The “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011,” known also as H.R.822 or “The Streets Aren’t Red Enough Act” by the Brady Campaign has been talked about a lot in the news, but not many news organizations have taken the time to actually read through the damned thing and parse it out for their readers (despite the fact that it’s currently only six pages long). Seeing as I’m a bit of a legislation nerd I figured I would give it a go and walk you guys through exactly what’s being proposed.

The preamble, which is the first actual line of the bill, is supposed to succinctly state what the rest of the text is going to do. In this case it does a pretty good job.

To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.

The purpose of this bill, according to the preamble, is to change the penal code of the United States to outline some standards to enable interstate concealed carry.

Since the concept of universal concealed carry isn’t exactly res ipsa loquitur for everyone in congress the next important section outlines the reasons why this should be implemented. The very first statement more or less sets the mood for the rest of the bill:

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects the fundamental right of an individual to keep and bear arms, including for purposes of individual self-defense.

The writer is enshrining the Supreme Court’s interperetation of the second amendment as an incorporated right applied to every citizen of the United States and not just on a federal level. This is backed up by the second statement, which refers to the Heller decision of the Supreme Court.

The fourth statement is probably the one that is going to rub opponents the wrong way the most:

The right to bear arms includes the right to carry arms for self-defense and the defense of others.

Boom. Right there. If this becomes law, the right to carry for self defense would be enshrined in law forever. Or until something else comes along to strike it down. And not only does it include personal safety in that clause as a valid reason for employing deadly force but also the safety of “others” as well.

There are a couple of statements thrown in here which argue that there is precedent for such a move. Statement #5, for example, is a reminder that Congress previously authorized off-duty officers to carry concealed weapons wherever they go without a permit. Statement #6 is a reminder that 48 states provide some mechanism for citizens to carry a concealed firearm. And statement #7 notes that the overwhelming majority of CCW holders don’t go around shooting up their states.

The real authority for this bill, however, doesn’t come from the previous statements but from statement #8, which states that a lack of reciprocity harms interstate commerce. The U.S. Constitution has what’s known as the “commerce clause” in the legislative powers section of the constitution. From the section enumerating Congress’ powers:

To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

As any good High School student will tell you, any powers not enumerated specifically in the constitution are reserved to the states themselves. This is where the states get their authority to issue carry permits as they see fit. However, by not providing universal reciprocity the states have set up a condition where a citizen in one state may choose not to travel in interstate commerce due to that lack of reciprocity. Because of that effect on interstate commerce, Congress has the ability to act.

Yeah. I know. It kinda makes your brain hurt. But this is the same crutch Congress uses to pass a good chunk of their legislation that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere else in the outlined powers, so I guess what’s good for the goose and all.

Enough about the findings and the legal precedents, what does this bill actually DO? Here’s the main section:

(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof, related to the carrying or transportation of firearms, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, and who is carrying a government-issued photographic identification document and 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, may 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, other than the State of residence of the person, that–
`(1) has a statute that allows residents of the State to obtain licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms; or
`(2) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes.

In English: As long as there are no local or state ordinances against carrying a concealed weapon, any U.S. Citizen who meets the following criteria can carry a concealed firearm (but not a machine gun or destructive device) in any state that allows concealed carry:

  • Can legally own a firearm
  • Carrying a government issued photo ID
  • Carrying a concealed firearms permit issued by ANY state (not just the state of residence)
  • Use a firearm that came from a different state or country

That last bit about the firearm coming from a different state might be another attempt to invoke the commerce clause, but it makes it a pain in the ass if you want to use a gun that was made in your state.

The big catch there is that the state you’re in has to have some sort of mechanism for allowing concealed carry. Illinois and the District of Columbia are the only two “states” that don’t allow concealed carry in some form or another.

Here’s another good question: What laws does the CCWer have to follow? If this new bill goes into effect, the laws of the state and locality where you’re carrying apply. So if you’re in a state that doesn’t allow carry in a restaurant you can’t walk into Applebee’s with your Glock under your shirt even if you have a permit from a state that says it’s OK. Rules about magazine size default to the current state you’re in as well.

