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So, what caliber for 50 states?

There is a non-zero percent chance that national reciprocity could pass. What gun would you carry that you could carry in all 50 states?

I’m not familiar enough with Cali gun laws to opine. So, I say this not factoring in any of their bizarro, oppressive laws. I think I would probably carry a S&W Shield in 9mm. Meets arbitrary magazine restrictions and has a safety, LCI and dumbass warning to comply with MA’s arcane gun laws. I don’t know if the single stack Glock meets the MA requirements, otherwise it’d be a fine gun too.

Of course, I’d like reciprocity passed that any gun legal in your state can be carried anywhere. Hey, I can dream, right?

And what about you?

38 Responses to “So, what caliber for 50 states?”

  1. Murcielago Says:

    J-frame revolver. Probably a 442.

  2. mike Says:

    Glock or M&P in all the states I normally travel to. I’d just stick the 1911 in my VM2 for visiting CA. ANd carry lots of wilson 47Ds.

  3. Tsquared Says:

    Glock G37 45GAP or 1911 Commander.

  4. FiftycalTX Says:

    IF the bill stays the same, you can carry what you want, loaded with what you want. The regs the slave states have conjured up will have no effect. From the bill:(2)The term handgun includes any magazine for use in a handgun and any ammunition loaded into the handgun or its magazine.

    And the slave hunters better be nice if they spot your heater and try to mess with you. Also from the bill: (1)A person who is deprived of any right, privilege, or immunity secured by this section, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of any State or any political subdivision thereof, may bring an action in any appropriate court against any other person, including a State or political subdivision thereof, who causes the person to be subject to the deprivation, for damages or other appropriate relief.

    It looks like slave state “may issue” citizens may get left out. But there may be a “loophole” for someone to get an out of state license and carry in NY, CA, MA, etc. I won’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. PASS THIS LAW and it can be improved later. Or people can move out of the slave states.

  5. aerodawg Says:

    Shield 45. If you’re capacity limited may as well make em big bullets

  6. Charles Says:

    Ruger LCR. It works and is easy to carry. Probably legal in all 50 states.

  7. Scott in AZ Says:

    That is the beauty of the reciprocity law –

    it destroys the state prohibitions on handguns.

    The proposals states you may carry any “firearm” so it doesn’t matter if CA bans a certain pistol, they have to let you carry it.

  8. Paul Koning Says:

    FiftycalTX is right. I read the bill the same way (I just read the full text as posted on the Congressional website twice). It says that if you have a permit or if your home state has Constitutional carry, you may carry concealed.
    The weird part is that it doesn’t apply to a state that entirely forbids concealed carry. Then again, there aren’t any such states, and the last one I can think of (Illinois) had that prohibition very properly struck down a few years ago.

  9. nk Says:

    Read my lips: Tenth Amendment. Congress cannot supersede/preempt state gun laws except to the extent found to be a Constitutional right in Heller and MacDonald. Neither of those cases included carry “in the marketplace”.

    What Congress can do, Constitutionally, is allow the states to enter into an interstate compact where they grant each other reciprocity. Like they do with drivers licenses. Or any state can tell Congress to go climb a lobbyist and recognize other states’ permits. Like they do with marriages.

  10. FiftycalTX Says:

    NK, Try again. Ever heard of the 14th amendment? The one that enforced the “Bill of Rights” against the states? Then McDonald V Chicago enforced the SECOND against the states. So, unless you believe that Kalipornia can declare “states rights” and resume buying/selling SLAVES, the 2nd Amendment applies to the states. And in another 20 years the slave states will recognize the 2nd. Because they will all be broke and having lost population, HAVE to capitulate.

  11. nk Says:

    Yes, that was MacDonald which said the Second Amendment applies to the states.

    I’m not theorizing here. What I said above happened with the First Amendment and the federal Freedom of Religion Restoration Act. Congress said the First Amendment gave it the power to tell the State of Oregon to allow its residents to chew peyote as part of their religion. The Supreme Court said no, not until we decide that chewing peyote is protected by the First Amendment right to freedom of religion.

