UC Law Constitutional Quarterly


The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38) is a gun bill that would force each state to recognize and enforce the concealed carry laws of every other state. State laws governing the concealed carry of firearms vary widely in how effectively they screen out reckless or unlawful gun carriers. Weaker state laws let more people carry with fewer background checks or other restrictions, and H.R. 38 would extend the geographic scope of the weakest concealed carry laws in the nation, without requiring that Congress actually adopt a weak national standard. This Essay argues that forced reciprocity violates the division of federal and state authority established in the U.S. Constitution by conscripting state officials to enforce laws other than their own, requiring states to bear substantial enforcement costs, and diminishing the accountability of elected officials to voters-all without any justification or support from the Second Amendment.