On the other hand, if the local government issues their permits with restrictions (time, etc) on the licenses, this bill would allow out of state permit holders to operate as if they had “unrestricted” permits.

The rest of the bill clarifies some legal stuff to keep from pissing off the states too much, and allows the bill to be “severable.” That means that if one section is unconstitutional, only that section is struck down and the rest lives on.

That just about covers this bill as it stands right now. It’s still sitting in committee with 243 cosponsors, but hasn’t moved since it was introduced. Suffice it to say, should anything happen we will let you know.

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65 Responses to Quick Summary of the Proposed National Right to Carry Act (H.R.822)

  1. If this bill becomes law (which I doubt it will), restrictive “may issue” states are f^cked. Denizens of such states will simply obtain a nonresident Florida permit, thereby enabling themselves to carry in their home state and circumventing their own state laws. That won’t happen. Which leads me to believe that this bill is a “false flag” deal designed to make its sponsors look good.

    A law that would allow a nonresident to carry in other states if the nonresident has a permit in her home state might survive in the Senate. This one won’t, and the sponsors know it.

    • Doesn’t the FL non-resident permit require that you have a pistol license in your home state for reciprocity to be in effect? I have a Utah out-of-state license (not handy at the moment) and I’m pretty sure it says something to that effect. I do not have a pistol license in my home state of NY, so my UT license is pretty much useless, except in Utah.

      • The FL nonresident permit does NOT require you to have a resident permit in your home state. It’s a great permit, with reciprocity in about 30 other states.

      • I have a Utah non-resident permit. To obtain a UT NR permit you must have been issued a permit from your home state IF your homestate has reciprocity with Utah. In my case Maryland does not have reciprocity with Utah (or any other state I think) so I am fine and can get a UT NR permit without any other requirements other than the ones for a UT permit by itself.

    • I’m pretty sure the tail end of section a covers that. Namely in the “other than the State of residence”. Which sucks, as I’m in San Francisco and the sheriff has granted 10 CCWs in something like the last 15 years.

      “may 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, other than the State of residence of the person, that–”

    • Rather than use commerce clause justification, they could use Title 10 article 311 justification.

      That would permit members of the militia (organized and unorganized) who pass an appropriate course of militia training, to carry concealed.

      It would also make sense in the same law to extend membership in the unorganized militia to women who are not in the national guard, and perhaps to a wider age range. 65 is the new 45 and 85 is the new 65, ect.

      It may be that once many men and women can carry concealed without incident, that state restrictions can be reduced, just as once slavery for all born after 1872 went away in Brazil, that slaves born before then were defacto given freedom.

    • There is a “Priviledges and Immunities” clause in the constitution that forbids depriving people of rights if they are outside their home state, if they have that right in their home state. Think driving licence or marriage.

      Legislative recognition of concealed carry as a priviledge and immuity would qualify you for reciprocity.

      This is distinguished from the “Priviledges or Immunities” clause in the 14th Amendment that was used by one Justice in “Heller”

      • Unfortunately, the NRA sabotaged Gura’s attempt to use Privileges and Immunities in the MacDonald case.

        The Supremes have essentially marginalized and ignored P&I for about 70 years. Gura’s argument masterfully relied upon P&I in MacDonald, which would have forced the Court to confront the meaning and application head on. The Court would have either had to recognize P&I, substantially expanding the rights of the People – or say “We’re going to ignore this part of the Constitution, because we don’t like it.”

        Along comes the NRA and horns its way into the suit, offering up the “Due Process” argument, allowing the Supremes to (once again) ignore P&I and to rule using “Due Process” reasoning.

        Nonetheless, Thomas’ concurrence rested squarely on P&I, which identifies him as perhaps the most honest juror on the bench.

        For an illuminating article on the issue, see:
        http://reason.com/archives/2010/03/04/guns-for-all-privileges-and-im

        Of course, the NRA argues that Gura might have lost using P&I. But they also know it would have only temporarily delayed the result, as the NRA had already filed its OWN suit basing its argument on Due Process. Even if the P&I argument had failed, the Due Process argument succeeded. The only difference is that the NRA prevented Gura from winning back for the People the Privileges and Immunities long disregarded by the Government and the Court.
        While the NRA does many good things – in this case they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in a desperate attempt to be seen as “leading” in the fight to protect the RKBA.

