Jason Gibbs: Reciprocity gun debate heats up

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
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Anthony Breznican opined in The Signal this past week how HR38 (Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017), co-sponsored by Representative Knight, counteracts the country’s misguided need for stricter gun “safety” laws.

The Act is designed to allow concealed carry permits from one state to be accepted in other states (very similar to a driver or marriage license). For opponents of California’s endless assault on the Second Amendment, this would provide a legislative work-around. California residents could acquire a permit in another state and California would be obligated to honor it under federal law.

Mr. Breznican attempts to strengthen his gun-control argument by suggesting the California permit process only restricts licenses for those with criminal behavior or spousal abuse records, where other states may permit such people to obtain a license (which is a factually dishonest since federal law makes them prohibited persons, not state law).

Approval in California, however, does not simply end with this background check because in California the local police chief or sheriff has sole discretion over who can or cannot exercise the right to self-defense via concealed carry.

Thus being a lawful citizen is all too commonly not enough to be allowed access to your rights. I don’t take issue with the desire to limit criminals’ access to carry permits, but the concealed carry laws in California are designed to restrict all citizens’ access to their God-given Second Amendment rights.

I take issue with the notion that allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons inherently means we endanger officers and overall public safety. How quick we are to forget that in 1967, California rushed to ban open carry of firearms, claiming the practice was a threat to – you guessed it – public safety, and that it endangered the lives of police officers.

The Mulford Act was passed as – according to the author – openly carrying a gun is an “act of violence or near violence.” But in reality, those in power wanted to continue subjugating unopposed, and public safety was a convenient phrase to hide behind, forgetting that firearms were being used to protect the safety of a persecuted population.

So flash forward to now, when open carry is basically banned, and if concealed carry requires less than a subjectively determined acute need, Chief Beck claims it may very well jeopardize public safety and endanger the lives of law enforcement.

Perhaps the conclusion Mr. Breznican and gun-fearing groups want is that the Second Amendment has no place in the public arena. I wonder if they feel the same way about free speech, freedom of the press, or Fourth Amendment protections?

Mr. Breznican does not mention the expansion of the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background System), which “encourages” agencies to submit more names to this database for the purpose of barring people from obtaining a firearm and/or permit giving said person no notification or reasoning as to why.

When President Obama could not get Congress to infringe on the Second Amendment, he used administrative rules to get names of veterans and seniors to be included in the NICS, which had nothing to do with ensuring criminals were denied permits or firearms.

How can anyone support the idea of government creating a list of names restricting a constitutional right when said person has no idea how he or she got on there in the first place? Where is the due process? Where is the right to a trial, to face the accuser that has, with the push of a button, taken away a civil right?

President Obama had no concern for such things when, under an executive action, veterans and seniors lost their rights to possess any currently owned guns and were prohibited from purchasing new guns due to being “mentally incompetent.”

Apparently, an individual who needs help with his finances or no longer drives is also not fit to retain his Second Amendment rights!

Perhaps this is nothing more than an end-to-justify-the-means scenario, where no restriction of rights is too great as long as guns are out of the hands of citizens in the name of public safety.

Maybe we can go ahead and get rid of that pesky First Amendment too. That way our government could restrict Congressman Knight, or anyone else, from offering thoughts and prayers to those who face loss from people that turn a right into a felony so Mr. Breznican can continue to grandstand and fear monger unopposed.

Jason Gibbs is a Santa Clarita resident.

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