Should Your Right to Carry Your Gun End at the State Border?

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Published on: April 5, 2016

Sources inside Congress have told Gun Owners of America that they may soon be taking up a concealed carry reciprocity bill.

If enacted, this legislation would mean that your right to carry would no longer end at your state border.

It would mean we would be one step closer to enjoying the full protections of the Second Amendment, which says the right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed.”

To this end, Gun Owners of America is supporting H.R. 923 and S. 498 — legislation introduced by Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).

H.R. 923 and S. 498 are the best reciprocity bills in the Congress.  Yes, there are similar bills, but they don’t protect citizens who travel from Constitutional Carry states.

As we reported last week, there are now ten Constitutional Carry states in the union — states that have passed laws which don’t require gun owners to get permission to exercise their constitutionally-protected rights or to be registered like sex offenders.

These states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming and most of Montana.

The Stutzman-Cornyn bills do not punish these states for being too pro-gun.

They do not require a gun owner from these states to get a concealed carry permit before carrying a firearm out of state.

Sadly, the other reciprocity bills in Congress would impose this restriction, forcing people to get registered through the permitting process before exercising their rights.

Why Reciprocity Legislation is Needed

Some gun owners have argued that reciprocity legislation is unnecessary because the Second Amendment recognizes the right to carry wherever we want.

We agree that Americans have that right.

But sometimes a “right” — even a God-given right — needs a mechanism to enforce it against a politicized judiciary.

When Shaneen Allen was arrested in New Jersey for carrying a firearm with a Pennsylvania concealed carry license, the Garden State was flagrantly denying Shaneen’s rights and acting unconstitutionally.

Shaneen faced over a decade in prison — and was only exonerated when gun owners pressured Governor Chris Christie, whose presidential ambitions made him unusually receptive to our message.

So consider this:  When you carry concealed in New York, New Jersey, California, or another state, the fact that you are “right” isn’t going to keep you from going to prison for decades — unless the Stutzman-Cornyn legislation is passed into law and forces these lawless states to comply.

This legislation is consistent with the Second and Fourteenth Amendments.  The Supreme Court (correctly) ruled in McDonald v. Chicago (2010) that the Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms from federal AND state abuse.

That’s what the Stutzman-Cornyn bills do — they prevent anti-gun states from denying your right to carry concealed when you travel with your family out of state.

This is important legislation.  Please urge your Representative and Senators to cosponsor H.R. 923 and S. 498.

 

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