RECIPROCITY, or,
WHAT STATES RECOGNIZE MY PERMIT?



Be very careful with this new-fangled notion of "which states recognize my permit," because if your rights are really reduced to that -- a few states that recognize you -- you might just end up arrested anyway, for nothing more than carry, by overzealous authorities. After all, if your constitutional right of peaceably keeping arms is grounds for trouble, how much fairness can you expect from any subsequent due process of law. I have two Position Papers on this, Reciprocity Schemes and The Lost National Right to Carry, that will help you understand just what you're getting yourself into with a question like this.

Remember, the current situation requires you to know the various infringements each state has created. For example, Texas and Arizona signed a full-blown reciprocity deal. But Texas allows no open carry, which Arizonan's have and take for granted. That means, if an Arizonan is in Texas and let's a gun show, that's a crime (even though there is no victim). There are more stories like that than there are states with reciprocity.

-- Extensive information about reciprocity is in our guides for AZ, FL, TX and VA, and the subject is well covered by the Travelers Guide to the Gun Laws of the 50 States. For detailed permit requirements in the 30 states that have "shall-issue" permits, get Licensed to Carry, including a list of prohibited places for each state.

-- The National Rifle Association has posted a brief list on its website of which states recognize what, but for reasons similar to those outlined here, they caution against relying on such information. The Second Amendment Foundation also posts a list.

-- The popular website Packing.org has reciprocity information posted, but as with anything else, accuracy is not guaranteed.

Many folks are happy that reciprocity has "finally started," and want the "program" expanded. My own feeling is that you should be outraged that your Second Amendment rights have been reduced to a government-approved short list of states, for licensees only. I've made it clear in prior writings that I believe the carry permit and reciprocity idea is a terrible scam that saps our energies, because:

• It leads to a false sense of liberty while reinterpreting the Bill of Rights to mean keep-but-not-bear arms;

• It is actually a grant of power to the government and a Bill of Rights tax, which is way outside any authority delegated to the government;

• It has succeeded wildly in registering all the most ardent supporters of gun rights -- many of whom actually show off their license with pride -- who were coerced into eagerly registering themselves by the promise of a few crumbs of freedom;

• Without caving to the coercion these people would be subject to forcible disarmament and arrest in direct contravention of their natural and Constitutional rights;

• The licensing and registration aspect would have been vigorously resisted had it been proposed by anti-rights groups, but because it was promoted by pro-rights groups it was enthusiastically accepted;

• And now the Trojan horse of reciprocity has unwittingly made the rest of us -- more than 98% of the armed public -- unregistered gun owners in the eyes of the media and anti-rights crowd.

Oh, and, uh, it has zero effect on crime control. Maybe you too have noticed that setting up this whole expensive and never-ending system doesn't arrest anyone. We spend all this time and money tracking the good guys, instead of going after the bad guys. It's not how the police should be allocating resources.

To read more about this perspective, see my Position Papers on the subject. And check back later for any changes to the government's reciprocity plan.

If you think all this is unfair, then badger your representatives to introduce the American Historical Rights Protection Act, http://www.gunlaws.com/lostcry.htm which basically says that if you have a gun and you're not doing anything wrong, that's not a crime.

At least, that's the way it used to be in the land of the free.


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