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.
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 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.
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.
“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.