Saturday, November 8, 2014

Looking at what the new Congress might do

I have been reading a number of excellent proposals for what the Republican Congressional agenda should be. I have even read a good piece at the American Thinker by Marguerite Creel that suggests a good plan for the North Carolina Republican agenda. Miss Creel suggests that a State like North Carolina should be bold in advancing a conservative agenda that is both fair and allows everyone to prosper (in the fullest sense of the word.) But with all that, Charles C. W. Cooke over at the National Review online offers up a couple of small fixes the Congress should make to gun laws at Two Gun Bills the New Republican Congress Should Consider.  The two gun bills are to fix the current Firearms Owners Protection Act (FOPA) to make clear that airports and airplanes are included in the "safe passage" provisions in the law, and to pass the national concealed carry bill.  Cooke:

Now that Republicans are in full control of Congress, there are a couple of firearms related bills that I would like to see debated. The first would fix the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 (FOPA), making it clear henceforth that the law’s “safe passage” provision applies to airports as well as to highways. Earlier in the year, I noted that the states of New York and New Jersey have managed to exempt themselves from FOPA’s remit, thereby preventing Americans who rely upon JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark airports from traveling with their guns...
Innocent people are caught all the time by New York and New Jersey when planes are delayed or diverted, and the passenger is forced to take possession of his baggage. Its a shake down racket, enabled by the Third District Federal Court. The fact that people are caught, not when arriving with a gun, but when leaving, points to the "gotcha" aspect of this bizarre interpretation of the law. An interesting, if frustrating, article on the subject can be found at Human Events here.  Or this article from the Blaze, which also highlights a post by a New York lawyer who deals with this on a routine basis.

The other bill that should be considered is one Cooke titles the Shaneen Allen bill. Ms. Allen, you will recall, was the nurse and single mom from Pennsylvania arrested in New Jersey when she told a law enforcement officer she had a concealed carry permit and was armed during a traffic stop. Unfortunately, New Jersey does not recognize a Pennsylvania concealed carry permit. The Shaneen Allen bill would force states that allow concealed carry to recognize another state's permit under the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution. Thus, concealed carry would be treated like driver's licenses, marriage licenses and so forth. Should Ms. Allen have known that New Jersey is rabidly anti-gun and would, if given the chance, do this? Well, sure. But the idea that "ignorance of the law is no excuse" has its limitations when one has to take care of two small children while working full time. I know such people, and they don't have time to keep up with the various, often crazy and irrational laws put up for the express purpose of making them stumble. The Shaneen Allen bill would, in the words of the NRA:
The Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2013 (H.R. 2959) has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressmen Richard Nugent (R-Fla.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah). The bill would allow any person who is not prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm under federal law and who has a valid, concealed firearm permit to carry a concealed handgun in any state that issues its own residents permits to carry concealed firearms. Persons carrying a handgun in another state pursuant to H.R. 2959 would be subject to the laws of that state with respect to where concealed firearms may be carried. Similar legislation to H.R. 2959 passed the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011 by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 272-154.

H.R. 2959 would not create a federal licensing system, nor authorize the federal government to interfere with the powers of the states to set standards for the issuance of carry permits, nor establish federal standards for carry permits, nor override state laws allowing for the carrying of firearms without a permit. Rather, it would simply require the states to recognize each others’ carry permits.
This would be an act of Congress that is fully within the scope of the Constitution, unlike much of what they do now. I would have no problem with a bill of this nature, so long as that is all the Congress intend to do.

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