Why the Second Amendment Applies Especially to Travelers

Lake County Becomes Florida’s First ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary County’
Why the Second Amendment Applies Especially to Travelers

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)-– The United States Supreme Court has defended and restored the bear half of the right to keep and bear arms, in the recent Bruen decision.

Much work remains to be done. It is clear that the people have a right to bear arms outside the home. One of the major purposes is for the defense of self and others.

An area left undefined in Bruen is the right to bear arms in defense of self and others while traveling, particularly while traveling across state lines.

There was no prohibition on carrying arms at the time of ratification in 1791. Carrying arms for defense, while traveling, was common and accepted. Even the strictest colonial restrictions on the bearing of arms, the East New Jersey law, enacted in 1686, had an exception for people who were traveling. The colonial law, which was in effect for about six years, was cited by both sides in the Bruen decision: From  P. 6 of amicus curiae briefs on Bruen. 

In 1686, East New Jersey enacted a law providing that no person “shall presume privately to wear any pocket pistol, skeines, stilettoes, daggers or dirks, or other unusual or unlawful weapons,”  and that “no planter shall ride or go armed with sword, pistol or dagger” except certain officials and “strangers, travelling upon their lawful occasions through this Province, behaving themselves peaceably.”3

An exception noted in the earliest and most extreme of the colonial “bear arms” laws should be given some weight.

As noted by an English traveler in the early Republic, traveling armed was common. From  Isaac Weld, TRAVELS THROUGH THE STATES OF NORTH AMERICA 233-34 (2d ed. 1799) (1796, on the roads from Kentucky/Tennessee to and from Philadelphia/ Baltimore:

“the people all travel on horseback, with pistols and swords.”

There were, effectively, no other attempts to infringe on the right to bear arms until Kentucky enacted a law in 1813. The law was challenged in court, as a man was charged with carrying a sword cane. The law against carrying concealed weapons was struck down as unconstitutional under the Kentucky state constitution in 1822. Again, even this extreme, early law, relatively close to the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791, contained an exception for people who were traveling.

In the first Kentucky case outlawing concealed carry, there was an exception for carrying concealed while traveling. P. 25:

The first such law appears to have been enacted in Kentucky in 1813; it imposed a fine on anyone “who shall hereafter wear a pocket pistol, dirk, large knife, or sword in a cane, concealed as a weapon, unless  when travelling on a journey.” Similar laws were en-acted in seven additional States or territories by 1860.

England was more restrictive than the United States, but even in England it was clear carrying weapons for self-defense while traveling, was common and accepted as a part of the right to keep and bear arms. From an 1870 English case from Kopel  p. 15-16

(“A man has a clear right to protect himself when he is going singly or in a small party upon the road where he is travelling or going for the ordinary purposes of business” but not to carry arms in a manner “calculated to produce terror and alarm.”); Gun License Act, Act 33 & 34 Vict. c. 57 (1870) (10-shilling annual license from the post office to carry a firearm; postal clerks had no discretion to refuse a fee-paying applicant).

There was an upheaval in the law after the Civil War. Justice Thomas, in Bruen, says we should take into consideration what was considered to be the right to keep and bear arms in 1868 when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified.

When the amendment was ratified, Texas had a reconstruction government that had imposed a new Constitution on the state. The new constitution had gutted the protection of the right to keep and bear arms which existed throughout Texas history to that point. The Fourteenth Amendment was clearly meant to insure freed slaves had the right to keep and bear arms.

In 1871,  the Reconstruction government felt compelled to keep the right to bear arms while traveling:

..provided, that this section shall not be so contrued as to prohibit any person from keeping or bearing arms on his or her own premises, or at his or her own place of business, nor to prohibit sheriffs or other revenue officers, and other civil officers, from keeping or bearing arms while engaged in the discharge of their official duties, nor to prohibit persons traveling in the State from keeping or carrying arms with their baggage…

After the Fourteenth Amendment was passed, numerous other states passed restrictions on the carry of weapons. These restrictions primarily had the effect of disarming freed slaves and other disfavored groups. But even these laws made exceptions for the right to bear arms while traveling.

A Tennessee law made clear an exemption for traveling, in 1878, in State v. Callicutt, 1878.  p. 579

The law at issue had made it “a misdemeanor to sell, give, or loan a minor a pistol, or other dangerous weapon, except a gun for hunting, or weapon for defense in traveling.”10

Missouri enacted a law on carrying concealed weapons in 1879. Even that late restriction on bearing arms had an exemption for people who were traveling:

 Prior to 1909, the statutory exemption applied “to persons moving or traveling peaceably through this state.” § 1275, RSMo 1879.

The traveling exemption in Missouri was made more restrictive in 1909 to change the traveling exception to:

“is traveling in a continuous journey peaceably through this state”

1909 is much later in the game. It is clear carrying weapons, even concealed, was common and considered a right, before the statute in 1879 was enacted.