    • No doubt the sponsors would like to pass it, but it’s more likely that it will fail, and the vote used to paint those who vote against it as “anti-gun”… which, of course, they probably are.

  2. The principal sponsor is my rep and I actually know him and his family. He is a neocon, but a more honest one. No libertarian, but very solid on gun rights, and has introduced this legislation every year since 1995. It’s also my understanding that if they get two more senate votes, the bill cannot be filibustered and can be attached to “necessary” legislation, meaning his Lordship will sign it, just like national park carry. And even though concealed carry is far inferior to open carry, this would still do a lot for normalizing guns and helping the gun culture out in CA, NY, NJ, etc. That’s a big chunck of the nation’s population! Nation wide “shall issue” is the first concern of the NRA. Once this and school carry is realized, maybe they will finally be interested in tackling the heart of the beast. The Nazi (translated from the original German) GCA 68, NICS, NFA 34, Bush I import ban, etc.

    • +1

      A similar bill was defeated in the Senate a few years ago with 58 votes in favor. It went to the floor with a special proviso that 60 votes would be need for approval. Obviously, everyone knew that there weren’t 60 “yes” votes, so Dems and Reps were allowed to vote the way they needed to vote to please the home folks. If HR822 is approved in the House (likely), the Senate Dems will kill it in Committee and will not allow it to go to the floor for a vote. If it did go to the floor, there’s no assurance it would pass. When it’s nut-cutting time, can we really trust anyone on the Hill?

  3. The gun grabbers have chiped away at our rights for years, and now it’s our turn to chip away. We can start with concealed carry for everyone and then go for open carry. We need to keep getting our rights back a little at a time until we get them all back.

      • Its the only way to make the states comply with citizens 2A rights. States should not have the option to choose which rights to honor or not. Remember segregation? Let the states decide and oppression ensues.

        • Completely agreed. The phrase “a bridge too far” means that it’s a goal that can’t be achieved. What we need to make reciprocity a reality is a Senate with balls. Instead, we have way too many Barbara Boxers and Diane Feinsteins.

    • Joe, I agree with you 100% lets chip away and we all should start out with purchasing a new firearm! And give to the NRA, I support HR822!

  4. This would relieve many of my CCW headaches for sure. Living in NH so close to MA makes my CC License almost useless. Get caught in MA with a concealed pistol, with out a MA CC license, its a 1 year mandatory incarceration sentence. And its a huge pain in the a to get that MA CC permit. Maybe one day….maybe…

  5. I don’t agree with this bill. I agree with the premise, but I believe in the constitution and what it truly means. We need constitutional carry and self-defense. The fact that we trample over the law with the commerce clause the same way the grabbers do (first vs. second run of the [un]safe schools bill) makes me cringe. The only way we can force constitutional review and invalidation of the illegal gun laws already in place is if we stop playing the same game.

    -Richard

    • You got it exactly right. I’m a NJ resident. NJ isn’t nearly as bad as commonly understood, but although it does have a concealed carry licensing process, the answer for an ordinary fellow like myself is always “no”. I do have a FL non-resident concealed carry license, but I agree with you that the pussy footing of the proposed legislation is absurd. State limitations on law abiding citizen concealed carry, NJ being a perfect example, is in violation of the federal Second Amendment and should be voided. We shouldn’t need legislation to paraphrase a constitutional right.

      • Revenge of the South? You trample on our states rights, we’ll trample on yours. I’m a big proponent of federalism but what basically happens is the right gets in power the media screams “Play Fair. Why all this violent talk” then the left gets in power and they fight dirty. You can’t beat someone who breaks the rules by playing as clean as a whistle. If something like this passes maybe pols will finally see “oh crap, if I abuse this while I’m in power and expand it eventually the other guys will get back in power and do the same” I really doubt politicians have this much foresight, but I can hope.

