Day 1: Congress Introduces National Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Article first appeared at Cheaper than Dirt.
Recently, The Shooter’s Log posted an article from the newly reformed Second Amendment Caucasus in Congress. We asked for your input as to what you think it should focus on, and the legislation you would like to see passed. Overwhelmingly, readers commented on the need for legislation creating a national reciprocity. Fortunately, we can report that our readers are not the only ones with this topping their agenda.
On the first day of the 115th Congress, Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced national concealed carry reciprocity legislation. This is a far cry from an actual law, but the fact that it is making its debut so early in the legislative year is promising to millions of self-defense enthusiasts. Best of all, the proposed legislation covers Constitutional carry.
Rep. Hudson’s office published this summary of the legislation:
“Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense solution to a problem too many Americans face. It will provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits. As a member of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to get this legislation across the finish line.”
Rep. Hudson’s bill, which is supported by major pro-Second Amendment groups, would allow people with a state-issued concealed carry license or permit to conceal a handgun in any other state that allows concealed carry, as long as the permit holder follows the laws of that state. It also allows residents of Constitutional carry states the ability to carry in other states that recognize their own resident’s right to concealed carry.
The Legal Language
Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof (except as provided in subsection (b)) and subject only to the requirements of this section, 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, in any State that— ‘‘(1) has a statute under which residents of the State may apply for a license or permit to carry a concealed firearm; or ‘‘(2) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes
Your driver’s license works in every state, so why doesn’t your concealed carry permit? Just like your privilege to drive, your Second Amendment right does not disappear when you cross state lines. However, conflicting state codes have created a confusing patchwork of reciprocity agreements for concealed carry permit holders.
Without nationwide reciprocity, a North Carolina resident cannot travel to Delaware without having to reroute their trip to avoid driving through Maryland. In addition, a Pennsylvania resident who is a concealed carry permit holder consistently worries about making a wrong turn, ending up in New York, and breaking the law.
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.
Many Americans utilize concealed carry as their Constitutional right to self-defense, and we must guarantee that right is not infringed upon.
To ensure that our Second Amendment right does not disappear when we cross state lines, Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-08) introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 with strong support by major pro Second Amendment groups. This legislation will:
- Ensure that valid concealed carry permits issued in one state are valid for carrying concealed handguns in other states that recognize their own resident’s right to concealed carry;
- Allow those from constitutional carry states the ability to carry in other states that recognize their own resident’s right to concealed carry;
- Put the burden of proof clearly on the state to show that an individual carrying concealed did not comply with the law, thus protecting law-abiding gun owners from onerous civil suits;
- Provide legal protections against states that violate the intent of this bill, making attorney’s fees and damages available to victorious plaintiffs in civil suits, as well as to defendants who prevail in criminal cases; and
- Allow individuals who are carrying concealed to do so in the National Park System, National Wildlife Refuge System, and on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation.
Each state retains the authority to determine regulations for carrying within their borders, as well as for the carry permits or licenses that are issued under their law.
This legislation prioritizes the rights of law-abiding citizens to concealed carry and the ability to travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes.
Will Representative Hudson’s new proposed legislation become law this year under the new Congress and President? What changes would you like to see to the bill? Share your answers in the comment section.
Growing up in Pennsylvania’s game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Dave’s writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!