WASHINGTON February 17, 2015 — There is a lot going on in the World of firearms news, especially over the last few weeks. From state legislatures to federal courts, gun politics has been making headlines lately and for the most part news has come out in favor of gun rights. Below, are a few highlighted events which every gun owner, and gun rights supporter, should be aware of.
Conceal Carry Reciprocity: H.R. 402, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, was introduced on Jan 16, 2015 in the early days of the new Congress. The bill would essentially allow for conceal carry licenses to act like drivers licenses, if you can carry in Texas you can carry in New Jersey. This act has been introduced before under H.R. 2959 during the previous Congress, but did not make its way out of committee. Currently, the bill has 68 cosponsors (67R,1D), and Govtrack.us gives the bill a stunning 1% chance at passing. Other bills, such as S.498 and H.R. 923 have also been introduced to allow some national means of reciprocity, but given the current climate on guns it is doubtful that any of these bills will reach the desk of a President would more likely change is name to Martha Washington than sign such legislation.
DC Taken to Court: As Emily Miller will tell you, getting a conceal carry permit in Washington, DC has proven rather difficult. Apparently, only a small fraction of applications which have gone through the advisory council and the desk of Chief Lanier have actually been approved. As a result, DC is getting taken to court by several individuals and groups decrying what they believe to be a Constitutional infringement on their right to bear arms. Indeed, a federal court did strike down the DC carry ban last year, forcing Washington to come up with an application system or face sanctions, whatever those were supposed to be. It was not surprise that Washington emulated their neighbors in Maryland and established a “may-issue” permit system. For those of you who did not know, “may-issue” in DC terms translates roughly to “may-use this for toilet paper.”
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Buying Handguns Across State Lines: In a decision filed on February 11 of this year, Federal District Court Judge Reed O’Connor struck down a longstanding prohibition on the selling of handguns to out of state residents. The ruling stated that the current law not only violated the Constitution, but that Interstate Commerce Act. The ruling is monumental, it allows individuals from any state, to purchase a handgun in any state, the way nearly every other transaction of goods and services occurs in America on a daily basis. This law was akin to saying that you could not buy a hammer in Texas because you lived in Oklahoma. Since much of the nation, especially Washington, DC is filled with transients, this decision will allow those who are not state residents, but working extended periods of time in other states, to purchase firearms without the added unnecessary costs of an additional FFL transfer.