The New York Times' view of Concealed Carry Reciprocity (courtesy
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Alan Korwin writes [via]: On Dec. 7 2017 the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.38 – Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. The Senate’s carry-bill — S.446 – Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is vastly different; it been sitting idle since Jan. 2017. Let’s take a closer look at the House bill . . .

Protection from arrest

Under the statute, if you are carrying and in compliance, you “may not be arrested or detained” for anything related to the firearm. Some dangerous wiggle room would be eliminated if that said “shall not” instead of “may not.” It’s a small point.

You remain subject to arrest while carrying if “there is probable cause to believe that the person is doing so in a manner not provided for by this section.” That’s a bigger point. It’s not clear what this might encompass, though it seems to say you must be in compliance to be protected.

Proper ID is “facially valid” and “prima facie evidence” you are correctly licensed under the law. The protection does not seem to extend to any other violations or offenses (jaywalking while armed?).

An offending government must pay your legal bills for false arrest

This Bill is designed discourage state and local governments from acting against out-of-state residents carrying a firearm legally. First, the prosecution has the explicit burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt — the highest standard — that you were out of compliance. Next, if you use this law as a defense and the government loses, they must pay your legal bills. That’s a big deterrent to false charges.

Citizens can sue an offending government for false arrest

The statute includes a guarantee similar to 42 USC §1983: a right to a private lawsuit against the state, including damages, other relief and legal bills. If you are deprived of any “right, privilege or immunity” secured by this law, using any “statute, ordinance, regulation, custom or usage” of any state, you can sue. This seems to set up a conflict with authorized no-guns signs in section (b)(2): No-gun-zones can be set up, yet you can sue if your rights are denied. The right to sue is only against the government, private zones in section (b)(1) are not mentioned.

Magazines are redefined as handguns

The bill introduces a new definition of handgun, but only for the purpose of this statute.

The statute says: ‘‘The term ‘handgun’ includes any magazine for use in a handgun and any ammunition loaded into the handgun or its magazine.” If this passes, a magazine is now a handgun. Possession of a handgun introduces all sorts of complexity, which would apply to empty or loaded magazines. The bill says “any magazine for use in a handgun” so any magazine is affected.

Some states have magazines capacity laws (e.g., Massachusetts 10-round limit), while others ban certain types of ammunition (New Jersey’s ban on hollow-points). The bill seeks to protect a traveler in an unfriendly jurisdiction, who might be cited for their illegal magazines or ammo.

Redefining terms is always a cause for concern, unexpected results frequently lurk, and this one has several dark corners. Nothing prevents authorities from taking definitions from one place once enacted and using them in other places, “as matters of settled law.”

Ammo’s also redefined as a handgun

For the purposes of this law, only ammo loaded into “the handgun” is considered a handgun (loose ammo remains plain old ammo). Ammo loaded into magazines for that handgun, though not necessarily in the gun, are also, legally speaking, handguns.

If you have a loaded or empty magazine you have a handgun. If you then acquire a matching pistol, do you have two handguns? Is a six-shooter seven guns? Walking past a school zone with an empty magazine would almost violate state versions of the next law. That said . . .

The bill quashes the Clinton-Era Imaginary Gun-Free-School-Zone 

A person who carries a firearm discreetly under the terms of this statute — with a state permit or in a state that doesn’t require one — is not subject to 18 USC §922q, the gun-free-school-zone law. (Open carry is not included.)

The possible combinations leave unresolved questions. For example, is a person with a carry permit from a state without Constitutional Carry who travels to a Constitutional Carry state immune from gun-free-school-zone laws? Or does the bill fail to protect a permittee outside their state of origin?

National Land Assets are open to armed citizens

A person carrying under the terms of this statute may do so in any public areas of the National Parks, a National Wildlife Refuge, public Bureau of Land Management lands, Army Corps of Engineers land, and Bureau of Reclamation land.

Federal Judges get permitless national concealed carry reciprocity

Section 104 dictates that federal judges can carry sidearms concealed nationally — without a background check, firearms training or any other precondition.

