Time For The U.S. Senate To Vote On National Concealed Handgun Carry Reciprocity


Time For The U.S. Senate To Vote On National Concealed Handgun Carry Reciprocity

New York – -(AmmoLand.com)- The Arbalest Quarrel has been at the forefront in the call for national concealed handgun carry reciprocity legislation. Posting our first article on the subject in 2015, in our “Roadtrip with a Handgun” series, we have remained a strong proponent of national concealed handgun carry, and have since published two dozen articles on the subject; our latest posted on November 30, 2018.

We were very pleased when the Republican controlled House at long last passed their version of national handgun carry. But that was almost one year ago. The House bill is titled, “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017,” 115 H.R. 38.

The House immediately sent the bill to the Senate for consideration. But, there has been no action on it to date. It has been sitting idle in the Senate Judiciary Committee ever since. That is unacceptable. More, this inaction is unconscionable. Millions of American gun owners want it, need it, and have the right to have it.

We cannot wait because once the Democratic Party majority takes over control of the House on January 3, 2019, we will likely never again see it. The measure would have to be brought up once again, in the new Congress. It would then have to be voted on, and passed by the full House, and that won’t happen—not with a substantial Democratic Party House majority.

The Democratic Party leadership that will define the measures to be taken up and voted upon by the full House has no desire to strengthen the Second Amendment. That is not part of the leadership’s agenda. Indeed, the goal of the Party leadership, for decades, has been, on that score—unlike its policy position on illegal aliens and border protection, where it flip-flopped—remarkably consistent. The aim of the Party leadership is to weaken the Second Amendment to the point that the fundamental right set forth in the Amendment ceases to have practical effect.

It is therefore imperative for the Senate to bring the House version of the bill it has been sitting on for close to a year, to the Floor of the Senate for a vote by a full complement of Senators. The Senate will hopefully then pass the bill, and get the bill onto the desk of the U.S. President Trump, for his signature, before it adjourns. There is still time. But, the Senate must act now, without further delay.

National Handgun Concealed Carry Reciprocity Would Be a Good Thing; a Rational, Positive Step Forward.

A few readers of our articles have argued against passage of national handgun carry reciprocity, asserting the right of the people to keep and bear arms—as one of our fundamental, unalienable, and natural rights—rests beyond the lawful control of Government to regulate. If so, this would mean that present federal, State, and local Government regulation of the exercise of the right is facially invalid, and unlawful.

The concern expressed is understandable. The Arbalest Quarrel has not been unmindful of the issue whether Government can legitimately regulate our fundamental, natural, enumerated rights at all, and if it can, then the extent to which Government can regulate these rights.

The tension between Governmental power on the one hand and the rights and liberties of the people, on the other, was, in fact, a focus of attention for the founders of the Republic, and a dilemma. They came to an understanding, if guardedly and grudgingly by some, that, for the fledgling Republic to exist and persist through time, it would be necessary to establish a strong national government. But, having thrown off the yoke of oppression created by one autocratic rule—that of King George III—the founders, who met at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, in 1787, had no desire to draft conditions, albeit unintentionally, that would allow for imposition of yet another such rule—and this one of their own making.

The answer, for the framers of the Constitution, referred to as anti-federalists, was to place an express Bill of Rights into the Constitution, to protect the rights and liberties of the people. The anti-federalists saw inclusion of a Bill of Rights as necessary to curb a tendency of a national Government to exercise and accumulate ever more power at the expense of the people to whom that Government was, after all, designed and expected to serve.

The federalists were opposed to this idea, but not because they were against securing fundamental rights and liberties for the people. Rather, they felt that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary and redundant, as the power and authority of a central Government would be express and limited. Everything else—rights, liberties, powers—would reside in the respective States and in the people. Further, the federalists felt that, by placing emphasis on a formal Bill of Rights, this would obscure the need for creating an effective and efficient Government that could provide both national security and strength, and, at once, promote liberty. But, we have seen how this has played out, 200+ years later. And, it isn’t good. Thankfully, the anti-federalists’ demand for inclusion of a Bill of Rights in the Constitution prevailed over the federalists’ objections against such inclusion.

The federal Government has indeed, through time, become very effective and efficient in amassing unbridled power, along with securing, for itself, extraordinary levels and layers of secrecy, even as the American citizenry, conversely, has lost its own fundamental right to be free from unlawful Governmental searches and seizures. Indeed, there likely now exists a Government within a Government, an ominous, parallel Shadow Government, separate and apart from the apparent, ostensibly “open” Government the public sees.

