In New Jersey, a man from Utah man, Greg Revell, was traveling through a New Jersey airport on his way to somewhere else. In his baggage he had an unloaded hand gun. He told the airport security where he was coming from about the weapon when he checked his bags. He was allowed to check his bags and was just changing planes in New Jersey. His connecting flight was cancelled, so he retrieved his bags and spent the night at a hotel. The next morning he arrives at the airport and does the honest thing and tells airport police about his gun. He is then arrested and spends ten days in jail.
The Supreme Court will decide on Wednesday to hear his case.
If the Fourteenth amendment did anything, it made this one country. Until the amendment was ratified, each state operated nearly independently of all other states and of the federal government. At the time, 36 states had 36 different sets of laws. Some states went as far to not just violate the rights of individuals, but to take them completely away. The Supreme Court supported the right of states to take such action because the Constitution, according to the court, applied only to the Federal government and not to the states. If it hadn’t been for the Civil War and the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, they may never have been given back.
It was the intent of the Fourteenth amendment to ensure that the rights of any person in the country was the same as any other person. That just as the Federal government must respect the rights of people so must each state. This passed all the way to local governments because they were set up by states.
Gun ownership is a right as documented in the Constitution. Reasonable regulations can be adopted to ensure that the ownership and use of a gun doesn’t harm anyone, but it can’t be denied. But, there are fifty three different sets of regulations in the country about gun ownership. That includes all fifty states, D.C and Costa Rica. Perhaps more it you count other protected lands and other jurisdictions.
It sounds like Greg Revell hales from a state that allows him to own and carry a gun. After all, if he was not legal, why would he say anything to airport police. Also, Revell was allowed to check his luggage with the gun in the baggage in Utah. The gun didn’t get him into trouble until he spent the night in New Jersey. Of course, that one night turned into ten and now a gun charge on his record.
It is time we federalize gun laws to protect the rights of people that own guns in every state. We are no longer fifty states (or 36 at the time of the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment) that operate independently of each other. The rights of every person in this country should be protect from the patch work of laws that may or may not allow an individual who is legal in one state to be legal in another.
Like immigration and plenty of other issues, gun laws needed to be apply to all in the country and not just each state. It is time to move in that direction so we can all live without fear of our rights.