H.R. 38 attempts to “Fix NICS” (formerly H.R. 4477)

Added to the bill, page after page establishes conditions that must be met by federal agencies and authorities, to pour names into the NICS system The rapid growth of NICS is another holy grail of the gun-ban movement, an ongoing infringement steamroller with no stop in sight. I’ll detail this part of the bill in a separate post.

“Bump Fire” parts defined

SEC. 206 requires the AG to issue a report in 180 days on “bump stocks” used in crime, how often they’ve been used in crime, and attempts to define them.

The opposition to H.R. 38 assembles

When the bills get combined (IF the Senate votes) we’ll get something brand new. Both parties will argue during conference committee, change things, that’s standard. Meanwhile, the news coverage of the bill is astounding: Inventions, lies and plain stupidity. Basically, the antis are repeating every deceptive complaint the public has endured about “loosening” concealed carry permit laws.

Once again, we’re getting the BITS myth (Blood In The Streets): horrible criminals will suddenly start carrying firearms and shooting indiscriminately. Criminal laws will cease to exist or stop operating, allowing criminals to carry. Good people traveling armed will suddenly turn bad, shoot slow waiters and people at stop lights.

The public’s being told that legal carry will somehow make it harder for authorities to arrest armed criminals. That cops won’t be able to tell the difference between a good guy with a gun and a bad guy with a gun, putting their lives and the lives of innocent bystanders at risk. Some states have already insisted they will disobey the law.

“We will fight any federal action that lets visitors bring guns to our streets,” NYC police commissioner James O’Neill and Cyrus Vance, Manhattan D.A. pronounced in a self-righteous and self-contradictory guest editorial The Wall Street Journal. They complained that if the bill passes, “a person could be armed in public without ever having a background check.”

The truth

Surely these New York officials know that description fits every criminal roaming their streets right now. The bill’s only change: mere possession of a gun by a law abiding citizen will no longer be a crime under a boot, Jack. The corrupt agencies who want to continue making unconstitutional arrests and demands for your papers (which they refuse to recognize in the first place) would be prohibited from doing so.

Alan Korwin
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Bloomfield Press, founded in 1988, is the largest publisher and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Our website,, features a free national directory to gun laws and relevant contacts in all states and federally, along with our unique line of related books and DVDs. “After Your Shoot” for media review is available on request, call 800-707-4020.

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  1. The NICS nonsense is going to pass whether it’s attached to reciprocity or not. May as well hope that this bill passes because the likelihood of a NICS bill passing with nothing else attached to it is high.

    And imagine what could get attached to a NICS bill. Bump stock legislation, lead ammunition bans, etc.

    It’s best that this “NICS fix” passes with national reciprocity so that Congress has no reason to create NICS only legislation which could turn into a slippery anti gun slope.

    • The democrats don’t need to pass a bump stock/semi auto ban; Jeff Sessions is giving it to them free of charge.

      I’d rather lose CCR if it means killing the NICS fix.

      • Then you’ll get the NICS fix bill without CC reciprocity and probably with the other things I mentioned.

        At least with reciprocity on the books, we can take out the NICS nonsense later on, plus in the meantime Trump can use executive orders to essentially not enforce it.

        When another Anti Dem takes office NICS is the least of our worries as they’re going to pass Australian style gun laws with or without the NCIS fix.

        Take what you can get now and get some SCOTUS rulings that support 2A before a Dem is put in office in 2025.

        • Well thanks to sessions selling out and giving the dems a bump stock/semi auto ban via atf regulation, we could have a democrat in 2021 if not sooner.

          We’ve gotten nothing but gun control.

        • “Not enforce it….”

          Did you not learn your lesson from Lawless Obama? Elections in 3rd world pseudo-democracies become literal bloodbaths because everyone knows that the rule of law doesn’t matter. Just jamming your brand of tyrant into power with the most votes does. Bad as that is, it’s even worse when that tyrant decides–and he will–to turn on you.

