There are currently an estimated 15 million concealed carry permit holders in the United States. You wouldn’t think that the potential passage of national reciprocity, affecting less than 5% of Americans, would generate so much noisy opposition. But there’s one very good reason the forces of civilian disarmament are so violently opposed to the specter of those who are licensed to carry firearms freely moving from state to state. It would lead to a boom in gun ownership and challenge their iron-fisted grip on gun rights in anti-gun states.
It’s been a three decades long road to achieve the wide acceptance concealed carry has in so many states today.
The social stigma regarding carrying a firearm is dead or dying in all but the most hoplophobic areas of the country such as New York City, New Jersey, California, et. al. And even in those benighted states, it’s still possible to get a carry permit…allegedly. Concealed carry continues to win…just look at the recent DC Circuit ruling ruling making the District ‘shall issue’.
It’s easy to forget that the majority of the country was once just like New York City is today. Prior to 1987, when Florida revolutionized the way things were done by enacting shall issue, getting a concealed carry permit was harder than getting a NFA stamp for a machine gun, suppressor, SBR or AOW. Virtually the entire country was ‘may issue’ and unless you were connected due to wealth, family, or political friends, you were out of luck.
It took 30 long hard years to get where we are today. Remember that the last holdouts — Illinois and Wisconsin — only recently came into the shall-issue fold. Hell, Texas didn’t get CCW until 1995. Now Texas is an open carry state and on its way to constitutional carry. We now have thirteen constitutional carry states when just fifteen years ago, Vermont stood alone.
Take a deep breath and look at the long game here.
The reason national reciprocity will be so beneficial is that it will put more guns in folks’ hands. Not everyone hunts or target shoots or collects. But a lot of them want the ability to protect themselves during their daily lives when they aren’t home.
Eventually some of those folks once introduced to gun ownership and concealed carry, will branch out. They may want to get try shooting rifles or shotguns, target shoot, collect, etc. A number of them will wish they could shoot with less noise to protect their own hearning and disturb their neighbors less. The push for suppressor deregulation will continue apace.
That is exactly how I have gotten a number of folks into gun ownership myself.
Concealed carry is a gateway drug. Once people get a taste of gun ownership and freedom, they tend to want more. Many of those I’ve introduced to firearms, who carry daily, also now own SBRs and suppressors. The creeping freedom of national reciprocity will gradually erode and destroy the few, ossified may issue areas that still exist. How long with New Yorkers tolerate being denied rights that their friends from Florida freely exercise when visiting the city?
What about Hawaii, which hasn’t issued a single concealed carry permit since 2001? They won’t accept not being able to defend themselves when millions of their fellow Americans can freely do so.
A member on AR15.com by the screen name felrom echoed this.
This national reciprocity bill does a number of major important things.
- It gives all Americans with concealed carry permits the right to carry a firearm nationwide. If you want to do a cross country RV trip or drive from Maine to Florida you’ll be able to do that without worry.
- It allows those Americans living in restrictive states a way around the may issue/no issue problem. They’ll be able to obtain a non-resident permit from a states such as Utah or Florida to carry in their home states like Maryland or Hawaii.
- It gives Americans who have their rights violated a legal defense in federal court to go after their violators. So if I’m arrested in New York City for carrying a firearm under my Florida license, I can take them to court and sue them.
- It would invalidate restrictive states’ magazine/ammunition bans. The bills states that the carrying of standard capacity magazines and modern JHP ammunition is legal. You’ll be able to carry a GLOCK 17 in New Jersey with the 17rd mag fully loaded with Federal Hydra-Shok ammo.
- It ends many federal gun-free zones like the current Army Corps of Engineers ban of guns on their managed lands.
- It pushes the Second Amendment in the right direction by forcing non-Constitution compliant states and their political subdivisions to respect the civil rights of all Americans, putting more teeth in Firearms Owners Protection Act.
Some are are having second thoughts due to the addition of the Fix NICS bump fire stock language to the reciprocity bill. All Fix NICS does is direct government agencies to actually follow the law, reporting those who should be prohibited to the background check system. As for bump fire stocks, bill simply directs the government to review and study whether bump fire stocks are used in crimes and other than the Las Vegas shooting. We know the answer to that. There hasn’t been any other crime committed with them.
The national reciprocity bill currently being considered by the Senate doesn’t create a federal permit system, nor does it grant the federal government the right to regulate the states’ concealed carry permits. It simply mandates that New York recognize Florida’s permit and that vice versa. Just like a driver’s license.
Passage of national reciprocity would be the single biggest victory for gun rights in the United States in recent memory. If it does manage to get the sixty votes necessary for passage in the Senate and is signed into law it will be the biggest defeat for for the civilian disarmament and pro-gun control forces ever. And that’s why it deserves gun owners’ support.