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)

  • Timothy Lane

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    This is great, but it doesn’t go far enough. I live in The People’s Republic of California. My 2nd Amendment rights keep disappearing every election cycle.

    I need the Federal Government to step in and force States to comply with the constitution! Why are states allowed to violate my rights? I hate to rely on the Feds for anything, but those libs are far, far right of the insane leaders of my State. Something needs to be done.

    Reply

  • TxBroke

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    I have been told by various lawyers that the 2nd Amendment applies only to the Federal Government, if this is true the various States can prevent us from “carry” if they so desire. It will not take the Socialist States long to take this law to the Supreme Court. This is going to be interesting.

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      @ TxBroke,

      Please do us a favor and contact every one of those “various lawyers” that told you “the 2nd Amendment applies only to the Federal Government”, and inform them they need to find another profession.

      The applicability of the Constitution is supreme over any other laws and therefore applies not only to the Federal Government, but all States and political subdivisions. This is an irrefutable fact which has been argued and overwhelmingly settled in the Supreme Court; and by now is something those lawyers you mentioned should have picked up in basic middle-school.

      Reply

    • Kevin VanDerwerken

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      If that is true than would that not apply to the entire bill of rights? I’m no Constitutional scholar but apply that logic to say the 4tn Amendment. Would that not preclude the notion of private property? I do believe the author’s of the Constitution intended the bill of rights to limit the power of government. In fact, the Constitution would not have been ratified without them.

      Reply

  • Edward Zvonik

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    I realize it’s a right under the Constitution, but I have been on the range with people who can’t hit the side of a barn. Here in Arizona you don’t need a permit to carry, but to get a permit you need to complete a 5 hour course and pass a written exam plus 3 hours on the range and quality.
    I feel this requirement should be required for a national permit with renewal ever 5 years.

    Reply

  • David Emery

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    John Sarmanian Jr. You are absolutely right. On the surface it looks good to have a reciprocal carry bill BUT the government does not have the power to make any adjustments to our constitutional rights. To pas this bill is to admit the states rights over the constitution. We need a different bill. What is needed is a law making it illegal for the federal government or any state to override any part of the United States constitution.

    Reply

    • MattUSA1

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      Dave that’s exactly right, our constitution says we have the right to bear arms. I don’t even know when or where we lost that right because I have done the necessary research, but it is time we just simply say … look, it is our constitutional right!
      I used to drive around as a teenager with a shotgun in a gun rack in my truck… got involved in an accident…the police came to do the accident report…never even questioned my weapons… what happened since then?????? We need more education on this subject matter and more people speaking out about what is in the Constitution and why it was put in there in the first place. Our children unfortunately do not get this information in schools anymore quite frankly they get exactly the opposite of the truth… it’s up to us adults to change this and turn it around. And we better do it soon because this generation will be the ones who vote in the next president and our future depends on it.

      Reply

  • Kevin V

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    With all due respect to those commenting about required training to own or carry a firearm. The gun is a tool just as a hammer is a tool. No one to my knowledge requires special training to purchase or use a hammer or a knife for that matter yet more homicides are committed by those tools than a gun. Where in the second amendment is the language; States may determine how to limit the right to” keep and bear ( that means carry) arms”. Now is the time to push for Constitutional clarification. The second amendment is a right not a privilege. Driving is a privilege ( permitted by the state and no where innumerate in the Constitution). Carrying of a firearm is not a privilege, it is a right.

    Reply

    • G-Man

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      Amen brother!

      Reply

    • Ray

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      Kevin, I agree with your statement, except for a small point. Driving, while not enumerated in the constitution, is still a right. A privilege can be taken away for any reason, or no reason at all. (like a farmer may grant me permission (a privilege) to hunt on his land. This farmer can take back that permission (privilege) any time he would like, for any reason, or no reason.) A right cannot be taken away for any reason, or no reason. My driver’s license is a right which can only be taken away for specific reasons. It just muffs me when I hear or see the State stating that driving in a privilege. Your main comment is right on, though. Thanks!

