House Approves Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill

By Dave Dolbee published on in Legal, News

Reciprocity would allow anyone with a valid concealed carry gun permit in one state to travel to any other state with the permitted weapon and not worry about being arrested or fined for carrying that concealed firearm. With passage in the House, the Senate is the last hurdle to a safer America.

The Second Amendment is my gun permit

If H.R. 38 becomes law, reciprocity maps would no longer be needed.

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017

This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.

A qualified individual must: (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in, his or her state of residence.

Additionally, the bill specifies that a qualified individual who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state: (1) is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone, and (2) may carry or possess the concealed handgun in federally owned lands that are open to the public.

 The Vote

The House also included bipartisan language meant to increase reporting of legal and mental health records to the national background check system. This would allow firearms in the hands of those legally allowed to possess them, while aiding the fight to keep them out of the hands legally prohibited from owning or possessing them. The passage in the House now leaves the Senate as the last hurdle. President Trump has already committed to signing the legislation, if it makes it to his desk. The final House vote was 231 to 198, with six Democrats in favor and 14 Republicans against the bill.

H.R. 38 House vote

The biggest danger to passage would a filibuster in the Senate. If the Democrats vote along party lines—as they did in the House—there would not be enough Republican votes to break a filibuster. That would mean 60 votes in the Senate would be required for passage. A successful filibuster, would, in effect kill the legislation.

One positive, is that there has been a fair amount of support for Second Amendment-related legislation from the Democrats in Senate of late. Last week, the Senate’s Judiciary Committee debated legislation on new background check bill. However, Senate leaders seemed disinclined to take up the concealed-carry measure anytime soon.

Will the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 pass? Only time will tell. Second Amendment enthusiasts should celebrate either way. Awareness is an important step toward victory in a decades-long fight to extend concealed carry and simplify the rules for gun owners.

Chris W. Cox, the NRA’s executive director, praised the vote as a “watershed moment” for Second Amendment rights.

“This bill ensures that all law-abiding citizens in our great country can protect themselves in the manner they see fit without accidentally running afoul of the law,” he said.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) hailed the passage noting the FixNICS language.

FixNICS black and white logo

“With House passage of H.R. 38, we have cleared a major hurdle toward what will be two major achievements for America’s law-abiding gun owners and for our federally-licensed firearms retailers,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “This legislation provides a solution to the confusing patchwork of concealed carry laws and ensures that our citizens’ Second Amendment rights do not end at the state line.”

“Federally licensed firearms retailers rely upon the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to be accurate in preventing the sale and transfer of firearms to prohibited persons. The Fix NICS Act provisions included in the legislation passed today builds on the successes of NSSF’s FixNICS campaign to encourage states to enter all applicable disqualifying records into the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and requires federal agencies to properly report relevant records and hold those who fail to do so accountable,” Keane said.

“On behalf of our members, NSSF would like to recognize Congressmen Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), John Culberson (R-Texas), and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) for their bipartisan leadership in advancing this important legislation,” Keane concluded.

How do you think national concealed carry reciprocity will change the Second Amendment landscape? Share your answer 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 (28)

  • Pamedict

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    First of all having been a vctim of two armed robberies and an involvement in a third incident with a mental patient, I think it is imperative we have the constitutional right to carry a concealed weapon across state lines without fear of prosecution. I want to be able to protect myself and my family wherever I go in the USA🤔

    Reply

  • Buddy

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    This is the governments way of saying “hey, look at all the things were doing for you”. And every one bows at the alter of big government giving thanks for taking their freedom and rights away..

    Reply

  • Edgy

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    Need to post all of the names that voted against this Bill….!

    Reply

  • Chameleon

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    As a person whose family has been affected by gun violence, the Dems will misrepresent the views of me and my family. We recognize the historical and modern day need for honest and honorable people to be able and prepared to defend themselves, their families, their communities and nation. The acts of a small number of criminals and sociopaths reinforces, not diminishes, this essential need.

    My cousin, her husband and their two children (21 and 23) were at the concert in Las Vegas. Thankfully they weren’t injured, but witnessed people within arms reach get hit. The young man had the presence of mind to pull his sister to cover, shield her, and keep her calm. That’s the kind of armed citizen we should all want to see more of.

    Another cousin witnessed a heated argument in a diner between a woman he knew and her boyfriend. A while after the boyfriend left, my cousin and a friend escorted the woman to her car. As they left the diner, the boyfriend who had not left as it appeared, shot all three of them. Several minutes later, a friend of the boyfriend took the gun and executed the woman, my cousin’s friend, and had the gun pointed at my cousin’s head. The only thing that saved his life was the police sirens responding to the domestic disturbance call from the diner at least 20 minutes earlier, which made the two shooters flee. This cousin has damage to his spleen and intestines, lost a kidney, and has been ordered to remain wheelchair bound for at least two more months.

    Both of the shooters at the diner had previous (3 and 5) violent felony convictions, but still concealed a handgun. Shocker…a convicted criminal prepared to commit murder wasn’t stopped by the law.

