Adam Kraut writes [via ammoland.com]:
As you may have heard, earlier in March, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate. At the beginning of January, a similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives. While the bills are largely the same, there are a few differences . . .
Both proposed bills start off in a similar fashion. If you are an individual who is not prohibited from possessing firearms, are carrying a government issued photo ID, have a license or permit issued by a state which allows you to carry a concealed firearm, you may carry a firearm (other than a machine gun or destructive device) in any other state that has a statute which enables an individual to obtain a license or permit and does not prohibit the carrying of firearms by residents for lawful purposes.
However, the Senate bill has a provision that would allow an individual who is from a state which recognizes constitutional carry to carry a firearm in another state absent an actual permit, provided that they are not prohibited and have government issued photo ID.
For those of you who live in constitutional carry states, if this bill were to pass in its current form, you would not need to procure a license from your state for the purposes of reciprocity.
The language between the two bills differs slightly in relation to how the state’s laws would affect an individual carrying a firearm.
The Senate version provides that the possession or carrying of a firearm in another state would be subject to the same limitations imposed on residents of that state by either the federal government, the state or a political subdivision thereof.
In simpler terms, you’d have to abide by the same rules as the residents of that state, much like now if you travel to a state that recognizes a permit issued by yours.
The House version says that this section should not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of a state which allow a person or entity to restrict possession of firearms on their property or prohibitions imposed by the state with regard to concealed firearms on state or local government property, installations, buildings, bases or parks.
In essence, they accomplish similar goals, although it would seem that the House version is a bit more narrowly tailored.
The Senate version has a provision which says that in states which issue different levels of permits that impose restrictions, for the purposes of reciprocity, non residents will be permitted to carry firearms in accordance with the same terms afforded to those who obtain unrestricted permits in those states. In simpler terms, non residents will be able to carry in a less restricted manner than some residents.
Noticeably absent from the Senate version: language found in the House version which creates an affirmative defense to individuals who are detained or arrested for carrying in compliance with the law.
In those instances, if the individual presented documentation to show they were carrying in accordance with the law, the burden of proof would switch to the prosecution to show that they were not. If the individual successfully asserts the defense, the court SHALL award attorney’s fees.
This provision would hopefully deter states from attempting to prosecute individuals who are carrying in compliance with the proposed law. I’m looking at you Commiefornia, New Yorkistan, New Germany, etc.
The House version also provides a mechanism to sue a state or municipality for the deprivation of right, privilege or immunity provided for in the law including a provision for damages and attorney’s fees.
Notice a trend here? The House appears to be attaching a financial incentive for states to not violate people’s rights. I know, a novel concept these days.
Additionally, the House version defines the term handgun to include any magazine for use in a handgun and any ammunition loaded into the handgun or magazine.
Lastly, the House bill provides that any person carrying a handgun pursuant to the bill, may do so in units of the National Park System, National Wildlife Refuge System, public land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, land administered and managed by the Army Corps of Engineers, and land administered and managed by the Bureau of Reclamation.
In order for this to become a law, you need to pick up the phone and call your Representatives and Senators. National Reciprocity should be a legislative priority not only for you, but those that represent you.
Some of you may be asking why I’m pushing this over constitutional carry? Good question.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. While it may not be the end result we would all like to see, it is a step in the right direction. And steps forward are better than steps backward or no steps at all. As you may have noticed gun control did not happen overnight, nor will restoring those rights.
Hopefully that gives you a better understanding of the proposed National Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill.