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Webb says it was his gun

Jim Webb’s staffer was arrested and detained for illegally having a gun in DC. There was question about whose gun it was:

A senate staffer working for James Webb was busted trying to get a pistol into the senate building. It was the senatorís gun. I guess the senator was taking advantage of the recent Parker v. DC decision? Nah, heís one of the privileged who gets to disregard laws for little people.

Then, there was uncertainty about whose gun it was.

Webb now says it was his:

Sen. Jim Webb said he owns the gun that an aide was arrested for carrying into the U.S. Capitol complex in March.

“It’s my gun,” Webb told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in an interview last week.

Webb previously had refused to say whether the gun was his, although his senior aide – Phillip Thompson – had told police the weapon belonged to the Democratic senator.

As to why he wasn’t clear before:

Webb said little about the incident in March, saying he did not want to prejudice the outcome of Thompson’s case.

“It was a matter under legal consideration, and I was precluded from saying anything,” Webb told the Richmond newspaper. “And I hope you’ll understand that in matters of self-defense up here, it doesn’t do anybody’s safety a lot of good by talking about this stuff. We’re pretty vulnerable up here.”

Although Webb now acknowledges ownership of the gun, how and why it was in Thompson’s possession remains unclear.

“I did not give it to Phillip, nor did I ask him to do anything with it,” Webb said in the interview, reiterating what he told reporters in March.

Update: Insty says: How about sponsoring a national concealed-carry bill, Senator Webb? Boy, that would open up a can of worms. I kinda wonder how it’d work, exactly. For example, my two carry guns are banned in one state (maybe two). How, precisely, could that be reconciled?

16 Responses to “Webb says it was his gun”

  1. Sean Braisted Says:

    I kinda wonder how itíd work, exactly. For example, my two carry guns are banned in one state (maybe two). How, precisely, could that be reconciled?
    Not to mention who would implement the tests to get the guns, who would regulate the test givers, how would Vermonters be effected, etc… If you want to give the Gov’t practice for a National ID card…this would be a good first start.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    If you want to give the Govít practice for a National ID cardÖthis would be a good first start.

    Nah, they’ve already got hat down with SS and drivers licenses.

    I’ve always been lukewarm on national CCW. I think, as the TN Constitution attests, that regulating the wearing of arms is a power states have. My fellow gun nuts typically disagree.

  3. Rustmeister Says:

    Yeah, it’ll be hard to get national CCW when some states don’t allow CCW.

    States rights and all that….

  4. robert Says:

    Glad to have a straight talking and no-nonsense guy like Webb in the Senate, which is already loaded with double-talking, politically correct types who never an seem to just give you the truth. Virginia can be very proud.

  5. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    Which rather begs a discussion about equal protection. Does “states raaahts” allow states to do things that are quite simply wrong (and perhaps unconstitutional?)

    The old English common law concept of self defense isn’t particularly controversial–even most antigunners will agree that even if the 2A doesn’t protect the right to self defense, the 9a certainly must. Nobody really thinks self defense isn’t a constitutionally sound concept even if it isn’t specifically enumerated (just like the right to say, contraception or abortion–which is why we pro gunners need to be careful about what other rights we don’t support).

    Pretty clearly denying a CCW permit is denying the right to practice self defense–why not simply argue that DC, IL, etc are in violation of the 14A?

    Most of the fears about national CCW reciprocity are paranoid nonsense. It’s NOT a national permit any more than states recognizing each others’ drivers licenses is a national driver’s license.

  6. Captain Holly Says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Webb is a tool. He’d sell gun owners out just as quickly as he sold out — and continues to sell out — his administrative assistant.

    “Band of Brothers”, my ass. Webb may have been a heroic Marine in Viet Nam, but nowadays he’s just another spineless politician.

  7. Captain Holly Says:

    Oh, and one more thing: To regain his pro-gun street cred, Webb doesn’t need to sponsor a national concealed carry bill. He just needs to introduce a bill allowing concealed carry in National Parks, like he promised to when he was trying to convince Virginia voters to support him.

  8. Volunteer Voters » A Webb Of Gun Laws Says:

    […] that gun that Senator Jim Webb’s aide got caught with was his. Say Uncle has the details. Instapundit suggests a national conceal carry bill to which Uncle retorts: Boy, […]

  9. nk Says:

    The Supreme Court may be the final word but it’s not the only word. The Congress can recognize the Second Amendment as an individual right and apply it directly or through the enabling clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Heck, it could just use its power of preemption under the Commerce Clause the way it does with truck mudguards.

  10. anon Says:

    “Virginia can be very proud” Not really. VA also has Gov Tim Kaine. Kaine ran, and perhaps won, on a campaign promise of no new gun laws*. That promise was broken immediately after VA Tech. I would hope that this drives home the message that Dems can never be trusted on gun control – but I’m not holding my breath. Hypothetically: Even if Webb were to introduce national CCW tomorrow, would you want him, as a Democrat, appointing liberal judges to interpret that law?

    *Technically, Kaine promised to ‘not propose new gun laws’. Of course, anyone paying attention realized immediately that new laws come from the legislature, not the Governors office – and Kaine never promised not to sign said laws; so it was a typical meaningless, hollow campaign promise from day one.

  11. markm Says:

    There already is national CCW – for police officers and retired police officers. So it’s possible, the eligibility just has to be widened.

