recent change in law makes it legal for a gun owner with no permit to transport his weapon(s) while on a journey out of his home county.

    The “real” Constitutional Carry bill was soundly thrashed 4 or 5 years ago, and nothing has changed.

    Our sheriff and State Police have said they would arrest anyone on sight, open carrying. I don’t know how this rumor got started, but it is a stretching of the truth by a far margin.

    Anyone is subject to arrest in our county, other counties further south have managed to convince LE and DAs that the bill means open carry, so you have a convoluted hodge-podge of it is, it isn’t and everything in between.

    • Col Ben

      CMD- this is about “Constitutional Carry…. not “Open Carry.” There is a difference & it varies among states. On April 24, 2013, Steve Jones, Chairman of Arkansas Carry Assoc. ([email protected]) announced that in July, 2013, Arkansas will become the fifth state in the United States to enact “Constitutional Carry” into law. Arkansas Act 746 of the 2013 General Assembly was signed into law by Governor Mike Beebe on April 4, 2013, after receiving only one “nay” vote from the legislature.

      Constitutional Carry occurs in a state when no laws exist that generally restrict the carry of
      handguns (open or concealed) for self-defense purposes. Arkansas law 5-73-120 currently prohibits the possession of a handgun if it is possessed “readily available for use with a purpose to employ the handgun… as a weapon against a person”, which puts the burden of proof of legal carry upon the person carrying the handgun. Arkansas Act 746 changed the prohibitive language in July, 2013 as follows:

      Arkansas Code § 5-73-120. Carrying a weapon.
      (a) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person.

      This technical change decriminalizes the carry of handguns for self-defense purposes, and puts the burden upon a prosecutor to prove criminal intent of a person carrying a handgun. Also, there are no specifications whether a legally carried handgun should be carried openly or concealed; thus it is considered Constitutional Carry by Arkansas Carry and the gun owners of the
      state.
      Success!

  • kobe519

    Government will never allow this, not on state level or federal unfortunately. I obtained a Utah license because it gave me more reciprocity than my own state. It’s sad that those of us who obtain licensing are mostly law abiding citizens and we are not out to break laws. If anything it’s the unlicensed people government needs to worry about, e.g. gangs, felons, etc. I’m sick of government impeding on our rights!

    • OC for Tactical Advantage

      That’s funny, because us “unlicensed” carriers are the ones who were tired enough of the government infringements to actually do something about it…instead of accepting state slavery.

  • RamRoddoc

    Recognizing that one must seek the government’s permission for a right bestowed upon a citizen born into this nation only solidifies that it is not one.

    If one correctly comprehends the purpose and intent of the second amendment then a foundation of success can be measured.

    However, get the purpose and intent wrong and all that follows is based upon a foundation of failure.

    The people’s right will be “restored” when no honest person must beg permission, pay a fee and be registered like a common criminal to exercise that said right, any right not just the one not to be infringed.

    • cargosquid

      Very well said.

    • Jed

      Absolutely!

    • Mark Bruscke

      I absolutely disagree with this strategy. It HURTS us far more than it helps us. All the progress we’ve made toward carry rights in the past 25 years has been at the spear-point of Shall-Issue. Constitutional-Carry is coming along nicely on the wing-points of that spear.
      We UNnecessarily get hung-up on the terms “permit” or “license”. I have a “marriage license”; do you or anyone else imagine that it was the State that – on whim alone – granted me the privilege to enter into a state of matrimony? What nonsense! I have a “driver’s license”; do we take from this that the State – on whim alone – granted me the privilege of the generally-accepted means of travel?
      Instead, we ought to construe our carry cards as “certifications” that the State has found us to have met the qualifications to exercise our 2A rights. I.e., that we are citizens (or legal residents) who are not disqualified by tender age nor judicial determination of conviction nor mental incompetence. These certifications expedite the recognition of our 2A-ability when patronizing FFLs and on the scene of a defensive use of a gun.
      I, personally, would be perfectly happy with Constitutional-Carry because my name is globally unique. An FFL or cop can determine instantaneously (via NICS) that I am 2A-able. Let’s have some empathy for our fellow PotG who has the misfortune of being named “John Smith”. It may take NICS 3 days to conclude whether someone with a common name is 2A-able vs. a criminal. That’s a long time to be standing at an FFL sales counter or by a dead body waiting for NICS to clear him.
      It has been much easier to get State legislators to adopt Shall-Issue vs. Constitutional-Carry. It will be far easier to impose National Reciprocity upon the Won’t-Issue States based on carry-certificates now, while Constitutional-Carry applies in only a few States.

