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Gay Marriage DOES NOT EQUAL (Necessarily) CCW Reciprocity!

Courtesy of NRA-ILA (in part)

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which concerned whether same-sex marriage is a right protected by the U.S. Constitution.   Although the case did not address the right to bear arms, some pro-gun advocates began debating whether the Court’s reasoning and analysis had application to national concealed carry licensing reciprocity.

This is a reasonable question. If states that formerly did not sanction same-sex marriage now have to recognize all marriages from states that do, shouldn’t that also mean restrictive “may issue” concealed carry jurisdictions have to recognize concealed carry licenses from less restrictive “shall-issue” jurisdictions? Some commentators went even further, insisting that Obergefell has conclusively settled the national reciprocity issue in favor of gun owners.

Unfortunately, the answer is not that simple. In particular, we strongly advise concealed carry license holders not to assume Obergefell provides them with the legal basis they need to carry without an in-state license in strongly anti-gun states such as Maryland, New Jersey, or New York. Doing so at this point would still subject the traveler to arrest and criminal prosecution. 

This is so for a number of reasons, chief of which is that the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet ruled squarely on the question of whether the Second Amendment protects the right to carry a loaded handgun in public, and if it does, whether states must recognize each other’s permits. The landmark cases of Heller and McDonald only concerned the question of handgun possession in the home. 

Until the Supreme Court rules on the issue conclusively, certain reliably anti-gun jurisdictions can be counted on to exist in a state of denial and defiance. If states and lower courts can ignore a congressional statute like Firearm Owners’ Protection Act – and they do – they certainly can ignore arguments that the philosophical bases for interstate recognition of same-sex marriage compel interstate recognition of concealed carry permits.

But there is a lesson gun owners can draw from Obergefell.  An uncontested fact mentioned in Chief Justice Roberts’s dissent in the case is that no society was known to have permitted same-sex marriage before 2001. Now, in 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court has found it to be a fundamental right that cannot be overturned by any state legislature or popular referendum. Whatever one’s view of same-sex marriage, the incredible shift in this area shows what is possible when people dedicate themselves to a common cause. 

That is the true lesson of the Obergefell decision for gun owners, who should not rest until Second Amendment rights are similarly respected in all 50 states.  That is why the NRA will continue to lead the fight in the legislative, legal and political arenas to secure national right to carry reciprocity so that all Americans can defend themselves everywhere they are legally entitled to be.

I’m reminded of the early days of (sometimes) concealed gun ownership.  We (young turks) kept reading and re-reading the statutes, looking for loopholes to throw at the police, should we get nabbed carrying a concealed weapon.  (This was pre-permitage).  The problem was, neither were we legislators, nor lawyers, nor were we reading the case law.  And we weren’t local prosecutors looking to hang their hat on some young turk to show we were anti-crime!

Lets let this play out in the courts!  I sure-as-hell wouldn’t be playing fast and loose in California and Maryland with a concealed weapon these days!   

About guffaw1952

I'm a child of the 50's. libertarian, now medically-retired. I've been a certified firearms trainer, a private investigator, and worked for a major credit card company for almost 22 years. I am a proud NRA Life Member. I am a limited-government, free-market capitalist, who believes in the U.S. Constitution and the Rule of Law.


7 thoughts on “Gay Marriage DOES NOT EQUAL (Necessarily) CCW Reciprocity!

  1. I wouldn’t go poking that bear either. Unless you have some spare time, like 7-12, and about a million dollars++ to take your case all the way to the supremes, it’s a loser. My plan is to stay OUT of 3rd world shitholes like New York, Maryland, California and New Jerksey.
    Just leaving Nevada and coming back into Arizona is a huge sigh of relief…but at least I can open carry in NV and a gun in the console of the car is not considered concealed.

    Posted by KM | July 7, 2015, 1:45 pm
  2. Not poking the bear here either… But that ruling DOES open a window that was closed before… Now we just need to find a way to get it done.

    Posted by Old NFO | July 7, 2015, 2:42 pm
  3. I’m in California and have a CA concealed carry permit, but nobody will play reciprocity with me. Maybe if I were gay (or Muslim) I could start prying at that door… At least with my Utah permit I can now get an AZ permit and then NV reciprocity.

    Posted by NotClauswitz | July 7, 2015, 3:17 pm
    • In Bizarro world we have to jump through goofy hoops like this. Live in CA, get a UT permit so you can carry in NV.
      (AZ honors anyone’s permit and it you don’t have one, that’s OK too)

      I’m *sure* it’s all accidental. Of course I’m *sure* I know the next Powerball numbers too.

      Posted by KM | July 8, 2015, 8:55 am

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