          I prefer the checks and balances of the Constitution to the whims of the idiot electorate and their defender du jour.
          Remember, not a damn one of you actually expected Trump to win. You and your “Let’s make up or ignore the law as we go” crowd could have been suffering under Hillary right now and her rule by fiat.

          Didn’t happen, so we dodged a bullet? Ok, well what happens when Trump is out of office? He will be in seven years regardless; could be much sooner that. Remember, of the last nine presidents prior to Trump, five did not run for, did not win, or did not serve out, a second elected term. Sooo….

          The Faustian bargain of ruling by arbitrary means comes naturally in exchange for winning at all costs.

      • Then you are bitching out. Period. NICS fix is literally nothing. Reciprocity is the turning point in the war. If you’re so much of a Fucking coward to just throw in the towel now then just get the Fuck out of the way and let the rest of us do the fighting for you. We’re winning this war, and we’re going to keep winning.

        • This is the turning point. If we get national carry , every state becomes defacto shall issue. Shall issue states get better gun rights over time.

        • Amen to that. Fix NICS is troublesome, but nationwide CC is awesome. It will quickly destroy anti-gun “Wild West” and “Blood in the streets!!!” propaganda in a matter of months.

          This is the best we can do under current conditions, and it’s a softball pitch slow and straight. Let’s hit it out of the park.

          This brought to you by the guy who knew Obama would be anti-gun, and strongly supported Trump.

    • The anti gun nuts Schumer and Feinstein are among those that are backing the so called “Fix NICS” plan. That’s why I’m sure the Bill is full of hidden provisions that will be used in the future by slick leftist lawyers to further forward their never ending anti gun/anti freedom agenda.

      My so called representative here in Nevada (Dean Heller) had the brass set to write me back with a form letter that called all my concerns that I had about him backing this lie of Fix NICS “FAKE NEWS”… All set in caps no less!

      This only proves you can douse a pig in perfume, but it will still in fact stink to high heaven when leftists are pushing it!

      • No one, to date, can point out anything in the Fix NICS portion of the bill that actually does anything other than spend money and tell bureaucrats “we mean it this time.” That’s really all it does.

      • Yeah Frank….I got a similar reply from Senator Tillis here in North Carolina. I left a phone message letting him know exactly how I felt about his uninformed and ignorant response to me. I also let him know that he wouldn’t be getting my vote when he runs for reelection. As a PS, I also told him that I was going to strongly suggest to anyone that I know NOT to cast a vote for him on the next election. I hope my phone message gave him gastric problem… least for awhile. 😉

  2. If we need to toss the grabbers a bone to get this done, do it.

    Adding the NICS fix was a smart move in my book. If we dangle some bait the Leftists *really* want in addition, let’s pitch that.

    The ‘Dreamers’ – As much as we would like it not to be, they aren’t going anywhere. Offer them a path to citizenship so the Left can tell their constituents they ‘tightened background checks’ *and* legalized the ‘Dreamers’.

    There has to be other bait we can dangle to pass this, something like infrastructure rebuilding? What else?

    A good spoonful of honey to improve the taste to them just may work…

    • Way to sell out, and you should know there are enough anti gun republicans (even our AG is a gun grabber) who will vote out any and all pro gun measures in a bill.

      You’re either despearate or foolish.

      • All of you who are willing to trash reciprocity over the NCIS fix are Fucking retards. Period. Reciprocity would be like Stalingrad to the Antis. Meanwhile, you puritans are worried about the casualties in Leningrad. Damn all of you to hell. We have a chance to smash the fascist anti gun armies in a battle that will change the face of the war but your too much cowards to do it because “muh feels” or something. Go suck start a democrat because your a coward and a traitor.

        • National CCR would give the Fed Gov an in into requirements and regulation for carry that it has never had before. States that want it are fully capable of negotiating reciprocity with each other, as sovereign States. Anything the Fed Gov does, even when it looks good on the surface, invariably gives the Fed Gov more control.

