A few weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 with bipartisan support. The Act would allow persons eligible to carry a concealed firearm in their home state to carry in other states as well. Opponents contend that the Act violates federalism. Actually, the Act is well within congressional powers under the Fourteenth Amendment. That Amendment was enacted specifically to give Congress the power to act against state infringements of national civil rights.
Section one of the 14th Amendment forbids states to violate civil rights. Section five of the Amendment grants Congress “the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.” Enacted during Reconstruction, the Fourteenth Amendment was a remedy to ex-Confederate states denying freedmen the right to arms and other civil rights.
So far this year, thirteen state legislatures have enacted laws to strengthen the right to keep and bear arms, and none have passed new gun control laws. In every year this century, pro-gun laws have outnumbered anti-gun laws, but this year’s score is particularly lopsided.