Law-abiding gun owners often hear horror stories about fellow gun owners who crossed state lines and unwittingly became criminals for breaking a law they didn’t know existed.
There was the North Carolina guy who was arrested for having his firearm while driving to New Jersey to help with Hurricane Sandy. There was the single mom from Pennsylvania who spent years fighting to stay out of prison after driving with her firearm into another state. There was the man from Tennessee who was arrested in Delaware after he was stopped for speeding. The stories are countless.
None of these good people purposefully did anything wrong. They simply took to the road, were stopped something as simple for a traffic violation, and informed the officer they were carrying.
By all accounts, they were trying to do the right thing – and paid the price.
These are cautionary tales to all of us who practice safe and responsible gun ownership – and who carry concealed. All gun owners, especially in California, live in fear of breaking confusing and constantly-changing laws they didn’t know existed – and it must stop. These arrests and prosecutions are a waste of law enforcement time, money, and energy – which could be used instead to go after the truly bad apples.
Fortunately, Congress is finally attempting to do something about it. The National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would ensure that people who can legally carry concealed firearms in their home state will also be able to legally carry in other states. It’s a no-brainer. Law enforcement and our judicial system should use their time and resources working to keep our streets safe from violence rather than persecuting law-abiding citizens who simply cross state lines.
This bill matters to California. Currently, 14 of the state’s 53 representatives have co-sponsored the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and it’s imperative that more of our representatives in Washington, D.C. support this bill. I’d personally like to urge Reps. Ed Royce, Jeff Denham, Ken Calvert, Dana Rohrabacher, and David Valadao to support this legislation.
This is also a fundamental Second Amendment and civil liberties issue. There is no reason a person who is trusted to carry his or her firearm in their home state cannot be trusted to do the same in another state. Crossing a state line does not make an otherwise law-abiding person want to suddenly commit violent crimes.
On the flip…