May 6, 2011
The 112th Congress is in the process of another shove, another push in its effort to convert the rights of American citizens into a licensed privilege. Senate bill 176, entitled the ‘‘Common Sense Concealed Firearms Permit Act of 2011,” not only flies in the face of individual rights but stomps all over states powers as well.
In section two of the bill it looks to add a section to federal statutes titled as section “926D. Concealed firearms permits” in which federal law would enact a mandate that controls how state residents may obtain a concealed carry permit stating:
1. “Establish a process to issue permits to residents of the State to carry concealed firearms” and
2. Requires anyone seeking to carry concealed must “obtain a permit through the process established under paragraph (1).”
So, even states, like Vermont, Arizona, or any others seeking constitutional concealed carry (where no permit is required) would mandate that the state take on the process and cost of issuing permits to persons desiring to do so.
Much of this, I would have to speculate, is to try and stop the movement within many states that are doing away with concealed carry permits, called constitutional carry, and opting for laws that allow their citizens to carry as they see fit without permit. To do otherwise is a conversion of a right into a privilege – one does not have to ask permission to do something that is a right.
Just so everyone is on the same footing here, a privilege, by legal definition, is “A special legal right, exemption, or immunity granted to a person or class of persons, an exception to a duty.” In other words it gives permission to the person exercising the privilege the ability to do something that would otherwise be illegal without the permit (permission). Permit goes hand in hand with privilege as it means: “A certificate evidencing permission; a license <a gun permit>.”
So when the government speaks of permits and licensing, anything dealing with the exercise of a right, they are, in essence, explaining how they are converting a right into a privilege and by doing so are assaulting the rights of all Americans and showing their disdain for the Constitution and their oaths to defend it.
The requirements section of the bill mandates that a local law enforcement agency must participate in the process. They define local “law enforcement” as the agency with jurisdiction where the firearm carrier resides.
Now each law enforcement jurisdiction that has residents, that would be all of them, will be required to devote manpower, equipment, and funding to cover this process. Nowhere in the bill does it allocate federal funds to offset the cost of this provision – thus another unfunded mandate.
It establishes the minimum requirements that the local law enforcement must follow before issuing the permit:
A. “be a legal resident of the United States”
B. “be not less than 21”
C. “demonstrate good cause for requesting a concealed firearm permit”
D. “demonstrate… applicant is worthy of the public trust”
In this one section, primarily items C and D, we have further restricted states from being a “shall issue” state to becoming a “may issue” state. Let me explain – some states that issue CCW permits do so under what it calls a “may issue” definition. What this means is that the person applying for permission to carry must show just cause for carrying a weapon. Each state is different but some possible reasons would be documented death threats, history of gang attacks, carrying large sums of money in the line of business, your friends with the chief who gives the permission, a political figure, or high profile movie star, etc.
The main point here is that it converts the exercise of the right from that of the citizen to that of government control. This is by far the most abused aspect of many states that utilize a “cause based” factor to issuing permits. In many cases the only reason for the denial is simply the chief, or whomever it is that makes the determination, does not know you and self-defense is seldom, if ever, a qualified cause for issuance.
Item D however is probably even more insidious than the cause requirement in that it now places the state into determining a process under which to ascertain whether an applicant is “worthy of the public trust.” How the hell are we going to determine a person worthy of the public trust? And who is going to sign off that a person is thus trustworthy and that person ends up becoming the next Ted Bundy?
At the time of the Ted Bundy killings he was very much involved in political circles, was invited to, and liked by, the high class circles of the west and North West. He even received an endorsement letter from a governor for entry into law school – would he have passed the public worthiness test before being convicted of killing over 30 women? Would you like to have your name on a determination of public worthiness for such a person? And with that in mind how strict are government organizations going to be in determining public trust worthiness?
So, would you consider this bill constitutional?
First off, let’s look at the definition of the term “unalienable right” – “A right that cannot be transferred or surrendered;” If we have an individual right to “keep and bear arms” as stated in the second Amendment and confirmed by the Supreme Court in the Heller case than this bill puts the Congress at odds with the Constitution and their oath to defend it.
In the Supreme Court case U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1875), Chief Justice Waite’s ruling included the following statement:
“In the formation of a government, the people may confer upon it such powers as they choose. The government, when so formed, may, and when called upon should, exercise all the powers it has for the protection of the rights of its citizens and the people within its jurisdiction; but it can exercise no other. The duty of a government to afford protection is limited always by the power it possesses for that purpose.”
Justice Waite affirms the federal jurisdiction as a protection of citizen rights and the people, but it can exercise no other. Obviously this identifies that innate “limited” scope of government in America to be only what the people have given them, not what they can get away with.
Justice Waite continues stating:
“The government of the United States is one of delegated powers alone. Its authority is defined and limited by the Constitution. All powers not granted to it by that instrument are reserved to the States or the people. No rights can be acquired under the constitution or laws of the United States, except such as the government of the United States has the authority to grant or secure. All that cannot be so granted or secured are left under the protection of the States.” (Bold added)
These powers are delegated, limited, and defined. They are not to be expansive or broadly defined, but limited in scope and authority to only the defined powers within the Constitution.
In speaking of the first amendment right of the people, Justice Waite stated:
“The particular amendment now under consideration assumes the existence of the right of the people to assemble for lawful purposes, and protects it against encroachment by Congress. The right was not created by the amendment; neither was its continuance guaranteed, except as against congressional interference. For their protection in its enjoyment, therefore, the people must look to the States. The power for that purpose was originally placed there, and it has never been surrendered to the United States.” (Bold Added)
This, as with every other amendment, places the correct position and jurisdiction of the federal government in its correct perspective. The Constitution does not create rights, nor by the Constitution do the rights rely for continuance “except as against congressional interference.” Now look at the tens of thousands of firearm laws that place interference with citizen’s rights, and ask yourself if you really think Congress is abiding by this position? I think not!
This bill is a slap in the face to anyone who believes in unalienable rights and liberty. For generations Congress has been unconstitutionally abusing its legislative power to absurd levels. This bill is another stab at the heart of freedom and another link in the chain of statutory slavery that has been hoisted upon the American people.
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Please contact your Senator and let them know you will not support for reelection any member that votes for this bill or any bill that further erodes the unalienable rights of the American people. This is not about safety and security this is about control! Control of the American people by a central government long run amuck – let’s stop this now.