Many gun rights enthusiasts have been excited after Concealed Carry (CCW) Reciprocity was (finally) passed in the US House of Representatives, on its way to an eventual vote in the Senate, in a vote which was almost entirely along party lines:
Democrats then requested a recorded vote and the final tabulation on the recorded vote was 231 to 198.
Somehow, 14 Republicans chose to join Democrats in voting against what would be the first major win for gun rights in over a decade. Even if this vote manages to get through the Senate (which is no guarantee) on its way to President Trump’s desk, CCW holders are vastly overestimating the realities of “legal” carrying in gun-unfriendly states and municipalities, and for one big reason:
CCW Reciprocity will most likely be decided in the end by the US Supreme Court.
Now, that may seem obvious; after all, handgun ownership for US citizens was ultimately decided in DC vs. Heller in 2008. However, Heller and his co-defendants were merely challenging restrictions from an existing law which effectively banned handgun ownership. Still, CCW holders seem to believe that a reciprocity law will mean that they can carry anywhere in the nation with their out-of-state CCW in “banned” places like New York City, Washington DC, California, and Chicago, to name just a few.
California Gov. Jerry Brown is poised to bar law enforcement officers in the state from cooperating with federal immigration officials to arrest undocumented immigrants—making California the second jurisdiction to dub itself a “sanctuary state.”
Brown, a Democrat, worked with the state legislature on the California Values Act, which will bar police departments from detaining people based on their immigration status and prevent immigrants from being delivered to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, unless they are convicted of certain felonies and misdemeanors.
Twenty-one mostly “sanctuary cities” are pledging to make 1 million immigrants U.S. citizens this year.
The “Naturalize NOW!” campaign, which includes liberal and progressive groups and elected officials, heralded the mayors of the cities in joining the national effort.
Do you seriously think that places like NYC, DC, and Chicago are going to let CCW holders waltz into their city packing heat, subverting their own ridiculous restrictions on concealed carry, with no repercussions whatsoever?
If you are thinking about carrying concealed in a “prohibited” place, pay close attention to the case of Michael Strickland. He lived in Oregon, had an Oregon-issued CCW, attended an Antifa rally, and drew his firearm to “defend” himself from a crowd of menacing protesters in Portland. It took less than five minutes for him to be arrested, and gun-unfriendly Oregon made it a point to make an example out of him:
A man who pulled out and pointed his gun at “Don’t Shoot Portland” and “Black Lives Matter” protesters last summer was sentenced Wednesday to 40 days in jail and banned from possessing guns.
Multnomah County Circuit Judge Thomas Ryan also banned Michael Aaron Strickland, 37, from taking video of protesters or other people until 2018 — and then only with the permission of his probation officer.
While I believe Strickland wasn’t justified in his use of force, and deserved (at least some) punishment…
Based upon the video of the confrontation (above), I’m inclined to agree with the prosecutor. I saw no justification for Strickland to draw his pistol and point it directly at protestors based on their actions. While the crowd may have been hostile and even menacing, they’d done nothing I saw that justified Strickland drawing and aiming his weapon in “self-defense” as he claimed.
…can you imagine what will happen if you are “caught” carrying a gun as an out-of-state CCW holder in a place like NYC or DC? Or what will happen even if you merely disclose to a police officer that you are legally carrying a firearm?
On April 2, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie pardoned Philadelphia nurse and mother Shaneen Allen, ending her year-and-a-half-long legal battle with the Garden State.
Back in October 2013, Allen was arrested in Atlantic County, N.J. following a traffic stop during which she voluntarily informed a law enforcement officer that she was carrying a firearm. Allen mistakenly thought that her Pennsylvania Right-to-Carry permit would be recognized in New Jersey.
Initially, Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain sought to prosecute Allen to the full extent of the law, at which point Allen faced a minimum three-year prison term and a felony conviction on her record.
If you think federal law is going to stop authorities in gun-unfriendly states from throwing the book at a CCW holder, you would do well to look at the “sanctuary city” examples cited above. States will likely look to make an example out of someone, stepping in to lock you up, sentence you, and throw you in prison for daring to exercise your “right” to carry concealed under the new law. Maybe President Trump will pardon you, but the odds are more likely that you will sit in prison as you appeal your sentence, perhaps all the way to the Supreme Court.
And, god forbid you should actually have to use your firearm in self-defense, prosecutors will be lining up the charges against you, even if you successfully neutralized a legitimate threat. Kill someone shooting innocents at will? Here comes your voluntary manslaughter charge. God forbid you hit an innocent bystander; even if the poorly-equipped NYPD manages to do the same thing time and again with no consequences, not only are you not a law enforcement officer, you are an out-of-towner packing heat, flouting city/state “law” that has stopped people from legally exercising their rights.
For the CCW holder, the reciprocity “risk” is certainly not worth whatever the “reward” is.
Don’t get me wrong; I believe in national CCW reciprocity, and at the very least, it will make victimization of CCW holders much more difficult. “Illegally possessing a firearm” over state lines has long been used to take advantage of CCW holders, with prosecutors throwing the book at violators for the most minor of “crimes”, needlessly imprisoning law-abiding gun owners for mistakenly crossing into a state without a reciprocity agreement. Passage of this law will be a major win for gun rights advocates, and a much-needed step in the right direction.
However, it is a much better idea to avoid “prohibited places” such as NYC, DC, Chicago, and California. If you do have to be there, do yourself the favor of not carrying concealed…
…unless you want to risk sitting in jail until these nine judges (or whoever replaces one or more of them) decide on CCW reciprocity’s legality.