This Shadow Government likely siphons off billions of taxpayer dollars annually, using that money to advance its own illegitimate goals; money that serves its own interests, not those of the American people; hence, the concern of many citizens against any Government regulation of fundamental, enumerated, unalienable, and natural rights, including the right of the people to keep and bear arms, else Government inevitably, inexorably, and insidiously encroach upon and systematically and oppressively control the lives and actions of its own people.

But, is there any statement in the Constitution prohibiting Government regulation of fundamental rights, as some readers assert? Let’s look at a few clauses.

The “Necessary and Proper Clause”

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18 of the Constitution states in part that Government is “to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers. . . .”  This clause would appear to be an express limitation on Government regulation, certainly of the enumerated rights, as set forth in the first eight Amendments, apart from the unenumerated rights referred to in the Ninth and Tenth. If so, the “necessary and proper clause” does restrain federal Government regulation of the Second Amendment and of other fundamental, enumerated rights of the people.

The “Supremacy Clause”

Article 6, Clause 2 of the Constitution states in part, “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land. . . .”  The “supremacy clause” is essentially an assertion of federal preemption. The idea alluded to is that the Constitution, acts of Congress, and treaties are the Law of the Land and are subordinated to no other laws. But, contrary to some views expressed, the supremacy clause is not an assertion of the sanctity of the Bill of Rights, beyond the power of Congress to regulate. In fact, at least some anti-federalists were much concerned about it, fearing the clause would give the federal Government too much power over the States. Yet, it may also be argued, that the supremacy clause implies that the enumerated rights set forth in the Bill of Rights are—since an express part of the Constitution, along with the Articles—well beyond the power of the federal Government to lawfully regulate. In that respect, the supremacy clause serves to contain and restrain Government regulation of the citizenry’s fundamental, enumerated rights.

The “Commerce Clause”

Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution sets forth the power of Congress “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”  National concealed handgun carry reciprocity does implicate interstate commerce, but whether Congressional power to regulate the carrying of a firearm across State lines amounts to an over-extension of the commerce power, at the expense of the States, will require further review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

What Will Happen When National Concealed Handgun Carry is Passed by the Senate and Signed into Law by the President?

Were the Senate to pass national concealed handgun carry reciprocity and the President sign it into law, it would be an odd thing, indeed, yet possible to see anti-gun groups and some pro-Second Amendment groups both opposing the law. Yet, both sides could do so, albeit each for its own reasons, both claiming Congress had gone beyond its authority to regulate firearms’ possession.

Be that as it may, however this might play out, the Arbalest Quarrel feels that, given the myriad anti-gun laws already enacted, there would be far more to gain from having this one, at this moment in time, than not. National concealed handgun carry reciprocity would at least serve as a significantly pro-Second Amendment federal law to counter the plethora of State and Federal laws that aren’t. Still, we understand and respect such misgivings some pro-Second Amendment people may have on the matter.

Arbalest Quarrel

About The Arbalest Quarrel:

Arbalest Group created `The Arbalest Quarrel’ website for a special purpose. That purpose is to educate the American public about recent Federal and State firearms control legislation. No other website, to our knowledge, provides as deep an analysis or as thorough an analysis. Arbalest Group offers this information free.

For more information, visit: www.arbalestquarrel.com.

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I have to agree with Greg and Ron on the actions of the republican party, when they are in control of the government. While I am not 100% for National Reciprocity, at least it would tie up California and New York folks in court to the point that it might give the real people of the states a time to get together and figure out a way to get rid of all of the liberals that are controlling everything. Greg’s idea of a third political party on the national level, is about the only way to get the lifers out… Read more »


I’ve stated before, be careful what you wish for. There are a Lotta ‘God gave me the right’ people here. I agree, but until God speaks up, we still have to abide by our own man made laws. (at least they come into play) If it becomes ‘National’, there is a good possibility that states that are very friendly to CWP’s will have to change some laws.
And ‘YOUR’ state may have to change things to comply. Could very well turn your current CWP’s into a tail spin. A ‘Pandora’s box’ indeed.

