Concealed Carry Reciprocity Should Be Encouraged

COMMENTARY | As of November 2011 only one state does not allow some form of concealed carry for legally owned and licensed firearms. That state, Illinois, is considering joining the rest of the states in re-establishing a citizen’s right to be armed. In the meantime, those with concealed permits in other states should be allowed to carry their weapons in Illinois.

This is not a states’ rights issue as so many seem to think.

The founders of the United States and the drafters of the U.S. Constitution made it clear that any action not expressly granted or denied by the Constitution was reserved for determination by the individual state. This takes all gun laws off the table. The second amendment to the Constitution states that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. There is no qualification to it. There is no allowance for state interference. This is an absolute right granted to absolutely every citizen of the United States. The laws that regulate this are unconstitutional. Because there were no exceptions made in the Constitution and because there has been no additional amendment curtailing the second, this right should go unchallenged. Yet it does not.

Many are denied their Constitutional right based on a felony conviction, even a non-violent crime, or because of the state in which they live. To make matters worse, even within individual states there are local municipal laws restricting gun ownership. In parts of Illinois, for example, it’s illegal for a homeowner to own a handgun because the local city council has banned their ownership. This is contrary to the Constitution but it is allowed to continue through judges that choose to legislate from the bench.

Reciprocity of concealed carry laws also brings with it the question of forced reciprocity of other states issues such as gay marriage, which is legal in some states but not others. This is a red herring because gay marriage, like all other forms of marriage, is not a right. There is no granting of a right to be married in the Constitution. Likewise, there is no ban on it either. That perfectly fits the criteria for an issue to be decided by the individual states involved. The matter of reciprocity for gay marriage is really a question for another argument. It’s not a Constitutional matter.

On the issue of concealed carry, there should actually be no need of reciprocity. There should be no individual state laws on this matter. State gun laws are nothing but an attempt at circumventing federal law which in itself is nothing but a circumvention of the Constitution and the will of the nation’s founders.

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