Will the Supreme Court's June 26 ruling on gay marriage lead to national reciprocity? It should.

Will the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling on gay marriage lead to national concealed carry reciprocity? It should.


Gay marriage = National Reciprocity?

Today the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that no state can deny gay or lesbian couple’s right be married. Prior to today’s ruling gay and lesbian couples could get married in only 36 of 50 states.

Regardless of how you feel about the gay marriage issue this SCOTUS ruling could have a serious impact on Second Amendment rights for millions of Americans around the country. Here’s why.

Right now all 50 states generally allow their law-abiding residents to carry concealed weapons in one form or another. The problem is just because each of these states allow concealed carry doesn’t mean they all agree on who can carry in their state, and which out-of-state permits they recognize.

A perfect example of this is the State of Illinois. Despite being forced by a court judge to acknowledge their own citizen’s right to carry concealed weapons, Illinois has said that no one from any other state is allowed to carry a concealed weapon in their state. They have zero reciprocity. Contrast this with states like Alaska or Vermont who recognize concealed carry permits from every single state in the country – 100% reciprocity.

14th Amendment in play

When the US Supreme Court struck down individual states’ right to decide for themselves who can and cannot get married they cited section one of the Fourteenth Amendment which reads:

Amendment XIV

Section 1.

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

The parallels between the gay marriage ruling and the case for National Concealed Carry Reciprocity are now impossible to ignore. Particularly when you consider the last fourteen words of that clause cited by the Supreme Court of the United States – nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

This begs the question, under the Fourteenth Amendment if a state does not have a right to deny certain American’s the right to marry, why should a state still be allowed to deny certain American’s right to lawfully carry concealed weapons?

No doubt the mindless #gunsense gun control zealots will attempt pick and choose what parts of this ruling applies. Of course they already do this with the current laws, so really it’ll be nothing new. Regardless the case for national concealed carry reciprocity appears to have just gotten a significant boost and deserves serious attention.


Iowa Firearms Coalition is an entirely volunteer, grassroots, Second Amendment advocacy group. Responsible for bringing uniformity to Iowa’s Concealed Weapons Permitting process, IFC’s members work to protect and enhance Second Amendment rights in Iowa. An affiliate of the National Rifle Association, the IFC actively seeks to foster and promote the shooting sports. Sign up for our email list for the latest on Second Amendment issues in Iowa. You can support our work by becoming a member, or making a donation.