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)

  • Manny

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    Well it sounds good but I don’t think that will help out the citizens that live near New Jersey or New York. I am a CCP holder living in Pennsylvania but work in New York. The proposed legislation states;

    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.

    Well the most Anti-Gun state is New Jersey followed by New York City.
    These states DO NOT recognize their own resident’s right to concealed carry because their own residents are not allowed to carry.

    That being said there is no way my CCP will be honored, so if i get caught carrying, I go to Jail. This law will do nothing for guys like me.

    Reply

  • M Gilbert

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    My point EXACTLY. NRA should be pushing this and Trump needs to act. This should be in the hands of the Feds not the states.

    Kalifornia seceding should be treated like treason! Trampling 2nd amendment rights should be illegal!

    Help can only come from the federal level!

    Reply

    • Kevin

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      They should but they won’t. The NRA never tries a tough fight. They abandoned California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington. . They prefer low hanging fruit like Florida.

      Reply

  • tmac

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    I still don’t get it, my first amendment doesn’t change when I cross state lines, my 4th amendment doesn’t change I still have the right to demand a warrant in any state before having my personal property searched. My 5th amendment right not to incriminate myself is good in every state, i could go on but you get my point. There are NO constitutional amendments that are allowed to be tampered with except the 2nd amendment. This is utterly wrong and needs to be fixed. States should not have any right to put restraints on the second amendment as they are not allowed to put any restraints on any other amendment.

    Reply

    • Ktcarpentry

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      And this is the one they go after the hardest because it’s the one that scares them the most. Put in place precisely to guard against overreaching government, it’s the one they MUST get rid of.

      Reply

    • Kevin

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      You’re 4th ament mentioned rights definitely change by state. Stop and frisk is a state by state and color based.

      Reply

  • Older Rifle Shootist

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    Either it is a Federal Constitutionally guaranteed Right or not. “Rights” do not have qualifiers! It needs to be written that simplistically. IMO

    Reply

  • Jim

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    One issue, not as great as the one addressed in this article, but one that bugs me is that I am not allowed to buy a gun in another state without paying fees to have it shipped back to my home state. OK-why? As a retired FBI agent (and current LEO) I am pretty sure that the FBI data check performed before every purchase is the same in every state. So why do I have to pay to have gun dealer # 1 ship it to dealer # 2 and then pay dealer # 2 for the privilege of picking it up? This has happened several times as I grew up and hunt in hunter friendly West Virginia, but now live outside DC in not-so-friendly Maryland. I can find better selections, better prices and better service quite frankly in WV or Ohio or Virginia than my adopted home state. If it is the same federal system doing the checks and registration, why can’t I shop for the better deal and not be financially penalized for it?

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Jim,

      I find it quite odd as a retired FBI agent and current LEO that you wouldn’t already know the answers to all your questions. Nevertheless, I will explain it for you…

      1.) Shipping fees are the cost of doing business by the merchant to ship products and have nothing to do with gun laws. We all pay for shipping. Even when a gun is purchased at your local retail gun shop, such fees are already built into the final price of the gun. When bought online these fees are more transparent and usually list separately based on whichever online vendor you shop with. Regardless, whether shipped direct to you or your FFL, you’d still pay shipping fees on the gun.

      2.) The “FBI data check” is actually called a NICS background check (as an LEO you should know this).

      3.) Background checks are not “the same in every state” (as an LEO you should know this as well). Some States act as their own NICS POC, whereas others require FFLs to initiate checks directly to the FBI’s NICS Operations Center. Some States require additional statewide checks that go above and beyond Federal requirements, while others accept the minimum. And some States don’t even require any check at all as long as you possess a concealed carry permit.

      4.) Despite your assumption, a background check is not required “before every purchase” as many guns are bought or traded between private parties without any background check required at all. The only time a NICS check is required is when you acquire a firearm from a licensed dealer or across State lines. Even then, such checks are not required as a prerequisite to a purchase, but rather it is only a requirement at the time of the actual transfer. Most online guns have already been purchased days before the background check actually occurs as a transfer by your local FFL.

      5.) The fees charged by an FFL to transfer a gun also have nothing to do with gun laws (once again, as an LEO you should know this). Dealers could do it for free if they wanted, but it takes time out of their business and thus have opted to charge a fee for this service. Such fees vary widely from dealer to dealer so shop around. Also note that there are no transfer fees when purchasing from a gun shop or sporting goods store. This is because they don’t mind doing free transfers since you bought the gun from them.