    But I won’t insist. The Supreme Court could yet find a Second Amendment right to go armed in public, and then Congress could enforce it on the states under the Enabling Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

  12. majmike Says:

    H&K Compact .45 USP or the beloved M1911A1 with two extra magazines and 100 rounds in boxes in my emergency bag.

  13. Old 1811 Says:

    The initial justification for the NFA was the government’s constitutional duty to regulate interstate commerce, no? The reason ATF was originally part of the IRS and stayed in Treasury till the Homeland Security Act jumbled everything up was, the NFA was a tax law.
    So, doesn’t the carrying of firearms across state lines affect interstate commerce? Ipso facto (I love saying that. Someday I’ll find out what it means.), the government can regulate the carrying of firearms across state lines.

  14. Ron W Says:


    “The Supreme Court could yet find a Second Amendment right to go armed in public, and then Congress could enforce it on the states under the Enabling Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

    What??!! ….The right of the People to keep and BEAR arms shall not be infringed. “Bear” means carry! SCOTUS justices do not know word meanings and basic grammatical construction??

    SCOTUS knew what it meant in 1857 in the Dred Scott decision. The majority opinion then, kept black people as non-persons and subject to legal slavery lest, “they be able to speak out publically and GO ARMED EVERYWHERE THEY WENT”. Of course, being kept disarmed is the chief aspect of slavery down through history.

  15. Paul Koning Says:

    Ah, constitutional arguments in both directions…
    The text of the second amendment (unlike the first) clearly does not limit its applicability to the federal government, and the Texas Supreme Court recognized this in the 1830s.
    Apart from that, the 14th amendment clearly makes it mandatory on the states even if you believe it wasn’t before. The legislative history states this very explicitly. It was particularly aimed at ending the laws forbidding blacks to possess or carry arms — the direct predecessors of today’s victim disarmament laws.
    The 10th amendment leaves to the states those things not granted to the federal government OR prohibited to the states. Since in this case the 14th amendment prohibits the states from interfering with the right to keep and bear arms, the 10th amendment is no barrier.
    Finally there is Article 4 section 1, which says that all states shall give full faith and credit to all acts of other states, and that Congress has the power to prescribe what this means. This is why driver’s licenses and marriages are valid nationwide. By the same reasoning, this is why carry permits should be valid nationwide.

  16. Deaf Smith Says:

    Mostly I’d pack my Glock 43 and S&W Airweight 642… IF I went to such places as California, New York, New Jersey, etc. Or maybe just a Shockwave….

    Otherwise I’d pack what I dang well please.

  17. Patrick Says:

    NK: The Tenth is not a pact with the Devil. States do not have rights – people have rights. States have powers.

    The courts will argue, but no jurist on either side has ever said that carry of firearms in any context was outside the penumbra of the federal constitution. The argument has always been whether the “rights” extended far enough that they could not be overruled by various interest-balancing approaches (“public safety”, etc.). Read Heller oppo for the details – even Stevens said guns were a federally-scoped issue.

    That puts 2A squarely in the realm of federal powers – it has been “delegated” by the Second Amendment. The Tenth need not apply.

    Likewise, Congress can arguably regulate the scope and manner of the Second Amendment with the bounds of the Constitution. The states and territories cannot contravene such regulation.

    You have it upside down: Congress does not need the permission – or pre-clearance – of the Supreme Court to pass laws. Congress can pass whatever it likes, and then SCOTUS can opine if/when someone questions the approach Congress took.

    Overall, Federalism/10A does not construct 50 fiefdoms that can contravene federal supremacy. I know the Fed has expanded its power beyond the pale using nefarious approaches, but we should not let our knee-jerk reaction to that overreach cause us to oppose cases that fall squarely (and correctly) within its reach.

  18. Ron W Says:

    @ Patrick,
    The Preamble to the Bill of Rights refers to them as “added declaratory and restrictive clauses to prevent usurpations and abuses”, to declare the rights of the People and restrict the delegated powers of the general (federal) government. You’re correct, only People have rights, the Goverment has no rights and may only LAWFULLY operate according to those delegated by the People and the States according to the plain wording of the 10th Amendment.

