Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Of 2017

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 2 weeks ago

I had covered this act (H.R. 38 and H.R. 4477) here, albeit briefly.  I was skeptical.  Now I’ve read the bill, and I’m even more skeptical and I have begun to trust my initial inclinations on things like this.  I’ve covered gun rights and politics long enough to know a turd pile when I smell it.

This opinion will place be squarely out of accord with 99% of gun writers and analysts, and much of the gun community, but I’m okay with that.  We’ll see who was right, and if I’m wrong I’ll say so when proven so.

Reddit/r/firearms is simply giddy over this, as are most in the gun community as best as I can tell.  The active thread is here.  I actually read the bill before recent amendments, and the bill as passed can be located here.  Not much has changed with the amendments.

The first thing I’ll observe is that meeting the stipulations of the alleged “fix” of the NICS will be onerous and detailed, and will absolutely required a huge bureaucracy along with a permanent electronic system of prohibited persons managed and adjudicated by bureaucrats.  The details are too numerous to outline here, but go read the bill for yourself and make your own decisions.  I don’t like this aspect of the bill.

NOTE: [David Codrea sent me a note and asked me, “Where is the bump stock wording?”  My answer: It was apparently removed by amendment.  It is in the draft bill.  Thanks to David for the correction.  I missed its removal.  I’m trying.  It’s difficult to keep up.]

The second thing I’ll observe is that they throw bump stocks under the bus.  I neither have a bump stock nor am I inclined to purchase one, but if I did want one in the future, bump stocks will (I suspect) either be illegal or an NFA item.  The bill requires the attorney general’s office (he’ll assign it to lawyers in the DoJ) to study bump stocks and report back on why they shouldn’t be controlled like machine guns.

I said earlier that “I do not support any bill, ever, under any circumstances, for any reason whatsoever, that includes more gun laws.  I do not believe in compromise.”  I maintain my position, and I oppose “throwing anything under the bus” or sacrificing anything else to the god of the state like pagans sacrificed children to Baal.

Perhaps the most problematic thing to me about this whole effort is the way it reads straight out of the gate.  Consider the following language.

‘‘(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof (except as provided in subsection (b)) and subject only to the requirements of this section, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, who is carrying a valid identification document containing a photograph of the person, and who is carrying a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm or is entitled to carry a concealed firearm in the State in which the person resides, 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, in any State that—

(1) has a statute under which residents of the State may apply for a license or permit to carry a concealed firearm

Think hard about this.  Why is it necessary to include the language stipulating that this is for states that have a statute under which residents of the state may apply for a license or permit to carry a concealed firearm?

The answer of course is that it isn’t necessary.  They could have stopped without even including that stipulation.  You mark my words on this.  This will be the subject of endless court deliberations, endless contradictory bureaucratic rulings, endless AG interpretations, and endless arrests of concealed carriers across state lines.

So how many permits to carry have been issued in Hawaii?  How many permits to carry have been issued in New York, Connecticut or Massachusetts to holders who weren’t retired LEOs?  Is it possible for Maura Healey to decide that if her state doesn’t really do that sort of thing for regular people, you know, the peasants like you and me, then her state isn’t subject to this law?

You bet it is, and it will happen.  But the language is there, right up front, and it didn’t have to be.  It could have been omitted entirely and still have accomplished everything it needed.  And it will go through endless appeals, and the SCOTUS will not – I repeat, WILL NOT – take up the cases.  This will all lead to endless fund raising emails and flyers from the NRA to fight the good fight in endless court battles.  Speaking of the NRA, they have really staked out an awful position with their name calling and the ugliness with which they are treating fellow gun groups.

“We are in the thick of the legislative process and a so-called ‘pro-gun group,’ which is nothing more than a fundraising entity, is spreading lies about the FIX NICS legislation that was attached to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act,” Lars Dalseide, a spokesperson for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, told the Washington Free Beacon. “Their talking points are nothing but lies. Unfortunately, they are misleading well-meaning members of Congress with these false and inaccurate talking points.”

Differences of opinion and different interpretations aren’t lies, sir.  Are you calling me a liar?  Or stupid?  I have very strong opinions on this piece of legislation, and I’m willing to say I’m wrong if proven so in the future.  I’ve never once heard that from the NRA.

I suspect that no one who is permitted to carry in North Carolina or Texas will ever legally carry in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut or Hawaii under this bill.  That is, if the Senate passes such a bill, which I doubt.  It may pass something worse, and deliberations in committee may even water down what little good is there about the right to carry on federally controlled lands.

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  1. On December 7, 2017 at 1:05 am, The Gray Man said:

    Be a freeman and refuse to comply. Concealed means concealed. Where open carry is legal, do so. EVERYWHERE else, conceal it. If it’s illegal to carry, then conceal it WELL.

  2. On December 7, 2017 at 4:14 am, Pat Hines said:

    I’ve never supported this “Reciprocity Bill”, for two reasons.

    1. It voids state powers, powers that those living in some states have granted to their governments, to restrict their access of lawfully carry a firearm for self defense. I lived in California the last time a shall issue CWP bill came up, went to Sacramento to the hearing on the bill. Heard a number of well known pro-carry persons including John Lott and Suzanna Gratia Hupp. It was abundantly clear that the bill had no chance of passing, the status quo of control would remain. Let Californians stew in their morass. Or leave like I did.