        • Gary, it’s not 1942 anymore. The feds have long been able to legislate on virtually anything, anywhere, anytime. This doesn’t give them an “in” into anything that wasn’t already there. That argument is just as dumb as the shrieks about how horrible Fix NICS is.

          Fix NICS doesn’t really do anything.

        • TX_Lawyer is right here.
          Fix NICS only bribes agencies to follow what is already the law. IOW, it says: Do what you are required to do, and we will give you money.
          It’s like giving bangers money to not shoot people. Which some places do now, stupid as that seems.

          • To be fair Bill, it says we won’t give you bonuses if you don’t do your job to federal political appointees. To the states, who the feds can’t directly tell what to do, it says you go to the top of the lists for grants if you report prohibited persons to NICS.

            It also manages to spend millions of dollars to help these guys do the job they haven’t been doing for the past however long. (I guess I shouldn’t be upset by these guys not following a law that I think is mostly BS anyway, but I am. I guess I can be mad about both the law and these guys not following it).

    • No, the bill has to pass as it is with the NICS fix the only real undesirable thing added to it. If any more gets added to HR38 that’s anything short of being pro 2A, then the bill is flawed and cannot become law.

      We can’t take a step forward and 2 steps back because that’s what’s been happening to the 2nd Amendment since 1934.

    • Yeah… Let’s import tens of millions of DNC voters into traditionally red states, what could possibly go wrong? You forget that for every “dreamer” there will be a dozen family members imported.

    • Yikes, Geoff. Way to blow years of built-up credibility. I have to ask, have you been drinking heavily this evening?

      Just as in sport shooting you cannot miss fast enough to win, in politics you cannot surrender fast enough to win.

      • Johnathan, we have to give the Left a way to save face on their reciprocity vote. The ugly truth is, Dreamers ain’t going anywhere. Not a free path to citizenship, but a way to earn it. The Dreamers only. No extended families, *without* ‘chain migration’. If they find that unacceptable, they are welcome to get the fuck out, and take their families with them.

        You and I both know ICE won’t be rounding up millions of illegals, as much as we would like that. Probably the best Trump can hope for is deporting the felonious criminal illegals like MS-13, and the ones that drop into law enforcement laps…

        • Well, if it’s only felons that are getting deported…

          “Schemes to commit identity theft or fraud may also involve violations of other statutes such as identification fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1028), credit card fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1029), computer fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1030), mail fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1341), wire fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343), or financial institution fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344). Each of these federal offenses are felonies that carry substantial penalties –¬ in some cases, as high as 30 years’ imprisonment, fines, and criminal forfeiture.”

          If I’m estimating correctly, that would reduce the number of illegal aliens eligible for deportation to, um, well, let’s see… All of them, yup, every single one.

        • I have to disagree. We don’t need to catch and deport millions. Once employers start getting jail time and ICE starts kicking in doors, the majority will run for home.

    • Toss the grabbers a bone???? Over my dead body.

      My father was a legal immigrant. He came here the right way, sent over to run a distribution point for a foreign country. One winter he pushed my mother out of a snowbank and as they say the rest is history.

      The history is this:
      My father went through German occupied Holland and escaped from being rounded up and headed for Germany in a boxcar not once but twice. It was near the end of the war and the Germans were getting a bit desperate for laborers.

      My mother lost a fiance in the battle of TaeJon North Korea. The man who vetted my father for immigration was a state congressman. The dead soldiers older brother.

      My father learned English, became a US citizen, and lived a full and happy life. Successful in business and respected by the community.

      I will never support amnesty for illegals. Not ever.

    • DACA needs to be tied to: ending chain migration and the visa lottery and H1B visas, funding (completely) the WALL, and enforcing deportation for ALL illegals. Make the dems pay for their stupidity in making the dreamers a priority above actual American citizens.
      The Republicans have control of both houses of congress and the white house – it’s time they unapologetically started acting like it by keeping their long-ago promises to their constituents. I don’t know anybody who cares at all about the tax bill they just passed (finally), but everyone wants national CCR and the HPR/SHUSH act ASAP. The only concern for most Americans that even comes close to gun rights are protecting our borders and deporting illegals and even slowing legal immigration.
      Immigration without assimilation is invasion, and will NOT end well (see, um, EUROPE, for example).

