The two bodies of Congress are arguing over various spin-off versions of HR 197, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009. The Senate just rejected one version of the bill.
The text of HR 197 is:
Sec. 926D. National standard for the carrying of certain concealed firearms by nonresidents
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm and is carrying a valid license or permit which is issued by a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm (other than a machinegun or destructive device) may carry in another State a concealed firearm (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, subject to subsection (b).
(b)(1) If such other State issues licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms, the person may carry a concealed firearm in the State under the same restrictions which apply to the carrying of a concealed firearm by a person to whom the State has issued such a license or permit.
(2) If such other State does not issue licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms, the person may not, in the State, carry a concealed firearm in a police station, in a public detention facility, in a courthouse, in a public polling place, at a meeting of a State, county, or municipal governing body, in a school, at a professional or school athletic event not related to firearms, in a portion of an establishment licensed by the State to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, or inside the sterile or passenger area of an airport, except to the extent expressly permitted by State law.
I have seen arguments against this thing based on the notion that it’s a violation of “States’ rights”, and based on the fact that people don’t want to end up in a national database of CCW permit holders.
“States’ rights” don’t trump individual rights. The individual rights provisions of the Bill of Rights must take precedence over any “States’ rights”. In case anyone has forgotten, the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and any federal law that works to protect the right guaranteed by the Second Amendment without otherwise infringing individual rights should definitely be upheld even if the various States don’t like it.
I don’t see anything, in any of the three versions of this bill that I’ve read, that lays the groundwork for any kind of federal tracking of permit holders. What I see is that CCW reciprocity would basically work exactly the way it does now, except that reciprocity would be automatic in every single state that allows for any kind of CCW permit issuance process rather than being decided on a case-by-case basis. That would mean that I still wouldn’t get reciprocity in Illinois or Wisconsin, but I’d get it everywhere else — and that such reciprocity would be handled the same way my current CCW reciprocity with, say, Kansas works: I have a permit from my home state, so it’s allowed, period. There’s nothing in any of the versions of this bill that I’ve read suggesting that anyone needs to sign up for a national CCW permit in addition to the state permit, or that I have to sign up on a national list, or anything like that. Did I overlook something?
The various versions of this bill I’ve seen include:
If you can find anything in any of those that contradicts my understanding of them, or that raises other concerns than those I’ve presented, please let me know.