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View Full Version : Stearns v. Courts (reciprocity)


dantodd
07-17-2011, 11:21 AM
Stearns, if it passes, will be great but I am not sure that it will be necessary. If we get carry defined as part of the core of the 2A right in one of the pending cases, it would seem impossible to not also have reciprocity protected.

Even if the courts decide that CCW fees like California's are acceptable; without universal reciprocity having to get permits in non-reciprocal places would undoubtedly be an undue burden.

I'm not saying Stearns is not valuable and it will def. save us a ton of time in court but, if we get carry as part of core, reciprocity must follow.

press1280
07-17-2011, 3:25 PM
Stearns, if it passes, will be great but I am not sure that it will be necessary. If we get carry defined as part of the core of the 2A right in one of the pending cases, it would seem impossible to not also have reciprocity protected.

Even if the courts decide that CCW fees like California's are acceptable; without universal reciprocity having to get permits in non-reciprocal places would undoubtedly be an undue burden.

I'm not saying Stearns is not valuable and it will def. save us a ton of time in court but, if we get carry as part of core, reciprocity must follow.

I don't know if reciprocity will necessarily be protected by the courts, provided a non-resident can get a permit easily and quickly, like through the mail. If a state requires someone to go to that state, have mandatory training there, then make them wait 3 months, then we could have the courts step in and declare some kind of relief for travelers and people who don't normally travel to that state. The easier way to go is to challenge permits in general. But that's down the road. HR 822(or whatever variation) will in effect give relief to any person living in shall-issue/constituional carry states.
I'm curious if the may-issues will try to challenge the constitutionality of HR 822, even after they're slapped down for discretionary issue.

Apocalypsenerd
07-17-2011, 3:25 PM
Rights are not free of regulation. Unfortunately for some folks in government, regulation includes the ability to ban which is why we find ourselves in the predicament we are currently in. Courts may well say that we have a right to carry, but must be licensed to do so. Reciprocity would matter then, because one state would need to know that their safety requirements for weapons carry had been met.

dantodd
07-17-2011, 3:53 PM
While having some form of training and licensing is reasonable the courts can't expect you to get a permit for every state you are going to travel to or pass through. I really thought about this because of the Indian Reservation thread. If Indian Reservations can have different licensing requirements and issue their own permits too then you will not need 50 but 100's of permits to be able to freely travel. Now, of course there will be some states who recognize permits from other states but if any state can reuse to recognize a permit then any state can which means that if the courts permit any state it has the same effect as if there is no reciprocity and you must apply for a permit in every state through which you choose to travel.

I don't see the courts allowing a fundamental right to be infringed to the tune of several thousand dollars to exercise the core of said right.

Patrick-2
07-17-2011, 4:23 PM
Stearns, if it passes, will be great but I am not sure that it will be necessary. If we get carry defined as part of the core of the 2A right in one of the pending cases, it would seem impossible to not also have reciprocity protected.

Even if the courts decide that CCW fees like California's are acceptable; without universal reciprocity having to get permits in non-reciprocal places would undoubtedly be an undue burden.

I'm not saying Stearns is not valuable and it will def. save us a ton of time in court but, if we get carry as part of core, reciprocity must follow.

FWIW, the authors of the reciprocity bills we are talking about see it the exact same way. You can think of this bill as self-defeating if SCOTUS rules the way we want. That is how they see it.

We do need to follow up any carry win with a permit challenge, if only to define the boundaries of what the government can do. This law does nothing to stop that fight. Again: intentional.

Some 'concerned citizens' may have been pushing for more legislative enactments that would have interrupted certain cases. They may have been swatted down hard. I am not saying anyone tried to interrupt the suits, only that by pushing so hard it would have had that effect. Congress is watching the courts and steering around us. Surprising, but true.

dantodd
07-17-2011, 4:39 PM
FWIW, the authors of the reciprocity bills we are talking about see it the exact same way. You can think of this bill as self-defeating if SCOTUS rules the way we want. That is how they see it.

But it is important to remember that getting permits through the courts (which will have to happen as some states will fight) will takes years so Stearns is valuable! Many lives can be saved in the next 3 years vs. waiting on the courts.

OleCuss
07-17-2011, 5:44 PM
Personally, I'm not so sure Stearns has a bright future in the near term. I think the best bet was the (presumably) forthcoming debt ceiling increase.

I think it is is entirely too likely that the debt ceiling will be a near thing and that neither the right nor the left will be willing to jeopardize any deal they may be able to reach by adding potentially controversial legislation to the debt ceiling increase.

However, if the deal looks solid for getting votes from the Democrats, then tossing in Stearns might be viewed as enough to buy a few Republican votes and mean passage for the bill.

