U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is pushing a bill in the U.S. Senate to force states to recognize weapons carry permits from other states. This is called reciprocity and many states have an agreement between them and certain other states for this.
This is one time I’m going to side with gun control groups on this.
Besides lobbying pliable senators like Toomey and McCain, gun control groups are also castigating national reciprocity in the harshest terms. Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence President Dan Gross calls it “evil and dangerous,” and Brian Malte, the group’s policy director, suggests its passage will wreak havoc on states with stronger gun controls.
via Gun Control Groups Lobby Sens. Toomey and McCain Against CCW Reciprocity – Breitbart.
I’m all for this type of agreement as long as it is made between states. In fact, I’d like to see each state honor carry permits in the same way they currently honor driver’s licenses. However the state level is where this type of agreement needs to remain, not at the federal level.
I know many of my gun advocate friends are going to disagree with me on this but what you need to understand is the power of precedent. If you support the federal government’s plan to mandate reciprocity between states of weapons carry permits you are giving credence to the federal government’s claim of authority in regards to weapons carry permits.
If we set this precedent of the federal government having authority to mandate reciprocity on weapon’s carry permits then there is precedent for the federal government to govern the terms and conditions of the permit and how it is issued. Some states are “must issue” states, meaning that in the absence of any disqualification of gun ownership the permit must be issued. Other states are “shall issue” states, meaning that issue of the permit is based on the judgement of the issuing authority, usually the county sheriff. Involve the feds and the feds will decide whether permits must be issued or shall be issued.
There’s also a matter of the cost of the permit and the amount of training required for the permit. And since now the federal government is deciding how the permits are issued it can be argued that the federal government now has the authority to standardized where the permits are valid. Can you carry in a restaurant with your permit, even one that sells some alcohol? Is the permit invalid within a quarter mile of a school?
These are all decisions that should be made by the state, not the fed. Allowing the fed to decide on reciprocity is just opening the door for the feds to regulate all conditions of weapons carry.