Friday, December 22, 2017

Looks Like Concealed Carry Reciprocity is Dead

With the senate on the verge of going home for the year and ending the session, it looks like the Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill has successfully been killed off by the swamp.  The last I heard, mid-afternoon, was that the House was going to pass a "continuing resolution" to stave off the imaginary debt ceiling and then go home.

The House's version, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, HR38 (pdf version) and the Senate version, S446 are both left hanging.  The Senate version was pigeonholed last January, and the House Bill had the "Fix NICs" bill, HR 4477 stuck onto it a few weeks ago.

Gun writer Alan Korwin, who writes under the name "the Uninvited Ombudsman" takes a look at the monstrosity the House bill was turned into in his weekly Page Nine mailing.  As you'd expect, when you don't watch every step of how the sausage is being made, the unscrupulous are sure to mix some turds into the law to make sure it's ineffective or just not passed.  Add to that the appalling lack of knowledge of firearms we typically see elected officials displaying and you can imagine the bill can get messed up.  Korwin lists a lot of things that might make you say "is that the best you can do?" For starters:
  • The House bill makes LOCAL or STATE “gun-free zones” into federal gun-free zones.
  • The House bill makes PRIVATE “gun-free zones” into federal gun-free zones.
  • "The term ‘handgun’ includes any magazine for use in a handgun and any ammunition loaded into the handgun or its magazine."  [Direct text copy from the pdf - SiG]
Korwin argues that the last sentence there is changing the definition of handgun. Not only is a magazine a handgun, but the ammunition is a handgun.  That could argue a loaded 15-round magazine would be 16 handguns under the House bill.  I think they were trying to say that a magazine loaded into a handgun is just part of the handgun, but that doesn't look like what they actually say.  If you carry a spare magazine with 15 rounds in it, are you carrying one gun or 17? 

He also posits that the first sentence means the STATE (think New York or California) could say its roads are state property and gun-free zones.  That would elevate violating those laws to federal offenses. Any state is free to establish any gun-free zones they'd like to have, and now those are federal gun-free zones. 

It seems to be a giant escape clause for the anti-gun states.

What seems to be clear is that all Federal lands will be covered by reciprocity.  From the text of HR 38, the following are covered by this law.  As long as you can get to them on state roads:
(A)  A unit of the National Park System.
(B)  A unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
(C)  Public land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management.
(D)  Land administered and managed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
(E)  Land administered and managed by the Bureau of Reclamation.
(F)  Land administered and managed by the Forest Service.’’.
In overview, there's a lot to like about the law. It's intended for just what it says: concealed carry permits recognized like drivers' licenses are.  If you carry a concealed weapon and have a photo ID, that's all you need.  Constitutional carry is supported.  Freedom from spurious search by LEO, including fines for departments that don't obey, is also in there.  If they could clean up some of this confusion about guns, magazines and ammunition, that would be better.  If they could ensure that states can't declare every road in the state a gun free zone it would be fantastic

The Fix NICS provisions appear to be aimed at causing more false positives in the NICS system so that more purchasers are denied (John Lott estimates they're running at 99% false positives).  (That was sarcarm)  Other than that, there doesn't appear to be new things, just efforts to get more people put into the NICS system.  Korwin points out a scary line:
Every two years the AG must assess whether Fix NICS has “resulted in improvements in the system established under this section.” Improvements measured how? It’s not defined.
Of course the AG will say they're doing great!  As long as there are no standards to define "improvement", they're always getting better.  I don't know, maybe not if they can request more money to get more better.

As I started out saying, it appears the bill is dead. With congress gone for the year, it looks like it's moot to talk about.  Just like the hearing protection act, and the other gun laws that were eagerly looked forward to, it's dead.  Better luck next year.
(image from my homies at Springfield Armory.  I figure with all the SA guns around the house, the least they can do for me is let me use this picture)


  1. It's just as well....the bill is HEAVILY flawed.

    1. What else would one expect, though, from the Koch-sucking Rove Republican swill?

      And they had the NRA's blessing...

    2. I'm more with Miguel at Gun Free Zone and McThag on this one. Our side killed it because it can't be good enough, it has to be perfect.

      I think it's possible to rewrite that paragraph turning magazines and individual rounds of ammo into guns but we have groups like the GOA lobbying hard against it saying you can never trust the law if Chuckie Schumer got anywhere near it, regardless of what it says. Guess what? He gets near every law. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say I got an email from two or three times every week telling me to write my senator saying it's unacceptable.

      As McThag said, if your choice is perfect or nothing, you will only and always get nothing.

    3. Our side killed it because it would have killed us - it was that flawed. It was another GOP establishment attempt to get more gun control. The Dems,the GOPe and the other leftists are always going to work together when they see a chance to assault Americans.

      Primary your incumbent in 2018. Primary _all_ the incumbents!

    4. I have the bill here. What's so bad about it?

      I have the pdf so you can just tell me page and line numbers, but whatever is convenient for you.

  2. Some states limit a CCW holder to but a single handgun. Under this law, you could have your empty magazine, or 1 cartridge, or an unloaded handgun, but not all. It deserved to die.

    1. As I said, I think that's fixable. I'll go out on a limb and say it takes 15 minutes. If they wouldn't fix it that's a different story, but they apparently never met to talk about it again.

  3. Anyone who actually read and understood the bills could see that they were better than what we have now.

    1. Yeah, Korwin's analysis is 180 degrees out on a lot of places.

  4. IMHO the only way this will happen is if we put enough constitutional judges in the Supreme Court and bring this issue to the court. If the SCOTUS would declare unequivocally once and for all that the 2nd amendment means what it says and it is the law of the land then and only then will we have not just reciprocity but true gun rights. If the SCOTUS would enforce that actual words of the 2nd amendment as forcefully as they enforce the phony finding of abortion rights they found hidden in the constitution then we would have our gun rights.