HR 822 Infringes On 2nd Amendment
November 23, 2011 by Bob LivingstonThe National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 is couched as a bill favorable to gun owners. In truth, it’s another insidious misuse of the Constitution’s “commerce clause” and a backdoor assault on the 2nd Amendment.
The feel-good portion of the bill sounds appealing: It forces one State to recognize a concealed carry permit issued in another. But Gun Owners of America has pointed out some of the bill’s flaws:
- It forces Vermont residents (who do not need a permit to carry) to either obtain an out-of-State permit or to push their State to pass a more restrictive concealed carry law than it now enjoys;
- By requiring permits for reciprocity, the bill undermines efforts at the State level to pass Constitutional carry (i.e., Vermont-style carry);
- In restrictive “may issue” States, the bill allows for non-residents to carry firearms in the State while most residents would still be prohibited, and;
- The bill is yet another example of Congress distorting of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.
Representative Justin Amash (R-MI), who voted against the bill, addressed this last point in a statement, calling HR 822 “an unconstitutional bill that improperly applies the Commerce Clause to concealed carry licensing.”Finally, a troubling amendment inserted into the bill instructs the Government Accounting Office to conduct a study of the ability of State and local law enforcement to verify the validity of licenses and permits issued by other States.
Another freshman Representative, Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), noted that the right to carry a concealed firearm is already protected by the Second Amendment.
“If the Second Amendment protects my rights to carry my concealed weapon from state to state to state, I don’t need another federal law,” Rep. Woodall said. He went on to remind his colleagues of the original intent of the right to keep and bear arms.
While the sponsors of the bill cite the “commerce clause” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) of the Constitution, nothing in the Constitution gives the Federal government the authority to study the exercising of a right.
The bill now moves to the Senate, where anti-gun Democrats will no doubt do all they can to use the amendment process to further erode the 2nd Amendment.