Officials in California and New York—two of the most gun-controlled states in the union—are leading the fight against national reciprocity of concealed carry for law-abiding citizens.
Breitbart News reported that Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced national reciprocity on January 3 and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced companion legislation in the Senate. Both pieces of legislation would treat concealed carry permits like a driver’s license, making the permit of one state valid in every state.
Gun-control activists are up in arms over the legislation, because it would immediately do away with strict gun controls in a number of states. For example, California currently only recognizes its own concealed carry permit as valid, and does not recognize reciprocity with any other state. When combined with the state’s “good cause” requirement for Californians, the stringent carry rules have kept the licensed number of legal carriers at less than 100,000.
The legislation put forward by Hudson and Cornyn would mandate that California honor the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens from every state.
But officials in California are fighting national reciprocity. According to the Standard Republic, the California Police Chiefs Association opposes the bill because it would “erode local control of issuing concealed carry permits” and reduce “the arbitrariness of the issuing authority rules.” Such complaints are expected from a “may-issue” state, where law enforcement officials grow accustomed to being the final arbiters on who does and does not have the right to keep and bear arms.
The same attitude is prevalent in New York, where New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio led the U.S. Conference of Mayors in the passage “of a sweeping resolution,” describing national reciprocity as “dangerous legislation” which “would essentially force the localities to give full faith and credit to permits that are issued on less rigorous grounds.” The resolution sought to preserve the arbitrariness in permit issuance, too, arguing that national reciprocity “[removes] local governments’ ability to maintain sensible gun standards.”
Those officials complaining about national reciprocity are correct in their assessment that it would knock down local controls, but they are wrong in positing it as a bad thing. After all, the Second Amendment ends on a resounding note—”Shall not be infringed.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.