Can Congress force states to allow people to bring in guns from other states?

May 29th, 2012

Rep. H. Morgan Griffith, Virginia Republican, has sponsored legislation that would amend current law to make it clear that individuals who transport their guns from state to state may stop for food, gas and vehicle maintenance. They also may seek medical treatment, tend to an emergency, stay overnight and conduct other activities incidental to the transport.

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.

What is the constitutional basis of such a law? Commerce clause? If so, of course a person eating in a restaurant is engaging in interstate commerce–even if wholly intrastate. The food came from out of state (Katzenbach v. McClung).

Section 5 of the 14th Amendment to enforce a fundamental civil right from deprivation by a state? Is the right to carry a firearm outside the home such a right?

Now do I like this law as a federalism manner? Nope. Not one bit. For reasons I talked about here and here.