December 6th, the House of Representatives approved legislation that would require all states to recognize one another’s permits to carry concealed firearms. The vote on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act was 231 to 198, with 14 Republicans voting no and six Democrats voting yes.
The legislation now moves to the Senate where a 60-vote supermajority is required and Republicans have a majority of only 52. Its fate is not certain. President Donald Trump supports reciprocity.
SECOND TIME HOUSE HAS PASSED A RECIPROCITY BILL ONLY TO BE KILLED IN SENATE
This is not the first time the House has passed such a bill. In 2011, thanks to the Tea Party’s midterm wave, the House approved a nearly identical bill by a margin of 272 to 154. This was mostly symbolic since the then-Democratic-controlled Senate was unlikely to pass it. Indeed, they refused to even bring it to the floor for a vote. And President Barack Obama was NEVER going to allow this Constitutional Right to be implemented.
FIX NATIONAL INSTANT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM
The bill was packaged with the bipartisan Fix NICS proposal to fund better reporting of records to the gun background check system. The Fix NICS Act* is meant to ensure that federal and state authorities swiftly and accurately submit records to the database. Democrats hailed the bill as a rare step forward for gun safety, but Republicans cast it as an effort to better enforce existing laws.
NRA APPROVES OF CONCEALED CARRY RECIPROCITY BILL
“Your fundamental right to keep and bear arms should not end at the state line,” an NRA spokesperson said. Many states have existing reciprocity agreements, typically with states that have similar licensing standards.
Under the reciprocity bill, a person holding any state concealed-carry permit and a photo ID would be able to legally carry a weapon in any other state that allows concealed carry. He or she would still be obligated to follow state or local laws governing where or what type of concealed weapons may be carried.
STATES ARE REQUIRED TO HONOR MARRIAGE & DRIVER’S LICENSES FROM OTHER STATES
The U.S. Constitution requires states to give full faith and credit to other states. A couple married in New Jersey is STILL deemed a married couple under Oregon law. A man with a driver’s license issued in Washington State can legally drive to Florida.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), said in an interview, that his bill would allow weapons permits to be treated the same way that driver’s licenses or marriage licenses are, that states would grant mutual recognition to documents issued by other states.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said the bill was in keeping with recent Supreme Court decisions establishing an individual right to own and carry arms.
“We know that citizens who carry a concealed handgun are not only better prepared to act in their own self-defense, but also in the defense of others,” Goodlatte said. “This bill is about the simple proposition that law abiding Americans should be able to exercise their right to self-defense even when they cross out of their state’s borders. That is their constitutional right.”
Diane L. Gruber
Concealed Carry Permitholder
*NATIONAL INSTANT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM