If a national concealed carry reciprocity bill enacted — and that’s a very big if — it would strike the biggest single blow for gun rights in the United States since the Heller decision was handed down by the Supreme Court in 2008.
If licensed visitors from Kansas, Texas, Tennessee and Wyoming regularly and safely carry concealed firearms in places like New York City, San Francisco, Honolulu and Trenton — with no fender-bender dispute gun battles and no Dodge City-like blood running ankle-deep in the streets — the arguments against issuing concealed carry permits to those states’ citizens will evaporate faster than tax dollars in Illinois.
The House announced that the Judiciary Committee will mark up HR 38 tomorrow. Here’s the press release of the bill’s sponsor, North Carolina’s Rep. Richard Hudson:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08) released the following statement after the House Judiciary Committee announced it will mark up his bill, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38), on Wednesday, November 29:“For me and the vast majority of Americans who support concealed carry reciprocity, this is welcome progress. I want to thank Chairman Bob Goodlatte for his strong leadership to protect our Second Amendment rights. I will continue to work with my colleagues and President Trump to pass this common sense legislation to protect law-abiding citizens.”Concealed carry reciprocity is one of the most important pro-Second Amendment measures in Congress. Currently, the patchwork of reciprocity laws and agreements between states is confusing and has caused law-abiding citizens like Shaneen Allen to unwittingly break the law and suffer arrest and detention. Even the most careful and knowledgeable concealed carry permit holders find it difficult to navigate the current maze of state and local concealed carry laws. H.R. 38 is a common sense solution. The bill, which is supported by major pro-Second Amendment groups and has 213 cosponsors, would allow law-abiding citizens with a state-issued concealed carry license or permit to conceal a handgun in any other state that allows concealed carry. It would also allow law-abiding residents of Constitutional carry states the ability to carry in other states that recognize their own residents’ right to concealed carry.H.R. 38 would allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed only if they are not federally prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm, are carrying a valid government-issued photo ID, and are lawfully licensed or otherwise entitled to carry a concealed handgun. Each person would have to follow the laws of the state, county and municipality in which they are carrying concealed.In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court ruled that “the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right,” which is “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” This fundamental right does not stop at a state’s borders and law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise this right when crossing state lines. In addition, Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution states, “Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.” This is the clause that allows a driver’s license to be recognized across state lines.Contrary to the misinformation critics spread, under H.R. 38, states would retain their authority to enact time and place restrictions on where people can lawfully carry in the state. In addition, the bill would not make it any easier to buy a gun. It has nothing to do with the purchase of guns, it would not alter access to guns, and it would not change the federal law requiring background checks.The American people understand these facts. That’s why an overwhelming majority of Americans support concealed carry reciprocity – 73% according to a recent New York Times survey.