    Had there been an armed citizen at the diner, two lives could have been saved, and two narcissistic @#$^ would at the least be less ambulatory and capable of hunting other humans.

    Reply

  • Deplorable Robert

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    So this doesn’t Force Hawaii or Californica to recognize my Tennessee carry permit. Unless it will Force the state to recognize another state’s permit, it is a nothing burger. And if I read and understand this correctly, I would have to APPLY to Hawaii to be GRANTED a carry permit which will NEVER happen. Guess I will just continue to take my chances and carry where I wish, and not be a ble to FLY into an airport of a state that doesn’t recognize my permit.
    Was under the impression that this was to force ALL STATE’S to recognize another state’s permit, but this does NOT do that. Just more fluff!

    Reply

    • Chameleon

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      Did you read the law? That is precisely what it does.

      If a state allows its residents to apply for a CCP, that state must accept the CCP from any other state. If a state has Constitutional concealed carry for its residents and does not provide a manner to apply for a CCP, it must accept the CCP from any other state. (VT is currently the only state that fits in the second category). To exercise this reciprocity, the holder must simply have photo ID and their CCP on their person and present it to LEOs. There is no “display on demand” stipulation, but is a good idea in practice unless you want to be arrested.

      It removes all of the gerrymandering where some cities allow CC, but others do not. It also appears to remove the restrictions (for non-residents) on carrying or possessing high capacity magazines, specific handgun models or specific types of bullets. (e)(2)”The term ‘handgun’ includes any magazine for use in a handgun and any ammunition loaded into the handgun or its magazine.” As I read the bill, I as a WA resident can carry my 13-round mag in CA, but CA residents can’t. I can carry my handgun loaded in OR, but OR residents can’t. I love the irony.

      Gun control advocates will freak out about the school zone portion of the bill, but it isn’t new. It only extends the current law to all CCP holders.
      Current law stipulates that the federal restrictions on carrying a firearm in a school zone (which is different from school grounds) do not apply if (1) the person carrying has a CCP from the state the school is in AND (2) the state allows in-state CCP holders to possess firearms in a school zone.

      It smartly makes it painful for states and cities to simply disregard this new law. If a city prosecutes an out of state CCP holder for carrying, the prosecution must prove that the holder was violating THIS law in addition to whatever state/local statute they were charged with violating. If the prosecutor cannot prove violation of this law, the court must pay defense attorneys fees. If a LEO stops an out of state CCP holder for carrying, is shown a facially valid CCP and further detains or arrests the holder, the LEO can be personally sued for violating the CCP holder’s rights.

      Note that this law only nationalizes the right to CC and possess handguns. It does nothing to address any other form of firearm, such as “Assault Weapons” and SBRs, or open carry.

      Even if this passes the Senate and is signed by the president (current one, who is our first with a CCP has said he will sign), the 9th Circus and probably a couple of others will immediately block it. I have zero doubt that this will make it to the Supreme Court. Hopefully we can get another judge who supports the Constitution can be appointed before it gets there.

      Reply

    • Strat

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      Hi Chameleon,

      Good insight. I’m not so sure about some of it tho, not saying you’re wrong just saying I’ve heard this interpreted differently. For example, ( all of the following assumes this get signed into law) it’s been explained that say I have a TN WCP ( not concealed but weapons carry here in TN) and TN has no magazine size restrictions, if I carry into say NY, I can legally carry concealed (NY is very strict/serious about concealed means concealed) but I am subject to their ccw laws such the 10rd magazine restriction. I have read HR38 and don’t recall seeing this aspect of it addressed specifically.

      Reply

    • Chameleon

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      Strat-

      I am not an attorney. I am just a geek who is a voracious learner, and am fascinated reading the freakish set of laws and court decisions related to firearms in the United States.

      If passed, this WILL BE challenged in court, and at least the 9th Circuit will block enactment. Depending upon timing (AKA who is president at the time of each step of the process), this WILL make it to the Supreme Court, as it will be challenged as a 10th Amendment issue. Let’s hope that we get at least one more justice who has actually read and respects the Constitution appointed to SCOTUS.

      “a person … who is carrying a valid identification document …, and who is carrying a valid license or permit … which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm …, may possess or carry a concealed handgun … in any State …”

      “any State” in this context is defined as a state that permits Constitutional Concealed Carry OR has a law that allows residents to apply for a license or permit to carry a concealed firearm. Every state meets one or both of these requirements.

      “The term ‘handgun’ includes any magazine for use in a handgun and any ammunition loaded into the handgun or its magazine.”

      To allay your concerns, the TN WCP is a license needed to carry a handgun in public in TN. This carriage can be open or concealed. This meets the standard of “a law that allows residents to apply for a license or permit to carry a concealed firearm.”

      Now to the second part, such as bullet types, magazine capacities and “approved gun lists.” I’ll use California, which is one of the strictest states, and being closest to me, is the one I am most familiar with.

      The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act (federal) allows persons to transport firearms and associated magazines they legally own through any state, even if that firearm or magazine is not legal per state law. Every State law that requires a “transit” permit to carry a firearm through a state is explicitly violating FOPA.

