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Take the poll

OK, I posed the question about the direction the gun lobby should take but GLN already had a poll up (a while back and I missed since I use bloglines). Go on over there and take it, it’s on the right hand side.

Update: I see that National CCW is currently the winner. I don’t think that’s a good idea and here’s why:

It doesn’t help folks in places that have bans (or near bans) on handguns, like DC and Chicago. Additionally, mandated CCW would motivate anti-gun states to push for just outright bans on ownership (Sure, you can carry but you can’t own them). Also, I think it’s probably a waste of resources to do at the state level in states like NY, CA, and Illinois. Because it won’t pass. Ever. It is more likely to pass at the Federal level.

For this reason, my vote went for repealing the Hughes Amendment. Actually, it was tie between that and repealing the sporting purposes language. So, I flipped a coin.

As an interesting side note: With the exception of national CCW, all other options involve repealing something. So, memo to the NRA:

We don’t want new laws, we want the repeal of old laws.

8 Responses to “Take the poll”

  1. cube Says:

    My basis would be what change would get Americans more and better guns. From my limited knowledge of the subject it would seem that the repeal of the Hughs Amendment would accomplish that goal.

    Though what woud happen if you repealed the NFA of 34 and not hte Hughs Amendment.

    What is all this “sporting purposes” talk? You should do a long post explaining that to the young guns, because I don’t want to look it up.

  2. Nate Says:

    Short answer: there is language in a heck of a lot of laws that says something to the effect of, “that the Attorney General determines are particularly suitable to sporting purposes.” So, that’s why the BATFE can decide one day to ban the import of barrels for AK clones. Or why you can buy a new PPK/s but not a PPK. Or why you have to deal with numbers of imported parts, and other such nonsense.

    I agree with uncle, flip a coin for Hughes ammendment and sporting purposes. I can’t say I’m in favor of going for national CCW. I don’t know what CA/IL/NY/MA would do if they were forced to recognize my permit from VA (or a national one), but I can’t imagine I would like it. They might try to ban all handguns. Sure, if you could legally posess it, you could carry it concealed, but you can’t have one. Or, national CCW would be a registration system, or become a requirement to buy a gun at all. (think IL FOID)

    I would like it if the full faith and credit clause applied, but that ain’t gonna happen.

    Also, with all the fear mongering about the AWB that expired, the antis might have just shot their “machine gun” wad on that effort, and repealing the hughes ammendment might not be impossible. “Machine guns will flood the streets!” –“Didn’t we hear that already?”

  3. Xrlq Says:

    It doesn’t help folks in places that have bans (or near bans) on handguns, like DC and Chicago

    Then amend the bill so that it will.

  4. Nate Says:

    Hey, I’d love to see such a thing happen. But, given the make up of the court, how would that survive a challenge? I think a national CCW law will run head first into the law of unintended consequences. Even a full faith and credit clause interpretation that results in national CCW (think marriages) would probably just result in states like CA and MA getting rid of CCW all together, rather than recognize someone elses permit. I don’t see how that helps anyone.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see concealed carry be legal everywhere. I just don’t see a federal law making it so being a good way to do it. One effect I can imagine is the GFW states coming up with even more onerous laws on owning/buying/posessing guns to make up for the relaxation of laws concerning carrying arms.

    I think pushing for the repeal the Hughes ammendment might be the easiest now it will be for a while. Sporting purposes could be done as easily with another republican house/senate/presidency. But now, we have a republican house/senate/presidency and the antis have recently made a big deal about machine guns (incorrectly so) that didn’t get much traction. I wouldn’t think that they would get much more traction when dealing with actual machine guns. So, barring a large political change (larger republican majority or republicans growing spines/being the small government party again) I don’t see a better chance for the Hughes ammendment than now.

    Xrlq,
    You’re a lawyer right? How would you word a national CCW law that would:
    1- pass constitutional muster
    2- eliminate or minimize the ability of, say, Chicago or L.A. to just ban handguns. “Okay, we’re not arresting you for carrying a concealed handgun, we’re arresting you for having a handgun at all.” Thus screwing over the folks the law would actually make the most difference for.
    3- Not be (or be easily modified into) a giant FOID/registration scheme

    I would like to see such a law exist. I just don’t think you’d get a clean bill through congress, and poison pills on this sort of law could be really bad.

