GOP Advances A Bill To Federalize The Right To Carry Concealed Weapons

GOP Advances A Bill To Federalize The Right To Carry Concealed Weapons

Attempting to avoid the pesky states rights issue, congressional GOPers are pushing a federal 2nd amendment law.

The broad paintbrush with which the GOP colors their argument for limited government and state rights seems to be missing some bristles. The most recent example of Republicans attempting to curb state’s rights in favor of an ideological agenda comes in the form of The National Right-To-Carry Reciprocity Act (RCRA). As law, the RCRA would allow anyone that has a concealed weapon permit from their home state to travel to any other state regardless of that state’s requirements and laws. For instance, someone from Nevada, who issues permits to any resident or non-resident that applies, can travel next door to California, where the right-to-carry laws are much more stringent, and still be within the bounds of the law. The only state that would see immunity from this would be Illinois, who currently does not allow concealed weapons.

Although 2nd amendment rights have been a core Republican belief for decades, the bill they’ve introduced runs counter to another core belief of the party’s, states rights. By creating a federal bill that creates a blanket right-to-carry law, they’re superceding individual states’ rights to regulate and police according to their own legal code. Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona where there is no right-to-carry permit needed, attempted to explain it this way, ““It’s kind of like having a driver’s license. There are some states that have stricter driving laws than others.” The exception here, of course, is that although cars can be dangerous, concealing a handgun is a whole different level of danger and, in states like Arizona, Alaska, and New Hampshire, it’s almost totally unregulated.

The bill has the support of a broad cross-section of Republican lawmakers, including some Blue Dog Democrats. However, Rep Dan Lungren (R-CA), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said that he felt the law was overstepping. “It’s a states rights issue,” Lungren said, eluding to the inherent federalism in passing such a sweeping piece of legislation.

Advocates for the bill say that some smaller states have already agreed to honor one another’s carry laws, and that there needs to be some federal standardizing of right-to-carry for concealed weapons. This despite the fact that other efforts to create some federal standard for the U.S. legal patchwork across state lines, like Obama’s health insurance exchange, have been fought on the grounds of 10th amendment states rights. As we’re long understood, it all depends on who’s submitting the legislation.