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Yahoo News teased a favorable article on national concealed carry reciprocity that ran at Al-Jazeera US. Gun rights activists have sought national reciprocity for some years now. Under President Obama, a sure veto precluded serious consideration. However, under President Donald J. Trump, the concept has gained a good deal of momentum.

National reciprocity amounts to nation-wide recognition of carry licenses in all fifty-seven states. In a sense, it would require treating your CCW permit just like your driver’s license. Obviously, some details need to be resolved. Such as those living in the ever-growing number of states with constitutional carry, for instance (most of them don’t have carry permits). Also, gun owners living in “may issue” states need a mechanism for non-resident licensure.

Here’s a teaser of the Al-Jazeera story by Joe Stepansky:

National Reciprocity
Moms Demand Action managed to cobble together the almost two dozen people opposed to Constitutional Carry in Montana for this photo.

What is national concealed carry reciprocity?
If passed, the law would force every town to honour gun laws of the most permissive states for people from those states.

When Jeffrey Scott Pitts opened fire in a crowded liquor store off of a Georgia Highway in 2015, killing two men, Todd Scott, a civilian inside the shop, pulled out his gun and returned a volley of bullets. Pitts fled.

“I believe that if Mr Scott did not return fire at the suspect, then more of those customers would have [been] hit by a gun,” County Sheriff Eric Levett said after the shooting, according to local reports. “So, in my opinion, he saved other lives in that store.”

Scott’s story – and others where firearms were purportedly used to thwart an attack – has been cited by many in a growing movement pushing for more people to be allowed to legally carry guns in more public places across the US.

“We’re fighting for people’s rights to carry the firearms and other weapons they need to defend themselves,” said John Boch, the executive director of Illinois-based Guns Save Life, an organisation that vows to “defend your right to defend yourself”.

…Priority number one for the NRA, which endorsed Trump and spent $30m on his campaign, is national concealed carry reciprocity. Trump supports the policy.

Many states require gun owners to obtain permits to carry a concealed weapon, with varying levels of restrictiveness. Some don’t require permits and allow any gun owner who meets an age restriction to carry guns – so-called permitless states.

If passed, the controversial law would mean every town, city, and jurisdiction would have to honour the gun laws of the most permissive states with regards to gun owners from those states.

…”We’re going to allow Americans to defend themselves with a lot less hoops they’ll have to jump through to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” said Boch.”[No other president] has ever had a coalition that was tasked with unwinding gun control from the last 100-plus years and restoring the Second Amendment to what it was originally written, back to approaching 230, 240 years ago,” Boch said. “I don’t know of any administration that has respected the Second Amendment, not in the last century, certainly not into this century, until we’ve had Donald Trump here. And it’s amazing, the change.”

Stepansky’s piece covers a lot of ground.  Seriously, go read the whole thing.  In the end, he comes around to addressing the fears New York City politicians have at “untrained” people carrying guns in their city.

“It’s the criminals, it’s the gang members that are committing the crimes in our towns across America; it is not the concealed licensees,” said Boch. “I have faith the people with concealed carry licenses from Indiana [which has no safety requirements] will do just fine in New York City, without doing stupid things with their guns.”

Where National Reciprocity Stands

The vote for Neil Gorsuch, who was sworn in this morning, provides an excellent “worst case” road map for gun rights in the U.S. Senate. The NRA warned Senators of both parties that their vote on Gorsuch would count towards their NRA ratings.

In the Senate, all Democrats ignored the NRA’s warning and voted against the nomination except for three NRA A-rated Senators who are already expecting tough sledding in their 2018 reelection campaigns: Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN).  Several other Democrat senators highly-rated by the NRA in the past sided not with their constituents, but with minority leader Chuck Schumer’s oppose-them-at-all-costs leadership. These include Jon Testor (D-MT), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM).

Looking dispassionately at national reciprocity legislation, Schumer will undoubtedly filibuster the bill if it comes for a vote. Unless Senate President Mitch McConnell makes a rules change to eliminate the 60-votes for cloture rule, we probably don’t have the votes. The pro-reciprocity forces have about 58 votes, tops.

On a perfect day, with three NRA C-rated Democrats thrown in, we might reach 61 pro-gun votes. But perfect days don’t come along often. Count on serious, behind-the-scenes arm twisting by Schumer and company of those middle-of-the-road senators – Bennett (D-CO), Leahy (D-VT) and Udall (D-UT).

In short, getting Congressional action on this and other major pro-gun legislation looks iffy at best. Unfortunately, this goes double with the current radical attitudes of Democrats in Washington.