      • Agree 100%. A lot of the pressure on this countries infrastructure and quality of life would be lessened with a drop of about 30 million people who don’t speak ENGLISH.

  3. The only slightly positive thing we got in Australia when the national gun laws came in is that all states had to recognise the others licenses. The anti gun states tried to prevent this and keep their own rules like New York or Ca. Wouldn’t want to be the first test case though.

    Not that good in my area where previously there was no license except for full auto.

    • Well thanks to AG sessions selling out to the democrats, we’re gonna have worse gun laws than Australia.

      • DoomGuy said”Well what do you call what the atf is doing?”

        Perhaps setting the groundwork to test the Chevron deference at the SCOTUS with Neil Gorsuch?

        Plus, no ex post facto law shall be passed. Existing bump stocks should be grandfathered at the Federal level.

        • “Perhaps setting the groundwork to test the Chevron deference at the SCOTUS with Neil Gorsuch?” – This needs to happen.

          “Plus, no ex post facto law shall be passed.” – Technically, the law was passed in 1934, so not ex post facto. Entrapment (or something similar) would be the legal defense.

      • I would just ask if that “definition” gets miss-used and also starts a “slippery slope”? Why not just call ammo ammo and a magazine a magazine? Seems simple enough. We don’t need to start defining magazines and ammo as firearms or we could see ourselves filling out a 4473 for each round.
        Also, there were NEVER supposed to be purchase records for NICS. That needs to be eliminated and destroyed.

        • If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?
          Four because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.

      • pwrserge… Ever heard of making a precedents in law? That is exactly what this Bill will do if made a law, it will be a precedents to now call a “magazine” a “gun” anyplace the leftist gun grabbers want to from that day forward. NO wording or stipulation could ever be used “for the propose of this law only”.. That does not exist in law.

  4. “… if you use this law as a defense and the government loses, they must pay your legal bills. That’s a big deterrent to false charges.”

    Hah! Why is paying for attorney fees with taxpayer money a big deterrent? Now if those rogue prosecutors had to pay for attorney fees out of their own pocket, that would be a different matter.

  5. Well they passed a tax bill. Despite the naysayers. ANYTHING can happen. And it can be good!

  6. There’s a few offending POS (D) states, and some tyrannical POS MFs in D.C., we’ve been dicking around with these aholes and issues for over 150 years all-told, and it’s the antis that are the moving / offending party, the only bone we need to throw them is the jaw bone of an ass.

    Can’t we just fing say FIFY, and have the F _ _ K – at ?

    That was rhetorical. But, by all means, take your time thinking it over.

  7. The criminals will have guns is the most crock of shit defense anyone can say. In fact criminals want anti gun laws. Locks keep honest people honest, but they don’t stop thieves.

  8. Wow! Just Wow! It took till the Beginning part of 21st century for America to start looking like George Orwell’s book 1984…How ironic….Who here will be declared an Enemy of the State ??!

  9. If you don’t support HR 38 (with or without “Fix NICS”) you’re a fucking moron and have no right to call yourself a 2A advocate or supporter.

  10. The cartoon with the cowboy is lolz considering NY violent gun crime rate is higher than most western states where it is completely permissable to carry. Sure you can handwave population ratios, but we’re talking about the gulf between hyper-restrictive to super minimalist.

    Maybe you can learn something from cowboy bob, NY.

  11. This law will not pass the Senate — not even close — so all this navel gazing by commenters, both pro and con, is no more than a bunch of angry guys jerking off.

