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Old April 30, 2001, 02:50 PM   #1
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Join Date: February 28, 1999
Location: Nevada
Posts: 3,076
I've posted this on the political board and think it is pertinent here. Bestir thyselves gentlemen. I wasn't aware of these bills - they need help.

Also, please click on the URL below to register the hits. Normally I post only partial news so the guy gets the hits he deserves, but in this case I thought it important enough to post the whole works.

Constitutional Carry Bill
By Neal Knox

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 20) — I often get letters and emails from defenders of the Second Amendment demanding to know why I’m not promoting a national concealed carry license.

The short answer is that it would violate the Second Amendment.

Congress has no more authority to write a national carry law than it has to write a gun confiscation law.

However, Congress has full authority to require all states to recognize the official acts of each other state, such as the issuance of a marriage license, divorce decree or a handgun carry license.

Section 1 of Article IV of the U.S. Constitution states, in its entirety: "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."

The first licensed carry bills which use that provision (without explicitly saying so and without attempting to impose Federal standards) is H.R.950/S.514 by Rep. John Hostettler (R-In.) and Sen. Bob Smith (R-N.H.). They were introduced March 8 with 12 House co-sponsors and March 12 with two Senate co-sponsors (Sens. Larry Craig [R-Idaho] and Jim Inhofe [R-Okla.])

The effect would be the same as our ability to drive in any state under that state’s traffic laws, using our home state’s driving license (though that was done by interstate agreement rather than an Act of Congress).

All but seven states now issue carry licenses to law-abiding citizens, but most states refuse to recognize out-of-state carry licenses unless they require training, experience or other restrictions equivalent to their own state’s law.

For several years bills have been introduced to make state concealed carry licenses valid in other states. H.R. 218, by Rep. Randy Cunningham (R-Calif.) extends carrying privileges to out-of-state police officers, and in an earlier incarnation extended such privileges to state-issued CCW licenses — as H.R. 382 by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) still does.

An out-of-state policeman’s right to protect himself and his family is no more sacred than an out-of-state pastor or plumber’s. Yet H.R. 218 has 73 co-sponsors while the Stearns bill has only 15 (and 40 last year).

H.R. 382’s stated purpose "to provide a national standard" for where licensees may carry in the seven non-license states (a standard more restrictive than some state laws) is an invitation for opponents of licensing to plant a "poison pill" creating a national standard for obtaining a license.

The Smith/Hostettler bill is entitled "Secure Access to Firearms Enhancement (SAFE) Act of 2001." It provides that any person licensed or allowed to carry a concealed firearm in his own state may carry in any other state "(n)otwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision."

Carrying must be "in accordance with the terms of the license or with the laws of the State of the person’s residence, subject to the laws of the State in which the firearm is carried concerning specific types of locations in which firearms may not be carried."

That means the license would be valid wherever allowed by the foreign state’s carry license law. If the foreign state had no carry license law, any limits on carrying imposed by the state of residence would apply (which would encourage the seven states without CCW licenses to enact them).

Smith/Hostettler would apply not only to licensees (requiring only that they not be prohibited by Federal law from possessing a gun) but to law enforcement officers. If an active or retired officer could carry in his home state, he could carry out-of-state.

And unlike Rep. Stearns’ bill it even allows out-of-state carrying by non-licensed residents of Vermont, which has no restrictions on carrying concealed except with intent to commit a crime (and has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation).

The "Full Faith and Credit Clause" makes S. 514/H.R. 950 fully Constitutional, yet not one whit more difficult to pass than Rep. Stearns’ bill — not that either would be easy in this Congressional climate.

But with a nominally pro-gun House and White House, this isn’t the time to hold back until "conditions become perfect."

Is your Senator or Congressman a co-sponsor?

Oatka is offline  

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