-By Warner Todd Huston
Apparently Politico does not like the new concealed-carry reciprocity law recently passed in Congress. They must not like it. After all, aside from covering it in a negative light, the newser so badly misstated the law that it could easily turn its readers against the whole idea. But perhaps that’s the idea?
The law, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, would allow gun owners that have a concealed-carry license in their home state to carry their firearm in another state if that state also has a carry law in place. The law, however, does not allow someone to carry a firearm in a state that does not currently allow its own citizens to enjoy concealed-carry rights.
All this law does is standardize the lawful status of interstate gun carriers so that law-abiding citizens are not confused by and in fear of violating the many different state statutes concerning their firearms when traveling.
But that isn’t what Politco said on Nov. 15 in its overwrought and badly fact-checked piece. Not only is Politico spectacularly wrong, but it leads with a false reading of what the bill does. (My bold for emphasis)
If congressional gun-rights stalwarts get their way, a firearms owner with a concealed-weapons permit issued in Utah could be allowed to carry that gun in New York — regardless of the gun laws in the Empire State.
Politico is simply wrong that the bill would allow concealed-carry regardless of the gun laws in any state.
Politico goes on to report how critics of the bill are trying to use states’ rights claims against the bill to prevent its passage. One would think that this is not a very reliable tactic in this case. After all, the Second Amendment is a Constitutional issue so it’s a bit harder to claim that all gun laws are local issues. If it’s a right guaranteed right in the Constitution, that makes it a bit hard to claim that it shouldn’t at all be a federal issue!
Another false claim of those that oppose this law is that state laws are nullified and replaced by some national concealed-carry law. This is also bunk.
Politico gives space to a New York State Attorney who claims that his state’s stricter laws on who can and cannot carry would be nullified by forcing New York to accept the concealed-carry rights of other states. But this is not a true statement.
The law only pertains to travelers, not residents. The law clearly says that the new concealed-carry reciprocity only affects a traveler who is in any State “other than the State of residence of the person.”
Therefore, New York’s laws still pertain to New Yorkers and the new reciprocity law only pertains to someone from another state when he is traveling through New York, not if he becomes a resident.
Amusingly, lefty gun-banners have in the past insisted that there be a nationalized gun law, a sort of national license to have a gun. But, all of a sudden, now they are against it. Naturally, Politico doesn’t mention that fact.
Another fact that Politico doesn’t seem to mention is that we currently have over 7 million Americans with licenses to carry a firearm yet there is little evidence of “blood in the streets” — as the fearmongering of lefty gun-haters is stated — due to these many lawful gun carriers.
Politico also cites four supporters of the new law in four paragraphs, yet gives 8 paragraphs to five opponents of the bill, including a representative of the extremist Brady Campaign. The National Rifle Association is not quoted, curiously enough.
It should be a no-brainer this law. After all, every state but one (the anti-Constitution state of Illinois) has one kind of carry permit allowance or another. And we have reciprocity laws already in most states as it is. Pennsylvania, for instance, already allows the citizens of 25 other states to concealed-carry and there has been no widespread problems doing so in Pennsylvania or any other state.
In any case, the Politico coverage is decidedly more negative than positive on the law not to mention characterizing it incorrectly. It is obvious that Politico’s reportage was meant to dissuade not inform.
–Also see Al American Blogger