I raise a couple questions in the article on Rep. Peter King (R-NY) introducing new gun legislation. Reader Stephen, however, e-mailed me with a scenario instead of a question that I think is worth mentioning:
This is insane. I'm a concealed carry holder, and I do carry my Kimber where ever it is legal for me to do so. But this law would make it impossible for me to legally carry my handgun at all. Think about it. Schools, government buildings, and such are in a fixed location. I know that I can not be armed there. But how in the hell am I to know where a "government official" is at any given point in time? I work in a gun store that is across the street from our local police station. Would this mean that I could no longer be legally armed in my store?
Congresscritter X is holding a town hall meeting on main street USA. I'm legally carrying my handgun, concealed, in keeping with the laws of the state of North Carolina. I'm driving from work to home and my normal route is to drive down main street. Police are providing security for Congresscritter X and one of the patrol cars outside the event is equipped with automatic license plate reading cameras. As my truck passes the patrol car, it automatically reads my license plate, the computer checks my registration for wants, warrants, etc.. It also pulls up the fact that I am a concealed carry permit holder. My truck passes within 100 feet of the Congresscritter. The officer pulls out, kicks on his lights, and pulls me over. As required by law, as soon as the officer approaches my truck, I inform him/her that I am a CCP holder and that I am armed. I am then arrested and jailed for carrying a firearm within 1000 feet of the Congresscritter, jailed, tried, convicted, and imprisoned in a slam dunk prosecution.
Welcome to Prison America!!
Now Stephen is assuming the patrolman will pull him over simply because he's a concealed carry holder. I'm not convinced, but I also don't think it's completely assinine. We obviously have a sheriff in Arizona who cares a lot about politics and not just the law. It's feasible there are officers like him -- he was one once, right?
The nightmare scenario I envision is everything Stephen said minus the officer with an anti-gun axe to grind. What if Stephen is driving home from work and gets pulled over for a busted taillight or for speeding outside a town hall meeting featuring Rep. X? Like he mentioned in the e-mail, many states (if not all?) require the driver to say outright that the has a concealed weapon. And in our scenario, he'd be busted.
Now, I do foresee another issue arising in the scenario: self-incrimination. By admitting your carrying a weapon in that hypothetical, are you being required to violate your Fifth Amendment right? Would King's legislation take this into account? Will people fight it on those grounds? Will the Supreme Court have to rule about that?
I'm not sure. But something tells me these won't be the law's only problems.