Last week, one of the NRA’s publications, America’s 1st Freedom published an exclusive interview with President Trump. Here’s an exchange they reported regarding national concealed carry reciprocity:
“Mr. President, each state’s driver’s license is honored across this great nation, yet a permit to carry a concealed gun—which, in contrast, is a right specifically protected in the U.S. Bill of Rights—is often not respected by other states. Will you support a national reciprocity act so that law-abiding gun owners can more easily travel with their freedom?”
“You are talking about concealed-carry, right?” asked President Trump. “About people who cross state lines?” he asked.
“Yes, Mr. President,” I replied. “Right now, simply taking a wrong turn from Pennsylvania into New Jersey can result in years in prison for an otherwise law-abiding American citizen.”
President Trump nodded and said, “I will support such legislation. If it comes across my desk I will sign it.”
That would, of course depend on many things falling into place. First, Trump would need to be reelected. Second, Republicans would have to retain control of the Senate. Third, the GOP would have to retake control of the House. And then they’ve have to find the spine to move a bill like that through the legislative process.
So betting on something like that coming to pass is like drawing to an inside straight. It could happen, but the odds are pretty long.
The Republicans had an opportunity to move national reciprocity — as well as de-regulation of suppressors — when they held both houses after Trump’s election in 2016. They were scheduled to hold hearings on the Hearing Protection Act when James Hodgkinson opened fire on GOP legislators during a baseball practice in 2017. The hearing was cancelled and Republicans lost the House in 2018.
So…it’s nice to hear the President give lip service to treating concealed carry permits the same way as driver’s licenses…recognized without question nationally by every state in the union. But don’t hold your breath waiting for it to actually happen.