        • Exactly. We lose because we play the game and they are better at it. The game needs to change to removing every barrier to a full constitutional review of every aspect of government. Depts of Ag, Ed, Energy would be gone. The Gun Freedom problem is a Freedom issue, not a Gun issue…Guns just happen to be one of the current forms (healthcare and money are other focuses). He’ll, the federal gov’t already controls the majority of an entire class of people (find a senior that doesn’t need their Medicare or Social Security).

  6. As much as I’d like to see this bill pass, though it may be imperfect, I don’t think the climate is ripe just yet. The Senate charade of a couple years ago when this was last visited is a pretty good indicator of how it will likely go down this time around. A lot of congress-critters will make a lot of hay and if a vote is taken it will (wonder of wonders) miss the mark by a vote or two.

    But I think that our state and federal legis-critters are beginning to see the writing on the wall. Whether they truly want to do the right thing by the people that they represent, or whether they just want to maintain some semblance of control (and we all know how they love to control everything), they are not so blind that they can’t see where this is all heading. With the advent of the Tea Party, the 2010 sea change in the House, and the general, if somewhat slow and subtle swing of the pendulum to a more conservative/libertarian electorate, it won’t be too long before national reciprocity becomes law. I just don’t see that happening during this session of congress. More likely it will occur in the 2012 – 2014 time frame.

    I suspect that Alan Gura will be fighting the good fight for some time to come. The recent decision in Kachalsky v. Cacace is being appealed and there by getting bumped up the line. If Alan can get a few more wins under his belt in the next couple of years, we should find ourselves on pretty solid ground for some kind of national reciprocity and a solid rebuke of the irrationally restrictive states.

  7. Here in the Garden State (that’s NJ for all you out of towners) we have a may issue that functions as a total ban. Some have opined on NJ specific gun forums that this bill, even in its original form will do nothing for NJ residence. Apparently the way some read it, only people with a permit issued from their home state works. I see from this blog that any permit from any state works. I hope for the latter but fear that NJ will err on the side of fascism and invoke the former. That or our dear leaders will change the administrative code and effectively null the law. Our Governor promised no new guns laws and if he is a man of his word then the only option for the government is to weasel their way out of it. They make sh*t up on the fly all the time so we never know day to day whether we are breaking some firearm law. I’m more hopeful for any of the number of civil rights cases that have marched their way through federal district and appeals courts. There are two being considered for the 2011/12 SCOTUS session and either would go a long way to define once and for all what “to bear” means once you leave your home.

    • You may have heard that Christie promised no new gun laws, but I heard that Christie said he’d sign whatever comes to his desk, and since the Democrats control both houses of the legislature, courtesy of your neighbors and mine, any legislation is going to be more restrictive not less. I heard that it’s only Senate majority leader Sweeney, a south Jersey Democrat, who stands between more restrictive laws and enactment. Face it. We live in an highly affluent state, highly educated, highly unionized, highly secularized, all of which works against individual anything, which includes self defense.

  8. While this sounds great on the surface I have some concerns. Federal laws can be amended at any time. Amendments to Federal laws can be attached to unrelated legislation. What concerns me is that a law like this could be amended now or in the future with “Poison Pill amendments” such as caliber restrictions, magazine restrictions, or unreasonable training requirements.

  9. The problem with this bill is it’s reliance on the commerce clause. Reliance on the commerce clause is the same justification for the Assault Weapons Ban and other gun-grabber initiatives. To preserve gun rights we need to embrace the 10th amendment and support state bills like the Firearms Freedom Acts various states have passed, starting with Montana, which take intra state gun regulation from the Feds. We can’t have it both ways.

    I choose not to live in CA partly because of their gun laws. I would love to see the opportunity to purchase firearms manufactured in my state and not deal with ATF approvals and taxes.

    Promoting gun rights via the commerce clause is a slippery slope. Promoting states rights in this area is a surer way to promote freedom related to the 2nd Amendment.

    • I suggest that federal duty to regulate the armed forces and militia would be a sure way accomplish this.

