Meredith Graves and Concealed-Carry Reciprocity

by Robert VerBruggen

I’ve noted previously that while I support concealed-carry laws, and while I think it’s a good thing for states to recognize gun permits issued in other states, I don’t think the federal government should require reciprocity. The constitutional justifications for such a law range from debatable to laughable, and it’s an undeniable infringement on states’ rights.

Many supporters of the law are touting this case as evidence of the need for it:

Really, you can’t bring guns into the 9/11 Memorial?

A tourist from Tennessee waltzed into one of the most secure sites in the city — and politely asked a cop if she could check her weapon.

Instead, she was dragged out in cuffs.

Now, Meredith Graves, 39, is facing at least three years in prison for thinking New York’s gun laws are anything like those in the Bible Belt.

Given that she posed no threat whatsoever, a three-year prison term is an overreaction. A stiff fine would be more appropriate. But we don’t ask the federal government to step in whenever a state sets a penalty that’s too high in some rare scenario that arises under the law.

Further, what this woman did was idiotic — she’s an example of what happens when you break the law, not an example of how New York treats normal tourists. All she had to do was visit her own state’s website to find a list of other states that would recognize her permit. She would have seen that New York isn’t on it. Instead, she simply assumed that because Tennessee had granted her a permit, she was free to run around the country with a gun in her purse.

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