More Fair Weather Federalism

Speaking of gun nuts:

This week, the House of Representatives took time out of its busy schedule of going home for vacation to remind us, once again, why it has the strong support of about as many people who believe Rick Perry should be the next president of the United States. It approved a bill requiring states with strict gun regulations to honor concealed weapon carry permits issued in states where the gun rules are slightly more lax than the restrictions on who can dispense ice cream cones from a truck.

“This bill is about freedom,” said Representative Chris Gibson, a Republican from upstate New York. In this Congress, it’s hard to find anything that isn’t. Cutting Social Security is about freedom. Killing funds for Planned Parenthood is about freedom. Once again, we are reminded that, as Janis Joplin used to sing, freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.

Here’s an example of the way the House plan would work. California has very strict limits on who can get a permit to carry a concealed weapon, involving extensive background checks by local law enforcement. Utah, on the other hand, is really mellow about the whole thing. You don’t even have to live there to get a Utah permit. Just ask the 215,000 non-Utah folks who’ve gotten one. And, in Florida, “it is so easy that a staffer in one of our offices was able to complete the form in less than 30 minutes,” said Representative Alcee Hastings, a Florida Democrat.

Under this bill, California’s strict rules on gun permits are now expanded to include anybody who drives into the state waving a Florida or Utah permission slip.

The bill passed 272 to 154. It’s a law-enforcement nightmare for states that take gun regulation seriously. There’s no national database cops can check if they stop someone who’s carrying a gun with an out-of-state permit. Some state records aren’t available at all.

They hate Democracy unless the people vote the way they want. Sure, all you folks might have voted on sensible gun laws for your state, but Chris Gibson knows better.

58 replies
  1. 1
    harlana says:

    sorry to go OT, but these shots over NY are incredible – wow, there is going to be some violence going down. i hope i’m wrong.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    I ask, is our children shooting?

  3. 3
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    You know, States’ Rights.

  4. 4
    gnomedad says:

    They hate Democracy unless the people vote the way they want.

    Democracy = getting their way
    Tyranny = not getting their way

  5. 5
    Vince CA says:

    Is this attached to another bill? I can’t think of a scenario where the Senate or the President advance this. Or are we a unicameral democracy now?

  6. 6
    cathyx says:

    The bill passed 272 to 154. It’s a law-enforcement nightmare for states that take gun regulation seriously. There’s no national database cops can check if they stop someone who’s carrying a gun with an out-of-state permit. Some state records aren’t available at all.

    If only someone would invent a machine that all the police need to do is enter necessary information into this national database that is stored in it and be able to see if a person has a permit to carry a gun or not. Ah, to dream.

  7. 7
    pragmatism says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik: red states’ rights? the right states’ rights?

  8. 8
    gnomedad says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik:

    You know, States’ Rights.

    State’s Rights = getting their way … ah, screw it.

  9. 9
    scav says:

    Guns, not marriage or medical marijuana.
    Of course.
    Still, may be a precedent they’ll come to regret.

  10. 10
    marcopolo says:

    @cathyx: Except you have to think the same mindset that led to the passage of this bill is absolutely opposed to the idea of some kind of centralized federal database where gun owners would need to be registered.

    amiright?

  11. 11
    RobChicago says:

    I wish the Democrats would make a big show out of sending this bill, and other such useless legislation, to the CBO, asking it to score its impact on reducing the deficit and creating jobs. They could even keep a running tally on a big beautiful chart for all to see.

  12. 12
    trollhattan says:

    Ugh. And believe me, California gun laws aren’t “tough” in the least. How they’re applied is quite local.

    BTW, here are some fresh Freedom Bombs(tm) for Iran!

    http://www.latimes.com/busines.....rack=icymi

  13. 13
    David Koch says:

    so much for their precious 10th Amendment

  14. 14

    As Eric Idle said in an offhand remark in a brilliant article on who wrote Shakespeare’s plays:

    Bush was right: No Child Left Unarmed

  15. 15
    KG says:

    They hate Democracy unless the people vote the way they want

    Reminds me of all the posts I see on facebook all the time from my very Republican friends/family, like [pic of Obama] “if you voted for this guy last time, you owe the rest of us an apology” and shit like that.