Arkansas law also made an exception for travelers, in 1881:

Provided, further, That nothing in this act be so construed as to prohibit any person from carrying any weapon when upon a journey, or upon his own premises. 

Mississippi law had an exemption while traveling, Section 1027 as of 1888, although the exemption appears to be in place by 1880:

Prohibition on possession of concealed and prohibited weapons does not apply while traveling, or setting out on a journey:

(b) That he was traveling and was not a tramp, or was setting out on a journey and was not a tramp;

Thus, even in a period when legislatures were moving to restrict the right to keep and bear arms, they recognized the right to bear arms while traveling.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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nrringlee

A drivers license issued by my state is recognized as a legitimate document in all fifty states and territories. So a concealed carry permit is not? In what universe does that logic work?

We still suffer in our law from the Jim Crow (Reconstruction and Pos-reconstruction) era. This thinking has tainted law and public policy until this day. For as long as our political classes engage in the vilification of certain citizens we will continue to suffer from this.

WE must call out ‘gun control’ laws for what they are: Jim Crow.

Ed

Why do you need to ask the government for permission (carry permits) to conduct an act that is your birthright and guaranteed in writing and recognized in the US Constitution?

Wild Bill

Yep, you are one hundred percent correct.

Wild Bill

Yes, that would be the “full faith and credit” clause of the Constitution.

swmft

anyone want to go through ny with your gun and be the test case, will likly win if you call spending years in jail to be let out with no record

Sisu

So ye be a coward. Let another preserve your “freedoms” for you. You are the reason this (once) country is in the state it is. … You comply and you comply. And, then you “complain” and “complain” that others “comply” and “comply” … ignoring those who (like you or your antecedents) “Ran” from NY (you do know something of Ellis Island and Brooklyn (?)) and other demonrat states. And, now it is up to the “brave” and “courageous” to hold fast to protect your “liberty”. swmft – Solitary Wanting Measly Fawning Tempest. (Or, single white motherf-gng turd) … Excuse me… Read more »

Russn8r

Shooting the messenger of FACTS you don’t want to hear. Let us know when YOU put YOUR ass out there on a NY trip. No doubt you will let all the enforcers know you’re carrying. You know, since YOU’RE not a ‘coward’, right?

JSNMGC

He’s either got LEOSA creds or he doesn’t leave his rural county.

Russn8r
JSNMGC

Ha.

Every youtube link I post goes on hold for a day or four.

Russn8r

That’s infuriating. I noticed a workaround: Post the text, then edit, insert links. La!

But I usually forget! 🙁

JSNMGC

Thanks!

Patriot Solutions

I’ll take “creds” for $200.00, just look around.

LMFAO

swmft

when I was working for Dea we had an agent detained with a secrete service agent as they arrived at jfk armed. a contingent of federal officers armed with full auto weapons retrieved them and their stuff do I think ny will follow the law, not unless president federalizes ny nasty guard against police and shoves the constitution down their throats

Last edited 1 month ago by swmft
Finnky

You paint such a pretty picture. Unfortunately I doubt any president would act so decisively in defense of our liberties – certainly not current toddler-in-chief.

JSNMGC

Another one. How many times have you been arrested for “gun crimes?” How many enforcers have you killed this year? Do you travel to NYC often? Do you strap that gat and loudly proclaim “the Constitution is my carry permit!” This Mississippi man found out that enforcers are not the freedom loving heroes portrayed on this site: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/man-arrested-after-loading-firearm-curbside-at-logan-airport-police-say/ar-AAZ3vCb The firearm rights community needs a little more “don’t enforce” in the messaging. The cowards are the people enforcing unconscionable laws against their fellow countrymen in order to keep their government job and collect that pension. swmft has a fairly good handle… Read more »

JSNMGC

This employer has rules indicating no one can carry except for a select few (even though there have been two “mass shootings” there):

https://home.army.mil/hood/index.php/my-fort/visitor-information/firearms-registration

Everyone obeys the rules – are they all cowards?

swmft

we had some strange deals with military bases because I was a reserve officer I had to work in uniform and report to the base commander at start of any operation, it was uncomfortable at best, at worst …….

swmft

liked jungles of Columbia, and streets better

JSNMGC

Can you imagine some private lining up in the morning with his Glock strapped on over his PT shorts?

swmft

no, and I can tell you wearing a colt when when mps have a Beretta they all know you are not RA they just dont know what you are , CO at fort bragg saluted me first , boy did the staff notice must have thought i was MI or something in that realm made for a bad time, guess he did not want us there drug problem or not

Last edited 1 month ago by swmft
Wild Bill

No need to be insulting. Insult does not make your argument any stronger.