Day 1: Congress Introduces National Concealed Carry Reciprocity

By Dave Dolbee published on in General, News

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.

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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

Problem

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.

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With a National Reciprocity law, men and women across the nation would be able to exercise their Second Amendment right to self-defense whether at home or abroad.

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.

Solution

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.

SLRule

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!

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Comments (160)

  • Richard Deschenes

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    I would like to see the bill specifically address nonresident permits. For example, if i am a california resident and have a nonresident conceal carry permit from virginia, these laws should apply to me as well. I should be able to carry in all other states including my own in california.

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Richard Deschenes,

      When I read this article yesterday I thought about that as well, but only in the sense that the new law would craftily allow someone like you from California to acquire a nonresident permit from another State and use it to carry in all other States except your own (California).

      However, that is sheer brilliance on your part because I hadn’t considered a person using a nonresident permit issued from another State to carry legally in their own restrictive State like you in California. I would start writing the appropriate Congressmen and see if they could add that into the final law. That was quite clever thinking of you there.

      Reply

  • mik mitchell

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    This article mentions ‘concealed carry’ exclusively, but not just the word ‘carry’, is the wording this that concealed carry across state lines is okay, but open carry is wrong, or was it just used in passing on accident?

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ mik Mitchell,

      The article’s lack of mentioning “open carry” was not an oversight. This new law will only address the right to “concealed carry”. This is because it is the manner of carry that most States prefer.

      The general reasoning is that while the right to bear arms shall not be infringed, the Supreme Court still leaves it up to each individual State to determine the type of carry they allow (open, concealed, or both).

      And since the most restrictive States have shown a propensity against open carry, that leaves concealed carry as the most widely accepted form of carry throughout the majority of States and thus the only form of carry they chose to address.

      Reply

  • Chris

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    He better make sure the law is written so that the republics of Illinois and California cannot wriggle out while using state law language. His bill should clearly state – and the phrase notwithstanding, though nice, does not necessarily mean it will be interpreted as such by judges. He needs to state clearly that carry will be allowed, loaded on the person, etc. to make sure that we’re not carrying a gun is useless to us in those two republics.

    Reply

    • Duane

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      In restrictive states like California you might have to change your magazine when crossing state line to comply with magazine restrictions.

      Reply

  • Jason Blankovich

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    I am not in favor of this law. Yes it would be great if I could go from Texas to California and CA’s draconian laws didn’t apply to me. But I don’t want anymore precedents being set that the Federal government has any more power of each State than they claim now. Especially regarding guns and our right to self defense. We need to be further restricting Federal authority and boundaries not enhancing this one government direction we have been on for 79 years or so.

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Jason Blankovich,

      Ordinarily I’d agree, but this is actually an instance in which the Federal Government is actually not overreaching and instead is doing the job they were designed for.

      The only purpose of the Federal Government has ever been to carry out the Constitution which applies equally to all states. And since the Second Amendment right to bear arms (including concealed) falls specifically within the Federal Government’s assigned purview, they have the authority to mandate this law across all states.

      Weird huh? Trump gets elected and suddenly the Federal Government begins to actually do its job for once.

      Reply

    • DLee

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      “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
      Article 10: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

      It’s already stated in the constitution were the powers are to be divided and the right to keep and bear arms is a right of ALL Americans. This Law would not further federal powers it would simple protect all Americans as a good federal government should.

      Reply

  • DonP

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    Does this bill specify, other than the line “other than a machinegun or destructive device”, what the limitations are when in a state other than the person’s home state? This law is being compared to the driving laws. Various states allow specific items and specifications of an automobile that other states do not. The first thing that comes to mind is window tinting. Some states allow a level of window tinting that would be illegal in another state, if the vehicle was tagged in that state. The way the laws are, if your vehicle is legal in the state in which it is tagged… it is legal to drive in any state. Since the intent of this bill is to mandate that any state that issues concealed carry licenses must recognize the license from any other state, will the person carrying the weapon be restricted by the state they are currently in or by the state that issued them their license as to what weapon they can carry?

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ DonP,

      It will be your responsibility to know and comply with the concealed carry laws of each State you are visiting.