  16. 16
    Lee says:

    What I would love about this bill if it actually becomes law (not sure it will) is that they use this law as an excuse to either (or both) create a national database for gun registration and/or they set a standardize lower limit on the process for a gun permit.

    Grab some popcorn and watch the heads explode.

  17. 17
    Chris says:

    @KG:

    “You voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you weren’t a racist, now vote against him in 2012 to prove you’re not an idiot!”

    And we don’t even know who’s running against him in 2012, but never mind all that, just sort of assume their candidate’ll be better.

  18. 18
    AA+ Bonds says:

    This is exactly the same as the liberalization of health insurance regulation that is pretty much the single thing Republicans propose to replace current health care reform:

    1) argue that “the states should decide”
    2) force all other states to treat the lunatic decisions of one or two ultra-conservative state governments as localized statutes
    3) institute a fuckshit hellhole where America used to be

  19. 19
    somegayname says:

    This is just more ‘piss off the hippies’ legislation. Truckers and salesmen are the only people I can think of who might have need to travel armed and I didn’t think they are a large constituency. That said, gun violence has steadily decreased the last 17 years despite an increased number of states granting permits, so evidence suggests that streets are not going to run red if this passes. Given the net non-effect of this legislation, our team would be wise to make it the ‘Interstate freedom’ bill and include marijuana licenses, gay marriages, and anything else that makes Rs scream ‘states rights!’ as well.

  20. 20
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @KG: Yeah, I got their apology right fuckin’ here.

    /tough guy

  21. 21
    The Bobs says:

    This bill is not intended to pass. The point of this exercise is to present a badly written bill that Obama will have to veto. Then it will be “Obama wants to take you guns away, look what he did to this great bill!” for the next year.

  22. 22
    RossInDetroit says:

    At least the GOP has a goal: the bottom. And they’re making sure we’re all in a race to get there.

  23. 23
    Rafer Janders says:

    @harlana:

    Well, thank god Bloomberg de-escalated the situation by clearing Zucotti Park a few days ago….

  24. 24
    AA+ Bonds says:

    Look, states have rights, like the right of New York to force Utah to recognize gay marriage licenses, OH SHIIIIIII

  25. 25
    xian says:

    @Chris: “If you voted for him to prove you’re not a racist, guess what? You’re a racist!”

  26. 26
    The Snarxist Formerly Known As Kryptik says:

    @The Bobs:

    That and, you know, doing everything but focusing on the fucking economy. Because doing that might help Obama, and the House Republicans just can’t have that. That’d be unconscionable!

  27. 27

    And in the state of Vermont NO permit is required to carry a concealed weapon. Vermont would be required to formulate a process to come into compliance with this law. In other words the law will place an additional burden on gun owners in the state of Vermont. Gun grabbing Republicans! Who knew?

  28. 28
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @harlana:

    When you criminalize demonstration, the people who stick it out are those with far less to lose, so this should work out just great for everyone

  29. 29
    KG says:

    @Chris: yeah, I’ve seen that one too…

    @Omnes Omnibus: I try really hard not to get into political fights on the book. between my many lawyer friends who lean solidly (if not hard) right and my Cuban relatives, reason and logic aren’t worth much.

  30. 30
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @KG: I do my best to avoid politics on it entirely. Some creeps in, but, luckily for me, most of my family and friends are left leaning.

  31. 31
    Menzies says:

    @KG:

    Oh geez, you have the Cubans too?

    I managed to flip my grandmother to like Obama after over forty years of thinking every single Democrat was (that Bay of Pigs traitor) JFK in someone else’s suit. That’s about as far as I’ve been able to go for the cause, and she can’t even vote.

  32. 32
    some guy says:

    this bill was authored by my Congresscritter, Cliff Stearns. He keeps a low profile, usually, except when carrying wtare for his major donors. Hence, if the NRA wants something passed, Cliff is their go-to guy. He is also a big bankster shill. stupid fucker.

  33. 33
    elftx says:

    They did it in honor of Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez doncha know?

  34. 34

    Well hell, a national CCW standard (or firearms in general) probably makes sense, but then you’d find, say – NY,NY losing its shit. Kind of the same thing as gay marriage in, say – GA.

    OR’s laws regarding firearms are statewide, no locality is allowed to veer off course. Opinions on this matter vary from Portland to E OR and within those.