    • ConservativeConvert

      As I have commented before and no doubt will comment time and again, a CWP is NOT an infringement of rights. It fullfills the “well regulated militia” clause of the Second Amendment. Since the beginning of this nation, the “militia”, every male, able citizen between majority and age 40, was obligated to turn out to prescribed “meetings” (hence, Meeting St in many towns) to train and demonstrate their proficiency with their personal, military grade, small arms. A CWP is no different. It determines who is able, not legally proscribed, and trained to carry a pistol. If you have a problem with this interpretation, you leave us open to much broader, and more restrictive interpretation of “well regulated militia”

      • RamRoddoc

        That is a convoluted interpretation of just what a “right” is and how you honestly don’t seem to comprehend a “right”.

        Understand what “Jim Crow” laws are and consider how some states use “licensing” a right a means to deter citizens from exercising it.

        Some jurisdictions are charging hundreds of dollars for honest citizens to exercise their 2A “right”.

        You seem to fail to understand what “shall not be infringed” truly means and “reinterpret” it to serve to justify your position. The people are the militia and the militia is the people, not a national guard loyal to the state. In order for a militia to exist, the right of the people to keep and bear arms “shall not” be infringed, period.

        Allowing the precedent of any state to charge a fee, demand any training or allow a state assigned bureaucrat to decide on who gets to exercise a right and then the right ceases to be one, no matter how sincere the justification. It’s not a matter if the government will abuse the power you are so willing and ready to give away but simply when.
        The founders wrote the 2A as such as they knew no matter how small the control that if the state was allowed and the people tolerated it, then the right would be eroded and the right non-existent. Kind of like what we have be fighting for the past 3 decades to restore our rights.
        You sir do no service to the public nor assisting them restore their rights.
        States that don’t require training for carry permits have no statistically different accident rates from states that do.
        Training should be encourage, promoted and even subsidized. It should be offered in high school for those interested. But NEVER MANDATED or DICTATED in order to exercise ANY “right”.

  • OC for Tactical Advantage

    It’s humorous…in its sadness…to see how adamantly gun owners claim permits are not like drivers licences, because driving is not a Right (anymore). Then, they turn around, and fight to make them just like drivers licences… Really? The new American way…roll over in submission.

    Next…if one is too lazy to look up laws concerning reciprocity, they are too lazy to look up any laws for any state…can’t wait for the “ignorance” cards to be played even more so than now…
    Constitutional concealed carry reciprocity act…an oxymoron that depends on the moron to pass.

    • Mark Bruscke

      I’m not particularly convinced that there is not a RIGHT to a “driver’s license”. The more I think about it, I think that the document we call a “driver’s license” is – in substance – a certificate evidencing that the bearer’s right to drive has not been withheld (due to tenderness of age or incompetence) or bad behavior (traffic violations).
      Is there a driver’s test? My father drove from the age of 8 until the age of 88 without ever taking either a written or behind-the-wheel test. When Minnesota passed a driver’s license law he dutifully appeared before the county clerk and applied for a license; whereupon he was examined: “Young man, do you know how to drive?” Answer: “Yes”. I can’t remember how long ago I was last given a behind-the-wheel test. Each new State simply recognized by previous license and waived at least the behind-the-wheel test (or the written test as well).
      As a practical matter, we exercise the right to travel via motor-vehicle by meeting minimal requirements of age, training and examination; and, by good-behavior thereafter.

      • OC for Tactical Advantage

        A right in itself can not be a license or permit, because a right belongs to the individual. We don’t have a right for a permit to speak freely, we have the right to just speak freely. Automobiles were invented well before the first drivers license (1900ish). We once could just make or buy a vehicle, and drive it…but now we just get to talk about a country that used to be free…until we need a permit for that.

