General

Day 1: Congress Introduces National Concealed Carry Reciprocity

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.

Blackhawk Check Six holster
The Check Six rides at a good angle for concealed carry and offers a sharp draw for those that practice.
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.

[dave]

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Comments (160)

  1. Upon completion of a federal form 4473, submitted to the state licensing authority and dd214 or similar proof of training .A state shall be REQUIRED to issue a ccw to the resident of that state.

  2. Even if this were to pass, you could expect officially sanctioned harassment in a state like New Jersey or New York. They would arrest you and put you through bureaucratic hell, only to release you hours later. Probably without returning your gun, and there will be very little you can do about it, because they didn’t charge you with anything.

    1. @ joe,

      The new law indicates they’ve anticipated such “sanctioned harassment”. Give them credit for writing in retaliatory measures to deter and punish those states, counties or municipality that violate this law.

  3. The only “reciprocity” law with regard to concealed carry that makes sense is one predicated upon ALL states, counties AND municipalities recognizing and honoring citizens’ U.S. constitutional right to bear arms. Anything less is an abridgment of that right. An application process (with or without fees), congruous across all states and counties, administered by the applicant’s respective county sheriff dept. that includes thorough vetting and appropriate training is a common-sense requirement for the purpose of parsing out those unfit to carry concealed. Good cause need not be a requirement for concealed carry where the applicant proves to be a law-abiding adult citizen in good standing.
    Consider that in public places i.e. airports, malls, schools and sports arenas (soft target zones) blatant open carry can be cause for great alarm among those harboring a fear of firearms carried by anyone other than uniformed law enforcement. Legal concealed carry is an excellent alternative that serves to allay that fear and at the same time affords the carrier a means of self-protection, especially when protective law enforcement may not be present. Support national reciprocity.

  4. If I am understanding this correctly, I still couldn’t carry in New Jersey when I have to travel there for work because I don’t think they allow their residents to conceal carry. I want to exercise my right everywhere.

  5. Be careful with this … while I agree with the intent of this initiative, I am not in favor of the federal government becoming involved in deciding who can or can not carry a concealed weapon and where they may do so, even if it seems to simplify things. Someone once said, ” A government big enough to give its citizens everything they want is also big enough to take it all away”. The focus should be on reaffirming the right of constitutional carry and guaranteeing that right in all states. Notice I stated REaffirming, not affirming – our Constitution already affirms that right.

  6. I think this is one of the Great ideas of 2017. Thank God somebody in congress understands the confusion and is willing to try and change existing state laws in this matter. It’s a start but needs more changes. Hopefully we begin here and then move to improve it even more Make America Great Again

  7. How about adding a paragraph that removes the restriction on guns and knives on VA facilities? The US Government didn’t mind me carrying a weapon during combat service with the US Army, why can’t I carry my weapon even thru the front gate of the VA facility that treats my service-connected disability?

  8. This law is worthless. It is a poor excuse for a band-aid to placate a few CCW holders and perhaps the NRA. It does absolutely nothing for actual 2nd amendment protections. And let us all remember, this is absolutely NOT a constitutional right! It is a God given right and the Constitution strictly forbids any government entity from creating a law regarding it. If you are a strict secular humanist, you can take the wording of “creator” to mean that your mama gave you the right to carry a loaded gun for protection. Regardless of that meaning, the wording of”shall not be infringed” is pretty damned clear. This law needs to be rewritten in its entirety to state that the Constitution protects the right of every legal citizen to purchase a gun and carry it with them for protection (or if they just feel like it) without any rider concerning style or magazine size or bullet type. Those are ALL end moves around the Constitution. This administration needs to step up on day one to severely punish any government body that has been working against the written Constitution in any way. Enough is enough.

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