National Concealed Carry
As this bill is almost ready to move to the House floor, I want to do a quick recap.
HR 822 would require one state to recognize the concealed weapons permits of other states. Permit holders must follow the laws of the state they are visiting, If I am allowed to be armed in bars in Maine, and New York has a prohibition on that, I may not enter bars in New York while carrying a weapon.
This bill does one of the few things Congress should do. It requires state to recognize other states public acts, in this case, licenses to carry concealed weapons.
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.
This is not a states rights issue. States are free to stop permitting concealed carry if they so desire, but if they extend that privilege to their residents, they must extend it to all license holders. The fact that licensing standards are different in different states is irrelevant. Drivers licenses have different requirements in each state, yet almost no one would advocate that New York not recognize a Maine drivers license. I have a Maine concealed carry permit, yet if I wish to carry in New Hampshire I have to get a license there! At a cost of 100$ every 4 years!!! Again, if states actually don’t have to recognize each others weapons licenses I see no reason why they can’t do likewise with drivers licenses, which is a scary thought.
The one thing I am unclear on is why this bill cites it’s constitutional authority as being the commerce clause… Clearly Congress has the right to make a law such as this, but I can’t figure out how someone thinks the commerce clause is where that right comes from.
This bill will pass the House. With 250 cosponsors the required majority is already there. I have no reason to think it won’t pass in the Senate either. Whether Obama signs the law is what is up in the air. I’m confident that this will be attached to some kind of ‘must pass’ legislation like “the free puppies for orphans act” or “the free kittens for the homeless act”. You know, something Obama can really get behind.
Update: A little birdy just told me on the phone that they have 56 votes in the Senate lined up right now. This will than become law, providing they can find a vehicle to attach the thing to, see above.