        • Mark Bruscke

          “A right in itself can not be a license or permit . . . ” So, what – as a practical matter – does this mean? There is now universal agreement that I had a right to marry my wife and she had a right to marry me. As it happened, we wished to marry within the jurisdiction of Minnesota which – at that time – imposed certain criteria before it would issue such a license. There was NO stipulation as to the bride and groom to be of the opposite sex. There WAS a stipulation that if the bride were a resident of Minnesota that 10 days notice had to be given in the county of her residence. Bride and groom both needed to be 21. There was a small fee.
          Do you hold that the legislature’s marriage licensing law deprived me of my right to marry? Precisely which part? The fee? The age requirement? The 10 days notice period in the county of the bride’s Minnesota residence (if applicable)? The sum of all these requirements?
          To so hold – that any legislation of a license/permit requirement ipso facto deprives a person of a fundamental right – is to render the argument frivolous. Imagine trying to persuade an audience that their right to marriage was irreparably dishonored by the requirement for a marriage license; hardly anyone would take the argument seriously; and, consequently, wouldn’t take the person making the argument seriously.
          I had to pay $21 to my local Sheriff for my PA License to Carry a Firearm. I paid $50 to South Carolina and upwards of $100 to Minnesota, Utah and Florida. I regard $21 a bargain; $50 as fair; $100 – $150 as reasonable. The $300 fee for IL will be onerous; but I’ll probably pay it.
          Training and the cost-of-training is a different argument. This could be onerous; but, so far, it hasn’t gored my ox.
          I hold that I have a RIGHT to DRIVE a car on public highways subject to paying the modest fee and good-behavior in respecting the traffic laws. That the 50 States each have a driver’s “license” law does nothing to deny driving as such a right. It would be politically intolerable for any State to deny the RIGHT to a driver’s license on grounds OTHER than age, failure to demonstrate a minimal demonstration of competence, or a really bad record of traffic violations.
          I urge you not to get too hung-up on the notion of the word “permit” or “license” as a denial of a right. It matters not-at-all what the state calls it; what matters is the criteria they use to deny the right. Is any such criteria UN-constitutional? If it is UN-Constitutional then we must object. If we don’t like the word “license”/”permit” we are wasting our time.

          • OC for Tactical Advantage

            It means, the existence of a permit/license means the governing body has the ability to deny a person their right under their own “appropriate and reasonable” criteria. It doesn’t matter what you or the government calls it.

            You do not have the right to marry your wife if you have to get permission from the state. Yes, the sum of all the requirements infringes upon the Right to marry someone. Yes, you were approved by the state with the privlige to marry your wife, you had to pay a fee, you had to wait, neither amount matters, what matters is that fee and time period exist.

            A license/permit, document, registration, any other government required form changes the action from a Right to a privilege. Anyone who thinks that is a bargain, fair, modest, small, or reasonable, I will take seriously, as the opposition to freedom. I pay $0.00 to open carry in WA. That is as lenient as a Right should be, anything more and the Right ceases to exist, and the privilege is born.

            I recommend you stop thinking about just you and stop focusing on single words, read a history book and look at the big picture. How about the 20 yo that wanted to marry his gf of 5 years before deploying again? Do you think his/her right to marry is less important? Let’s take that same 20 yo that has been deployed, when he comes back, he doesn’t have the money nor can he afford all the permits to carry a firearm. Is his right to bear arms not important? Is that “a bargain”,”fair”, “modest”, “small”, “reasonable”, or “any other self serving justifiable adjective?”

          • Mark Bruscke

            Thank you OC for making your position absolutely clear. From “How about the 20 yo that want ed to marry his gf of 5 years before deploying again? Do you think his/her right to marry is less important?” you indicate that you regard even an age restriction on a girl of 5 years-of-age constitutes a denial of her right to marry. So, likewise, I imagine a law baring her from buying a gun without a parent’s permission would be a denial of her RKBA.
            I’m pretty sure that at this point (state-tolerance of marriage at 5 years-of-age) you part company with all people of the Abrahamic tradition.
            I respect your 1A right to believe whatever you decide is correct opinion. However, I have trouble imagining how you advance the cause of RKBA by raising such an argument. If for every convert to our cause you astonish and repel 1,000 voters you do more damage to the cause than could be justified by any appeal to purity of principle.

          • OC for Tactical Advantage

            I’m not sure if you misread my “of 5 years” comment, or you are purposely being obtuse, but in any case I will address directly to your “5 year old” response.

            You are mixing up parental control with government control, and throwing in a splash of liberal extremism. Do you have a problem with a parent buying a 5 year old a .22 rifle and taking them to the range? If they made it illegal for a parent to buy and take their 5 year old out shooting, but made it legal to take a 6 year old out, would that be considered a bargain?

            Let’s not deflect into religion…

            Likewise, I too am for your 1A Rights, and I would never consider it a bargain or reasonable if the government required age and money for you to speak your mind, albeit an unrequited thought. For every compromise you agree to as “fair, small, bargain, onerous,” it will take 1000x more energy come back to the Constitutions original recognition. Because Right’s can’t be voted away and the individual is more important, my one convert to freedom means infinitely more than 1000 of those that try to compromise oppression into a free state. It only take III%. I’m not sure how you came to the conclusion it was “our ” cause.

