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
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.
-- 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
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.