The Fresh Offensive

As seen in Thunder Roads Louisiana Jan. 2017 Vol. 14 – Issue 1.
Also seen in 

With the 2016 Presidential Election done and over with, the NRA has promised a push against standing Federal and State-level anti-firearms laws already on the books. Wayne LaPierre’s comments are seemingly focused on the State-level. The main goal seems to be to make examples out of California and New York. This is, in no small part, because they are the two most restrictive states in the Union and always have been. The last persisting strongholds of the long defunct Federal Assault Weapons Ban. This is somewhat unfortunate, by my viewpoint, due to the opening that has been presented. The ability to take down some important Federal laws (NFA, GCA, Hughes Amendment of FOPA) and fill Supreme Court seats for the settlement of conflicting Circuit Court cases.

The Circuit Courts, in which those two states reside in, are rather critical components to keeping the laws strong in those states. A perfect example of this is the Peruta v. San Diego, which went all the way up to the Ninth’s Court of Appeals. They decided that there was no guarantee from the 2nd Amendment to cover carry of concealed firearms in public. This flew in the face of a 7th Circuit decision on Moore v. Madigan. Illinois was given a fixed time-frame to sort their law in order to comply. Eventually, the Supreme Court is going to have to pick up the opposing cases from the Circuit Courts and settle the contradicting verdicts.

Peruta, as it stands, is a landmark despite the final verdict in the Ninth Circuit. An announcement which was released very recently, the NRA is assisting the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) in taking Peruta all the way to the Supreme Court. In all reality, and due to what is known as the “Activist Approach”, there has been no likelihood of seeing a victory in the Ninth Circuit. But, that doesn’t mean it was a loss. Forcing the issue up to the Supreme Court is a win, assuming a determination is made at all: win or lose. Of course, because the Supreme Court isn’t bound by stare decisis; a future court could modify a past verdict and, if it did, the establishment of a new precedent is dependent on the type of opinion rendered by that Court. If the Supreme Court accepts to determine it and gives favorable opinion, then it will be a national determination.

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This brings us to the call for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. There has been a heavy volume of calls for an updated version of this legislation to be passed by Congress, with the latest “changing of the guard”, and sent to the president-elect’s desk.  This legislation is being brought forth, again, by Rep. Richard Hudson. I’m extremely wary of such legislation. The Right took pride in nullification legislation, on the State-level, earlier on in the current-president’s tenure; due to the degree of hostile anti-firearms bills that had been presented. The supposed point to the CCRA 2017 legislation is to put a stick in the eye of legislators in Blue-states such as California and New York; as if all that State-level nullification had gone unnoticed. I foresee those states nullifying the CCRA, if it is passed, and arresting any defying parties. Which will mean lawsuits, appeals and, ultimately, a Supreme Court decision; should they finally decide to pick up the case. Furthermore, I don’t want the Federal-level involved in concealed carry laws anyway; after all, we’ve seen how much of a detriment to society the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1994 has been.

We don’t know how a Reciprocity Act would play out or how it might be amended. Hostile amendments could be added to it in a similar manner by which the Hughes Amendment was brought into the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986. If I was a Democrat, I would look at this bill and seek to add in an amendment which allow for the national reciprocity only if one obtained a Federal concealed carry permit and have the amendment set forth how such a permit was to be implemented. There is the Commerce Clause by which that could become an issue. Rep. Justin Amash has spoken on the issue many times. There is a list of pro-firearms legislative items that come as a high-priority for us.

Another aspect which may nullify the Reciprocity issue, depending on how far the Commerce issue is taken, is the that Constitutional Carry is spreading among the states. Eleven states are already Constitutional Carry states and a number are rumored to be queuing up for the 2017 legislative season; these states including Indiana, Texas, Tennessee and South Dakota.  A handful of other states have also been rumored. Only two of the current eleven are states’ whose legislation is tailored exclusively as “Residents-Only” and those states are Idaho and Wyoming. I would assume that if one left their concealed carry permit at home while traveling to one of the other nine states, they should have no trouble. If you can travel into most states and carry just as legally as you have been without a permit, Constitutional Carry will slowly encroach on Reciprocity. However, this angle will vary and completely depend on how deep the Commerce Clause argument is taken.

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The important aspects to fight for are supporting the Hearing Protection Act or some sort of National Firearms Act reassessment entirely. Notice that I didn’t say repeal and that is because, at best, we’re going to take it over in small steps over an extended period. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) should be shut down due to the exhausting list of arbitrary rulings on firearm classifications and ownership parameters, which aren’t laws, and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) should be passed over to the jurisdiction of the FBI. Repealing the Gun-Free School Zone Act is an extremely important when one thinks about their family members who are in school or when their future family members have to go. We want Federal laws, or aspects of laws, struck down because we don’t believe that the Federal-level should be covering States’ issues. So, why are we going to potentially give the Federal-level access to concealed carry, in another aspect. Name, for me today, a Federal law on the books which the Feds haven’t managed to foul-up or hasn’t already been nullified due to a dozen other laws which loop-holed the hell out of the original law?

I ask that you seriously research the Commerce Clause and it’s possible relevance to the Concealed Carry National Reciprocity Act. Giving an issue to the highest of powers in the United States hasn’t served us well, in the past. Doing so gave the Federal Government the ability to regulate one group of American’s actions at the whim of another group. If you come to find that it’s not to your liking due to that reasoning, then I urge you to contact your local legislator: and, especially, any of the relevant co-sponsors which jumped in on the 2015-version of the CCNRA.

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