      Travel has long been part of Commerce. Not just businessmen or workers, but slaves were shipped between states, and their escorts carried arms. To ban interstate carry of arms would be to ban the shipment of that good. Consider other valuable goods, say diamonds or gold. That would also require guards who were armed.

      Mail trains would have the mail sorted on the train, and the postal workers would be armed to protect the security of the mail. before 1979, aircraft pilots whose aircraft carried mail were required to be armed. Could have been a nasty suprise for a hijacker.

    • The misapplications of the Commerce Clause are legion, but the path is well-worn. Most new legislation affecting the states incorporates a Commerce Clause reference. It’s become part of the boilerplate and is frequently used to ram through laws that would otherwise be blatantly unconstitutional.

      The leading attack on the abuse of the Commerce Clause is likely to be via one of the “Firearms Freedom Acts” popping up in states promoting the idea that a gun manufactured within a state that never leaves the state is not part of “Interstate Commerce” and thus, not subject to the Commerce Clause. The case will pit the FFA, 2nd and 10th Amendments against the decision in Wickard v. Filburn, which, if you want to laugh at the perfidy of the Supreme Court, tear your hair out and understand the mis-application of the Commerce Clause, is mandatory reading.

      http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0317_0111_ZO.html

      In the mean time, rest assured that a gun made in your state is currently reached by the Commerce Clause, since by its very existence is “affects interstate commerce” – the current standard by which CC cases are judged.

      • Not quite right. Read Lopez. Transfer and sale in bona fide interstate commerce, not the use made of the gun after it leaves commerce. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/93-1260.ZO.html

        Lopez distinguished Filburn, and expressly rejected to idea that intrastate gun use effects interstate commerce.

        A law protecting the RKBA of persons moving in interstate commerce does not admit federal jurisdictions over intrastate gun use. Apples and oranges., Read Lopez.

    • The use of the Commerce Clause is appropriate here because the resident of state A who relies on the Act to carry his weapon in state B is most obviously in interstate commerce. Given that the RKBA is a fundamental, individual right, right-to-carry reciprocity becomes essential to prevent state from making the abandonment of the right a condition for interstate travel.

      This does not diminish in any way the Tenth Amendment argument against Federal jurisdiction over what is done with guns after they leave the hands of a federally licensa3ed dealer.

  10. Yes, this bill reflects Congress’ broad powers under the Commerce Clause, which has been the source of much evil. Does that mean that all legislation that relates to interstate commerce is bad? I don’t think so. I think that laws that stretch the Commerce Clause beyond recognition should be repealed (Obamacare and the “Anti-Self Defense Gun Free School Zone Law” come immediately to mind), and those laws that honesty seek to regulate actual commerce between the states are within Federal purview. HR822 would be such a law.

    Could it be amended down the road? Sure. So can any law. So can the Constitution. Yes, even our beloved Second Amendment can be wiped away. So let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.

    • It really is orwellian (or the potential to be), isn’t it. Remember, Big Sis is Watching You!

      The reason I hate our current federal government so much is this notion that every moment of our lives is to be regulated. And the vinegar in the wound is that it is done so under the premise of interstate commerce.

      -Richard

  11. Also, I found reading the huffington post article about H.R.822 to be pretty funny (in that, OMG, how-did-they-miss-the-point-that-badly sort of way).

    All the comments on the article are criticizing the post and calling out its fallacies. That was the best part, seeing no supporting comments on their own site.

  12. As usual, you’re letting them lead you down the wrong road. National Reciprocity is a JOKE! What we REALLY NEED is what we SHOULD ALREADY HAVE as PROTECTED by the 2nd Amendment (but which the “authoritah” continue to refuse to acknowledge, honor or accommodate in VIOLATION of their Oaths of Office) :

    CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY!

    CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY is the fundamental right of every American to bear arms of any type they choose, loaded and available for immediate employ in the event of spontaneous confrontation, open or concealed at the citizen’s discretion, any time and anywhere from sea to sea and border to border and in all territories and possessions of the U.S. except in TRULY “sensitive” areas (example: courthouses and prisons or similar areas where everyone entering is searched, metal detector scanned and sufficient numbers of armed government agents are on hand to GUARANTEE the safety of all occupants/attendees. NO, schools, colleges, universities, banks and government offices/buildings in general DO NOT qualify!)