      6.) You also mentioned Federal registration however it is unlawful for the Federal government to conduct or maintain any type of firearms “registration” with the exception of the 3 types required by the NFA (e.g., machine guns, short-barreled shotguns or rifles, and silencers). However, it is true that some individual States require other certain firearms to be registered locally, but never federally (definitely something an LEO should already have known).

      Again, I am quite surprised as you claim to be an LEO and former Fed that you showed a complete lack of knowledge as to how the Federal gun laws work or proper technical jargon usage. Nonetheless, hopefully I’ve answered your questions. FYI: I’m a 34 year career federal agent and a military reservist.

      Reply

    • Kevin

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      In his slight defense there are plenty of FBI agents who are simply lawyers. Although why he can’t google the pertinent laws is a bit boggling.

      Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ Kevin,

      You are incorrect. While the FBI certainly employs attorneys into various legal advisory positions to assist FBI Agents in decisions, such attorneys on the FBI payroll are by no means functioning in the capacity as an FBI Agent (actually known as Special Agents).

      That is not to say there are no attorneys that eventually applied to become agents later in their careers with the FBI; or who were practicing attorneys on the streets and later applied to become an FBI Agent from scratch. But should this happen (and it does), then at that point they are considered and FBI Agent with prior formal legal experience.

      Jim clearly stated he was a “retired FBI agent (and current LEO)”. To have retired as an agent and also currently be acting in the capacity as a law enforcement officer, as he claims, then he should be the one answering such firearms related questions, not asking them.

      Reply

  • Scotty

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    One change I’d like to see is the ability to also carry in my car, safety from laws against “printing,” and striking down magazine limits/weapon type. For instance, if as worded this passes my concealed carry piece will still be illegal in some states since it holds over 10 rounds.

    Reply

    • Ray

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      We lost most of our natural rights incrementally and have to SEIZE them back the same way.

      Reply

  • Steve Cary

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    Representative Richard Hudson’s National Concealed Carry Reciprocity is a first step in the right direction, but does not go nearly far enough. Congress should codify gun ownership and concealed carry as rights for all law abiding, mentally competent, adult citizens in all 50 states. Congress should also prohibit the states from putting onerous legal obstructions in the path of those citizens who what to exercise those rights, e.g., outright bans on concealed carry, magazine size limitations, semi-automatic “assault weapons” bans, taxes above the normal sales tax rate on guns and ammo, long-term storage of information about the firearms owned by those citizens.

    The Supreme Court has ruled that 2nd Amendment rights are individual rights. Just as states, counties and cities cannot pass laws limiting freedom of the press (with minimal exceptions, such as slander and incitements to violence). Imagine the media outcry if a state proposed licensing requirements for printing presses and established standards for “responsible use” of those presses. Just as the federal government is responsible for prohibiting state interference with the 1st Amendment rights of its citizens, it is also responsible for prohibiting state interference with 2nd Amendment rights.

    Again, National Concealed Carry Reciprocity is just the first step in what Congress needs to do.

    Reply

  • T. Potter

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    We live in Missouri adjacent to Illinois, I have a Missouri CCW and cannot simply drive over the Mississippi to get lunch without giving up my weapon of self defense. My answer to this was to boycott all Illinois business and spend my money at home until my Constitution is honored in Illinois. This legislation will end all of that.

    T. Potter

    Reply

  • JJ

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    Greg commented on Day 1: Congress Introduces National Concealed Carry Reciprocity.

    in response to JJ:

    This is a step in the right direction as I am a PA resident holding a CCP and am in fear of being detoured into NJ were I am not permitted to carry. Concerns; 1) In PA there are no psyche evaluations which means that at age 21 if you have a clean record you […]

    A psychological evaluation? Really? That wouldn’t prevent your scenario from playing out. Even Law enforcement screw up under stress with psychological evaluations. I’m not for making it difficult to exercise a constitutional right. Training is an excellent idea but making it mandatory… well… maybe.

    Greg said; “Even Law enforcement screw up under stress with psychological evaluations.”

    Agreed. Thank you for bringing that point to light.

    Reply

  • jj

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    “Even Law enforcement screw up under stress with psychological evaluations.”
    Agreed. Thank you for bringing that point to light.

    Reply

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