On January 3, 2017, the first day of the 115th Congress, North Carolina Republican Representative Richard Hudson introduced a bill that would lend a stamp of federal approval to state-to-state recognition of concealed carry handgun licenses and reciprocity for all “constitutional carry” states (where a gun permit is not required).
The bill should not be necessary.
Kudos to Congressman Hudson for proposing this fix, but if the US and state governments operated ethically and constitutionally, no government or government agent would have any statutory authority to prevent a free person from owning or trading a firearm of any sort. That’s why the right to keep and bear arms is called... a right.
Rep. Hudson’s bill… would allow people with a state-issued concealed carry license or permit to conceal a handgun in any other state that allows concealed carry, as long as the permit holder follows the laws of that state. It also allows residents of Constitutional carry states the ability to carry in other states that recognize their own resident’s right to concealed carry.
Of the choice to possess a firearm, Congressman Hudson recently stated on the “Bullets with AWR Hawkins” podcast:
I think that’s a right, an inalienable right. But, there are some states that don’t agree with that. But there are some states around the country–like Montana, Vermont, and others–that do not require you to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon. And if you happen to live in one of those states, with my legislation you ought to be able to carry in any state that recognizes concealed carry.
All of which is laudable, given the currently intense confusion and oppression many firearms supporters and owners feel due to state and federal politics.
But Mr. Hudson’s bill wouldn’t be necessary in a nation where politicians recognized ethics and the federal Constitution.
Ethically, the ownership of an object does not bring harm to the life or property of another. It is also impossible for ownership to connote the intent of an individual, and since far more crimes are stopped than perpetrated by firearms owners, even if one were to believe in the notion that ownership connotes intent, one would be statistically driven to want more gun ownership, not less.
On the constitutional level, it is just as simple. Not only does the Second Amendment insure that no government -- local, state, country, or federal -- will infringe on the individual right to keep and bear arms, the “Full Faith and Credit Clause” of the Constitution overtly states:
Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.
Therefore, any legal document granted by one state to a resident thereof must be recognized as a legal document in every other state.
No state should be issuing licenses to carry firearms, because such activity is prohibited by the Second Amendment, but if they are going to do it as they have been for decades in the US, then politicians should take the time to recognize that if one state issues a license to carry a firearm, all states must recognize that license. This is why we see reciprocity of drivers’ licenses from state to state when people commute across state borders or rent cars in other states than their own. If the United States Congress operated properly, not only would Mr. Hudson’s bill be unnecessary, Congress would step in to prevent any and all state prohibitions against firearm ownership.
Many supporters of the Second Amendment have been waiting years for a proposal such as Hudson’s to have a chance of passing. Perhaps this time they’ll see that happen. But many still will be frustrated that so many politicians are enemies of the very concept of rights that such a bill is necessary, and that so few of those same politicians grasp the original meaning of things like the Second Amendment and the Full Fait and Credit clause of the Constitution.
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