    I would like to say more but the comment process on this site is just too frustrating so I’m done for now and forever (unless process is changed.) It seems like someone is trying to edit each character as it’s typed! Jeeeeeeeezzzzzzzz!!!!!

    “Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution and to the Republic for which it stands. Miracles do not cluster, and what has happened once in 6000 years, may not happen again. Hold on to the Constitution, for if the American Constitution should fail, there will be anarchy throughout the world.” –– Daniel Webster

    “We are not Human Beings going through a temporary spiritual experience; We are spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience.” – Author Unknown

    “Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.” — Ben Franklin submitted for consideration as Motto on the Seal of the United States.

  13. so, we’ve got a government resisting support of constitutional carry by law abiding citizens; while at the same time supplying weapons to criminals via the ATF/DEA/FBI/DHS “Fast and Furious” “Castaway” and other unnamed operations

  14. Thanks for the clarification and explanation, but as GalaPoola points out, this bill would NOT allow the resident of a state to carry in that state in reliance on an out of state permit. Seems crystal clear from the words of the bill– “other than the State of residence of that person.” So, for example, an inmate (resident) of New Jersey who has a non-resident Florida permit could use that permit to carry in NY, but would not be able to legally carry in New Jersey. Similarly, NY residents with Fla permits could come across the river and carry in NJ. A nonsensical result, but there does not seem to be any ambiguity about that. As long as they are considering this bill they should fix this.

    If this bill passes, I would not be at all surprised to see NJ ban concealed carry altogether to take themselves out of the statute. It’s amazing how hysterical politicians in this state get about firearms issues. It is almost a religion with them, completely divorced from reason or logic.

    • That potential reaction to this bill is why I would prefer to justify it based on the Second Amendment and the authority of the Congress to raise armies, and provide Militia regulation.

      Of course no state could stand against Congress there. Local people are required by federal law to be members of the unorganized militia, and applying regulations, listing priviledges and duties, and requiring training for such people would have ample precedent, all the way back to the 1792 militia act, which predated the Constitution.

    • From the “requirements” section:

      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

      Pursuant to the law of A state. Not THE state of residence. That’s how I’m interpreting the language, but then again I’m not a lawyer.

  15. I think the author of the bill left out Vermont, which doesn’t require a permit to carry concealed (unless that law has been changed recently).

  16. You focus on the 10th Amendment, but this is a civil rights issue coming out of the Bill of Rights. Civil rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights at the federal level are extended to the states via the 14th Amendment. And, under the 14th Amendment (via equal protection and privileges and immunities) Congress clearly has the authority to enact laws to protect constitutionally guaranteed rights – unless, of course, you believe that the Civil Rights Act is inherently unconstitutional. The bottom line is, from a constitutional perspective, constitutionally guaranteed rights are all equal, and therefore equally deserving of special protection even if (some would say “especially if”) they are unpopular with a faction of society.

  17. I’m concerned about that other loophole: “machinegun or destructive device”. What, pray tell, is a destructive device?

    Unless “destructive device” has a specific meaning in this context (e.g. bombs, grenades, fighter aircraft, nuclear weapons), I’d think it could mean anything. A rolling pin can be a destructive device. A pillow can be a destructive device. And what’s to stop a State from embracing this wholeheartedly, and then declaring that within State limits, any handgun with a capacity of 1 or greater is a “destructive device”?

    Please set me straight on this. I can’t believe the law would have a glaring hole in it as big as this one seems to me.

    • Destructive device refers to a firearm that is larger in caliber than .50 inches. It is normally interpreted as ‘land diameter’ ie. where the rifling sticks into the barrel so the .51 caliber bullet fired by a .50 BMG rifle is not included as a federal destructive device.

      Imagine a cartridge that was not round in cross section, say rectangular or even star shaped. So long as the minimum length was less than .50, a half inch diameter rod would not fit down the barrel, and so it would not be considered a destructive device, though the maximum dimension could be much bigger than .50 inches.