Things can change, especially if bitterness from last fall’s elections begins to fade. What’s more, if gun owners aggressively lobby those NRA C-rated Democrat Senators for their support, we could see good things. After all, when politicians feel the heat, they tend to see the light.

A little help from the the Trump administration would help, too.

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  1. SQUEEE!!!
    Wub teh fewwets belly! Wub it! Give kisses!
    Now to let my five out and watch them rampage throughout the house…

    • Fun Fact: Ferrets are BANNED in NYC & California, and Hawaii.
      The must be deadly assault weasels(*) since they were/are used for hunting……

      So kids, can you think of other items also banned in NYC, California, and Hawaii?

  2. Pass the bill in the house and force the Democrats to filabuster. The Trump state democrats will pay with their careers if they join in.

  3. Force the filibuster. Make them show their colors. They sure ain’t red-white-and-blue. They’re more just plain old red Communists.

    • Change the rules of the filibuster.

      *Require* they actually physically filibuster.

      Make those bastards stand up there and speak. For hours. Continuously. Around the clock. Without interruption.

      Force them to schedule Senators to show up at 4 AM to do it. (No pity for the junior Senators who will have to pull the night shift.)

      If they want it that bad, make ’em *work* for it…

      • You mean change the rule *back* to having to physically execute it instead of sending a note indicating intent.

        I agree wholeheartedly.

        • How can any fillibuster actually stop legislation?
          I understand it costs time, gums up the works, etc; but what’s the longest a person can actually speak? 36 hours?

          So let him speak for 36 hours. Then we pass the legislation.
          They get a bunch of media attention, we get the legislation passed. Win-Win.

        • They don’t need to change the rules. They just have to use the rules in place to make the Democrats look like obstructionists and still get there way at the end of the day. You can go through two Senators a day this way. You might even kill a few of the old bastards.

          I’m pretty sure the Democrats are going to filibuster every piece of legislation they didn’t write. I get that most people have higher priorities than gun laws, but the filibuster is no excuse.

  4. 60 votes? No freakin’ way. In this political climate it would be a miracle if National Reciprocity received 56.

  5. They need to pass this without requiring states to recognize this for ou tof state permits for their own citizens. I know that sucks for them; but it would pass. It won’t pass when you try to say NJ has to recognize a FL permit for a NJ resident for example. This would force states that don’t issue permits like NJ, MD, etc. to rethink their issue rules and give relief to everyone else they may accidentally cross a border.

    • Fuck dat. It’s all or nothing. The NJ Democrats won’t vote for the bill anyway so I say go big or go home.

      Now is the time to crush our enemies. Now is the time for death to “May Issue” states. No more half measures. We pack the Supreme Court at all costs and we hit the anti-gun states from the federal level as hard as we can.

      • As an NJ resident I hope we aren’t left in the cold. I want to vote with my feet and leave the state for a plethora of reasons. At the top of the list are gun rights and tax burden. But for now the pull of strong family ties and career are enough to keep me here. A prisoner of sorts. The previous poster is correct. NJ Democrats will never vote for it. Hopefully Dems in Trump country vote for one of our greatest civil liberties………or their self preservation. Wouldn’t it be grand if the former was the motivator!

  6. With Ivanka, her piss-ant husband and their Democrat progressive buddies (Google Trump Democrats) now assuming policy positions in the Trump admin. we can pretty much kiss reciprocity, silencers—hell, the whole gun rights agenda we thought Trump would support—out the window. Now that Steve Bannon looks like he’s leaving out of disgust, we can’t expect much support for gun-rights from those oh-so-precious NYC cosmopolites. I look for Trump to start talking about “sensible” and “reasonable” gun controls. Basically, we’re screwed.

    It looks like the NRA is gearing up to oppose Democrats who refused to vote for Gorsuch. While you might not like everything they do, this might be a good time to join the NRA. It looks like we may be heading into heavy weather.

    • Dude you really need to calm down. There’s absolutely nothing indicating Trump is gonna flip on gun control. I get that 8 years of continuos assault is going to make everyone jumpy about things but the GOP hasn’t been this strong since reconstruction. We have a lot to play with at the time. Everyone freaking out about why hasn’t this bill passed yet needs to take a deep breath and go buy a new gun at the insanely cheap prices we’re enjoying right now.

  7. There’s a lot of laws to vote on. If Schumer wants to filibuster them all, or this one, make him do it. Make him stand on the floor and actually do it.

    Otherwise this mealy-mouthed “well, we don’t think we have the votes” excuse for not doing the people’s business after they voted you majorities in the house, the senate, and gave you a president puts the nail in the GOP’s coffin.

