One of the few things that both Democrats and Republicans agree on is that the large majority of Californians do not want people walking around the state with concealed, loaded, semi-automatic handguns. The thought of a person who legally carries in their home state carrying in California due to a new federal law should be of great concern to Californians who enjoy their strong gun control laws. H.R. 38 is a federal bill that would have done just that. It passed the Republican House, but things got much more complicated in the Senate once it was attached to another bill, ultimately preventing it from reaching Trump’s desk. As soon as Republicans take back full control of Congress, concealed carry reciprocity will surely be high on their list of legislative priorities – California be damned.
Gun owners have momentum throughout America
Conservatives and libertarians seem to be on a tear over the past 30 years. Of 150 million or so gun owners in the US, it seems that many of them have grown tired of asking for permits before carrying their guns. In 1986, Vermont was the only state that allowed its citizens to carry handguns without a permit. Today, 17 states allow people to carry loaded handguns without any permits whatsoever. Once people in those states turn 18, they can start carrying loaded handguns. It’s that simple. With the well-earned confidence from removing barriers to carrying handguns, conservatives have massive momentum which may be enough to pass concealed carry reciprocity on the federal level next year.
If the ‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity’ bill passes, California would have to allow anyone to carry a weapon concealed in California as long as they passed their home state’s (much easier) gun permit application. The law also would allow dangerous Californians to get an ID in another state, easily get the permit, and then come back to California with their gun.
This federal law could destroy any ability of California law enforcement to prevent concealed weapons use from becoming rampant all over the State. How many conservatives would love to travel to California with a concealed gun, either to see its beautiful sights or just to stick it to ‘Commiefornia’? This might even become a new form of vacation for right-wing extremists!
The threat doesn’t stop with the US Congress, though. The Supreme court has become quite conservative and is overturning major cases that have stood for decades. Recently, The Supreme Court declined to hear a case about whether California has the right to have very strict concealed carry permit requirements. In 2017, the Court declined to hear the case, but the conservatives on the court protested and wanted to visit the case deciding CA law. Now in 2019, the court is more conservative than in 2017 – how do we know the court won’t revisit the case and overturn decades of increasingly strict California gun control laws.
Could California disobey federal law?
Currently, California’s state lawmakers are disobeying a federal drug law (cannabis is not totally illegal in CA, as it is federally) and federal immigration laws (sanctuary state). Couldn’t they just do the same thing about this permitless gun carrying policy?
Disobeying a federal law such as concealed carry reciprocity may not be so simple. Firstly, violating federal law is always a massive risk, especially when California relies on $377 billion from the federal government each year. If the government gets tired of being disobeyed by a state, they could theoretically cut off this money, which would destroy California in an instant. Trump has already threatened to do this many times – and no one on the conservative side criticized him for this threat.
Secondly, it would be impossible to pat down every human in California every day, and if California closed all of its state borders and had super-strict checkpoints that all Americans would be subject to, while allowing undocumented immigrants from the southern border to enter without restrictions, Trump would call them out for massive hypocrisy and he’d win that battle easily. If a national ‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act’ does pass the US Congress and become law, Californians who are concerned about gun control may feel like they have no recourse if they don’t want to live in fear.
What Californians could do
As we mentioned in a few prior articles, the US is becoming increasingly divided, tense, and polarized each day. Progressive Democrats are now open about their vision for the country: socialism, total government control of guns, open borders, and mandatory equality (of outcomes). Meanwhile, conservative Republicans are emboldened, as well: They want ever-decreasing taxes, little to no government, a border wall, decreasing gun control, and unchecked capitalism. As evidenced by the increasingly common violent clashes between groups like Antifa and BLM on the left and conservative, nationalist, gun-groups, and other groups on the right, the US may be approaching a boiling point. If the tension isn’t released in the coming years, the two sides may grow to resent each other so much that a true civil war could erupt.
Californians who do not want to be forced to live in the fascist nation that (they believe) Republicans are creating should start seriously considering separating from the rest of the U.S. Many states in the US have thriving independence movements of many types, and California should be leading the pack when it comes to secession. The Golden State has the largest economy, most people have amazing state pride, and is unique compared to the other states. Among others, the ‘Calexit’ movement is seeking to educate enough people in the state about the necessity, legality, and feasibility of becoming an independent nation. The secession movement is led by brilliant media personalities and crafty strategists and is growing in popularity due to the well-deserved hatred for Trump prevalent throughout California – where only 31% of voters supported him.
Democrats who know and love California – and those in other progressive states – ought to be concerned with the success of the far right. They control much of the federal government and are showing no signs of losing that control (The Supreme Court, the Presidency, the Senate). Led by President Trump, Republicans have cut taxes for the rich, begun to build a border wall, rejected global warming as a fact, removed the gun permit requirement in many states and are working on doing the same on a federal level. Hate groups continue to be encouraged to hurt anyone on the left. If you are sick of living in America, consider how wonderful your life could be like if politicians like Trump, McConnell, and Rand Paul no longer controlled your laws.
Update: On June 5th, Reason reported that a federal judge has struck down California’s assault weapons ban.