Monday, February 2, 2009

States and the State of CCW

This last weekend I traveled from my humble home in Oklahoma to the Big D in Texas for a major shindig at Phlemmy's. And being the conscientious CHL holder that I am I went online and looked up the differences between OK's and TX's CCW laws. Wait for it....

Which got me to thinking.

I've heard rumblings every so often from forums and blogs about having to worry that something you do carrying in one state might make you a criminal in another and there should be a national CCW so we don't have to worry about differences in laws from one state or municipality to another. Some of the same people will also cry that that's just a backdoor registration and our second amendment means we shouldn't need any CCW license at all. They'll also state that their CCW means they've been vetted and are therefore less likely to commit a crime and more legal and they should be hassled less etc.

Which struck me as a cake and eating situation. And having the likes of Lawdog, JPG and Matt in the same room seemed like a unique opportunity to bounce my thoughts on the matter off of some experts.

It seems to me that we have a mission creep problem here as well.

First off, if there was a national CCW law, which state should be base it on? Omitting IL and WI, because they don't have any, the states run the gamut from AK and VT with none required to CA, NY, and NJ where you need the agility of a circus performer to jump through the hoops required and a personal phone call from the Great Pumpkin to boot. Whose do we use? Or do we take a middle of the road stance like TX, KS or the likes, which should equally piss off everyone.

But, you cry, what about driver's licenses? They're accepted in every other state. Why can't CCW's be like that.

The thing is, when you travel to another state, you have to abide by that's states driving laws. If they have a no turn on red law, you comply or get ticketed. Which brings me full circle to the beginning of the issue. A national reciprocity law would not relieve CCW holders from knowing and complying with whatever the state laws are when they get there.

Secondly, having a national CCW law could very quickly be turned into a database used or rather abused by those with other agendas. Where could the law be set so that couldn't happen? Lawdog had a good idea. If I remember it correctly, there would be a random set of numbers, if one came up, the person being queried wasn't okay to carry, any other number meant they were. Careful, I didn't use the words allowed or not allowed. I'm severely over simplifying a simple plan here too. Perfect right? Sort of. While there isn't a database per se with peoples names, every time a LEO called a check in, there would be an instance of a name and a "gun inquiry" What happens to that record transaction. What's to stop that from being saved and later used to build a database of sorts. The fact is, and I agree with the fear behind it, every weapon confiscation by any government has been preceded by a registration.

Also, this will get me in all sort of trouble. Why do they point to the second amendment and decry the CCW laws? To me, the second amendment is there to protect us from a tyrannical government. Whether it be a foreign or domestic one. It does not guarantee us a right to self-protection. That's a concept so basic, so fundamental, that it shouldn't need enumeration. If a goblin is after your shiny or whatever, there isn't any question that you're allowed to resist. Asking permission to pull your hand out of a fire is just as silly. The issue of registration isn't one of self-defense, it's one of defense of the people from tyranny . My opposition to registration is there and not in the CCW arena.

Finally, crying about CCW's infringing on your rights and then using the same CCW to crow that you're more law abiding seems a bit hypocritical to me. Do you hate it or like it?


Old NFO said...

It's a potential no win for us... The best we could hope for would be similar to HR218 passed for the LEOs, but even that is not applied equally in every state.

Farm.Dad said...

IMHO we are working towards national reciprocity much in the same way drivers licenses did before the interstate compact . It seems that every year more states recognize each others ccw permits . In time ( assuming the trend continues ) we will have national carry without any intervention ( and more important control ) from the Feds. Finally, it is Your duty as a ccw holder to obey the law of the land you intend to visit or travel through . Part of being " more law abiding " than other segments of society is to take the time and trouble to know the law in question .

Easily Lost said...

Sighssss, you just had to remind me that we are one of a select couple that aren't allowed to carry a concealed weapon, didn't you. We tried a couple of times to get it through but no dice.

Gator said...

I am dead set against gun registration. I wasn't always. I always thought the ability to return a lost or stolen firearm to its rightful owner was much more likely to occur than any wholesale gun confiscation. The New Orleans Gun Grab a few years ago was my epiphany.

I am less concerned about the CCW permit. I voluntarily submitted to a background check and sent in my fingerprints of my own free will... and hoping that some clerical error somewhere didn't tag me as a serial killer. My AZ CWP is proof of that and should separate me from the common thugs during an encounter with any decent, well-run law enforcement agency.