Jim Macklin

The sky will fall, the sky will fall! BS HR 38 just says that every state must honor the Second Amendment rights and te laws of other states and the rights of citizens. No place in HR 38 requires any state to change its laws. But when California and NYC residents see 10,000 and millions of citizens from other states lawfully carrying and defending themselves, they will demand the same rights as citizens of Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and that is a good thing. There are only about 10 days for the Senate to get off iys asses, ties the donkey… Read more »

The Green Watch Dog

I would love to see this bill pass for Americans that want their rights preserved. In order to protect others, while being a responsible gun owner. An owner that will insure the securement of their weapons, is knowledgeable on how to operate their weapon, and is open to registration. The media should ask our President directly if he will sign the bill. I see that some wildly right gun activist think that I would go the other way. Not so. The GWD.

larry dieter

Our goverment has for years now been taking our rights away from us and we as the people of this once great Nation have stood quiet to long—-and I believe this why this has been Happening against us—-the contituation gave us the right to bear arms and why some people keep trying to go against that is just beyond my imageingnation—-well let me tell you if they keep trying to do this then there is going to be another civil war in this country—and i know what side i would choose our goverment needs to get their crao together and… Read more »

Andrew Nappi

The central govt is only supreme when its laws are pursuant to the Constitution. Everyone conveniently overlooks this. National Reciprocity is not pursuant to it. Beyond that, it’s a bad idea and illustrates the overall ignorance of tunnel visioned gun rights proponents. I will also spare you the framer’s specific warrant thay the B of R is a prohibition on the federal only. It is only since 1925 the B of R has been incorpprated against the states in a brilliant progressive liberal blow to federalism via judicial ledgerdomain. The danger of NR is its back door registration and Federal… Read more »


Excellent point , I hadn’t thought of that. Would also explain why our resident NSA stooge GWD approves.

Big Jim

I just traveled across the country armed, concealed carry issued by your own state, vetted by a sheriff from the county you reside. Really what more permission do i need. Just don’t stop for gas in Illionis. Tens of thousands do it every year. You are on your own out there, Garden Worm Dude would have you believe ‘the guvnah’ has got it under control. I can assure you they don’t and never will. After 9/11 it became blatently obvious all gun control is just for feelings and will have no effect. Be prepared, bad things will happen when you… Read more »


National Reciprocity is a pipe dream. We have a President who isn’t pro-gun and who has publicly stated “reciprocity is dead”. We voted him into office, we’re stuck with him. He may be better than Hillary in 2A issues but that’s not saying much.

larry dieter

Are you sure as I thought Mr. Trump was for and behind gun owners and their rights and the constitutation


larry dieter Have you heard of red flag laws and banding bump stocks? Unfortunately, Trump brought both of these to surface and they are rolling like a tide.


Agreed. As it stands now, I don’t know this will ever pass. If it did, CA would make sure its tied up in appeals and injunctions ad infinitum. Having said that, I never thought the bill (cant remember the name) around “hearing protection” suppressors would pass either.
Keep after those representatives.

rich z

It will NEVER HAPPEN They ,(R) haven’t got the GUTS to pass it…………….

Ronald Nuxon

If this bill is not brought up for a vote in this lame duck session, it will signal the beginning of the end of the NRA and possibly a decline in donations to it and other gun rights organizations.

Jim Macklin

Most of thew Bill of Rights was incorporated with Articles 13 & 14 in the 1860s. But the Second Amendment wasn’t incorporated until 2010 because SCOTUS carefully avoided doing so. Thus States were free to pass unconstitutional laws such as the NY Sullivan Law. If the Federal government wants to pass total gun bans and confiscation, Nancy Pelosi and Chuckie Schumer will do it any time they feel they can do it. Right now they are aware that such a move would put a million armed men and women on te streets in State capitols and D.C.. The fact that… Read more »

Green Mtn. Boy

Too many Leftist’s aka RINOs in the Republican party including the leader for the vote to occur and besides the Second Amendment already covers it.


I have contacted the Senators from Tennessee, even the Senator-elect who voted for this bill in the House (in the hope she could help this bill get traction). And as always, all I get back is hot air but no action. Every time the Republican party has held the House, the Senate and the Presidency they never acted on the things they told us they would do. I feel as they have betrayed those who have sent them into office. I strongly doubt I shall vote for them again even if it means the Democraps take over.


I agree Greg. Not doing as they preached they’d do and betrayal of the voters pretty much sums it up. And not just in regards to this subject. ‘Both’ parties are gradually, in their own way destroying this Nation. A viable 3rd party would be a breath of fresh air.

larry dieter

Yes but arent the Democrats even worse then the Republicans