North Carolina Police Chiefs Against Reciprocity

It is not news that many big city police chiefs are against national reciprocity for concealed carry. Earlier in April, the International Association of Chiefs of Police sent a letter to Congress expressing their disapproval for HR 38 and S. 446.

What should be news is the hypocrisy of those chiefs from North Carolina who have signed on to the letter. It is hypocritical to argue against reciprocity for North Carolinans with valid permits visiting any other state when North Carolina law recognizes ALL permits from other states. In other words, North Carolina General Statute § 14-415.24 (a) provides for universal reciprocity for out-of-state permits.

If your police chief listed below is one of the signatories to the letter, you might want to ask him or her why they think North Carolinians should have the same rights accorded to visitors to this state.

Police Chief Bernette Morris, Morehead City Police Department, Morehead City, NC


Chief of Police and Executive Director for Community Safety Christopher C. Blue, Chapel Hill Police Department, Chapel Hill, NC


Chief of Police Monroe Wagoner, Elkin Police Department, Elkin, NC


Chief of Police Gina Hawkins, Fayetteville Police Department, Fayetteville, NC


Chief of Police Jeff Prichard, Graham Police, Graham, NC


Chief Wallace W. Layne, Holden Beach Police, Holden Beach, NC


Chief of Police Timothy R. Summers, Kernersville Police Department, Kernersville, NC


Chief of Police Joel Johnson, Kitty Hawk Police Department, Kitty Hawk, NC


Chief of Police Allen Lawrence, Marion Police Department, Marion, NC


Chief of Police Tim Ledford, Mint Hill Police Department, Mint Hill, NC


Chief of Police James Wilson, Norwood Police Department, Norwood, NC


Chief of Police Ryan James Thompson, Pine Knoll Shores Police Department, Pine Knoll Shores, NC


Chief of Police Robert Hassell, Reidsville Police Department, Reidsville, NC


Chief of Police Kenneth J. Klamar, Sunset Beach Police, Sunset Beach, NC


Chief Daniel Wilcox, Cape Fear Community College PD, Wilmington, NC


Chief of Police Timothy J. Wenzel, Aberdeen Police Department, Aberdeen, NC


Chief of Police John Letteney, Apex Police Department, Apex, NC


Chief of Police Paul D. Burdette Jr., Beaufort Police Department, Beaufort, NC


Chief of Police John Phillip Harris, Jr., City of Brevard Police Department, Brevard, NC


Chief of Police Walter Horton, Carrboro Police Department, Carrboro, NC


Chief of Police James A. Reese, Emerald Isle Police Department, Emerald Isle, NC



Chief of Police Laura Fahnestock, Fuquay-Varina Police Department, Fuquay-Varina, NC


Chief of Police Ronald L Matthews, Garland Police Department, Garland, NC


Chief of Police Brandon Zuidema, Garner PD, Garner, NC


Chief of Police Michael Andrew Winters, Long View Police Department, Long View, NC


Chief of Police Erik S. McGinnis, Misenheimer Police Dept., Misenheimer, NC


Chief of Police David Ng, WakeMed Campus Police and Public Safety, Raleigh, NC


Police Chief C.T. Hasty Jr, Roanoke Rapids Police Department, Roanoke Rapids, NC


Chief of Police/Director of Public Safety Patricia D. Norris, Winston-Salem State University Police, Winston-Salem, NC


Chief of Police John J. Ruppe, Woodland Police Department, Woodland, NC


Chief of Police Jeff Harvet, Atlantic Beach police, Atlantic Beach, NC


Chief of Police Farron Gray Jester, Boonville Police Department, Boonville, NC

Moreover, just so we are clear as to North Carolina’s place in the fight for national carry reciprocity, Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC-8) is the primary sponsor of HR 38.

HR 38 Is Moving To A Floor Vote

The House Rules Committee will issue a rule for HR 38 – Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 – on Tuesday, December 5th. This news was announced on Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk Radio show by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) on Sunday.

It is expected that the bill will come before the House for debate and a vote starting on Wednesday.

However, as predicted by Rep. Tom Massie (R-KY) the Fixed NICS bill has been merged with concealed carry reciprocity. It is now Title II of HR 38. Massie goes on to say that when the bill hits the Senate, carry reciprocity will be dropped and only the Fix NICS portion approved. Then given different bills have passed the House and Senate it will go to a conference committee who will only report out the Fix NICS portion of the bill. Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) has offered an amendment to the bill being considered in the Rules Committee that would drop the carry portion of the bill.

It should be noted that Massie, despite being chairman of the Second Amendment Caucus, has opposed HR 38 from the start according to Dave Cole who is both a constituent of Massie and a blogger at Black Man with a Gun.

I think it was to be expected that that bills would be combined in that they both dealt with guns and both came out of the House Judiciary Committee at the same time. The NSSF is supporting both parts of the bill including the Fix NICS portion.

HR 4477 – Fix NICS – as it passed the House Judiciary Committee includes a provision to require the Attorney General to provide a report on how often bump stocks had been used in crimes. This would be part of the combined bill. That said, I think the actual instances of a bump stock equipped carbine or rifle being used in a crime will be very few.

HR 38 Moves Forward

The House Judiciary Committee passed HR 38 – Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 – yesterday on a 19-11 vote. There were a number of amendments offered. Many of these amendments were meant to gut the bill. Of the 22 amendments offered, only three were adopted and all came from Republican members of the committee. The bill now moves to the whole House of Representatives for consideration.

