Alan Gottlieb on America-Wide Constitutional Carry: It’ll Never Happen

Referencing today’s post on Glenn Beck and Constitutional Carry, I bumped into the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation at the NRA convention. I asked Alan Gottlieb if he could foresee a day when the entire country enjoyed permitless concealed carry (a la Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming and Vermont). “It’ll never happen,” the gun rights champion stated flatly. “New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii—it would have to get through the legislature, and that just isn’t in the cards.” Never? “Not in my lifetime.” Given Mr. Gottleib’s considerable contribution to our collective gun rights, let’s hope that’s a very long time. Let’s also hope the Supreme Court’s incorporation of the Second Amendment (via the McDonald decision) eliminates local and state laws that trample our constitutional right to armed self-defense.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

53 Responses to Alan Gottlieb on America-Wide Constitutional Carry: It’ll Never Happen

  1. avatarLT says:

    Call me crazy but I don’t see a problem with this. We shouldn’t be looking to the government to enforce policies that states can handle themselves, and we should allow individual states a fair amount of leeway in their decisions.

    Let those few states keep their crazy laws after other states wise up and see what happens. Folks can vote with their dollars and with their feet – if they choose to remain there, they deserve what they get.

    Frankly, I would be happy if the federal government got off the back of those of us just trying to live our lives lawfully and peaceably. (Though as a Floridian I would appreciate it if my state would change its views on things like knives and Dragon’s Breath!)

    • avatarBob says:

      What’s Dragon’s Breath? I don’t think I’ve heard that term before.

      • avatarPhrederick says:

        It’s like a firework in a shotgun shell. Flashy and often duds. Best used at night. Run a search for them on youtube and tell me you’d ever waste money on them.

        • avatarLT says:

          I most certainly would waste some money on them! Instant pyrotechnics sounds like at least a bit of fun – you’d certainly have one of the most entertaining Fourth of July toys, provided you were in a locale that allowed you to discharge firearms on your own private property freely.

          That said, I want the ability to own the stuff just ‘cuz. If folks in Arizona can have ‘em I want ‘em too… along with bolo shells, flechette rounds, and all that good stuff.

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          “flechette rounds”
          —–
          Legality highly suspect, but easily manufactured.

    • avatarAPBTFan says:

      “We shouldn’t be looking to the government to enforce policies that states can handle themselves”

      I must disagree. As a right confirmed in the Bill of Rights the Second Amendment and its protections supersede State’s authority. Just as all the other Amendments transgress state lines so should the Second Amendment.

      • avatarLT says:

        Unfortunately the Second Amendment already does apply to states, even with their inane strictures. SCOTUS already upheld “reasonable restrictions” and whatnot so there’s really not a lot to be done about the matter short of some rather broad acts Congress won’t be pursuing any time soon.

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          “upheld “reasonable restrictions” and whatnot”
          —–
          Not exactly. The court opined that “reasonable restrictions” did not run afoul of the 2nd, but in no way detailed what those “reasonable restrictions” might be beyond “…longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” Waving around the “reasonable restrictions” argument is a false flag until such time as those restrictions are legally defined.

        • avatarGlen says:

          The Supreme Court has not yet used the phrase “reasonable restrictions” in a Second Amendment majority opinion.

          The simple truth is that the scope of the Second Amendment and how its protections will be balanced against compelling societal interests are still undecided.

  2. avatarRalph says:

    Gottlieb is right. In both senses of the word.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      Perhaps he is a bit conservative. When it comes to gun rights, however, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  3. avatarST says:

    He’s right.I do not have nearly the experience he does in terms of litigation,but as a former resident of Chicago and a visitor to many anti-gun locales id state that nationwide *concealed* carry ain’t gonna happen in this lifetime for most readers of this post.Anyone who thinks were going to be driving coast to caost with a 50 state CCW permit-or its permitless analogue thereof- needs to watch the Representative from New Jersey rail against the horrors HR 822 would bestow on America.The civil rights which work for Idaho doesn’t work for New Jersey apparently.

  4. avatarQajaqon says:

    Excuse me….

    “Constitutional Carry” already exists, for all. It is called the Second Amendment:
    “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed…”.

    Oh, I forgot we have already had our rights taken away. Now we are just trying to get them back. One little bit at a time. Like pulling teeth out of a rotten skull with one half a tooth left in it.

    Shame.