      Shotguns are only permitted under a few exceptions, despite their direct line from the militia ‘Brown Bess’ musket.

      My notion is that a ship equipped to request issue of a letter of marque and reprisal is a crew served weapon. That shows the founders intended private ownership of crew served weapons.

  18. Reacher is right, and Ralph is wrong. “Carrying” is not commerce by any reasonable stretch of the imagination. If the only way we can get national right-to-carry is by abusing the Commerce Clause, then please let’s not have it.

  19. Travel is considered commerce. Consider the interstate transport of slaves, a common practice with which the founders were familiar, not just the transport of businessmen or workers. The ‘escorts’ of the slaves were required to be armed.

    Actually, insurance was not considered commerce by the founders, mere promises being a thing too insubstantial for the government to regulate. By originalism, Obama’s health insurance regulations are unconstitutional.

  20. Whether you are for gun control with two hands or government regulation, this bill is bad news. Let’s just keep this simple. If you want this part of the legislation:

    “The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects the fundamental right of an individual to keep and bear arms, including for purposes of individual self-defense.”

    Then just add the next part of the second amendment “the right shall not be abridged” and be done. If it can’t be abridged, then I can keep and bear arms for self defense anyway I choose, whether its concealed or in a hip holster.

    Rights are inherent. About the time your able to walk and talk, you have the ability to say “no!” and fight back. That’s self-defense, and no government had to give you that ability. Once a government defines your rights, it can amend and abridge them; because they gave them to you. Government rights are not inherent and will change at the will of politicians. For example, North Carolina’s Governor banned conceal carry by simply declaring a state of emergency for the impending hurricane Irene. IMHO, a state of emergency is when you most need the inherent right to self-defense.

  21. The bill can be justified using Article IV, Section 1:

    “Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.”

    It makes more sense then the commerce clause…

    • I always thought the full faith and credit clause was the holy grail in terms of carry reciprocity.

      On the other hand, things like EMS certificates don’t fall under the full faith & credit clause.

      It’s strange…

  22. I kind of like the idea of using the militia clause rather than the commerce clause, but that said it does affect interstate commerce, I know I worry when I take my rifle down to my cabin in California that I’m breaking some arcane law that is designed to criminalize gun owners.

  23. The District of Columbia is not a state and is subject to the plenary authority of the United States, and the Congress has complete legislative power “in all cases whatsoever” over such District. They don’t have to rely on the Commerce Clause to enforce concealed carry in DC.

  24. All of this just reminds me of the bloody fights we have had that lead nowhere, and the blatant disregard of the LEGAL gun owner’s rights in many jurisdictions, causing innocent people to have to spend time and money extricating themselves, and then often with a “record”. So, being of sound mind but of advnaced age, my wife and I have decided to get rid of all our guns, quit shooting, let our CCW’s expire, and live out our few remaining years not worrying about 2A issues or carry or laws or any of that stuff. I’ve spent of lot of time worrying about these things. If the scumbags shoot us, so be it. If they put me in jail, so be it. I just can’t expect it to ever really improve. Our governors have decided they don’t WANT us to be free, to be able to defend ourselves except in carefully prescribed circumstances, they insist on making us pay for the “privilege” of self defense or gun ownership or sporting activities. To be a politician these days you have to be preconditioned to be anti gun and anti selfdefense.
    So far in my nearly 80 years I have never been attacked or robbed or beaten or had to shoot anyone. I’ll just make my wager that it will be like that for the rest of our lives. I’d rather take that risk than the risk of dealing with arrogant cops or obtuse judges and prosecutors. I suspect that a lot of people my age are thinking the same. By the way, my method for getting rid of all my guns will NOT be to sell them so they can be confiscated by the police, but to bury them in an unmarked grave so that NOBODY can have them. I’ll continue to watch from the sidelines and make money contributions to those who fight for us.

  25. “Use a firearm that came from a different state or country”
    So you must know were all parts of your firearm that you are carrying are made and be sure that you stay out of those states.
    The gun control people have won if this passes.

  26. And those of us who are not citizens of Afghanistan, Somalia or the USA will find safer places to take our holidays.

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