Saturday, February 14, 2015

Four Good Reasons For Gun Control Advocates To Support National CCW Permit Reciprocity.

Citizen Concealed Carry 1987-2013
It may seem absurd to suggest that gun control advocates should support a federal bill that would set up nationwide reciprocity (or recognition) of concealed weapons permits, but I think a strong case can be made that such a bill could be in their interest.  Here it is:

1) "Shall Issue" concealed carry permits are here to stay.  50 states have permitting systems in place - 43 of them are shall issue, meaning that there is no requirement that "good cause" be proved before a permit is issued.  Last year the 9th Circuit - the most liberal appeals court in the federal system - ruled that carrying a firearm outside of the home is a civil right under the 2nd Amendment.  Not one state has ever repealed their concealed carry law.  In short, the gun control side has lost the battle to stop concealed carry - both politically and legally.  If it cannot be stopped, the best thing you can do is to set uniform standards - and the best way to do that is a federal reciprocity law.

2) A reciprocity bill could be used to increase training requirements.  Currently, states require anywhere between zero and sixteen hours of training before a permit is issues.  Some states, such as Idaho, actually offer two different permits - one of which requires more training in order to be recognized in more states.  Gun control advocates could offer to support a reciprocity bill, provided it raises the training requirement to a 16 hour minimum - roughly the same required of armed security guards.

3) A reciprocity bill would encourage more people to get permits - even if their state does not require them.  Currently at least five states all permit-less or "constitutional" carry.  More states are considering such bills every year.  Under such laws, anyone legally permitted to own a firearm may carry it openly or concealed.  The primary reason people in such states obtain permits is to carry in other states that do require permits, or require them of non-residents.  If a permit meeting national standards was good in every state, more people in "constitutional carry" states would obtain them - and this would require them to meet national standards of training.

4) Gun control advocates might be able to get some things they want - such as expanded background checks - in return for agreeing to national carry permit reciprocity.  If background checks are really that important - if they really would do a lot of good - then why not trade for them?  Especially when what you would be trading is something you are likely to loose in the courts anyway.  So, attach background checks to the reciprocity bill.  Gun control advocates might be surprised at who supports the package.

So, there you have it - four good reasons for gun control advocates to support CCW reciprocity.  Sadly, I highly doubt that they will do so.

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