      “Pursuant to California Penal Code section 25610, a United States citizen over 18 years of age who is not prohibited from firearm possession, and who resides or is temporarily in California, may transport by motor vehicle any handgun provided it is unloaded and locked in the vehicle’s trunk or in a locked container. Furthermore, the handgun must be carried directly to or from any motor vehicle for any lawful purpose and, while being carried must be contained within a locked container.”

      California PC 25610 and FOPA allow nonresidents to bring handguns into California subject to the above, even if the handgun is not on the “approved list.” Once in California, CCRA would take precedence, removing the requirement that it be in a locked container under concealed carry reciprocity. Since CCRA applies to all states, there is no point at which the holder would have to box up the gun while crossing a state border.

      The part that is nearly impossible to answer at the moment – “high capacity magazines.” California seems to think that magazines with a capacity > 10 rounds are the reincarnated love child of Adolph Hitler and Jeffrey Dahmer. Even though FOPA allows the transport of these magazines, they will be confiscated by CA LEOs, and you will be prosecuted — It’s even worse if you dare to defend yourself with such an evil device. That’s the current state of law, but CCRA will change the whole environment. How it’ll change is anyone’s guess.

      Since the CCRA term ‘handgun’ includes ANY magazine and ANY ammunition loaded into the handgun or magazine, California law related to magazine capacity should be null and void for nonresidents of California who bring their handgun and magazines into CA under CCRA.

      I have little hope that California will yield, so there’s little chance that CA residents will be able to ever acquire “high capacity magazines” legally in CA under California law. A muddy mess will come from CA residents purchasing these mags in other states, and personally bringing them in under the protection of CCRA.

      Washington DC is once again screwed up. CCRA only addresses reciprocity between states. Since DC is not a state, it has no obligation to honor permits from any state.

      Now, I’ve outlined what the law says and how the dots are connected. Of course, there will be at least a decade of court proceedings as the various laws get untangled or even more tangled. California and several other states refuse to ignore FOPA, or aggressively watch the razor’s edge, by interpreting things like a stay in a hotel to not meet the criteria of “passing through.” CCRA will be monitored even more aggressively, and states will do their worst at whittling away what CCRA creates.

      Thankfully CCRA has some teeth, which will make LEOs, courts and legislators think twice before jumping off the rails:

      “When a person successfully asserts this section as a defense in a criminal proceeding, the court shall award the prevailing defendant a reasonable attorney’s fee.” — This is SHALL award, meaning that the court has no choice but to pay.

      “A person who is deprived of any right, privilege, or immunity secured by this section, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of any State or any political subdivision thereof, may bring an action in any appropriate court against any other person, including a State or political subdivision thereof, who causes the person to be subject to the deprivation, for damages or other appropriate relief.” — This means that the arresting LEO, the chief of police or sheriff and the prosecuting attorney are PERSONALLY liable for violating your rights under CCRA, and police departments, cities or states that enact laws or policies contrary to CCRA can be sued.

      Reply

  • MR. CHARLES

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    One step done, 2 more to go. Good thing MAY get thru the system if enough American Citizens call their Senators to ASK FOR PASSAGE OF THE BILL. Just think of it this way – if you are driving from state to state there could be Tickets or Jail Time for you if your Drivers License does not conform to the state law that you enter and you are stopped, all law enforcement needs to see is your out-of-state plate to realize that your license does not meet state requirements to ticket or arrest you.

    Reply

  • Louis

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    So what happens now they pass the included bipartisan language to increase reporting of mental health issues and then drop the National Reciprocity Act. They never should’ve been put together!!

    Reply

  • Dorien deLusignan

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    Hurray for the House and more so for those who sponsored this practical and sensible legislation. I just pray that the senate is as intelligent and realistic as the House. Every single day many, probably hundreds or more, illegally armed people pass through my state, Virginia, on I 95. I cannot, as a legally armed person pass to the south 12 miles and enter North Carolina because of laws based on nonsense. Thank you to all with knowledge and sound judgement enough to change this crazy system. Sincerely and in Christ, Dorien deLusignan

    Reply

  • H

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    In a word:

    HALLELUJAH!

    Only time will tell if this will fully pass and become law. Then there will be the (many?) legal challenges by the may sayers who will stop at NOTHING to keep Mr. and Mrs. America disarmed except in various enclaves in various states.
    Then too, this does nothing to address the myriad magazine limit bans or the multitudes of specific gun bans so even if it is legal where you come from, it MAY NOT BE LEGAL where you are headed.
    As I said, time will tell but this is certainly a GREAT step in the direction of FREEDOM!
    AMEN!!

    Reply

  • Dwight

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    I think it’s about time. What sense does it make to carry concealed legally in Pennsylvania then legally be a criminal in New Jersey for doing the same. This is a no brainer uncle Sam. Let’s get it done. I live in PA, have relatives in N.Y., DE.,and N.J. I am committed to defending myself and my family first and foremost. My attitude has always been ” I’ll take my chances ” when I travel to those and other states. Passing this law would simplify things and put my mind at ease.

    Reply

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