NewImageHELP: I am looking for a constitutional lawyer, that is friendly to the second amendment and gun ownership, to help me challenge the lack of reciprocity of conceal and carry laws across the United States.

My Pennsylvania conceal and carry permit, which is recognized in 28 other states, should be recognized in ALL state. Article 4 Section 2 of the United States Constitution states: “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.” This is the same federal basis that allows me to use my PA drivers license to drive in the other 49 states (similar to reciprocity of marriage license as well).

It seems to me that since 28 states recognize my license, being more than a mathematical majority, this would constitute a reasonable definition of “several states” under any definition. As such, I should have the constitution right to conceal and carry in all states with just my PA license. Is this logic flawed? If so, what am I missing?

I would like to explore the options around making the lack of reciprocity a federal case. That is, force the legal issue within non-reciprocity states, like NY, by exercising my Article 4 Section 2 constitutional rights in their states. Of course they will take legal action against me, but am willing to be the catalyst if this action has a chance of being constitutional.

As I talk with constitutional attorneys and review case law (which is a awful way to proceed), there is mixed opinion as to the validity of this argument.

NewImageIn “PAUL v. STATE OF VIRGINIA, 75 U.S. 168 (1868)” the court noted that: “Special privileges enjoyed by citizens in their own States are not secured in other States by this provision. It was not intended by the provision to give to the laws of one State any operation in other States. They can have no such operation, except by the permission, express or implied, of those States.”

However, this is based on the point of view of a single state. The court did not make any rules for privileges consistent among many states.

Thomas Mitchell wrote in the 2010 Las Vegas Review Journal article “Privileges or immunities: a fancy way to say ‘rights'” that:

People should assert their rights, enumerated and unenumerated, to engage in commerce, to travel, to work at a profession without having to have the imprimatur of some bureaucrat’s due process by doling out work cards, health cards, licenses, permits and charters.”

He makes a compelling case that we have “devolved from a society of people free to exercise our nearly unlimited rights to one in which every act and utterance requires a government permit, license or inspection — along with a tax, fee or fine.”

Case law should not decide whether this is a valid argument. More research need to be done on the original intent of the founding fathers for Article 4 Section 2.

Anybody out there want to help me?


  1. The first thing you should know is that the P & I Clause of Art. IV is not applicable to gun permits. The Supreme Court has not recognized the right to keep and bear arms as provided in the Second Amendment is a “privilege and immunity.” While you may find many supporters for your cause, you will find no legal authority to rely on.

Leave a Reply