Civil Liberties

Should Gun Rights be Reciprocal Among States? Tenn. Women Arrested in NYC for Carrying Legal Gun at 9/11 Memorial


The New York Post (founded by Alexander Hamilton, but don't hold that against the current version) reports on the strange case of Meredith Graves, a 39-year-old medical student and nurse from Tennessee who was arrested for illegally carrying—and voluntarily surrendering—a gun at Manhattan's 9/11 Memorial. Graves is licensed to carry in Tennessee and was in New York for a job interview, reports the Post, when she and her husband visited the memorial. Upon seeing a sign saying no weapons allowed, says the Post, she realized she was carrying a .32 caliber pistol and inquired about how to declare it:

When she got to that section, she asked another cop, "We have this gun — can we check it in here? We [my husband and I] are not law-enforcement."

That's when she was arrested.

Graves, who has a full legal carry permit in Tennessee, was locked up on a weapons-possession charge and held on $2,000 bond that she posted yesterday. She is due in court on March 19.

She'll soon find out exactly how serious New York City is about illegal guns. The Manhattan DA's Office is pursuing a conviction on felony gun possession — carrying a minimum sentence of 3 1/2 years….

The Post quotes her mother making the case that gun rights should not be subject to state infringements:

"You'd think states would reciprocate with the Second Amendment. She has a license to carry in Tennessee," said her mother-in-law, who lives in Manchester, NJ.

Bonus anonymous Volunteer State voice whose opinion of New York probably couldn't have gotten any lower anyhow:

"Everyone down there carries, and she just forgot," said the woman, who would not give her name. "She was being honest, and this is the treatment they give innocent people."

The Post notes that Mayor Mike Bloomberg has made a huge push against illegal guns in the city.

Whole story here.

So what do you think, kind readers? While I think most reasonable people would agree that prosecuting such a case is a monumental waste of law enforcement resources, what about the case for reciprocity in gun laws? Assuming New York's and the city's laws pass constitutional muster, isn't this just one more case of respecting local differences (ironically, that sort of federalist-localist claim is more typically associated with the South than New Yawk City)?

If every place in America is forced to be just like every other place when it comes all laws and regulation and taxes and collective bargaining and trans fat and this and that (including gay marriage, come to think of it), isn't that supposed to be a bad thing? Or should the standard for gun rights and many other things (free speech, religious liberty, not having to quarter soldiers, etc.) ultimately be set at the highest level possible? What do you think is the way to decide which rights get special protection and which ones don't?