Bill introduced for nationwide CCW
I don't have a link yet, but am informed by email that a federal bill has been introduced by Sen. George Allen, with 13 cosponsors, (update: reader Jim Archer reports that here's a link) to the following effect:
To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide a national standard
in accordance with which nonresidents of a State may carry concealed
firearms in the State.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. NATIONAL STANDARD FOR THE CARRYING OF CERTAIN CONCEALED FIREARMS BY NONRESIDENTS.
(a) In General- Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 926C the following:
`Sec. 926D. National standard for the carrying of certain concealed firearms by nonresidents
`(a) Definition- In this section, the term `another State' means a State other than the State from which a person holds a license or permit described in subsection (b)(2).
`(b) Authorization- Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof, and subject to subsection (c), a person may carry a concealed firearm (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce in another State if the person--
`(1) is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm; and
`(2) is carrying a valid license or permit that--
`(A) is issued by a State; and
`(B) permits the person to carry a concealed firearm (other than a machinegun or destructive device).
`(1) IN GENERAL- If another State issues licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms, a person may carry a concealed firearm in that State under this section under the same restrictions that apply to the carrying of a concealed firearm by a person to whom that State has issued such a license or permit.
`(2) NO LICENSES BY STATE- Except to the extent expressly permitted by State law, if another State does not issue licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms, a person may not carry a concealed firearm in that State under this section--
`(A) in a police station;
`(B) in a public detention facility;
`(C) in a courthouse;
`(D) in a public polling place;
`(E) at a meeting of a State, county, or municipal governing body;
`(F) in a school;
`(G) at a professional or school athletic event not related to firearms;
`(H) in a portion of an establishment licensed by that State to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises; or
`(I) inside the sterile or passenger area of an airport.'.
UPDATE: see extended comments below]
I think it has fewer Commerce Clause problems than does GCA 68 itself, which might make it an interesting testbed, as it were, for that issue.
GCA 68, for instance, criminalizes a prohibited person's receipt of a firearm that *has at any time* passed in interstate commerce, and the courts have been very enthusiastic in upholding that (even though I think Lopez rules it out). The standard prosecution thus consists of proving that a prohibited person, say, received a Colt firearm, he was in Nevada, and Colt never made firearms in Nevada, so it must at some point have crossed a state line. End of case.
I'm going to take the time for some research, but as I recall the courts have been so enthusiastic in upholding this approach that they stretch GCA 68 farther than its face allows. There is a Supreme Court case in which the Court (via a couple of footnotes) essentially says that the statute allows prosecution for possessing a firearm that has ever moved in commerce. GCA 68 actually doesn't say that -- it say possessed in or affecting commerce (a stricter standard) or received a gun that has ever travelled. (It makes a difference if you can't prove that the person received the gun after he became a prohibited person -- then you can prove he possessed it now, but can't prove he was prohibited when he received it way back when). As I recall, the Court says Congress in writing GCA 68 meant to take it to the limits of the Commerce Clause, and then suggests that receipt + ever travelled would meet Commerce Clause standards, and says that's enough. Huh--Congress didn't write the law that way, regardless of whether it had the power to do so. But the Court says that's what the law means!
With this statute, at least the permit holder will in most cases be travelling interstate (I say most cases, because it'd be possible for a PA resident to get a NV permit).
There are some drafting problems, tho, esp. in the clause for states with no permit system. There the statute says you can't carry in certain areas, but does not say you CAN carry elsewhere. Absent saying you can carry, expressly saying it, courts are unlikely to hold it overrides state law... all Congress literally did was *outlaw* carrying in certain places. It may have implicitly allowed carrying elsewhere, but that's probably not good enough.
OK, I'm thinking like a lawyer, but that's what judges buy (esp. if they don't like the law). Here in AZ we had a state pre-emption law. Af the end of the state law chapter that outlines the state firearms restrictions (which are few) there was a clause that said no locality may enact regulations inconsistent with this chapter. When we challenged a ban on guns in city parks, the court of appeals ruled that gun ban was not "inconsistent" with the state law. The state law never expressly said you *could* own and carry guns in general, it only said you *couldn't* own or carry them under some conditions. Ergo, a city ordinance that added another restriction (no carry in parks) was not "inconsistent" with that state law. It just added to it. It would only be inconsistent if it allowed what the state forbade. (I argued the obvious intent -- why would the Legislature fear that cities would try to legalize what state law forbade? It'd never happened in the history of the State. The law was enacted against a background of cities in other states enacting stricter laws than the State ones, and that was its obvious intent. But the court didn't buy it -- it just read the face of the statute, in the most literal sense).