    Consistency isn’t a widely distributed human characteristic.

    Here either…

  35. 35
    Chris says:

    @KG:

    I try really hard not to get into political fights on the book.

    I try to avoid politics altogether with wingnut relatives. It’s also why I try not to be facebook friends, because if there was ever a catalyst for those kinds of fruitless arguments, that’s it…

    Oh, I’ve got some Cubans too, incidentally. But the most Cuban person in my immediate family’s my grandmother (half), who at eighty years old is still more liberal than most of the country. No probs there.

  36. 36
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    It’s not real freedom unless you can force it down everybody else’s throat

  37. 37

    Well, it’s long been known that Republicans don’t care one iota about federalism.

    I recall John Ashcroft giving an interview to the white supremacist Southern Partisan magazine in 2000, praising them for “setting the record straight” about the War of Treason in Defense of Slavery, then starting the case that came to be known as Raich v. Gonzales– insisting on the federal government’s right to imprison people who complied with state law on medical marijuana.

    In fairness to Ashcroft and the GOP, they don’t care about any policy issues, just rewarding their funders.

  38. 38
    Chris says:

    @reflectionephemeral:

    Speaking of slavery – didn’t Northern states back in the day pass laws prohibiting Southern plantation owners from bringing their slaves with them when they visited? And didn’t the Southern states raise an outrage in Congress and try to get these laws overturned on the basis of… whatever? Can’t remember where I read it, but I think it’s one of the things I read here.

    IOW, this is nothing new. The original “states’ rights” folks were just as full of shit.

  39. 39
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Chuck Butcher: NYS has one set of gun laws… NYC has a stricter set of gun laws. Back when I owned the rifle, even though I used it in Westchester Cty, I observed the City’s laws.

  40. 40
    Nutella says:

    @The Bobs:

    If it does get as far as Obama’s desk I hope he gives a speech about states’ rights when he vetos it.

    Confederates have always been lying about states’ rights since at least the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. Interestingly enough, Vermont tried to nullify it.

  41. 41
    Roger Moore says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    2) force all other states to treat the lunatic decisions of one or two ultra-conservative wholly owned by the insurance lobby state governments as localized statutes

    FTFY. It will go down exactly the same way that North Dakota succeeded in legalizing usury throughout the country. The insurance companies will go to some small state that needs jobs and promise to move their headquarters there if they pass really lax insurance regulations. The legislature won’t be able to pass up the economic development and will pass whatever the industry wants, leaving the whole country screwed. It doesn’t take crazy conservatives, just self interested state legislatures willing to lead a race to the bottom as the price of attracting big business to their state.

    ETA: And can we get a cleanup on that obnoxious Change.org petition that refuses to stay in the left side column and overlaps onto the posts?

  42. 42
    dedc79 says:

    The Republicans basically have a very complicated game of rock, paper, scissors going where rock, paper, scissor are replaced by things like federalism, gun rights, abortion, national security, and where the rules change in the middle of the game so that they never get their hands smacked.

  43. 43
    Chris says:

    @dedc79:

    The Republicans basically have a very complicated game of rock, paper, scissors going where rock, paper, scissor are replaced by things like federalism, gun rights, abortion, national security, and where the rules change in the middle of the game so that they never get their hands smacked.

    That’s not rock paper scissor, that’s Calvinball…

  44. 44

    @PurpleGirl:

    You know where you stand no matter where in OR. I am not going to accidently violate. If I travel with a firearm I do check on the states’ laws where I’ll be but trying to know every bumfuckegypt town’s laws is stupid.

    If any of you think it isn’t real easy to accidently violate, you don’t know spit about the variations and level of variations.

  45. 45
    OC says:

    It’s all about the freedom to be shot by some unlicensed jackass gun owner. Sweet Jeebus….

  46. 46

    @OC:
    Dumbass, a CCW is a license

  47. 47
    nodakfarmboy says:

    @Roger Moore:

    It will go down exactly the same way that North Dakota succeeded in legalizing usury throughout the country.

    In our defense, it’s South Dakota that has lax usury laws and is home to multiple credit card corporations.

    In North Dakota, we specialize in sucking up to oil companies and passive aggressive behavior.

  48. 48

    @nodakfarmboy:
    It is important to keep this sorted out.

