Skip to comments.Rep. McCarthy Proposing Amendments to Stop H.R. 822, National Concealed Handgun Bill(barf alert)
Posted on 11/15/2011 3:46:21 PM PST by marktwain
WASHINGTON, DC - Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY4), one of Congresss most vocal advocates for reducing gun violence, is proposing two amendments in an effort to stop H.R. 822, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act.
The bill, which would force states to recognize the concealed handgun permits issued by other states even if their safety standards are much lower, is expected to receive a full House floor vote on Wednesday.
Rep. McCarthy is proposing two amendments to the House Majority: (No. 1) an amendment that would allow states to opt in to the reciprocity agreements mandated by H.R. 822 and (No. 2) an amendment that would allow states to opt out of the agreements.
The amendments would restore the law to its current status currently, states have the option to enter reciprocity agreements for handgun permits should they choose to.
Last week, Rep. McCarthy and Senator Frank Lautenberg wrote to President Obama urging him to issue a veto threat to H.R. 822, an action that could help stop the dangerous and unnecessary bill in its tracks.
We strongly urge you and your administration to make clear your opposition to, and issue a veto threat for H.R. 822, McCarthy and Lautenberg wrote. Passing H.R. 822 would jeopardize public safety and would be an insult to states like New Jersey and New York that purposefully have strong gun ownership laws. In a country with almost 300 million guns, we need to be strengthening our gun safety laws, not weakening them.
Last month, Rep. McCarthy wrote to every governor in the United States warning them of the threat to both public safety and states rights posed by H.R. 822.
This policy removes the ability of your state to pass laws or regulations regarding armed visitors to your state and forces the citizens of your state to honor the policies of the government of another state over whom they have no electoral control or remedies for addressing ill-advised policies, Rep. McCarthy wrote to the governors.
Leftists are only for states rights when they can use it to deny the citizens their rights.
Is this the right policy though? Should each state have the right to regulate concealed carry without interference from the feds?
I do not think so. Shall not be infringed is pretty specific. I think the earliest state court cases that held that the right protected concealed carry were correct. Those later cases that split concealed carry from open carry were the start of infringements. They are still cited by the anti-gun statists.
If her husband had survived the LI railroad massacre he would be an NRA member and armed for sure
Flaw #1: H.R. 822 Destroys Vermont Carry
In Vermont, it has long been the case that law-abiding residents and non-residents alike could carry a concealed firearm, except for use in the commission of a crime. The state, incidentally, also has the distinction of consistently being ranked one of the safest states in the country.
H.R. 822 does not grant reciprocity to residents of Vermont, as the bill requires the presence of a physical permit in order to qualify. The state would be forced to move to a permit system for purposes of reciprocity, in effect being punished for having a system that is too pro-gun.
Separate legislation H.R. 2900supported by GOA and introduced by Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA)would recognize the right of Vermont residents to carry in other states, requiring only that a picture identification (such as a drivers license) be in possession of the person carrying.
Flaw #2: H.R. 822 Undermines Constitutional Carry
Following the lead of Vermont, several states have taken up the issue of Constitutional Carrywhere citizens do not need to obtain government permission before carrying a concealed firearm. Criminals, after all, are not inclined to line up at the sheriffs office or police department in order to obtain a permit to carry, so such requirements primarily burden the law-abiding segment of society.
In recent years, Alaska, Arizona and Wyoming have passed Constitutional Carry laws based on the Vermont model. Montana passed such a law that covers 98% of the state, and Texas passed a constitutional carry lite law that applies to firearms carried in a vehicle.
These states, however, left in place a permitting system specifically for the purposes of reciprocity. And although upwards of 6 million Americans have obtained permits, most gun owners do not get a permit because they dont like a system that treats their liberty as a privilege granted by the government.
About 98% of the adult American population, therefore, will be left out of the expansion of rights under (H.R. 822) whereas under H.R. 2900, more and more citizens will be covered as Constitutional Carry gains momentum. In this important respect, H.R. 822 pulls the rug out from under state legislatures which are considering Constitutional Carry, while H.R. 2900 does not.
Flaw #3: H.R. 822 Does Not Help Many Residents in May Issue States
H.R. 822 allows for carry in any state except for Illinois and the state of ones residence. This will prove to be a major obstacle for gun owners to carry in their home states in many instances.
In many states, a person must be one of the lucky few or well-connected citizens in order to get a carry permit. Simply put, in some areas (i.e., California, Maryland, and Massachusetts), its nearly impossible for residents to get a permit.
Residents can get an out-of-state permit, but under H.R. 822 they would be unable to carry in their home state. This, obviously, creates the odd situation of requiring states to recognize the permits of non-state residents, but not recognizing those of state residents who have out-of-state permits.
On the contrary, H.R. 2900 allows recognition in any state that allows concealed carry, thus letting citizens who live in these restrictive may issue states to still carry handguns in their home state so long as they hold a valid out-of-state permit.
In the landmark McDonald v. Chicago decision (2010), the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment is incorporated to the states by the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. H.R. 2900 simply puts teeth into that ruling.
Flaw #4: H.R. 822 Takes Expansive View of the Commerce Clause
H.R. 822 relies on an abused and expansive view of the Constitutions Commerce Clause. The bill states that because firearms have been shipped in interstate commerce, the Congress in justified in passing this legislation. That is not the commerce the Founders envisioned as they sought to remove barriers of interstate trade.
The modern and broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause would, in the words of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (Gonzales v. Raich), confer on the federal government the power to regulate virtually anything [until] the federal Government is no longer one of limited and enumerated powers.
The Broun bill ensures that citizens enjoy the full faith and credit protection that is guaranteed in Article IV of the Constitution.
Respecting the Constitution
Any federal legislation that imposes demands on the states must be scrutinized carefully by the language of the Constitution. At this point, a cynic might correctly point out that Congress passes bills on a weekly basis that go beyond what the Constitution allows. But we must be especially careful, as people who work towards federalism and constitutional government, not to fall into the trap of the end justifying the means.
H.R. 822 would certainly benefit many Americans, although that number represents only a small fraction of all gun owners. But the bill has several deep flaws that could be fixed by Rep. Brouns legislation.