      While in each State you are required to know the types of facilities in which you are allowed or not allowed to carry in – e.g., bars and government buildings. You must also be in compliance with any stipulations on concealed carry methods such as whether imprinting is allowed or partial weapons exposure is disallowed of any kind. And you must comply with any State limitations to magazine capacities, calibers, or ammunition types.

      So you will have your homework cut out for you as you plan each trip, however there are a plethora of helpful websites to guide you through and keep you current on every State’s continually changing carry laws.

      Reply

  • G-Man

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    Fantastic! As an LEA I’ve always been able to carry concealed in every state, but if this passes for everyone, it becomes one of the greatest proverbial slaps in the face to those smug “may-issue” and “non-reciprocity” states.
    Not only will they be powerless to stop visiting nonresidents from carrying concealed, but hopefully this will shed light on the ridiculous realization their own state residents remain defenseless as we stand beside them as visitors allowed to bear arms. Just maybe that absurdity will get them to lighten up on their draconian “may-issue” attitudes.
    Probably not though… instead I’ve no doubt this will lead to some of the most ignorant legislation by those restrictive states as they attempt to countermand the new law with stupid rules like – concealed weapons can’t be loaded or ridiculously smaller magazine capacities or all weapons must remain locked in your trunk when a vehicle is in motion. Get ready for the drama.

    Reply

  • Fb

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    This is clearly not a national reciprocity bill or act for that matter.
    There are a lot of states in this country that have May-issue and no-issue counties leaving millions defenseless.
    I wonder if any of the co-sponsors on the bill recognize this bill only supports counties that support the second amendment.
    The bill has a lot of flaws and is a pathetic response from the so called Donald trump second amendment coalition, NRA, and GOA, ect. Ect.

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Fb,

      Individual counties and municipalities will never even be a factor because the Federal law will always supersede them. Therefore, the Federal law need only look as far as each State to determine reciprocity eligibility.

      With the exception of territories like American Samoa or Northern Mariana Islands, currently all States have some form of concealed permitting law. As such, you will be allowed to carry in every State under this new Federal law.

      Reply

  • Captain Witold Pilecki

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    115th Congress Day 2: Propose legislation to reign in the BATFE and regain separation of powers over ALL alphabet regulatory agencies

    115th Congress Day 3: Propose legislation to repeal gun control laws from 1993, 1986 and the GCA of 1968

    115th Congress Day 4: Propose legislation to repeal the NFA of 1934

    That should be a good start for the first week.

    Reply

  • Rich K.

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    Only problem I can see is, if I am reading things correctly, it only forces reciprocity between states that allow concealed carry in the first place (even if it is only on a “may issue” basis). It needs to go further and force states that DO NOT allow their citizens to carry (thereby making them “subjects” rather than “citizens”) to recognize carry permits from other states.

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Rich K,

      No worries there – unless you are traveling to American Samoa or Northern Mariana Islands as they are the only 2 that out right have a “no issue” policy.

      All other states and territories issue concealed permits of some kind. Even if it is a “may issue” state, you would be covered for reciprocity under this new law.

      Reply

    • Rich K.

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      I must be behind the times. I thought there were still a few communist enclaves in the US (mainly in the New England and northern Atlantic coast area) that were no-issue states. But then, I haven’t even been outside my own home state in well over a decade (having to pay child support makes it a bit hard to afford gas and motel rooms…).

      Reply

    • DLee

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      Bingo Rich!

      Reply

  • Dragon

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    National reciprocity on licensed carry of handguns is an accommodation that most certainly is long overdue. It makes abundant, logical sense to pass and enact such legislation, since we have had such reciprocity with driver licensure for a long, long, time. AND…..driving, with it’s incumbent licensure is a PRIVILEGE, while carry of a handgun is a RIGHT that is affirmed in the United States Constitution.

    I heartily endorse national reciprocity, but at the same time I also advise diligence in the crafting of such legislation to ensure that a federal law endorsing such does not provide any limitations on the licensed carry that is provided by the states. As most of us are aware, when the federal government gets into something, it usually tries to impose restrictions and conditions on that subject with which it is involved, and no such limitations should be contained in any legislation that prescribes national reciprocity of handgun carry.

    Reply

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