    • You’re probably right, but it’s still disturbing to see the lack of political sense on TTAG. National CC is so huge that’s it’s easily worth “Fix NICS” BS. And national CC would blow so many anti-gun arguments (crime will soar! Blood in the streets! We can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys!!!) out of the water so quickly that it would be like a second Trump election shock.

  12. If magazines and ammunition are not part of the definition of handgun, then how should we protect ourselves from the anti-silliness about magazine limits, hollow point restrictions, lead ammunition, and other issues that limit our firearms freedoms? I live in Chicago and recognize the provision as attempting to prevent various games antis like to play here and in places like New Jersey and California. Congress could legalize carrying a gun but surprise you can’t have a Glock 17 because it has too many rounds. Another possibility is that your gun and its ammo could be legal but the loaded magazines on your belt could bring you a prison sentence. The same games are played with lead ammunition or hollow point rounds. New Jersey should not be imposing its gun laws on Pennsylvania residents visiting the state. Another trick not addressed in the legislation is claiming that accessories are not covered by preemption laws. The big issue here is laser sights added to a handgun after market. Chicago argues that its laser sight ban still applies to aftermarket sights added to a gun but recognizes those built into a gun are preempted by state law. However, the city has never taken legal action against anyone based on this theory and local prosecutors will file charges only on state law violations not city ordinances.

    • “If magazines and ammunition are not part of the definition of handgun, then how should we protect ourselves from the anti-silliness about magazine limits.” – Just say ammo and magazines too in the law. It isn’t necessary to include them in the definition.

      So where the bill says “may possess or carry a concealed handgun (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce,” it could say something like “may posses magazines and ammunition that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce and may possess or carry a concealed handgun (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”

      Honestly, I’d write the bill very differently to make it much more clear as to what it means. A lot of people disagree about what the bill means. Most of them because they haven’t read the bill carefully or because they are idiots, but many who disagree have read the bill carefully and are not idiots. That’s mainly because the sentences are really long. When you have to worry about which parts of the sentence are modifying other parts of the sentence, things can get confusing quickly, especially for people who don’t understand grammar. If it was broken down into subsections, it would be a lot easier to understand.

  13. Because of the two party system which is really a one party system of extreme criminals and statists, neither reciprocity will not pass nor will the HPA. I know TTAG predicted both would pass this year, but they are mistaken. Neither can pass because the tug of war on guns has equal strength on both sides. But make no mistake, eventually, the anti’s will win. They will never “come for your guns” in a stasi style raid, at least not in force. They’ll just slowly ban new standard capacity mags, semi auto’s etc. Eventually we’ll see more requirements for carry, etc then may issue, then no issue. With a large, dense population there is no other possible outcome of course. You see it in Colorado, soon in Virginia, Florida etc. You can delay it though for a long time.

  14. but I am pointing out that even though this may be the law, it would not be long before the anti”s decide , like they are in some states already , that the law really meant this or that, however they can bend it or even try to brainwash those to say it really meant what ever they wanted it to. if a magazine and ammo is a firearm, well you are giving them ammunition to start more control efforts. even though it may have been pointed out that it is only for this law. you know how they lie, how they twist the truth, we need to be carefull.

  15. Time for a new law: any politician making a claim that is easily debunked by a fact check gets fined $10k or 10% of their income, whichever is greater, per instance.

  16. “Some dangerous wiggle room would be eliminated if that said “shall not” instead of “may not.” It’s a small point…”

    Nah. Passive voice versus active voice- it’s the correct term, and it does not mean someone “may or may not” arrest you. It means they cannot do so without being subject to the remedies set forth in the same bill.

    Honestly, the bill as written is about the best that could be hoped for- which is why it will never pass.

    -Would be happy to be proven wrong

  17. Post Office parking need to be addet and the bill need an safe storage preemption in vehicles on any state and federal ground !

  18. It doesn’t make any different what laws are on the books.bad guys will be able to get a hand on any handgun onthe black on market or street or alley.

  19. It doesn’t make any different what laws are on the books.bad guys will be able to get a hand on any hand gun on the black market or street or alley

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