    The 2nd Amendment is DECLARATORY of “the right of the People”. It delegates no power to the Federal Government. “Militia” in the beginning, subordinate and predatory clause of the sentence refers “militia in the enumerated, delegated power in Article I, Section 8.15-16 which is RESTRICTIVE of the Federal Government only “for governing such part of them (militia) as may be called into its service and EMPLOYED”. So right of the People to keep and bear arms” is NOT within Federal delegated powers. Therefore ALL Federal gun laws that infringe on the right of the People are UNLAWFUL, except those who are employed in its service while doing their official duties.

  19. Ron W Says:

    Also, the Federal Goverment is not supreme. The Constitution is “the Supreme Law of the Land” (Article VI, Section 2). The Federal Government is only supreme in the “few and defined powers” such as declaring war, immigration (“protecting the States against invasion”–Article IV, Section 4) and coining and printing money specified and delegated to it by the Constitution. The Federal Government is a creation of the States and the People. The creator is always greater than its creation and the greater always delegates to the lesser.

  20. Kristophr Says:

    Ron W:

    Amendments trump the original constitution. The 14th amendment allows the President and Congress to enforce the other amendments upon the states, and ALL of the amendments are now superseding parts of the Constitution under Article VI, Section 2.

  21. Ron W Says:

    @Kristophr, point well taken re: the enfircement of the rights of the people, but some States and many cities have long violated the 2nd Amendment with seeming impunity from the Feds. Also, gun carry permits are in violation. Certainly it’s UNLAWFUL to require permission, permitting, fees, etc. in order to exercise a right. What other rights require the same? And the declared rights of the People in the Bill of Rights to be enforced on States and cities violating those rights also apply to the Federal Government, especially when it is acting illegally without enumerated, delegated power.

  22. Fred Says:

    @Ron W,
    Re your reply to @Patrick. WOW, There is somebody else on the planet besides me who knows and understands that the reference to militia in the 2A is a nod to the Article I power language about; men under arms in the employ of the fedgov should the need arise for the defense of the nation. Just stunned. You’re first I’ve EVER seen.

    “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States…”

    Now why, oh why, would Part be capitalized? He asked sarcastically. So, ‘which Part of the militia do I fall into?’ should be every able bodied man’s question. Is it the part that is currently under discipline by the congress(Art I) or the part that REMAINS ARMED AND READY(2A) and as yet, has not been called to active service in defense of the nation?

    This, to further Ron W’s point, this is how Art I and 2A work hand in glove ON PURPOSE for the defense of the nation.

    Too bad we don’t follow that old dusty document. It sure would be a better country if we did.

    Being a layman, I am interested Ron, if I understand the nuances of the Art I, 2A relationship fully. Any feedback is helpful. Thanks.

  23. guy Says:

    “Too bad we don’t follow that old dusty document. It sure would be a better country if we did.”

    Which is why I’ll carry the same 16 +18 rounds of 9mm I carry every day and stay the @$%@#$@ out of any state run by crazies.

    And I’m from Wisconsin, so ‘crazy’ is pretty out there.

  24. Fűz Says:

    “States do not have rights – people have rights. States have powers.”
    What Patrick said.

  25. Ron W Says:

    @Fred, the founders knew that the militia was the armed citizenry, I.e., the People or else the 2nd Amendment sentence is grammatically contradictory. Example: George Mason’s rhetorical question: “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole People, except for a few public officials.”
    The subordinate clause which begins the sentence of the 2nd Amendment puts the militia as “necessary to the security of a free State”and the word “militia” must agree with “the People” in the main clause for the sentence to make sense. A “free State” is constituted of a free People of whom Thomas Jefferson wrote, “it is their right and duty to be at all times armed”. Back to the enumerated power of the Federal Government that you quote in Article I, Section 8 and the armed citizens (militia), it may only “govern such Part of them as may be EMPLOYED in the Service of the United States.”

    And as Patrick and Fuz correctly wrote, “only the People have rights” of which their right to be armed is clearly declared. It is therefore absurd to assert that one must be a part of the government to exercise that right of armed self defense–or any other right! The right to keep and bear arms is a pre-existing right, as are all others and is not dependent on powers delegated to government, its service and employment, to be exercised.