    • avatarSanchanim says:

      Ok I will stand about 50 yards behind you as you stroll down our street with a loaded gun. I will support you as the cops open fire on you because they think you are nuts.
      Did I mention CA doesn’t like open carry much less concealed. Doesn’t matter to them what the federal laws says. The only way to change it is to have the supreme court throw out all laws on state books regarding gun purchases, and carry.
      I am not saying no control that will never fly, but make it so all 50 states are equal.
      Lets start there…

    • avatarGlen says:

      Yet another reason why permit-less public carry is badly misnamed as “Constitutional Carry.”

      Permits can be required before engaging in many, many types of Constitutionally-protected activities. The Supreme Court has never invalidated a state license or permit law (for any kind of activity) except when they were withheld on a discriminatory basis or required excessive fees (or other unnecessary requirements).

  5. avatarrabbi says:

    “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed…”

    Keep=own
    bear=carry
    Arm=firearms

    The Constitution enables citizens to own and carry firearms and that right shall not be infringed.

    The requirement of a license to own, purchase or carry that can be denied is an infringement
    The restriction against ownership certain firearms is an infringement

    The 1st amendment is not a state’s rights issue and neither is the 2nd

    What is so difficult to understand????????????????????

    • avatartdiinva says:

      Bear in 1787 meant to display, i.e, carry in the open. Many states prohibited concealed carry in the 19th Century because “no honest man would conceal his weapon.” Back then no one disputed the Second Amendment so we must assume that bearing arms in the open was the constitutionally protect right and not conealed carry. I have repeated this claim before but since this thread walks the same ground I say it again.

      • avatarHSR47 says:

        While your argument might have some merit, the fact of the matter is that the statutes by which states differentiate between “open” and “concealed” carry are almost universally arbitrary and often silly.

        In PA for example, where one need not ask permission of the state to openly carry a firearm (at least outside of any “city of the first class”), the distinction between what is legal without a license from the commonwealth, and what is not, is positively silly.

        To wit, Title 18 Section 6106 of PA’s Consolidated Statutes, which states that it is a Felony for anyone without a valid license (as defined under Section 6109 of the same title/chapter) to carry a firearm “in any vehicle.”

        While this may seem logical and straightforward, it really isn’t, given that it is commonly held that RIDING a pedalcycle or motorcycle classifies as being “in any vehicle.”

        Thus, while one can carry openly without any sort of state-issued license in PA, sitting down on a bicycle while openly carrying requires a state-issued License To Carry Firearms (LTCF).

        Thus, given how utterly arbitrary PA’s laws are on the subject, and therefore how legal silliness occurs as a result, I feel confident in my statement that to attempt to make a distinction between “open” and “concealed” with respect to constitutionally protected carriage of firearms is, itself, silly.

      • You’re conveniently leaving out the other part of the meaning of “bear” in the 1790s. It was to have and hold a weapon in order to participate in the militia. That’s why the whole concept has no meaning today.

        • avatarjkp says:

          Citation needed.

        • avatartdiinva says:

          As pointed out many times before the Militia clause is a dependent clause. In vernacular, that means Madison meant “We want to have a Militia so we better let the people have unrestricted access to firearms. He didn’t mean “people can have guns so we can have Militia.” If that’s what he wanted to say then the right to bear arms would have been cast as the dependent clause.

          The well regulated part of the militia clause doesn’t refer to government organization. It refers to the ability to load and fire a musket according to the Prussian Manual of Arms that we got from von Steuban, that is, regulated comes from regulation — to drill according to the regulation.

          The Bill of Rights addresses all the restrictions and actions taken by the British against the North American colonists. The Second Amendment is there because the British seized the colonist’s arms and powder in the period leading up to the Declaration of Independence. The British not only seized militia weapons held in arsenals but weapons held by individuals. That is the precedent that led to the Second Amendment. The government may not sieze or regulate firearms held by citizens.

          You said that you don’t think you are smarter than everyone else but your posts clearly give that impression.

          So why do you live in Italy? Is there an outstanding warrant for your arrest or is one of your former accomplices looking for you?

        • That’s an interesting and convenient interpretation of what the 2A means. There are other ways to read it, you know.

  6. avatarSteve says:

    It has nothing to do with “understanding”. It has everything to do with the recent past, and present, structure of the left-wing and it’s main political party (Dems). They will vote lock-step to the party line, and being anti-second is the party line. Yes, I know there are some Dems that are pro-2nd, and a few “Blue-Dogs”, but the party has drifted to the left, and that is their base. Money and power makes the rules, not common sense.

  7. avatarcounihan says:

    The Constitution is only a document. While it was intended to be the law of the land, that has changed. Through “interpretation” modern politics has changed the letter and spirit of law in said document. It will be a long, long, time (if ever) before we are restored to true Constitutional freedom.

