The Supreme Courts refusal to hear the concealed carry case, Drake vs. Jerejian is troubling, to say the least. The case challenged the New Jersey concealed carry permitting scheme that forces residents to show a “justifiable need” to carry a hand gun before they are allowed to do so.
Is the Second Amendment a right or a privilege? That is the fundamental question that was raised by this case. In the 2008 case, District of Columbia vs. Heller, the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment was an individual right (as opposed to a right directed towards militia members). In that ruling, Justice Scalia wrote for the majority and explained that within this “right,” the term “bear arms” clearly means to “carry arms.”
Yet, for an unfortunate number of Americans, this right is being denied by Democrat legislatures and activist judges. In liberal states like New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, California*, and Maryland, law-abiding citizens are being denied their Constitutional right to protect them and their families in public!
(*The 9th Circuit Court recently overturned California’s “good cause” requirement, however the case will likely be appealed or heard en banc by the full court)
The solution is simple. The Courts cannot be trusted to deal with this on a national level. The Supreme Court has refused to hear four concealed carry cases in a row. Even if they do hear a concealed carry case, there is no guarantee that it will go our way!
Obviously, you aren’t going to get any help from the Obama administration. The only way that Obama would sanction you having a gun would be if you were part of a Mexican drug cartel! But, I digress…
No, the only way to ensure once and for all that all citizens are held to the same constitutional standard is for Congress to finally pass the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act!
The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act has been introduced multiple times over the past years. This bill would do something incredibly simple.
Just like motorists traveling across state-lines are allowed to use their state-issued driver’s license, the same should be true for gun owners!
Currently, gun owners must rely on complex reciprocity agreements and hold multiple states’ concealed carry permits in order to legally carry a firearm as they travel the country. The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act will do one thing: ensure that all concealed carry permits are honored across the country!
This is where the question of rights vs. privileges comes into play again. There is no right to drive a car. This is a privilege granted to us by our state once we demonstrate proficiency in operating a motor vehicle. The right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege… it is a right. And yet, individuals are still forced to show proficiency in a handgun or prove an understanding of the state’s use-of-force laws before they are allowed to exercise their rights.
So if these permits require individuals to prove proficiency and competency, why shouldn’t they be honored nation-wide? With the exception of the District of Columbia, every state currently has a concealed carry permitting process. This law would force states to recognize the permits of other states and ensure that US citizens’ Second Amendment rights are protected nation-wide!
The Second Amendment reads that the “right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Nowhere in that statement is there a caveat, explaining that the right to bear arms is limited to an individual’s state! This is a universal right and it is about time that Congress protected it and treated it as such!
By my count, 42 out of 50 states currently permit qualified individuals to carry a firearm for self-defense. These states are known as “Shall Issue” because all qualified applicants are approved. The remaining 8 states are “May Issue” because they force residents to prove why they need to carry and allow bureaucrats and judges to arbitrarily decide whether the Second Amendment applies to each applicant.
The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act will force these restrictive states to allow their own residents to carry a firearm. If the law forces a state like New Jersey to accept firearm permits from Texas, how can the state possibly justify restricting NJ residents from carrying?
This is a common-sense bill. Gun owners and concealed carry permit holders are some of the most vetted and qualified citizens in the country. These are people who have proven firearm proficiency, an understanding of the law, and have undergone multiple background checks.
These are the people who we NEED out there, serving as a deterrent to the violent criminal elements that would otherwise prey on the unarmed and defenseless. Illinois finally legalized concealed carry last year and in the first three months, the city of Chicago had its lowest murder rate in over 50 years.
The evidence is there. Not only would national concealed carry reciprocity protect our communities, but also it would ensure that for the first time, the Second Amendment would actually be treated as a RIGHT and not just a privilege!
Congress must pass this bill! The gun control groups are already out in force, trying to shoot it down (pun intended). We need all patriots and Second Amendment supporters to let their voices be heard and demand national concealed carry reciprocity!