  26. Ron W Says:

    Oh, by the way, Fred, I too am “a layman”. But we can read our Constitution and State Constitutions so that those we’ve employed to administrate our governments are obedient to their delegated powers and our declared rights as free People.

  27. Patrick Says:

    @Ron W: I took some shortcuts through 150+ years of history to arrive at the “federal trumps state law” point, but it’s still valid.

    The Constitution has changed since the Bill of Rights – being an “originalist” doesn’t mean you skip everything past Amendment 10. Likewise the document itself created a body to determine its meaning (the Supreme Court). Through both amendment and interpretation things have progressed to our current state.

    I agree that things have gotten out of hand, but also understand it won’t unwind easily. To the specific issue of reciprocity and the states, I opine on how the current approach fits within the current state of law and affairs.

    Of course many will argue – most interestingly we’ll see those who normally think that the federal is always supreme argue that a stated fundamental civil right can be usurped by a state “because we don’t like it”.

    That’s a bag of popcorn right there. Passing HR 38 would force some very interesting issues into the public sphere and the Supreme Court would have to answer some interesting questions that go beyond guns.

    I don’t expect HR 38 to become law for a variety of reasons – all of which being Ryan/McConnell and their merry band of squishy establishment types, plus a good dose of NRA not wanting to rock the GOPe boat. And even if HR 38 did pass, some NY judge would stay it immediately. But that would set up a fight whose results would be valuable regardless of where you stand on federalism.

    For that reason alone, you should support passage.

  28. Ron W Says:

    @Patrick, I do agree that States and cities which infringe the “rights of the People to keep and bear (which means carry) arms” should be superseded according to the 14th Amendment. If HR 38 simply says that right is protected everywhere in the United States, pursuant to that 14th Amendment clause, I agree.

  29. Jerry Says:

    I can’t believe I read all that. I’ve been totin’ a Ruger P345 for a year now, it seems to fit the bill.

  30. Publius Says:

    I wouldn’t risk anything more dangerous than popgun. How has the FOPA been working out for you lately?

  31. Roberta X Says:

    To get back to Unk’s original question, I’d carry a Glock 26: any one is just like every other one (+/- some drop-in parts and stippling) and if some State takes it away, I can go get another one.

    It’s not a fashion accessory. What kind of hammer would I carry? What kind of pocket screwdriver?

  32. Ron W Says:

    @Roberta X, good point! I’ve been off on a tangent. I have a Glock 21 which doesn’t conceal too well under light clothing in summer…says my wife. So I recently traded an older inherted Colt revolver for a Bersa .45 compact…on an even swap deal. Nice carry gun size, but only 7 rd mag. When I go to heavier clothing for easier concealment, I’ll carry the full-size Glock 21 .45 cal, 13+1. Check out Bersa, good pistols, not so pricey.

  33. PaulB Says:

    I think that new colt might find a place on my belt. Carrying a 5 shot version now, so one more would be nice.

  34. Paul Koning Says:

    Re Ron W “I too am a layman” — same here. But anyone who claims that this disqualifies us from having opinions about the Constitution clearly has malicious intent. It was written in plain English — had to be, because it was going to be subject to ratification by conventions of the people. They weren’t about to ratify something they could not understand.
    For that matter, there is this wonderful quote from Thomas Jefferson: “Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should therefore be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense; and their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure”

  35. Patrick Says:

    Glock 26 on baggy clothing days, Sig 938 when I am dressing skinny. So basically same as now.

  36. Ron W Says:

    @Paul Koning, very well-said! I agree. And as usual, that’s an excellent quote of knowledge and understanding from Thomas Jefferson, from whom there are many, many others.

  37. Skip Says:

    I’ve been totin’ a .45 five incher in California for fifteen years. Get renewed every two years. It’s not hard.

  38. bob r Says:

    Ron W @19: “The Federal Government is only supreme in the “few and defined powers” such as declaring war, immigration (“protecting the States against invasion”–Article IV, Section 4) and coining and printing money specified and delegated to it by the Constitution.”

    Ron, I’m surprised that you would be so sloppy: There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution authorizing the “printing” of money. That they have gotten away with doing so is arguably the _only_ reason they get away with so many other violations of their charter.