Texan Gun Laws in California

National Reciprocity

Concealed Carried Weapon(Photo courtesy of KATV)

Concealed Carried Weapon(Photo courtesy of KATV)

Wayne Chan, Editor

After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, the public scrambles for more legislative action on weaponry control. An NRA supported national reciprocity bill was passing through Congress when hundreds of Police Chiefs gathered and sent a letter to Congress imploring them not to pass the legislation. The letter voiced the opinion of 437 police officials from 39 states.

The NRA called this a priority of Congress and after it passed the House they celebrated it as a victory for the Second Amendment. Essentially what national reciprocity means is that one concealed carry permit from any state would be recognized in all states. If you had a concealed carry permit license acquired in Texas then the license would still be valid in California.

The police chiefs argued, “This legislation is a dangerous encroachment on individual state efforts to protect public safety, and it would effectively nullify duly enacted state laws and hamper law enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence.”

I agree, with national reciprocity in effect the state governments would have to enforce Texas gun laws in the urban centers of downtown LA, or New York City, or Detroit. The lowest standard for acquiring permit would become the law of the land. If a criminal is denied a permit in a state then he or she could travel to a state like Utah, a state with extremely loose permit laws, and acquire a permit there. Upon returning to his or her home state the permit would still be valid.

Different states have different legislations to cater to their cultures. For example, California having more urban centers and an overall larger population would require stricter gun laws. Another state like Virginia would not require such restrictive gun laws. Yet, California, under national reciprocity, would have to defer to Virginian standards. Not only would this be a difficulty for law enforcement, hence the protest from police chiefs, but this would be a precedent for undermining state legislation.

States are more equipped to determine their own legislations for controlling concealed carry permits. The federal government can enact blanket gun control laws such as background checks, but if the government should not simply be forcing state compliance to each other’s’ laws.

Rex Zhao(10) agrees that national reciprocity would challenge state rights: “the government should not be able to make states follow each other’s laws.”