Obama Administration Attacks Gun Rights!

September 30, 2011

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on
Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security recently held a hearing on H.R. 822,
the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011.”

This critically important bill, introduced earlier this
year by Congressmen Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) and
cosponsored by more than 240 of their colleagues, would enable millions of
permit holders to exercise their right to self-defense while traveling
outside their home states.

There is currently only one remaining state (Illinois)
that has no clear legal way for individuals to carry concealed firearms for
self-defense. Forty states have permit systems that make it possible for any
law-abiding person to obtain a permit, while most of the others have discretionary
permit systems. (Vermont has never required a permit.)

H.R. 822 would mark a major step forward for gun owners’
rights by significantly expanding where those permits are recognized. Dozens
of states have passed Right-to-Carry laws over the past 25 years because the
right to self-defense does not end when one leaves home. However, interstate
recognition of those permits is not uniform and creates great confusion and
potential problems for travelers. While many states have broad reciprocity,
others have very restrictive reciprocity laws. Still others deny recognition

H.R. 822 would solve this problem by requiring that
lawfully issued carry permits be recognized, while protecting the ability of
the various states to determine the areas where carrying is prohibited within
their boundaries.

Unfortunately, but predictably, H.R. 822 continues to be
attacked in some quarters, namely the anti-gun media, like the New York Times
and the Washington Post; anti-gun organizations, like the Brady Campaign, and
New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns; and,
regrettably, even some so-called pro-gun organizations.

Opponents of the legislation claim that it tramples on
each “states’ rights.” But states don’t have rights, only powers.
And while many anti-gun lawmakers who’ve long pushed national gun bans,
national bans on private gun sales, national waiting periods and other
federal restrictions have suddenly become born-again advocates of
“states’ rights” to oppose this bill, several provisions of the
Constitution give Congress the authority to enact interstate carry. Congress
also has the power to protect the rights of citizens, nationwide, under the
14th Amendment (please see related article from last
week’s Grassroots Alert).

Next, despite what a handful of “pro-gun”
activists say, the bill would not create a federal licensing system, nor
would it establish a minimum federal standard for the carry permit.
it would require the states to recognize each others’ carry permits, just as
they recognize driver’s licenses and carry permits held by armored car
guards. Unfortunately, these self-proclaimed “gun rights”
supporters, who have no active lobbying presence in any legislature, have an
agenda that has very little to do with promoting the interests of gun owners.
Here are the FACTS about a few of their claims:

H.R. 822 would involve the federal bureaucracy in setting standards for carry
permits, resulting in “need” requirements, higher fees, waiting
periods, national gun owner registration, or worse.

H.R. 822 doesn’t require—or even authorize—any such action by any federal
agency. In fact, since it would amend the Gun Control Act, it would fall
under a limitation within that law that authorizes “only such rules and
regulations as are necessary to carry out” the GCA’s provisions. No
federal rules or regulations would be needed to implement H.R. 822, which
simply overrides certain state laws.

H.R. 822 would destroy permitless carry systems such as those in Arizona,
Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming.

H.R. 822 would have absolutely no effect on how the permitless carry states’
laws work within those states. For residents of Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming,
where permits are not required but remain available under state law, H.R. 822
would make those permits valid in all states that issue permits to their own
residents. Residents of Vermont, where no permits are issued or required,
could obtain nonresident permits from other states to enjoy the benefits of
H.R. 822.

Myth: If
H.R. 822 moved through the legislative process, it would be subject to
anti-gun amendments.

By this logic, neither NRA, nor any other pro-gun group, should ever promote
any pro-gun reform legislation. But inaction isn’t an option for those of us who
want to make positive changes for gun owners. Instead, we know that by
careful vote counting and strategic use of legislative procedure, anti-gun
amendments can be avoided or defeated.

H.R. 822 is a good bill
for gun owners. Don’t listen to false and misleading accusations. Please
contact your member of Congress and urge him or her to support the earliest
possible consideration of H.R. 822 this year. You can contact your
Representative by phone at (202) 225-3121.

From USCCA post


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