  8. It is nonetheless very important to get this passed or in the right 5 – 4 circumstances, get a favorable Supreme Court ruling. It puts the policies of states like NY, CA, and NJ toward their own residents up to the light of hypocrisy if my NC permit becomes as good as my drivers license in those states. I am willing to give something to get something, although many on this blog are not. I would like to see my permit treated exactly like my driver’s license and car registration. That translates to I can bring my 17 round handgun magazines and (gasp) my evil black rifle with 40 round magazine into the state, just as I can bring a Ferrari Testarossa into the state if I so desire. But just as I can’t legally drive the Ferrari at 180 mph on the NY Thruway, I am OK that I can only load the handgun with a 10 round magazine and even though it is insane and unconstitutional, I would keep the EBR locked in a case unless the SHTF, in which case the law becomes irrelevant. Heck, I would be OK if I could only bring a different handgun that takes 6 rounds and an SKS in the original configuration, if it meant that the hypocritical politicians in those states had to face the music, which would ultimately force their capitulation. Like gay marriage, which I do not support but reluctantly tolerate, it begins with lawsuits that force states to recognize the licenses granted by other states and ends with federal legislation or Supreme Court action.

    • I’mna thinking my CCW should be an endorsement on my driver’s license, right next to the organ donor thingie. Put a silhouette of God and Chuck Norris’ weapon, an M1911. Okay, mebbe a PPK for you Bond-ites out there, or a Model 29 for you know who.

    • I get your overall premis on the “give something to get something” but you may want to reconsider. If reciprocity is adopted, what would keep states like NY from imposing a nine, or eight, or seven…….or one round capacity law? How about micro stamping “approved” handguns only? Smart guns?

      No thank you. None of my vehicles have California emissions but I can still drive my Pa registered cars or truck in California with my Pa drivers license.

    • “… in the right 5 – 4 circumstances, get a favorable Supreme Court ruling.”

      Don’t count on that until Kennedy, Ginsburg, or Breyer leave the U.S. Supreme Court and another solid Constitutional judge replaces him/her.

      (Yes, the same would happen if Sotomayor or Kagan left the bench but I am not entertaining that idea since they are relatively young and unlikely to leave any time soon.)

  9. Got to love the “training” excuse as though the NYPD, who remember hit more civilians than perps, are “trained” in firearms use.

  10. Why stop the bill? It will only get tied up in litigation for many years to come, with the first lawsuit filed by the state of California in a federal district court in California (if it can), assuring a Ninth Circuit conclusion that the law violates state’s rights. Right behind it, or maybe even a few hours ahead, will be New York City and probably New York State as well, with the same anticipated result. Thus a federal reciprocity law will be effectively stayed unless and until it is reviewed by the Supreme Court, some three to five years from the day the bill is signed into law, since you can also be assured that judicial review will not be fast tracked, but will go to a three judge panel and then reviewed by an en banc panel to delay any Supreme Court review–assuming of course that SCOTUS would take up such a case. As things now stand, there is no recognized Constitutional right to carry a concealed firearm, and that makes SCOTUS review iffy, unless something dramatic happens with the Peruta case (now up on petition for review and which attempts to raise the issue as to whether a state must allow carry in some form as a matter of right).

    • This is an interesting idea you have. It will take a few years to eventually get there.

      Especially if we take care in crafting it to hit all the right constitutional high-points to make it oh-so-more sweet in having SCOTUS slap it down like red-headed illegitimate step-child it really is.

      Mr. John Boch, can you pass Mark N’s idea along to the Trump 2A ‘council’?

      (No offense to red-headed stepchildren .Especially the females. I have fond memories of a certain very sweet gingeet… 🙂 )

  11. “Count on serious, behind-the-scenes arm twisting by Schumer and company of those middle-of-the-road senators – Bennett (D-CO), Leahy (D-VT) and Udall (D-UT).”

    Senator Tom Udall is from New Mexico, not Utah.

  12. John, buddy… the Ferret is not helping your image.
    You look like the male equivalent of the crazy cat lady.

    I love your work – been following you at GSL for several years, and was thrilled to see you come on board at TTAG…. but you gotta stop using this picture.

    I have no problem with Ferrets, its just one of those ‘not the time or the place’ things.

    Keep up the good work!!

  13. The way things are going in DC, the GOP may have to “nuke” every rule in order for anything of substance to be accomplished.

    • Why in the hell would you go to that poo hole? Stay Away! Its bad enough living here.

  14. With mid terms just around the corner, It just ain’t going to happen. It takes courage to put this into law.

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