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From the Editor | Support Right-to-Carry Reciprocity

From the Editor | Support Right-to-Carry Reciprocity

Photo credit: Tom Sperduto

Pennsylvania single mom Shaneen Allen is living proof of the need for Congress to pass Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation.

With several national Right-to-Carry reciprocity measures introduced in Congress, now is the time for all gun owners and Second Amendment supporters to ask their U.S. senators and congressmen to support and cosponsor the legislation.

More than 12 million Americans have obtained concealed-carry permits to date. These citizens have entered into and are required to understand what can be a complex web of laws. In some states, right-to-carry permit holders are subject to varying rules as to where, how and what they can carry from one political subdivision to the next. Even after they learn and obey these restrictions on their rights, if they want to travel to another state with their personal-protection gun, they have to consider the laws of other states.

This can be a very complicated and burdensome process, and it contains many pitfalls even for those who go out of their way to try to learn and obey the law. Just ask Shaneen Allen, the single Pittsburgh mother whose life was nearly ruined because of New Jersey’s strict laws differing from the Pennsylvania laws Allen was following when she crossed the state line.

The reciprocity measures currently under consideration in Congress would allow any person with a valid carry permit or license issued by a state to carry a concealed firearm in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry. None of the measures provide for a national concealed-carry permit, nor do they dictate how states issue their own permits. They also do not allow a resident to circumvent his or her home state’s right-to-carry permit laws; the federal protection only applies when the permit holder travels out of his or her home state.

To date, S. 498 by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has 27 cosponsors; H.R. 923 by Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., has 24 cosponsors; H.R. 986 by Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., has 135 cosponsors; and H.R. 402 by Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Fla., has 84 cosponsors.

Passage of the legislation is so critical that NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre took time during his speech at this year’s Annual Meeting of Members in Nashville, Tenn., to call on Congress to take action.

“In these dangerous times, no one should be forced to face evil with bare hands,” LaPierre said. “It’s time for national Right-to-Carry [reciprocity] legislation. It’s time for Congress to pass it today.”

Contacting your congressional delegation is not only important, but also quite simple. Contact your U.S. senators and U.S. representative by phone at (202) 224-3121, or use the “Write Your Lawmaker” tool on the NRA-ILA website here.