Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2013: House Resolution 2959


“The Supreme Court has ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms for defensive purposes. In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Court ruled that ‘the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right’ throughout U.S. history, and that the Second Amendment protects ‘the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.’ In McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010), the Court ruled that the protections of the Second Amendment extend to infringements under state and local laws.

“The Seventh and Ninth Circuits, among other courts, have affirmed that the individual right protected by the Second Amendment includes the carrying of firearms in public for self-defense.  In the case of Shepard v. Madigan (2012) authored by Judge Richard Posner, the court ruled that the ‘confrontations’ of which the Supreme Court wrote in Heller ‘are not limited to the home.’  The court accordingly held, ‘A right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home…’ 

“The right of self-defense has been recognized in law for centuries. The Declaration of Independence asserts that ‘life’ is among the unalienable rights of all people. The Second Amendment guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms for ‘security.’ The laws of all states recognize the right to use force in self-defense. The Supreme Court has recognized that a person ‘may repel force by force’ in self-defense, and is ‘entitled to stand his ground and meet any attack made upon him with a deadly weapon, in such a way and with such force’ as needed to prevent ‘great bodily injury or death.’ Beard v. United States (1895). Congress affirmed the right to own guns for protective purposes in the Gun Control Act (1968) and Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (1986). In 1982, the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution described the right to arms as ‘a right of the individual citizen to privately possess and carry in a peaceful manner firearms and similar arms.’

“Concealed carry has proven to be sound public policy in the United States.  H.R. 2959 recognizes both the increased popularity of concealed carry and the increased mobility of the U.S. population. The current patchwork of state and local laws and reciprocity arrangements can prove daunting and confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders. People carrying in good faith and strictly for defensive purposes have been arrested and subjected to prosecution for inadvertent violations, sometimes as a result of voluntarily disclosing their possession of firearms to law enforcement officers.  H.R. 2959 allows law-abiding Americans to exercise their rights under the Second Amendment with confidence and peace of mind, while still allowing states to enforce their own standards of conduct and restricted places of carry for those in possession of firearms.” 

The aforementioned information is from H.R. 2959, the Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2013 (March 11, 2014)


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