Here’s one I have mixed emotions on: H.R. 822: To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed firearms in the State.
Basically, national reciprocity.
On the gut level, I like it. Means I could carry in California. The wording strives to honor the state’s laws and intentions. That’s all good.
But yet, this bothers me because it isn’t honoring a state’s intentions. California wants to consider most US Citizens as untrustworthy (they’d rather let everyone smoke pot than background-checked citizens carry guns… yeah, which is more dangerous, but I digress): they are may-issue to their own residents, and they won’t honor licenses from any other state. If California wants to behave that way, why shouldn’t we let them? This federal bill steps over state’s rights.
Now, here’s your NRA presser about it. And yes, that’s all right and good. But the analogy they make is using drivers licenses:
It would not create a federal licensing system; rather, it would require the states to recognize each others’ carry permits, just as they recognize drivers’ licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards.
As far as I knew, recognizing drivers’ licenses was also a state thing, just so happens all 50 states (and the various territories) recognize the drivers licenses from all 50 states. At least, that’s the impression I’m under. Consider Texas Administrative Code Title 37 Part 1 Chapter 15 Subchapter E Rule §15.92
The Department grants like reciprocity for driver licensing to residents of other states.
(1) Nonresident recognition in Texas of licenses held by persons from other states, territories of the United States, provinces of Canada, and the United States military service is based upon Texas Transportation Code, §521.029, and administrative policies. Thus:
(A) residents of other states, including the District of Columbia but excluding United States territories and the provinces of Canada, who are at least 16 years of age may drive in Texas on a valid license from their home state, as a Class C or Class M driver only.
Looks like the state is granting it, not the Fed. However, is there something codified in Federal law that forces all states to honor each other’s drivers licenses? Or perhaps if not formal law, incentive (e.g. all states have the drinking age at 21, but that’s merely uniform not Federal law… but it was Federally coerced because .gov said if you want to keep getting federal road funding you’ll up your age thus every state did). I honestly don’t know and my Google-Fu is weak this morning. If you know and can reference the section of Federal law that grants this, that would be appreciated.
And even if you look at Section 2 “Findings” in H.R. 822′s text, it does provide justification as to why the Fed can do this. But yet, it’s hard to say. There are ways to justify it, there are ways to not justify it (because there are legit places for the Fed to override the State, and places where they overstep). Hrm. I’ll just say I’m unwilling to gain a win for my side, no matter how much it benefits me, if it’s not the right way to get the win. I want a clean win. Would this be a clean win?