      Reply

    • Paul

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      Ray you make good points, and it’s good to read them. However, there no longer exists a state driver license for most states. In 2005, the Republican-controlled congress passed the REAL ID act, which was hidden in a defense bill after the standalone bill failed. This “voluntary” compliance bill was acted upon by most state legislatures over the following years.

      What it did was dictate standards for the issuance of state driver licenses to federal standards, and created 50 state databases that were required to be linked. Many personal papers were scanned into them. It also gave the DHS secretary unlimited power as to when this defacto national ID card could be required.

      Sadly, there was little to no opposition to this assault on the Bill of Rights as there usually is when firearms are involved.

      Reply

  • glenn morton

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    the legislation does not go far enough … I am a retired army officer and I cannot carry on fort hood; I must leave my gun at home to go on post. a recent dod policy change allows active duty commanders (O-5 and up) to authorize specified members of his command to carry for up to 90 days. so, when I go to the post exchange and some crazy psychiatrist yells out, “alu Akbar” and starts shooting, I have to hope there is a military policeman nearby or one of those “authorized” to carry guy is there. sure would be nice if I could simply carry and rely on my skills, not luck if other “authorized” good guys are

    Reply

  • Mike Perez

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    two gun laws in one state. You can have a carry permit in new York but you can’t carry in the city. I live near new London Connecticut and several times a year I go to Florida. Unless I drive north towards the mass border and go around the city I will be in violation of the law. The reciprocity bill needs to address that issue.

    Reply

  • JimB

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    I would hope Congress will include reciprocity for the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th amendment. Fortunately here in Texas we are not currently required to undergo training nor State licensing and fees to exercise and enjoy these RIGHTS. But it might be good for Congress to pass a law to ensure they don’t go the way of the 2nd Amendment. And before you laugh, remember your 4th Amendment rights can be violated, if you sell anything of value and carry the cash you are subject to having it confiscated by Fed, State, or local authorities, even if you have documentation that you are in legal possession of the cash and have no indicators of drug trafficking. Many States and cities consider the Amendments to the constitution as “Privileges” and not Constitutional Rights. And keep in mind that the only Amendment that contains the phrase “Shall not be infringed” is the 2nd, yet some states refuse to comply and others require permitting and fees (Taxes) to excise this right.

    Reply

  • Leon K

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    The Bill needs to state any concealed carry permit.
    I reside in Maryland, a MAY ISSUE state. Our state puts the amount of money you carry or your job, (doctor,lawyer, business owner carrying cash) above your right as a law abiding citizen as a Good and Substantial reason. I have all Maryland required training but haven’t even bothered submitting for a permit because I have been told I don’t have a Good and Substantial reason. I guess I am just a common citizen and my life and my family’s protection doesn’t warrant a permit.with that being said a I won’t vacation in Maryland. My Maryland required training was sufficient to obtain a state of Florida non-resident permit which has reciprocity in 36 other states but Maryland is not one of them. The wording about holding a permit from the state of residence has to be changed. The way it is worded now if the law passed I still would not be able to carry in the state I work and live even though I have a permit that now has reciprocity in 36 states. Crazy isn’t it.

    Reply

    • Kent

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      It’s a little confusing in the wording, but what I understood reading it is that if you have been issued a permit or license by a state, or reside in a constitutional carry state, any state which has a concealed carry permit application process is required to recognize your permit or state ID/ drivers license. This should allow us to get non-resident permits and have them be recognized in our home states.

      Reply

  • John Sarmanian Jr

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    One flaw I see is that section which states that any “state” is allowed to determine their own regulations as to concealed carry within their borders leaves each state the ability to override the federal regulation should it pass in congress. We all know the ability of each state legislature to change their own laws to circumvent a federal law. Sanctuary cities being a prime example of how they ignore federal immigration laws to protect illegal aliens. The federal law must be very specific as to not allow any “state” to circumvent the federal proposed concealed permit legislation.

    Reply

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