Emily Miller writes in the Washington Times with an update on the federal legislation that will further allow the Second Amendment – the right to keep and bear firearms – while travelling. The bill is sponsored by Representatives H Morgan Griffith (R-Virginia), Ted Poe (R-Texas), and Bill Owens (D-New York) and introduced last March as HR 4269.
The bill seeks to ‘clarify’ the meaning within the Firearms Owners Protective Act (FOPA) of 1968, which stipulates that a person can properly transport firearms and ammunition through jurisdictions not so sanguine about that right, without harassment.
These things are legal already, but because the law does not spell it out in explicit detail, gun-grabbing areas take advantage of the ambiguity. Mr. Griffith’s language would force states and localities to pay the attorney bills for anyone who is arrested for illegal transport if they are exonerated based on this proposed law.
“The beauty of this is that the fear of having to pay the legal fees will make sure they bring charges that are valid and founded,” said Mr. Griffith, a former defense attorney, in an interview with The Washington Times. “It only has to happen one time, and every risk-assessment manager in the United States of America is going to inform their police that you better make sure he’s violated the law before you arrest him for having a locked gun in a case in the trunk, because that’s going to cost them a lot of money.”
This harassment has been particularly evident in New York and New Jersey (Florida has had problems of this sort in the area of simple possession within local jurisdictions, until the state passed an ordinance prohibiting the practice). The District of Columbia was similarly onerous until slapped down by the Supreme Court cases of District of Columbia vs Heller and McDonald vs Chicago. It was in DC that the case of Army 1LT Augustine Kim has transpired.
The Metropolitan Police Department claimed the soldier’s stop at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for a medical appointment meant he was no longer transporting and instead was bearing arms in the District, which does not recognize the Second Amendment. Originally booked on four felonies, Lt. Kim accepted one misdemeanor count of possessing an unregistered firearm as part of a plea deal. That charge was dropped nine months later. . . .
“If the cops had known what the law was . . . they probably wouldn’t have even charged him with the violation.” After three years, D.C. police finally corrected the information earlier this month.
Representative Griffith is also the co-sponsor of the bipartisan HR 822 that would require a standard reciprocity between states that allow concealed carry permits as long as local state laws are observed.
And here is a question to ponder: If New Jersey is one of the problems in this area, then what does its Governor Chris Christie – up and coming darling of the Republican Party – intend to do about it?