    2. If you do a modicum of research on current reciprocity between states you’ll find that North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and just about every other southern state already honor each other’s permits, so the US government bill is worthless to me and most southern men and women.

    The so-called “NICS Improvement” is far more onerous should it actually be folded into HR 38.

  3. On December 7, 2017 at 4:28 am, scott s. said:

    I’ve heard that maybe 3 carry permits have been issued in Hawaii; but I don’t think any are current. If this is enacted, I expect Hawaii will repeal the conceal carry provision in the 2018 session pretty quickly. Here, you must register any firearm within 5 days of bringing it in and they are never going to allow out of state CCW holders to avoid this. Note that if you bring in a firearm (or obtain one in-state by any means), you also have to pay a one-time $42 fee to pay costs of entering your name into the FBI “rap-back” system, which is much more invasive than NICS.

  4. On December 7, 2017 at 9:06 am, Frank Clarke said:

    Not having read the full text, I’m nevertheless wary of provisions that might be there — or sneak in later — requiring carriers to abide by local laws. That seems to me to be a real poison pill because NYS (e.g.) registers firearms by make, model, and serial and a NY carry permit specifies which -exact- firearm one may carry. My wife may not carry my firearm; I may not carry hers. NYS and NYC permits are alike in this provision. Florida and many other states do not register firearms at all. My Florida permit does not specify, as NY’s does, which firearm I may carry. Sounds like trouble to me…

  5. On December 7, 2017 at 10:05 am, Fred said:

    The federal government has 1 job related to the 2A. That is to ensure that the states DON’T, and that individuals DON’T, violate a citizens civil right of arms. Period. Show me in this abomination where it says that…waiting…

    Why, oh why, would any man in his right mind desire federal gun control. This law is federal gun control. The ‘99% of gun writers’ and the ‘giddy’ are asking for the federal government to regulate that which has not been delegated for regulation. This is regulation. This is gun control. All this law does is to codify, at the federal level, those state’s laws that violate those citizens civil rights.

    This law says, in effect, we know that these states are in violation of the law(2A), we know that the the federal government is in violation of the law(2A) and we hereby declare the right unto ourselves and our bureaucracy to violate your God given rights in perpetuity.

    Those who have asked for more gun control will get more gun control. I’m way past giving a rats flying ass what the government says or does. Fuck me? No, fuck you!

  6. On December 7, 2017 at 10:36 am, Andrew said:

    You may get “reciprocity” but localities will still have “requirements”.
    Let’s see, most of New England has 10 shot magazine limits (unless it’s “pre ban”, good luck proving that one), at least a couple states prohibit hollowpoints or expanding ammunition, and you’re still limited to “pistols”.
    Plus, due to weight restrictions probably better not bring that AR pistol along either.

    I anticipate a lot of folk seeing “reciprocity” and assuming “well I’m good I’ll just head to NYC for the day and I can pack now”.

  7. On December 7, 2017 at 2:22 pm, AZwild said:

    Anything other than complete deletion of all gun laws, an I won’t bother reading further.

    “…Shall not be infringed.” Clear and concise words to me.

  8. On December 10, 2017 at 7:49 pm, Blake said:

    No, on any new gun bill, unless it contains and ends with the words “all gun laws are hereby repealed.”

    Any bill that takes more than 10 minutes to read and digest means the proposed law is rife for abuse.

    Besides all that, it doesn’t matter what the law is, there are way too many municipalities that will throw people in jail and figure out the charge later. And it gets expensive in a hurry even when one is perfectly innocent.

    Once government, with their unlimited budget, comes after you, look out. It will not matter because government does not care if a citizen loses everything trying to defend themselves. If anything, it’s the threat of being ruined that causes a lot of people to plead out.

  9. On December 10, 2017 at 8:13 pm, Pat Hines said:

    Each new bill must be evaluated for what it does.

    For those of you that have been ignoring the progress from 1986, when the first modern concealed carry law went into effect, to today, you have a lot of homework to do.

    While I agree that all laws restricting access to the fundamental right to be armed, with any weapon, for self defense; including all handguns, all rifles, all machine guns, all anti-aircraft weapons, and all RPGs; please come to grips with reality.

    I want to be able to carry concealed or openly in my home state of South Carolina. I can carry concealed, but not openly. I have a permit for concealed. I’ve had to present it once in eleven years and that for the cop that was wrong. I elected to not kill the cop over the issue, though I could have easily.

    Open carry isn’t lawful in South Carolina though I’ve been told that some do, using the “Second Amendment” is my permit rule. They haven’t been stopped yet by a cop. I’ll be interested in the outcome of that stop if and when it happens.

  10. On December 10, 2017 at 11:33 pm, Landroll said:

    As I recall, perhaps mistakenly, the tenth amendment to the Constitution safs, roughly, that the laws on one state SHALL be honored by another. This I believe was the reason slave catchers from both northern and southern states and capture run away slaves. Since the tenth has not been repealed, seems like the whole argument is moot.

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You are currently reading "Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Of 2017", entry #18196 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Gun Control,National Rifle Association and was published December 6th, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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