  5. Xrlq Says:

    1. That depends on what you mean by “pass constitutional muster.” Do you refer to the Constitution as currently interpreted by the courts, or as currently interpreted by me? If it’s the courts you are worried about, don’t. The only real constitutional defect in a national CCW law is that it allows the federal government to regulate in an area that ought to be left to the states. Given how badly the last Tenth Amendment case (Raich v. Ashcroft) went, there’s no danger of this law being struck down on Tenth Amendment grounds anytime soon. And no, the Tenth Amendment won’t fare better under the new court. Rehnquist and O’Connor were two of the three dissenters in Raich, so the most the two Bush nominations can accomplish combined is to leave the makeup of the court as it was (and judging by the Roberts hearings, I’m not terribly optimistic that they will even accomplish that).

    I think the law would be constitutional under a totally different theory, namely the enforcement clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. That, in turn, depends on the theory that the Second Amendment should be incorporated against the states (which courts have generally rejected), and that the enforcement power of the Fourteenth Amendment gives Congress the same power to enforce constitutional provisions incorporated under the Fourteenth Amendment as it does to enforce the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment itself (which AFAIK courts have not ruled on one way or the other).

    Thus, IMO, the only place where a national CCW could be unconstitutional is in a parallel universe where courts properly apply the Tenth Amendment, but improperly apply the Fourteenth.

    2. Eliminating the ability of any city to ban handguns is a non-issue (L.A. is a doubly-non issue, being preempted by state law, but never mind that). If a valid federal law and a state law conflict, the federal law wins every time.

    3. Start with your favorite state CCW law, remove all the provisions that say you can’t carry without a permit, and leave in all the ones that say you can carry with one. For good measure, throw in an extra provision clarifying which types of state and local law Congress does or does not intend to preempt.

  6. Nate Says:

    Xrlq, I had forgotten about the “The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” Good point.

    Under those conditions, with a clean bill like the one you describe, I’d be all for it. I just think there’d be a bunch of downsides and unintended consequences. Also, what happens with the list of permitees? Does it become the new NICS? Then you can only get a gun if you have a permit… we’ve just registered gun owners. Then someone (cough feinstein cough) inserts some language into a bill that you says can’t carry within 1000 feet of a school, oops, most cities are now off limits (ever see that map that shows all the places in a city within 1000 feet? I’ll look it up in a minute.) And, unlike now, there’s no state law to defer to.

    Yeah, I’d love for there to be CCW nation-wide, but I’m just not sure a federal law is the way to do it. What if the law simply said “States shall make provisions for any (short, legal description of “law abiding”) persons residing in their states to carry concealed firearms for any legal purpose…” something about recognizing other states’ permits–how to deal with Vermont? Oh, the findings would provide justification for the law under the 2nd and 14th ammendments. How does that sound? That offends me less on 10th ammendment/federalist grounds, doesn’t provide a ready-made national registration scheme (or less ready made, anyway).

    I still think going for the Hughes ammendment first is the way to go, with the AWB having recently expired, and the whole “machine guns will flood the streets” argument failing to find traction now, I think we’ve got a chance to use the Brady Bunch’s deception to our advantage.

  7. Xrlq Says:

    Also, what happens with the list of permitees? Does it become the new NICS? Then you can only get a gun if you have a permit… we’ve just registered gun owners.

    That doesn’t follow. You don’t need a CCW to buy a gun, just to carry one. And with a national CCW law that doesn’t preempt states from issuing CCW of their own, it wouldn’t even be a very reliable registry of gun-packers, as it would identify only the ones that opted for licensure under the federal system rather than in their respective states, though some might opt for both (e.g., a Virginian who likes his own state’s CCW laws better than the rules governing his federal permit, but still wants the federal permit so he can pack legally in D.C.).

  8. Xrlq Says:

    Sorry, missed this part:

    What if the law simply said “States shall make provisions for any (short, legal description of “law abiding”) persons residing in their states to carry concealed firearms for any legal purpose…” something about recognizing other states’ permits–how to deal with Vermont? Oh, the findings would provide justification for the law under the 2nd and 14th ammendments. How does that sound? That offends me less on 10th ammendment/federalist grounds, doesn’t provide a ready-made national registration scheme (or less ready made, anyway).

    That actually offends me more on Tenth Amendment grounds, as it effectively involves commandeering of the state legislatures (cf. Printz). I suppose it would pass muster if the law in question were not an actual requirement but merely a condition of some kind of federal funding, but I’m not too keen on that kind of law, either, which has always struck me as a bit of an end run around the Tenth Amendment. Something has to be done about Vermont, of course, but that could be handled by the states, as well. IIRC, the California Vehicle Code allows drivers from other states to drive here without a license, if their home state does not require them to have a driver license (which of course every state does).