          • Mark Bruscke

            Thank you OC; on second reading of “How about the 20 yo that wanted to marry his gf of 5 years before deploying again?” I conclude I mis-understood your intended reading. In my first reading I thought you meant the girl was 5 years-of-age; now I realize that you doubtlessly meant she was 18 – 19 – 20 – 21 but that the relationship had endured for the preceding 5 years. My humble apologies.

            I don’t have any issue with a parent buying a 5 year-old a .22 and taking that child to the range. At the same time, I wouldn’t object to the legislature of a State prohibiting a parent from allowing the 5 year old to take his .22 to the range unsupervised. Here, we probably disagree.

            In my personal case, my dad ordered my .22 when I was 13. I bore my rifle in-town and fired it in the countryside without supervision. There was no law (at the time in my home State) prohibiting children from bearing arms unsupervised. As a thirteen-year-old I certainly would have objected to such legislation; however, I wouldn’t object on Constitutional grounds today.

            Depriving “infants” (i.e., those under the age-of-majority) of free exercise of some rights is not much of a Constitutional issue.

            Where I think you and I are likely to agree is that it IS Constitutionally questionable to deny 18-year-olds of the right to buy handguns and to carry any gun. A college co-ed old enough to be on-her-own outside her parent’s home ought to have the same right to the means of an effective self-defense as a 21-year-old.

            “. . . it will take 1000x more energy come back to the Constitutions original recognition.” Tragically, you are correct. And those of my generation; and my father’s and grandfathers’ generations must stand and account for their neglect. Protection of the RKBA went to hell-in-a-handbasket in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Your estimate of 1000x is no exaggeration in accounting for the efforts of the past 25 years.

            Where we seem to disagree is that you can make III% while at the same time driving 1000 possible converts away for each convert you bring to the Constitution. Perhaps you are correct; we might not share the same cause.

  • NRA-Instructor

    I recently decided to ask my State Representatives to support any and all bills currently before the Congress related to National Reciprocity. Being a law abiding citizen, permitted in my home State, along with permits from other states gives me some leeway as to where I can carry, but thought it would be nice to not have to check each state every time I was contemplating crossing over a state line.
    Out of the 3 Sate representatives I wrote to, I received only one reply. It was from an independent U.S. Senator that also used to be the governor for our state. His reply to me was that he would NOT support any legislation related to the National Reciprocity Act. He was kind enough in his reply to explain his thinking. He said as a former state governor that he knew first hand of how the Federal Laws would impact the state, and he felt that Federal Level Government had already over-stepped their authority, and that there was already too much Federal influence being imposed on the autonomy of the States.
    He went on to explain that he felt it was the right of the States to decide who would have the permission to carry in that state, and that the Federal Government should not have any laws that would take that choice away from the individual States.
    Explaining a little further, he went on to say that in the pursuit of public safety, that the licensing requirements vary from state to state, and some states require absolutely no training in the aspects of safely handling a firearm, and each state should have the right to decide what state’s training requirements would satisfy reasonably that an individual with a permit would know how to safely handle a firearm.
    Now… for me, from a standpoint of convenience, it would be nice to see the National Reciprocity Act pass and be signed into law. But I can also see the logic and understand the reasoning behind the thoughts of our own U.S. Senator….

  • jengles

    So, I have one arm and one leg (both on the right side). I don’t “magically” get my missing limbs when I cross into a state where I’m not permitted to conceal my firearm. I am legal to carry concealed in 37 states. My home is in OR and I reside in CA; because of CA law, I am not eligible to even apply for a permit. However, I am still a double-amputee. This law would help me, not in getting my limbs back, but in allowing me a chance to legally defend myself. In my case I think that wherever I am I would, “rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.”

  • Jack Bailey

    What will happen to NJ, MD, NYC, most parts of CA, NY, Long Island, CT, MA, RI etc. which have “May Issue” laws but in reality they do NOT issue you a permit unless you have a restraining order or an imminent death threat. These laws often contain HOME STATE CCW permit requirements. So this means the 200 million who live in the above states will not be able to CCW with these proposed laws, since all they can get is a non resident ccw permit from Florida or Utah. Do these proposed laws cover people in these liberal Democrat Party “May Issue” law states?

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