Need more reasons to support national reciprocity? We’ve got FIVE great ones for you right here (courtesy of Bearing Arms).
1. Exercising a right shouldn’t be contingent upon what state you’re in.
This one is a no brainer. Sadly, it isn’t a reality.
The Supreme Court affirmed in 2008 that Americans have the constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.
States can’t deny you of this right.
Reciprocity is state governments respecting non-residents’ right to carry a firearm for self-defense, just like it is for residents of that state.
And don’t listen to gun grabbers. National reciprocity would not dictate how states should regulate concealed carry. Non-residents would have to abide by the state’s regulations.
2. You don’t want to be an accidental criminal.
Ever of heard of Brian Fletcher? How about Raymond Hughes and Meredith Graves? Each one of them has something in common: They are concealed carriers-turned-accidental criminals because they carried their legally-owned firearms into a state without reciprocity.
Brian Fletcher was a utility repairman who traveled from North Carolina to New Jersey with his legally-owned firearm to do disaster relief work. After volunteering the information about his gun to a police officer in New Jersey, he was arrested and subsequently faced five years in prison.
Raymond Hughes, a corrections officer, was simply traveling through New Jersey when a drunk driver sent him to the emergency room. He had his legally-owned firearm in the car, but because New Jersey doesn’t recognize non-resident carry permits, Hughes was charged with a Class 2 felony.
A similar story happened to Meredith Graves. A registered nurse and concealed carrier, Graves left her handgun in her purse while visiting the 9/11 memorial. When she left New York, she left with a misdemeanor weapons charge added to her record.
They are not the only ones who have been criminalized. Many, many more law-abiding gun owners have gotten caught up in the confusing nature of patchwork reciprocity that we currently have.
3. Concealed carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding citizens in the country.
You have to go through a lot to be eligible for a concealed carry permit.
One wrong move, and you can kiss it goodbye!
No one who has a permit or is considering getting one wants that.
Don’t take our word for it, check out this 2014 study from the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC).
It showed roughly 11 million Americans have concealed carry permits, up from an estimated 8 million in 2011. Today, the number is closer to 15 million. The CPRC also examined permit holders in Florida and Texas. Between 2008 and 2014, Florida had an average of 875,000 active permit holders. Its permit revocation rate during those years (i.e., the rate of concealed carriers who had their permits revoked due to firearm-related offenses) was a staggering…wait for it…0.00007%.
The rate of concealed carriers convicted of crimes was similarly low in Texas, a state that had 584,850 active permit holders in 2012. Of those, only 0.021% were convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony.
Show those stats to the gun grabbers!
4. Reciprocity laws can change frequently with little notice…
Again, a law abiding citizen can become an accidental criminal in the blink of an eye.
Laws changing with little public notice is a major issue that can have some pretty big impacts.
And it does happen. In 2012, Delaware, under the direction of then-attorney general Beau Biden, dropped reciprocity with concealed carriers from Virginia.
That wasn’t very convenient for the citizens of Virginia.
And in 2015, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced his state would stop recognizing permits from 25 other states.
While it’s up to individuals to keep up on gun laws around the country, if you’ve been legally carrying your concealed handgun from one state to another for 10 years and didn’t know about changes in reciprocity coming down the pipeline, it’s understandable that you’d make that additional trip without checking.
And in doing so, you have now broken the law.
5. Law-abiding concealed carriers can protect YOU in all 50 states.
Gun grabbers love to argue law abiding gun owners don’t stop crimes, but the facts don’t lie.
Just last June, headlines swept the nation of a concealed carrier who stopped a mass shooter outside a nightclub in South Carolina, potentially saving dozens of lives. And who could forget the Minnesota mall stabbing spree last September? He too, was stopped by a law-abiding concealed carrier. Then in January, when two armed men tried to rob a jewelry store in a mall in San Antonio, Texas, they were stopped by concealed carrier. The armed men had already shot and killed an innocent bystander. Who knows what would have happened if the gun owner hadn’t stepped in?
Allowing people to carry a gun in your state can help everyone, not just the owner.
There are so many reasons why we should support national reciprocity.
Do you agree with this list? Or did we leave an important one out?
Let us know in the comments below!