Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Concealed-Carry Reciprocity

It's ridiculous to have to apply for a permit to do something that is my constitutional right. I don't have to apply for a permit to go to the church of my choice or to exercise free speech. My First-amendment rights seem to be rights. My Second-Amendment rights seem to be privileges. Maybe the Bill of Rights should be called The Bill of Rights or Privileges.

I have my concealed-carry permit from Virginia, and I applied for my Utah permit. Why did I have to get a second permit from a state where I don't even live? Because my Virginia permit is only good in states that recognize Virginia's permit. So not only do I have to apply for a permit, I may need several in order to get anywhere. For example, my Virginia permit is recognized in Florida, but until this month it was not recognized in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. So how do I can I feel safe traveling to Florida?

If I have to get a permit to carry a weapon for my own self-defense in the United States, it should be good in all of the "united" states. But until that time, I will have to be satisfied with extending Virginia's reciprocity with other states. This month, Virginia entered a reciprocity agreement with South Carolina. That means that with my Utah permit (which is recognized in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, but not in South Carolina) I can now get to Florida.

Today I found out that Virginia established reciprocity with Mississippi, so that's another great step in the right direction, but I wish all states would recognize permits from all other states. Some states, including Arizona and Utah, already do this. I'm grateful for sanity in a few legislatures.

I found out about the VA-MS reciprocity agreement by an email from the Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL). They are doing a GREAT job in Virginia, and I'm proud to be a member.


Anonymous said...

I linked to you this morning. One of my readers said he couldn't comment so I'm just checking it out.

Thanks for posting about your experiences. Good stuff...keep it up.

Weer'd Beard said...

I need to get my ass moving on my Maine and New Hampshire permits. I live in Mass, and have family in Maine and Vermont, so I need 3 permits to cover 95% of where I am. I'll probably eventually need a Florida permit too as family is moving down there. Maybe with a little luck such foolish talk will be a thing of the past one day!

Great Blog, you'll be seeing more of me!

Gunmetal said...

I agree that the lack of reciprocity is a bad situation, but frankly I am very concerned about the federal government gaining any sort of foothold -- whether initially "friendly" or not -- in the regulation of concealed carry.

I would rather keep the feds out of it and live with what we've got, and try to improve the situation on a per-state basis.

The Saj said...

This is definitely a major issue IMHO. I am a new gun owner as well, and find it a horrible situation.

For instance, I was going to drop off my daughter at her grandpa's to be baby sat so the wife and I could go see a movie.

Sadly, the shortest route provided by Google dipped into Maryland for about 2 minutes. I therefore had to meander thru backroads to avoid such passage as it could turn me immediately into a felon.

I am of the opinion a formalized mandatory reciprocity statute is desperately needed on the Federal level.

I feel really bad for our servicemen who are moved from state to state and could go from law-abiding gun owner in one state, to "sell your guns or become a felon".

This is unconstitutional and I hope it becomes one of the chief lawsuits the NRA pursues after Heller.

Gunmetal said...

"the shortest route provided by Google dipped into Maryland for about 2 minutes. I therefore had to meander thru backroads to avoid such passage as it could turn me immediately into a felon."

That is because Maryland sucks.

Getting the feds involved in CCW law is, I'm pretty confident, going to be a nightmare that we will end up regretting. Sure it might feel good in the short run, but it will only go downhill and become more restrictive, not less so -- that's just the way government, especially federal government, works.

Increasing federalization is hardly ever a good thing, this will not prove to be an exception.

Tess said...

Just found you through The Sentinel of VCDL. Good blog! Thank you. Your opening post was among the best I've ever read.