The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 was introduced as a bill into the current session of Congress. H.R.38 It’s currently still in committee at the time of this blog post. There’s also a similar bill which was introduced into the Senate this session.
Every US state currently allows concealed carry in some form. This would require states to recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states. Ten to twenty million concealed carry permits have been issued in the US by some estimates.
Passage of this bill would be a good thing because people who have concealed carry permits in their home state commonly cross state lines, and this bill would simplify compliance with regulations by making that individual’s carry permit valid in any other state that also issued concealed carry permits.
How many gun owners have been prosecuted for simply not knowing every local law and accidentally possessing a weapon after crossing a line on the map? These bills aim to reduce the complexity and patchwork nature of current gun laws.
It also removes the prohibition from carrying concealed on school grounds and also Federally owned lands that are open to the public for those people.
Critics of the proposed bill cite worries of low state standards being forced onto other states and an expansion of armed citizens that will lead to wild west style shootouts in the streets of the nation. They say this will increase the difficulty of law enforcement’s job in urban areas which currently have strict gun controls.
It’s true that this bill does nothing to set a national standard for concealed carry. It also seems to allow residents of the eleven states that currently allow concealed carry without a permit to carry everywhere including states that require their own residents to have a state issued permit. One version of this bill would allow a person to get a permit from a stat that issues them to non-residents, and then require their home state to honor it.
The chances of this bill passing the House is good, but a fight is expected in the Senate. The NRA and other organizations will be doing a lot of lobbying and the votes of those who are running for re-election in 2018 will be hard fought for. I hope it passes as a first step to restoring Second Amendment rights to residents of all states and cities.
This should not be confused with the Constitutional Carry movement, which I’ll write about in an upcoming blog post.
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