Democrat attorneys general in more than a dozen states have literally come out of the closet as opponents of expanded gun rights, first by opposing the proposed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and by also signing onto an amicus brief in a federal case challenging California’s magazine ban.
Uniting in opposition to concealed carry reciprocity are the attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia. Their letter may be read here.
This unified opposition to expanded concealed carry rights for more than 16.5 million Americans could be taken as one more example of Democrats being the “party of gun control.” It also suggests that these attorneys general are somehow opposed to the right of self-defense for citizens traveling across state lines. Gun rights advocates have argued repeatedly that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms does not end at the state line.
Under the proposed federal legislation, H.R. 38 – sponsored by Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC) and co-sponsored by more than 210 other House members – states would be required to honor the carry permits and licenses issued by other states, same as they do drivers’ licenses. As with driving, armed citizens would be expected to comply with the laws of the state they are visiting.
Concealed carry has climbed dramatically across the U.S. over the past decade. Gun owners have encountered legal troubles in such states as New Jersey and New York, while other states have entered into their own reciprocity agreements with one another.
Meanwhile, most of the same attorneys general are also participants in an amicus brief to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a legal action challenging California’s magazine ban. The case, Duncan v. Becerra, finds the attorneys general supporting the ban on the grounds that it “promotes public safety, prevents crime, and reduces the harmful effects of firearm violence,” according to the brief.
Noticeable absent from this list of anti-gunners is Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt, whose state was the scene of the Oct. 1 murderous attack on concert-goers in Las Vegas. Laxalt is a Republican.
The magazine ban is seen by gun rights activists as one chapter in the continued erosion of Second Amendment rights in the Golden State. California has no specific right to keep and bear arms provision in its state constitution, but since the 2010 McDonald ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Second Amendment has been incorporated to the states.
If these developments do nothing else, reinforces the argument among gun rights activists that “elections matter.” It is something of a call to action that brings gun owners to the polls.