[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In their vigor to adulterate the definition of marriage, the Supreme Court may have offered a helping hand to conservatives who wish for the Second Amendment to be applied evenly across the United States with regards to concealed carry provisions.[/vc_column_text][banner300 banner=”5517620b381df”][vc_column_text]Currently, the U.S. is a patchwork of various conflicting laws concerning firearm ownership, usage and carrying. What could be perfectly legal in Wyoming could land someone in prison in New Jersey and while many states maintain reciprocity provisions- recognizing other states’ concealed carry permits- many other states do not, making travelling with a firearm a difficult and, at times, an impossible task.
The Supreme Court, last week, held that the supposed right for same-sex couples to marry must extend beyond state authority and ruled that the federal government, not the states, was the overseer of this alleged right via the Fourteenth Amendment.
Now, many pundits are noting that if the Court ruled that one right must be applied to citizens of all fifty states, other constitutional rights should also apply to citizens across all fifty states.
The court’s Majority Opinion, written by Justice Kennedy, notes:
Under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, no State shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” The fundamental liberties protected by this Clause include most of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights.
However, the above ruling presumes that the ability to marry another person of the same-sex is, in fact, a “right.” Many have criticized the court majority for having usurped the states’ sovereignty on the matter. Still, the question remains: if a presumed right to marry same-sex partners must apply to citizens across state lines, surely written rights, such as the Second Amendment, applies across state lines, right?
To answer that, the Supreme Court would have to define concealed carry provisions as an aspect of the Second Amendment- something the court would likely be willing to do considering that they have all but said as much in Supreme Court cases that have greatly augmented federal protection of individual firearm ownership and practical applications of such ownership.
It was this same line of logic that compelled the court to strike-down Chicago’s unconstitutional gun ban in 2010; the court cited Fourteenth Amendment protections to apply the Second Amendment to the states.
Moreover, two years earlier–in District of Columbia v Heller (2008)–the SCOTUS ruled that the 2nd Amendment rights were “fundamental” in and of themselves as well as “fundamental to the Nation’s scheme of ordered liberty” (IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law)
So we have, on the one hand, Justice Kennedy expressing the majority opinion for same sex marriage by writing that “The fundamental liberties protected by [the Due Process Clause] include most of the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights.” And we have a 2008 SCOTUS decision (Heller) explaining that 2nd Amendment rights are “fundamental” and a 2010 SCOTUS decision (McDonald) barring Chicago from a gun ban on the basis that 2nd Amendment rights are incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
If we are to accept that A) rights need to exist beyond state lines and that B) practical applications of firearm ownership is a protected aspect of the Second Amendment, it is nearly impossible to conclude that the court could find any other ruling than a blanket protection of concealed carry that would extend throughout the U.S.[/vc_column_text][banner300 banner=”553157113d3ff”][vc_column_text]
“To paraphrase what Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy said about same-sex marriage,” noted Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Chairman Alan Gottlieb in a statement Friday, “no right is more profound than the right of self-preservation, and under the Constitution, all citizens should be able to exercise the right of self-defense anywhere in the country. It disparages their ability to do so, and diminishes their personhood to deny the right to bear arms they have in their home states when they are visiting other states.”
While it’s clear that some on the Supreme Court are not interested in interpreting what is law and appear more driven towards creating law, their previous rulings concerning Second Amendment liberties and the recent assertion that rights must apply to citizens across state lines makes universal reciprocity a slam-dunk if the Supremes should ever decide to review such a case.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]