The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38) would provide relief for America’s 14.5 million permit holders who want to be certain of their carry rights across state lines. Their need is acute: The number of concealed carry permit holders has tripled since Congress first attempted to pass a reciprocity bill in 2008. Donald Trump, our permit-holder-in-chief, has announced his support for an interstate reciprocity law. But is the proposed statute constitutional? Reciprocity for nearly all types of licenses—even driver’s licenses—depends on voluntary arrangements among states, a practice that comports with the Tenth Amendment. Can the federal government compel reciprocity for concealed carry permits?
To find an answer, we must look in an unlikely place: the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. The clause empowers Congress to regulate interstate commerce, but since the 1930s, legislators have used it as a pretext to regulate—well, almost anything you can imagine. Worse yet, the U.S. Supreme Court, under the flag of loose constructionism, has largely upheld these laws, creating increasingly Orwellian definitions of both “interstate” and “commerce.”
No the Commerce Clause will be used to force states to accept other states’ CCW rules, like it or not.
That’s right fans of the “living constitution”. That sword has two edges and cuts both ways.