I'm beginning to wonder if, instead, the Republicans end up pushing reciprocity as a stand-alone bill. It might be useful (or at least non-injurious) to put everyone explicitly on the record regarding RKBA issues shortly before an election. What's more, passage through the Senate may be more likely in 2012 than in 2011 depending on the politics of the situation.

The Obama veto is a different part of the equation and I've little idea how that would play out.

yellowfin
07-17-2011, 6:08 PM
Just one bill? It needs to be on EVERY bill, no punting on 2nd down.

hoffmang
07-17-2011, 9:03 PM
National reciprocity would only hurt Peterson v. LaCabe (and whoever the defendant is actually these days.) I can tell you that Gray is OK with that. The bill has been very carefully written.

-Gene

Gray Peterson
07-17-2011, 10:35 PM
National reciprocity would only hurt Peterson v. LaCabe (and whoever the defendant is actually these days.) I can tell you that Gray is OK with that. The bill has been very carefully written.

-Gene

The most that would probably happen (and I'm just speculating) is that the appellate courts have to reach the merits of the issue due to the costs being assessed against me.

The only folks who would immediately cease the case by changing their own behavior is the state of Colorado. If they passed a statute which changed the ones in question which allows me to carry, that could get the case tossed (with fees reversed).

However, if the 10th Circuit held that HR822/Thune annihilated my case, I can live with the fact that numerous people in OR, NV,WA, AZ, PA, VA, CT, NH & ME would be able to carry into another state (especially an anti-gun one) on a regular basis, a small subset of them saving their own lives by a DGU. This I can live with.

press1280
07-18-2011, 2:15 AM
Personally, I'm not so sure Stearns has a bright future in the near term. I think the best bet was the (presumably) forthcoming debt ceiling increase.

I think it is is entirely too likely that the debt ceiling will be a near thing and that neither the right nor the left will be willing to jeopardize any deal they may be able to reach by adding potentially controversial legislation to the debt ceiling increase.

However, if the deal looks solid for getting votes from the Democrats, then tossing in Stearns might be viewed as enough to buy a few Republican votes and mean passage for the bill.

I'm beginning to wonder if, instead, the Republicans end up pushing reciprocity as a stand-alone bill. It might be useful (or at least non-injurious) to put everyone explicitly on the record regarding RKBA issues shortly before an election. What's more, passage through the Senate may be more likely in 2012 than in 2011 depending on the politics of the situation.

The Obama veto is a different part of the equation and I've little idea how that would play out.

I think there is still time to attach HR822 to the debt ceiling.And I'd have to think that unless there's absolutely no extra amendments to the debt ceiling bill(outside of the agreed upon spending cuts), then it can be done. The problem could be that you could have the Senate walk in one day and be forced into an up or down vote on HR822, no time for citizens or the NRA to turn up the heat, no time for possible tweaks to HR 822 in order to get over the finish line at 60 votes.
I guess I got a little OT. About the courts, I just thought that possibly reciprocity may be protected under the right circumstances, like someone who travels extensively for work, probably through the Northeast, where you have many states that recognize only their own permits, and the costs could definitely be a factor. But if it comes down to that, it may be time to bring out Murdock v. PA and get the permit requirements(at least for one form of carry) knocked down.

dantodd
07-18-2011, 1:59 PM
I think it is is entirely too likely that the debt ceiling will be a near thing and that neither the right nor the left will be willing to jeopardize any deal they may be able to reach by adding potentially controversial legislation to the debt ceiling increase.

However, if the deal looks solid for getting votes from the Democrats, then tossing in Stearns might be viewed as enough to buy a few Republican votes and mean passage for the bill.


The problem with getting Stearns into law is not Democrats in the Legislature. Outside of CA, IL, HI, NY etc. there are plenty of pro-2A Democrats. The problem is that President Obama will never sign Stearns into law so it needs to be amended onto "must sign" legislation. Until we drop the whole republicans = pro-gun and Democrats = anti-gun mind set we cannot move forward getting necessary changes.

OleCuss
07-18-2011, 3:43 PM
The problem with getting Stearns into law is not Democrats in the Legislature. Outside of CA, IL, HI, NY etc. there are plenty of pro-2A Democrats. The problem is that President Obama will never sign Stearns into law so it needs to be amended onto "must sign" legislation. Until we drop the whole republicans = pro-gun and Democrats = anti-gun mind set we cannot move forward getting necessary changes.

I heartily agree with you that it doesn't divide out as R's are pro-RKBA and D's aren't. If anyone needed proof of that fallacy they just need to remember the Governator.

But in this particular case I think my political assessment is valid.

You can get Stearns through the House on an up or down vote. Really no question about that. It may or may not make it through the House.