The first amendment was in the form of a committee substitute offered by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) which added a third section to the bill concerning off-duty and retired sworn law enforcement officers. The amendment would allow these individuals to both carry concealed and discharge weapons in school zones.

The second amendment that was accepted was offered by Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL). His amendment clarified that nothing in HR 38 would prevent a law enforcement officer from “conducting a brief investigative stop in accordance with the Constitution of the United States” if they had a reasonable suspicion to the violation of any law. This passed on a voice vote.

The final amendment that passed was from Rep. Daryl Issa (R-CA) and concerned the carrying of concealed firearms by Federal judges. It allows Federal judges to carry concealed in any state so long as they are not prohibited from receiving a firearm. In other words, if Justice Ginsberg can pass a NICS check, then she could carry a concealed firearm not that that would be likely.

The whole list of amendments and their disposition is on this page on the House Judiciary Committee website.

Rep. Richard Hudson On His Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act

One of the speakers at this year’s Gun Rights Policy Conference held in Dallas was Shaneen Allen. She made a plea for the passage of HR 38 so as to protect anyone else from having to go through what she did when she crossed into New Jersey. As attorney Evan Nappen who has handled multiple firearms cases in New Jersey noted yesterday on Facebook, passage of national reciprocity will change that state from being the “North Korea of CCW”. Nappen was the attorney for both Shaneen Allen and Brian Aitken.

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) specifically mentions that Allen case in his release announcing that his bill is scheduled for markup today.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08) released the following statement after the House Judiciary Committee announced it will mark up his bill, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38), on Wednesday, November 29:
 
“For me and the vast majority of Americans who support concealed carry reciprocity, this is welcome progress. I want to thank Chairman Bob Goodlatte for his strong leadership to protect our Second Amendment rights. I will continue to work with my colleagues and President Trump to pass this common sense legislation to protect law-abiding citizens.”
 
Concealed carry reciprocity is one of the most important pro-Second Amendment measures in Congress. Currently, the patchwork of reciprocity laws and agreements between states is confusing and has caused law-abiding citizens like Shaneen Allen to unwittingly break the law and suffer arrest and detention. Even the most careful and knowledgeable concealed carry permit holders find it difficult to navigate the current maze of state and local concealed carry laws. H.R. 38 is a common sense solution. The bill, which is supported by major pro-Second Amendment groups and has 213 cosponsors, would allow law-abiding citizens with a state-issued concealed carry license or permit to conceal a handgun in any other state that allows concealed carry. It would also allow law-abiding residents of Constitutional carry states the ability to carry in other states that recognize their own residents’ right to concealed carry.
 
H.R. 38 would allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed only if they are not federally prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm, are carrying a valid government-issued photo ID, and are lawfully licensed or otherwise entitled to carry a concealed handgun. Each person would have to follow the laws of the state, county and municipality in which they are carrying concealed.
 
For a one-pager on the bill, click here. For a Q&A document, click here.
 
In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court ruled that “the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right,” which is “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” This fundamental right does not stop at a state’s borders and law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise this right when crossing state lines. In addition, Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution states, “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.” This is the clause that allows a driver’s license to be recognized across state lines.
 
Contrary to the misinformation critics spread, under H.R. 38, states would retain their authority to enact time and place restrictions on where people can lawfully carry in the state. In addition, the bill would not make it any easier to buy a gun. It has nothing to do with the purchase of guns, it would not alter access to guns, and it would not change the federal law requiring background checks.
 
The American people understand these facts. That’s why an overwhelming majority of Americans support concealed carry reciprocity – 73% according to a recent New York Times survey.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced HR 38 – Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 – yesterday on the first day of the 115th Congress. The bill provides that if you have a concealed carry permit or you reside in a state which has constitutional carry then you may carry in any state that allows concealed carry for their own residents. The state in which you are visiting would still maintain the right to limit where you may or may not carry concealed.

Federal areas such as National Wildlife Refuges, Corps of Engineers, BLM, and Bureau of Reclamation lands would now be open to concealed carry under the bill. Furthermore, it reinforces the ability to carry concealed in National Parks.

The bill also puts the burden of proof on the state or municipality to show that an individual did not comply with the law if detained. It would also grant the individual attorneys’ fees if he or she won their case.

The bill currently has 63 co-sponsors including at least two Democrats. I expect the bill to have many more co-sponsors added in due time.

In introducing the bill, Rep. Hudson said:

“Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense solution to a problem too many Americans face. It will provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits. As a member of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to get this legislation across the finish line.”

Donald Trump has signaled his readiness to sign such a bill if it passed Congress.

A few things stand out in the language of the bill. First, it does not specify that the concealed carry permit be issued by the carrier’s state of residence. It just says that the person must not be a prohibited person and that they are carrying a permit issued “pursuant to the law of a State.” Your state of residence is only an issue for those people living in constitutional carry states.

Second, if I am reading it correctly, the term handgun means any handgun with any magazine loaded with any ammunition. It does not say that I would be prohibited from having a standard size magazine in California nor does it say that the magazine has to be loaded with ball ammo if I was passing through New Jersey which bans hollow-point ammunition to non-law enforcement.

Third, a person possessing a handgun under this act would not be subject to “the prohibitions of section 922(q).” 18 U.S. Code § 922(q) is the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1994.

The only thing missing from this act is any mention of carry in National Forests.

I have embedded the bill below so that you can read it and see if my conclusions regarding the language of the bill are correct.