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The Constitution May Require States To Recognize Each Other’s Firearms Permits.

From Nation­al Review — It seems like­ly that Trump’s vic­to­ry, cou­pled with the Repub­li­can major­i­ty in Con­gress, may soon bear fruit for many gun own­ers. Though the pres­i­dent-elect is more than a month away from tak­ing office, reports are already cir­cu­lat­ing about leg­is­la­tion draft­ed by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Richard Hud­son (R., N.C.) to require nation­al reci­procity for con­cealed-car­ry per­mit hold­ers — an idea Trump endorsed on the cam­paign trail. The bill would pave the way for con­cealed car­ri­ers licensed in one state to have their licens­es rec­og­nized by oth­er states that allow con­cealed car­ry. How­ev­er, the Con­sti­tu­tion may actu­al­ly already require nation­al reci­procity for the more basic right to keep a gun in the home — not because of the Sec­ond Amend­ment, but because of the con­sti­tu­tion­al right to trav­el.

More than 40 years ago, in Shapiro v. Thomp­son, the Supreme Court struck down require­ments that new entrants to a state estab­lish res­i­den­cy for at least a year before being allowed to obtain cer­tain wel­fare ben­e­fits, cit­ing the fun­da­men­tal right to trav­el with­in the coun­try. In oth­er words, states may not con­di­tion the right to move from state to state on the tem­po­rary sur­ren­der of cer­tain ben­e­fits.

In today’s econ­o­my, it’s not unusu­al for cit­i­zens to live in mul­ti­ple states over the course of their work­ing lives. How­ev­er, states often have dif­fer­ent require­ments that cit­i­zens must meet to exer­cise the right to keep a firearm in their home for self-defense. Some juris­dic­tions require them to obtain per­mits, which often can’t be obtained until after they have become res­i­dents. Indeed, in New York City, for exam­ple, a pis­tol-per­mit appli­ca­tion must be sub­mit­ted in per­son. So for cit­i­zens who become gun own­ers in one state but decide to move to anoth­er, the lack of reci­procity means that they must tem­porar­i­ly give up their abil­i­ty to exer­cise their right to keep and bear arms in order to exer­cise their right to trav­el among the states.

As such, view­ing the Court’s recog­ni­tion of an indi­vid­ual right to keep and bear arms in the home in D.C. v. Heller, togeth­er with its recog­ni­tion of a right to trav­el free of undue bur­dens, rais­es an inter­est­ing ques­tion: Can states con­di­tion the exer­cise of the right pro­tect­ed in Shapiro on the tem­po­rary sur­ren­der of the right pro­tect­ed in Heller? If the answer is no, cit­i­zens should no longer have to sac­ri­fice the secu­ri­ty of their house­holds in order to take a job in anoth­er state. I am aware of no basis in the Con­sti­tu­tion for the claim that a state such as New York, for exam­ple, can sus­pend the gun rights a cit­i­zen enjoyed in, say, Illi­nois — even tem­porar­i­ly — sim­ply because he or she has cho­sen to work, or enjoy a vaca­tion home, in the for­mer.

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ER1C ☠

ER1C ☠

Dedicated Second Amendment Advocate, At-Home Gunsmith, Designer, Blogger, Video Guy, Author, Business Owner & ReloadOne Member.

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