If you tack Stearns onto the debt ceiling legislation the odds are that you won't change any Republican votes. But the odds are also quite good that tacking Stearns on would kill a number of Democrat votes.

Can you imagine Boxer voting for an increase in the debt ceiling which comes with both spending cuts and reciprocity? I can't. With a lot of pressure, Obama may be able to get her to tolerate one or the other - but not both.

And then there is Obama. If he thinks it'll get him re-elected he'll sign it with reciprocity. If he figures it will kill him with his base and grant him an ignominious defeat to one of the Republicans - then he won't sign it. Generally, Obama would have to view it as a must-sign bill and it is not at all clear that the Republicans will give him a deal he will tolerate at all - let alone consider a must-sign bill.

Do remember. The Democrats did not pass a budget over a period of time much greater than one year - they figured it would lose them votes to pass a budget so they simply didn't. This was when they controlled all three branches of government (using Schumer's daffynition) ;). Does anyone think that it will be easy to get the Democrats to vote for cutting their most treasured vote-getting programs? Does anyone think that it will be easy getting the Republicans to accept a bill which does not cut deep into politically sacrosanct programs?

No one should really expect Stearns to get attached to the debt ceiling legislation. Any deal is likely to be loaded with too much political poison without adding Stearns to it. IOW, add Stearns and you could lose Obama or the Senate - or both.

And yes, it can be used to manipulate the 2012 elections. I'm not saying that it should be - but it can. If you have a vulnerable Democrat who is anti-RKBA then it may be enough to swing an election if they voted against reciprocity. Of course, that might not work too well if the anti-RKBA senator decides to vote for reciprocity - but they'll have done the vote counting before proposing the legislation/amendment.

So don't take it as an anti-Democrat rant. It's an assessment of how the politics are likely to play out in Washington, D.C. rather than the country as a whole (or district by district if you'd prefer to see it that way).

Upshot is that Gray is our man. No offense to Stearns, but you just can't count on his effort to succeed this year or next. But next year seems somewhat more likely. I hope I'm wrong, though.

press1280
07-18-2011, 4:47 PM
The process won't work like that. It'll go through the House(it already has enough co-sponsors to pass without needing any more votes), then to the Senate. It needs 60 votes to be attached to the debt ceiling. If it doesn't get 60 votes, then reciprocity is dead, at least for the moment. The debt ceiling bill goes through with or without reciprocity. Boxer and Feinstein can vote for the debt bill and vote against reciprocity. This debt ceiling has become so contentious that no one-Obama or anyone else-is going to blow the deal over reciprocity.

OleCuss
07-18-2011, 5:29 PM
Not entirely sure your scenario is all that different. But note that if the debt ceiling bill is passed in the House with a reciprocity amendment and that amendment is killed in the Senate - the bill has to go back to the House (perhaps after a reconciliation process depending on the rules at the time).

So now, by pushing for reciprocity in the bill the House is going to have to either vote against reciprocity or kill the debt ceiling increase. This is unlikely to be the smartest move on the part of the Republicans in the House (effectively putting themselves on the record as being willing to kill reciprocity). And a fair number of Republicans would have to vote against reciprocity in order to gain passage since there really are Democrats who will likely vote not to kill reciprocity. Not good at all for the Republican House members to have to vote against reciprocity when a fair number of Democrats will vote for it. . .

At the moment there are far too many "what ifs" but with a Republican today getting a fair amount of publicity pushing for (IIRC) 6+ trillion dollars in cuts - the odds for a deal palatable to the base of either party are miserable. With too many Democrats up for re-election in 2012 they really cannot afford to anger their base.

So you've got the Democrats desperately afraid of not only losing the Senate in 2012 but of losing badly (and dragging down Obama with Senate). And the Republicans are just about as afraid that any increase in taxes will get them kicked out of the House - and they're not too sure that raising the debt ceiling even with no tax increases and a balanced budget amendment won't get them kicked out.

This is an extremely contentious issue and it is unlikely that it will sort out in such a manner that the leadership believes it wise to attach reciprocity. Don't get me wrong, it is still possible that it could prove to be desirable and acceptable, I just wouldn't bet much on it.

Anchors
07-18-2011, 6:06 PM
I agree that reciprocity will surely follow any "right to carry" legislation.

As for other posters:

Who thinks needing a permit is reasonable?
Certainly the framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights didn't think so.
Do you need a permit to exercise personal free speech? In any state?
Why do you then need a permit to carry a firearms.

I think if they technically went with the true meaning of the Second Amendment, there would be open carry in all 50 states and it would be more likely that they would be allowed to regulate concealed carry.
But what do I know.