Sunday, March 25, 2012

Concealed carry reciprocity

As of today, 49 states have laws in place that protect the right of their law-abiding residents to carry a concealed firearm in some form. Many states also protect the same gun rights of visitors. However, contrary to the US Constitution and many state constitutions, many states refuse to recognize the right of non-residents to carry a self-defense firearm.

Both S.2213 and S.2188 will protect the right of an individual who has met the requirements for a carry permit, or who is otherwise allowed by state law to carry a handgun, to carry a handgun in any other state that issues such permits or does not prohibit concealed carry, subject to the laws of the state in which it is carried.

Neither of these bills would affect existing state laws. State laws governing where concealed firearms may be carried would apply within each state’s borders. This would be similar to interstate recognition of drivers licenses. The legislation has already passed the house and is substantively identical to language introduced in 2009 and which received 58 of the 60 votes needed for passage.

Criminals, be definition, do not obey laws -- even gun laws. The arbitrary restrictions imposed by gun laws only affect the behavior of law-abiding Americans and do nothing to stop violent crime.

Of course, my preference would be for all jurisdictions in the United States and its territories to fully honor the Supreme Law of the Land -- the US Constitution, including the Second Amendment. S.2213 and S.2188 will help to mitigate the harm imposed on responsible gun owners by gun laws. I urge the Senate and the President to ensure either S.2213 or S.2188 become law immediately.

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