Monday, March 30, 2015

National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Laws -- Not Worth The Risk

Sen. John Cornyn’s Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act has gotten strong support from Republicans in Washington. The bill has twenty-three co-sponsors in the Senate, and a companion bill has seventeen co-sponsors in the House.

None of them have acknowledged that the bill could end up hurting gun owners.

National reciprocity would allow law abiding gun owners to travel to different states without having to worry about the local permit requirements, which is something that nearly every gun owner supports.  But it would do so by relying on the authority of the federal government, which would give future politicians a legal framework to expand federal gun control.

Considering that all but a handful of highly liberal states already recognize out of state gun permits, why take the risk of passing this law?

Think of what would happen if, with a national reciprocity law in place, someone with an out-of-state carry permit committed a mass shooting. The left wouldn’t hesitate to load up the law with new requirements and restrictions. The law would become a vehicle for any number of gun control measures from universal background checks to gun registration.

History tells us that the federal government will use any law as an excuse to give itself more power. The Common Core education initiative was started by Republicans, but ended up as a tool for Obama and his cronies to impose their agenda in the classroom.

Couldn’t the same thing happen with guns?  

Nearly every state has chosen to recognize out of state permits without any help from the federal government. Adding the federal government into the mix simply isn’t worth the risk.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Constitutional Carry Coming To Kansas?

Constitutional carry may have died in Mississippi, but in Kansas it may soon become a reality.

Last week, the Kansas House Federal and State Affairs Committee agreed to send to the House floor Senate Bill 45, which would allow residents to obtain a concealed carry permit without having to first undergo gun safety training or a background check.

The bill also allows previously denied applicants to carry concealed weapons.

The Senate voted 31-7 in support of the proposal last month. A full vote by the House, where Republicans currently enjoy a 92-33 majority, will be the last step before the proposal heads to Republican Governor Sam Brownback for approval.

“Law-abiding citizens who carry firearms are exercising their constitutional right to bear arms and their natural right to defend themselves,” Rep. Travis Couture-Lovelady told the Topeka Capital Journal.

“You can’t be proficient with firearms just because the government mandates you sit in a classroom for a couple hours.”

Anti-gun legislators like Democrat John Wilson have already voiced their concerns. Wilson said that Senate Bill 45 would allow dangerous people to carry hidden and loaded weapons.

But as Rep. Brett Hildabrand put it, “Dangerous people already do carry guns.”

Gov. Sam Brownbrack has signed several pro-gun bills since taking office.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

CA: Gun sales up, crime down

Gun sales in California reached an all-time high in 2014 -- and gun-related homicides dropped to a twenty-year low.

A record 510,000 handguns were sold in the state last year, breaking the previous record of 433,000 in 1993 and doubling the amount sold in 2010. Firearms-related homicides fell to their lowest level in twenty years, and gun-related accidental deaths also went down.

This reflects is a national trend toward reduced violence and increased gun ownership. Gun violence in America is half of what it was twenty years ago, while gun sales reached an all time high in 2012.

These statistics prove yet again that the left’s claim of “more guns, more crime” is nothing more than a political fiction. Places with the toughest gun laws, like Chicago, continue to have some of the highest crime rates in the country. Places where there are almost no gun restrictions, like Vermont, are some of the safest in the country.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pros And Cons Of The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act

The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which Sen. John Cornyn introduced to Congress last month, would allow concealed carry weapons permit holders to travel from one state to another without breaking the law.

Gun owners are supporting the bill because it would reduce the legal burden on gun owners and make our lives simpler. But it would also give the federal government more power to regulate firearms – something that should bother gun owners under any circumstances.

There are a lot of good things about national concealed carry reciprocity. As Cornyn says, it will “eliminate some of the ‘gotcha moments’ where people [with a CCW permit] inadvertently cross state lines with guns they are legally allowed to carry in their home state.” Under the new law, he says, permits would function “more or less like a driver’s license.”

The problem with national reciprocity is that it would give the federal government more authority over guns, which is why several conservatives ended up voting against it the last time it came up in 2011.

Rep. Justin Amash pointed out that national concealed carry reciprocity bills take their authority from the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives the federal government power to regulate interstate commerce and subvert states rights. In 2011, he wrote:

It is important to note that H R 822 is neither premised on, nor properly drafted to comport with, the Second Amendment, because the NRA and other proponents do not believe that the Second Amendment justifies this federal mandate. That is why they turned to the Commerce Clause.

But having a concealed carry permit and carrying a gun across a state line is not commerce. Therefore, H R 822 is not constitutional under the Commerce Clause. If it were, it also would be constitutional for Congress to pass other laws, premised on the Commerce Clause, regulating concealed carry permits—including laws that restrict gun rights.

Amash concluded that national concealed carry reciprocity would “hurt rights by conceding broad new authority to the federal government to override state sovereignty.”

Gun owners need to be aware of these issues when considering whether to support national concealed carry reciprocity. In the end, anything that opens the door to expanded federal gun control might not be worth the benefit.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Are Corporations Cracking Down On Homemade Guns?

The use of 3-D printers to make homemade guns has become increasingly popular recently. The practice allows private individuals to manufacture untraceable guns in the comfort of their own homes.

Efforts to regulate homemade gun making have been totally unsuccessful, and the practice remains completely legal. But the industry still faces serious opposition – not from the government, but from private corporations.

In the past week alone, two companies announced their intentions to cut off supplies from would be gunmakers.

First, Fed Ex announced it would not ship a newly released gun-making device called the Ghost Gunner, citing legal uncertainty surrounding homemade gunsmithing. A company spokesman said: “We are uncertain at this time whether this device is a regulated commodity by local, state or federal governments. As such, to ensure we comply with the applicable law and regulations, FedEx declined to ship this device until we know more about how it will be regulated.”

Then, the 3D printing company MarkForged said it will not sell printers to anyone who intends to use them to make firearms. The company released a statement claiming that their terms of service “limit experimentation with ordinance to the United States Government and its authorized contractors.”

Cody Wilson, founder of the homemade gunmaking non-profit Defense Distributed, says that both companies are simply playing politics.  “They’re acting like this is [a] legal [issue] when in fact it’s the expression of a political preference,” he says. “The artifact that they’re shipping is a CNC mill. There’s nothing about it that is specifically related to firearms except the hocus pocus of the marketing.”

The decision by MarkForged to withhold their products from homemade gunmakers has prompted Wilson to offer a $15,000 bounty to anyone who would give him one of MarkForged’s newest machines.

He said: “Anyone who’s got access to one, any reseller, any individual or business or entity that can deliver it to me, I will give them fifteen grand. I’m going to get this printer. I’m going to make a gun with it. And I’m going to make sure everyone knows it was made with a MarkForged printer.”