- The case of Commonwealth V Donnell in Massachusetts raises questions about the termination of second amendment rights at state borders
- Constitutional carry allows individuals to possess firearms without licensing requirements in 27 states
- The issue of concealed carry reciprocity creates a complex patchwork of gun laws across states
- Massachusetts argued that individuals can possess firearms in the state but cannot carry them, but the court found this argument unconstitutional
- This case highlights the need for a national constitutional carry law or a constitutional amendment to protect second amendment rights across state borders.
In a recent video by Washington Gun Law President William Kirk, he discusses the implications of a Massachusetts case, Commonwealth V Donnell, on Second Amendment rights across state borders. The case involved a New Hampshire resident, Mr. Donnell, who lawfully possessed a firearm but was charged with a crime when he crossed into Massachusetts without a Massachusetts gun permit.
Kirk begins by highlighting the importance of constitutional rights and questions whether these rights should only be enjoyed within one's home state. He emphasizes that while individuals have First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendment rights regardless of their location, Second Amendment rights are often terminated once they cross state borders.
Constitutional carry, which is currently implemented in 27 states, allows individuals who are lawfully allowed to possess a firearm to carry it for self-defense without the need for a concealed carry permit. Kirk argues that this case in Massachusetts raises questions about the need for national constitutional carry.
The Massachusetts case involves Mr. Donnell, who possessed a firearm legally in his home state of New Hampshire but was charged with a crime in Massachusetts for carrying the firearm without a permit. The trial court in this case found the law unconstitutional and dismissed the charges. Kirk sees this as a potential legal framework for national constitutional carry.
Kirk explains that constitutional carry states recognize the right to keep and bear arms without the need for a concealed carry permit, as long as the individual is lawfully allowed to possess a firearm. However, he points out that even in states with constitutional carry, individuals from other states may not be able to carry firearms due to lack of reciprocity agreements or out-of-state permits.
The issue of concealed carry reciprocity creates a complicated web of gun laws that vary from state to state. Kirk shares that one of the most common questions received at Washington Gun Law is about carrying firearms across state lines and the convoluted research process required to answer these inquiries.
He argues that it is unfair that Second Amendment rights are the only constitutional rights that require individuals to navigate through additional hoops when traveling or moving to another state. Kirk questions why individuals lose their right to keep and bear arms simply by crossing state borders when they have already passed a background check and are lawfully allowed to possess a firearm.
In the Massachusetts case, the state argued that their laws were justified to prevent certain individuals from possessing firearms. However, the court found that federal law already prohibits certain categories of individuals from possessing firearms and that every gun owner must pass a background check when purchasing a firearm.
The court in the Massachusetts case rejected the argument that Mr. Donnell could possess the firearm in Massachusetts if it was locked in a case in the trunk of his car with an armed security guard present. The court stated that the right to keep and bear arms includes the right to carry and use firearms for self-defense.
The court concluded that there is no historical precedent for an individual losing their constitutional rights simply by crossing state borders. Treating Second Amendment rights differently from other individually held rights would be inconsistent with the Constitution.
Kirk believes that this case presents a strong argument for national constitutional carry and calls for a significant discussion about federal legislation or even a constitutional amendment. He suggests adding a national concealed carry law to the agenda of a proposed constitutional convention.
He notes that more than half of the states in the country currently have constitutional carry, making the idea of a national concealed carry law even more compelling. Kirk encourages viewers to reach out to Washington Gun Law for any questions or concerns about this case, constitutional carry, or Second Amendment rights.
In conclusion, the Massachusetts case Commonwealth V Donnell raises important questions about Second Amendment rights across state borders. The court's ruling that an individual does not lose their constitutional rights simply by traveling to another state highlights the need for a national approach to constitutional carry. The case serves as a catalyst for a discussion about federal legislation or a constitutional amendment to ensure that Second Amendment rights are protected regardless of location.