    There are two quite legitimate ways (when they don’t stretch if ridiculously) Congress justifies over-riding state laws: One is through the Interstate Commerce Clause. That is, you have a Congressional finding that some people limit their travel to states that don’t respect their right to carry arms (and it won’t be hard to find a few such people), and this is an obstacle to their full participation in Interstate Commerce, and therefore blah blah blah. It’s legit, the Constitution does give Congress the final say over matters affecting interstate commerce, and that clearly does include overruling a state that makes it harder to travel through to reach another state. The second way would be the civil rights approach – the 2nd Amendment protects the right to bear arms, the 14th gives Congress the power to extend that protection to states, etc. I certainly think carrying a weapon to protect yourself is a more fundamental right than eating at Dennys, but I know there will have to be considerable change in the composition of Congress before RKBA is generally treated as a civil right…

    I am curious as to how Congress justified national CCW for cops alone. Obviously they didn’t call it a civil right. Calling it an ICC issue without extending it to everyone licensed to carry in their home state would be one of those ridiculous stretches I mentioned. And I don’t see how federal police powers could reach that far…

    Second, are the implementation details. I see at least 3 main ways: (1) Create a federal CCW licensing agency. States can still issue their own license, or allow CCW without a license, but if you take the extra trouble for the federal license, you can carry anywhere – even if your home state bans CCW. (2) Anyone with a state or local CCW license from their state of residence, issued through a process that meets federal minimum standards, can use that license while traveling in any other state. GFW states can still ban their own residents from CCW, but not license-holders from other states unless they stay long enough to become residents. Vermont would have to adopt an Alaska-style optional license. (3) If you can CCW legally in your home state, you can CCW while traveling in any other state. Vermonters better carry both proof of residence and a copy of the Vermont law while traveling in other states.

    I think #2 would be easiest to get through Congress – not the present Congress, but maybe the next time the Dems are voted out. However, just because we know the GFW’s will vote it down is no reason not to keep introducing it. The point is to keep forcing them to go on record against it. Hold their feet to the fire…

    Finally, IANAL, but as far as I can tell the President would be able to implement #1 unilaterally. Adopt a test from somewhere and appoint everyone who pays the fee and passes the test and background check a “Volunteer Federal Marshal”. This will not only put them under the national CCW for cops law, but also protects them from overzealous locals under the laws about “interfering with a federal officer”. The only iffy part is in the funding – Congress controls the money. But it’s not going to happen. I’ve suggested in the past that W ought to visit Margaret Thatcher and see if he could borrow her balls…

  12. Sigivald Says:

    Sebastian: No, “States’ rights” doesn’t allow states to violate the Constitution. It does let them do pretty much whatever they want as long as the Constitution isn’t violated, though. (Of course, what counts as a “violation” depends on what courts decide. Some states restrict firearm rights harshly not because “States’ rights lets them violate the Constitution”, but because no court has yet decided, in a relevant jurisdiction, that such a restriction does violate it.)

    Uncle: Well, nationwide concealed carry doesn’t, technically, have anything to do with a local ban. If your preferred carry gun is illegal in one state, that means only that you’d have to carry a different gun to carry there. All a nationwide permit would do is mean you wouldn’t have to have a specific state permit to carry.

    Preemption (relevant to markm’s post) would be the other interesting question. I’m not sure a federal statute automatically preempts state ones, or that Congress could do so by fiat. Traditionally the states have been able to regulate things the Feds can’t, or be more restrictive than the Feds (within the lax and interpretable limits of the Constitution and the courts).

    Congress could “find” that Concealed Carry is vital to the 2nd Amendment, but some States would certainly challenge, and it’d be eventually up to the Supreme Court to decide; and the Court might well decide that open carry and private possession suffice for the uses of the 2nd Amendment.

  13. comatus Says:

    The Constitution clearly “allows” states to limit the franchise (right to vote) provided they are willing to incur the penalty of decreased representation. AFAIR, no one proposed this remedy during the voting-rights movement. When federal gasoline tax apportionment is used as a hammer, states virtually always cave in to whatever limit or regulation is proposed. Just for starters, Pittman-Robinson excise funds might be refused to states who violate an expanded right to concealed carry. Other funding penalties might apply as well. Scurvy as it may seem, that is how modern federalism works.

  14. Gandalin Says:

    For example, my two carry guns are banned in one state (maybe two). How, precisely, could that be reconciled?

    The same way such things are always reconciled.

    Federal Law trumps State Law.

  15. Standard Mischief Says:

    markm Says:

    I am curious as to how Congress justified national CCW for cops alone. Obviously they didnít call it a civil right. Calling it an ICC issue without extending it to everyone licensed to carry in their home state would be one of those ridiculous stretches I mentioned. And I donít see how federal police powers could reach that farÖ

    Please, you don’t actually think that our congress-critters actually make sure a law is constitutional before they vote for it, do you? Hell, I bet they rarely read the thing, even when it’s as short as this one.

    There’s a Wikipedia article on the act, and from that I was able to get the bill number and look it up on govtrack.

    In this case, there was no justifcation given in the preamble of the bill.

  16. Nobody Says:

    At first I thought the use of ‘States Rights’ I saw was sarcasm; I see some of you are serious. It’s my opinion that we effectively lost the tenth amendment with the civil war. Further, with bloated and labyrinthine Federal legislation taking precedence over State legislation while consistently pushing for critical mass, even the illusion of independent and unique Statehood is rapidly becoming a memory. I just hope when the U.S. is absorbed into the U.N., we’re smart enough to keep them from treating us like the Feds treat our States.