In addition to making constitutional carry the rule rather than the exception, another change I’d like to see would be wider reciprocation of carry permits across the nation. That being said, I imagine this wouldn’t be as simple a solution as some make it out to be.
There are some potential pitfalls that make me hesitate every time the topic is brought up. Let’s think through some of the benefits and potential shortcomings of national reciprocity.
Comparisons to driver’s licenses and cars are often made when the topic of guns comes up…usually by those who want more gun control.
We should regulate guns exactly like we regulate cars.
It’s a good analogy because Americans associate cars with freedom, despite car ownership having much tighter government regulation than gun ownership.
Cars prove that regulation and freedom can coexist. pic.twitter.com/ceHJrrj5Si
— ryannee (@ryannee) March 24, 2021
Each state sets forth their own requirements to earn a driver’s license, yet there are no problems crisscrossing the nation in your vehicle. Despite significantly higher rates of injury and death from automobile accidents, we never see calls to remove driver’s license reciprocity. National concealed carry reciprocity would meet these previously set standards of honoring licenses in all states.
National reciprocity would also reduce the complexity of the current intricate web of inconsistent and sometimes contradictory laws on the books. These can quickly lead to inadvertent felony charges for simply crossing state lines into a less friendly state.
I’ve written about the difficulties that can occur when moving to another part of the country. National reciprocity would simplify all of that for gun owners and the criminal justice system.
National reciprocity can be a big benefit during emergencies. Nearly every year we see people fleeing their homes, often across state lines, to avoid natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, and flooding. Inadvertently becoming a felon for the offense of crossing into the wrong state is a reality many face, even as they’re trying to get themselves and their family to safety.
Things wouldn’t necessarily be all sunshine and rainbows under national reciprocity. Even though many states require different levels of training for various licenses and permits, there have already been calls for a national training standard to get a concealed carry permit. The push to mandate a national standard would only grow if national reciprocity were a reality.
While some may find a single standard across all states easier, there’s always the concern of legislating away rights in the process. It isn’t far-fetched to expect anti-gun politicians to try to institute prohibitively expensive, time-consuming, or much more difficult standards for the permitting process, much like we’ve seen in states like Hawaii and New York.
A national permitting standard could put the process in the hands of the federal government, which is far less friendly to our Second Amendment rights than many states. National standards would present an enticing opportunity for supporters of gun control in Congress to use them to limit the right to bear arms.
Again, I’d love to see greater expansion of conceal carry reciprocity across the United States. Being able to freely travel without the worry of inadvertently breaking laws should be the norm. While national reciprocity definitely has its shortcomings, I think the benefits could outweigh the risks.