Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC), the primary sponsor of the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act that was introduced last week into the House, has clarified that the Act should apply to state firearms licenses issued to non-residents.
In an statement to the Free Beacon this week, Mr. Hudson was quoted: “My legislative intent is to ensure a non-resident carry permit is recognized, and I’ve confirmed this with legislative counsel and Judiciary Committee staff.”
Courts will sometimes turn to the intent of the drafters of a law if they find the language of the law itself unclear. (For an example of when they don’t, however, see the Court’s 2012 Obamacare decision, where it found that a tax existed where no intent to impose one was ever expressed.)
So let’s take a look at the Bill as it stands today: does it suggest anything about firearms licenses issued to non-residents?
Here’s the relevant text:
[A] person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, who is carrying a valid identification document containing a photograph of the person, and who is carrying a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm or is entitled to carry a concealed firearm in the State in which the person resides, may possess or carry a concealed handgun (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce….
The text says “a State”. It doesn’t say “State of residence” or “his/her home State” or anything else along those lines. Looks clear to me…although do me a solid, Rep. Hudson, and get that statement of intent into the Congressional Record when you can.
As a reminder, Congresscritters like hearing the opinions of their constituents on pending bills, so if you like this Bill, you and twenty of your closest gun owning friends might want to let them know.
Utah does not require qualifying non-resident Concealed Firearms Permit applicants to hold a carry license from their home state if their home state does not recognize the validity of a Utah license. Arizona, on the other hand, will issue a license to qualifying individuals who are either Arizona residents or U.S. Citizens, with no home state license requirement. (“Qualifying” meaning people who aren’t legally prohibited due to past criminal, mental health issues, illegal immigrant status, and so on.)