  8. avatarPascal says:

    I hope for the following more modest reforms:

    1) A way to get a license in any state and be able to carry in any other state or a single license valid in all 50 states including the Empire of Manhatten
    2) If someone is stupid to take a gun to an airport and has a valid license, simply fine him a few hundred and allow him to miss his flight by escorting him off the airport grounds instead of all the court BS — save us all time and money.
    3) Require states to actually follow FOPA; change FOPA to allow emergency or common breaks in the trip like a diverted flight or stopping for gas/toilet break/food break.
    4) The ability to go shoot at any range even if its not in my own state and not just due to an event. I am ok even for a competition/sporting license to get things rolling.

    I am ok if each state has its own rules, provided they are plain and simple to follow and I am ok with an higher standard for coast-to-coast carry (for now)

    I will take a few small modest wins

    • avatarHSR47 says:

      3: You mean like HR4269?

      On your other points, I think you’re largely advocating compromise, and most of the compromises at the federal level, at least those relating to the second amendment, have been bad for us.

  9. avatarSilver says:

    I agree, it’ll never happen. The state of being free-minded and personally responsible is unnatural, and with the growing number of sheep supporting dictatorial administrations in this country, I have a feeling our recent strides will be short-lived.

    On a separate note, that man does know how to rock a bow tie.

  10. avatarKelly in GA says:

    Seeing as how the constitution says that all powers not enumerated to the federal government in said document are rights of the States then this would have to be a federal law. We could do it state by state, but congress and the white house could easily make it happen. Not this white house, but that’s already well known. I wouldn’t mind federally legislated reciprocity as step one. It is well within federal law. Not that it should be needed…

  11. avatarBob says:

    “Let’s also hope the Supreme Court’s incorporation of the Second Amendment (via the McDonald decision) eliminates local and state laws that trample our constitutional right to armed self-defense.”

    Seems that most state and local law-makers in gun-hostile areas are just ignoring the McDonald and Heller decisions, or they are finding innumerable ways to get around the SCOTUS rulings so that they will have no real effect in their jurisdictions. When will the SCOTUS order those state and local governments to change their laws to accept the SCOTUS decisions? Until that happens the McDonald and Heller decisions are just so many words. This issue should not be up for debate or obfuscation. The US Supreme Court said they are violating people’s rights. They should make the appropriate changes, Now.

    • avatarSanchanim says:

      They essentially said as much but what needs to happen is a directive from the supreme court that all laws which are not federal laws governing the regulation, transportation, or purchase of firearms by local and state governments are now no longer valid.
      After that I would be willing to test the waters as it were.

  12. “Constitutional carry” is a misnomer. The Constitution has nothing to do with modern day gun rights. Only a systematic bastardization of the 2nd Amendment has enabled us to still have this discussion. Totally anachronistic, like the 3A, and absolutely meaningless, is the 2nd, in my opinion.

    Before you begin to viciously impugn my credentials for having such a strong opinion, please note that I’m not the only one. There are those who truly qualify to speak about it and feel the same way.

    • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

      Ah, the old “living document” argument. Tell us, Michael, how is it that those 27 words have different definitions today?

      • The individual words may not have different definitions today, but the concepts the words communicate are definitely different.

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          Saying it does not make it so, Michael. Your interpretation may be different from mine, but Jefferson’s and Madison’s were a lot closer to mine than yours.

        • Are you bringing up the slave-owners who thought women were 2nd class citizens again? Is that supposed to lend credibility to your extremism? It doesn’t.

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          No, no. Don’t deflect. We’re talking about the right to keep and bear arms, not the right to own people as property.

        • That’s not a deflection, that’s pointing out that a person’s character and core beliefs can help us determine whether or not we take them seriously. I don’t take anyone seriously who used to own slaves and deprive women of their human rights.

          Isn’t this the same argument some of you used against me?

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          So, the existence of a human right depends upon the character of the person who asserts the right’s existence? Wow.

        • Is that what I said?

        • avatarMoonshine7102 says:

          Yup.

          “that a person’s character and core beliefs can help us determine whether or not we take them seriously”

        • avatarjkp says:

          The Constitution should not be changed lightly. The meaning of words does change over time, which is why it is important to stay true to the original meaning of words used in laws passed many years ago.

          If the nation’s people and society changes significantly such that certain parts of the Constitution no longer make sense or become undesirable, there is a perfectly serviceable process for amending the document. It is far better — for society and your own integrity — to just be honest with everyone to admit that you want to roll back the protections given to citizens by at least one of the Bill of Rights, and ask for political support to amend the document, than to try to subvert the meaning of the document because it’s politically more convenient for you.

        • “The meaning of words does change over time, which is why it is important to stay true to the original meaning of words used in laws passed many years ago.”

          You mean like the word, gay? We should stick with the original? Here are some more.

          http://writinghood.com/style/grammar/eight-words-which-have-completely-changed-their-meaning-over-time/

          More mportantly, words are used to convey ideas and concepts. Those which the 2A referred to in the 1790s are completely different than anything we have today.

        • avatarRobert Farago says:

          Depends what you mean by “different.”

        • avatarjkp says:

          mikeb302000, as usual you’ve missed the point.

          If the constitution had a clause written in 1789 that stated: All gay people should do ‘x’, then yes, it is damned important to figure out what they meant by ‘gay’ in 1789 (‘happy’, if memory serves,) and not to use the modern version (‘homosexual’), because the clause clearly would apply to the former, not the latter. To apply the law to homosexuals, and not happy people would be incorrect.

          If society has changed such that the old laws no longer work or apply, then ask to amend the constitution. Say flat out that you’d like to repeal the second amendment because you don’t believe giving individuals a right to keep and bear arms is appropriate anymore.

          Why are you afraid to just come out and say this?

        • I don’t necessarily want to see anything appealed/ I just don’t accept your 2A justifications and I think they should be relegated to the junk heap where they belong.

          After that, say five years from now when the balance on the Supreme Court is different, you’ll still be able to own you precious guns, as long as you’re fit to do so.

    • avatarrabbi says:

      I feel that the current interpretation of the 1st amendment is a result of systematic bastardization. When the Constitution was written, forms of communication included the fountain pen and the single-sheet, hand-fed printing press. The framers of the constitution never imagined radio, television and internet, therefore, free speech should not apply to modern communication.

      Mike, having other people agree with you does not make you any less wrong.

    • avatartdiinva says:

      Mikey:

      This is off topic but since our last exchange was incomplete because the thread was buried under tons of NRA posts I choose to answer your nonsense here.

      It is good that you acknowledge that our “violence” problem is really confined to 13% of population, the other 87% being as law abiding and less violent than many European countries. Your solution, like your approach to the Second Amendment, consists of rote statist talking points. You say that all we need is anti-poverty spending to fix the violent 13% and take away the rights of the 87% and we will live in paradise. This is claim is falsified by American social history. We have spent trillions on fighting poverty yet the 13% live under worse social conditions than they did in 1960. The welfare state isn’t the solution, it’s the cause. Pat Moynihan wrote in 1967 that it was best to apply the principle of benign neglect to the inner cities. He was ignored and we now have a social disaster on our hands. FYI The British welfare system is the reason that the UK is an incredibly violent country.

      The idea that taking away the law abiding citizens will dry up the supply of weapons to criminals is an example of first order thinking. As you may know, today’s gangs have global reach. Cut off the domestic supply and they will shift to foreign suppliers. Transnational Criminal Organizations, known as TCOs, like the Central American MS-13 gang would love you to ban domestic sales and ownership of firearms. They will be glad to step up imports of weapons to the gangbangers.

      Like all criminals, you think you are smarter than everybody else. Guess what? You’re not.

    • avatarQajaqon says:

      Qualified?

      If you are alive and human you are qualified.
      True progressive attitude and action for the rights of humans are continuous, wether it be 150 bce., or today.
      Your right to bear arms shall not be infringed has as much to do with today as it did at any time in history: the right to eat, the right to survive the actions of others were the primary reasons for this right to be in the constitution.

      And you have the right not to act on your right to bear arms if you choose.
      Just do not infringe upon others using said right.

      The rights of life and being human are the issue.
      The power of a governing body to infringe upon your rights as a human is the concern.

      The action of doing right has to be a seperate issue raised and acted on by the society with respect to you rights. Not taking rights away for the perceived need of society.

      • “Alive and human” is all it takes to be qualified to own a gun. Ha. That certainly makes you an extremist, but I don’t think it says much about your thinking skills. Alive and human, including the 3-year-olds and the psychotic killers, is that what you mean?

    • avatarCarlosT says:

      Hey Mike: http://www.aviano.af.mil/main/contactus.asp. There isn’t a link specifically for the Quartermaster, but I’m sure you can figure something out. Tell them you think the 3rd Amendment is crap and you’re ready and willing to start quartering some troops. Can you handle a flight? Maybe a squadron?

  13. avatarzippy deerduck says:

    Gotta love chats like this…

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