Nate Jackson / January 9, 2017

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Coming Soon?

Gun permits should work the same way driver’s licenses do.

In 1833, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote, “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.” Those words are every bit as true today.

That’s why it’s important that Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) has now introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which requires states to recognize each other’s concealed carry firearm permits, though citizens must abide by the laws of whatever state they’re visiting. “Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that,” Hudson said in a statement. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense solution to a problem too many Americans face. It will provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits.”

Conservatives are normally hesitant to create federal law that overrides state law. But in this case, it’s gun grabbers who are hiding behind the principle of federalism. We don’t believe states like Illinois, for example, are abiding by the Second Amendment, and many constitutionalists believe the Fourteenth Amendment “incorporates” all the Bill of Rights against the states. In other words, Illinois can’t infringe on the Second Amendment rights of its citizens or of the residents of other states whose concealed carry permits are void upon crossing its border. Several deep blue states — California, New York and Oregon among them — do not recognize any other state’s permit.

Consider a driver’s license, on the other hand. Any state’s driver’s license allows its holder to drive in any other state, subject to the laws of the state in which he or she is driving. Concealed carry reciprocity already works in a similar manner for states that allow it. It’s time a right actually enumerated in the Constitution worked the same way.

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