  49. 49
    Roger Moore says:

    @nodakfarmboy:
    Sorry, I tend to get all those states in flyover country mixed up ;-)

  50. 50
    beergoggles says:

    I don’t particularly care about the portability but what irks me is the requirement for police to evaluate me as a ‘good citizen’ independent of clearly stated background checks and standards. It’s like the catholic church evaluating child safety. Establish some clear national standard for gun ownership and be done with it instead of leaving it to arbitrary police departments that are clearly racist in who they evaluate as an upstanding citizen.

  51. 51
    Judge Crater says:

    Historians will someday (assuming the Republic lasts that long) try to decipher the events of the last 30 years and the GOP’s decent into madness. This will be just one data point in the historical record that marks our nation’s confusion of concepts like “freedom” and “the marketplace” with the realities of life in a liberal democracy.

    We can regress to the norms of the 19th century (the Republican utopia) or we can forge a future that imagines a truly rational society and government.

    Right now it seems like a toss-up.

  52. 52
    Ian says:

    @Roger Moore:
    Mine are target ads.

  53. 53
    Chris says:

    @gnomedad: Echoes the old Mel Brook line: “Tragedy is when I get a paper cut. Comedy is when you fall in a sewer grate and die.”

    Or, in other words: typical Republican sentiment: “I matter; you don’t.”

  54. 54
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    I assume you can’t get busted for weed because in one of the states its cool to carry a certain amount on your person.

  55. 55

    […] Fair Weather Federalism: State authority is only good when used as way around federal laws I disagre… […]

  56. 56
    Bill says:

    I’ll accept comity on concealed carry if it comes with a rider creating comity on gay marriage.

  57. 57
    mikeyes says:

    I’ll ask an impolitic question.

    Since gun ownership is now an enumerated right and 14th Amendment incorporation of this right applies as of 2010, what is the difference between this law and laws requiring all states to honor other rights?

    Article IV Constitutional law.
    Privileges and Immunities clause.
    “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.”

    This applies to to unenmerated rights such as marriage, driver’s licences, contracts, etc. in my (unlettered) opinion, but to deny one enumerated right while demanding others is hypocritical. On both sides.

    Granted, CCW is not a right, but self defense is. It is, however, a privilege in 49 states so there is a legal basis for this law. In addition, the existing federal law for LEOs has never been controversial even though the likelihood of a LEO using a gun to commit a crime is much higher than a CCW carrier.

    In addition, states can ban CCW if they want and a CCW licencee from another state cannot carry in that state. The law says that all state laws and restrictions regarding CCW have to be followed.

    The two primary issues here are the disparity between the various regulations/laws regarding the acquisition of CCW in each state and the difference between “may issue” and “shall issue” states.

    In “may issue” states such as CA, the various state entities that make the decision basically discriminate against anyone they don’t like. This can be based on fear of guns, race, or whether or not that person contributed to the local sheriff’s campaign fund. “Shall issue” states require that the carrier not be a felon and fit the federal laws that allow for gun ownership. This law brings up the differences (and possible civil rights violations) more sharply.

    The issue regarding state regulations on training and safety is a more complicated and troubling issue. Common sense tells you that a CCW holder should be able to make sure that a weapon is both safe and used properly if needed. Some states have virtually no training requirements and many states have lowered the standards over the years. In fact, we have over 50 years experience with this issue and the experience has shown that law abiding citizens follow the law. There have been very few incidents of legal carry crimes in that period. Studies show that most CCW permit owners don’t even carry guns – it is a pain in the ass (literally) to do so and it carries significant liability. Still, people can certainly disagree based with this law on safety policy. But right now there are no statistics that show that such a law would increase the danger.

    Thirty-five states already have mutual compacts with no increase in crime or accidental shootings. Personally I think that the states should continue this pathway of mutual recognition but I also think that every state should honor the marriages of every citizen so I am not very consistent, am I?

  58. 58
    Trakker says:

    A guy goes into a gun shop to buy a .50 caliber Desert Eagle pistol. The dealer says to him, “Tommy, man, you already bought 24 handguns this year already and the state just passed a law that says if you buy more than 24 handguns a year they have to castrate you.”

    Tommy stops and thinks for a moment and says, “Damn! I’m really gonna’ miss my nuts, man.”

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