Legislation approved by the House Judiciary last Wednesday would eliminate the confusing patchwork of state laws that make it difficult for law-abiding gun owners to travel across the country with their firearms for personal protection .
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which is the National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority, was approved in the committee by a vote of 19-11, clearing the way for a vote in the full House of Representatives.
“Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines without fear of unknowingly breaking the law,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said after committee passage. “For years, the National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority has been to pass National Concealed Carry Reciprocity, a much-needed solution to the confusing patchwork of state and local gun laws. The NRA and law-abiding gun owners across America are excited to see this important legislation headed for a vote in the House of Representatives.
“We thank Congressman Richard Hudson and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte for their leadership in moving H.R. 38 to the House floor.”
This would end abuses in anti-gun states like New York and New Jersey, and allow law-abiding concealed carriers to exercise their rights nationwide with peace of mind.In a nutshell, the measure would ensure that states recognize the concealed-carry credentials of other states. This would end abuses in anti-gun states like New York and New Jersey, and allow law-abiding concealed carriers to exercise their rights nationwide with peace of mind.
H.R. 38 would not, as some critics claim, affect how states issue their own concealed-carry permits. Moreover, it would require those taking advantage of its protections to obey the laws for concealed carry in each state in which they travel.
In truth, concealed-carry reciprocity is already the norm in most states.This legislation is merely a common sense follow-up to this successful initiative.
The few states that target law-abiding concealed carriers from other jurisdictions for criminal prosecution consider the bearing of arms in public for self-defense a privilege reserved for the elite, rather than a constitutional right. When states trample on constitutional rights, Congress has the authority and responsibility to act.
In a legislative alert posted earlier this year, NRA-ILA listed these five reasons why all gun owners should support national right-to-carry reciprocity:
-- Exercising a right shouldn’t be contingent upon what state you’re in. -- You don’t want to be an accidental criminal. -- Concealed-carry permit holders are among the most law-abiding citizens in the country. -- Reciprocity laws can change frequently with little notice. -- Law-abiding concealed carriers can protect you in all 50 states.
Not surprisingly, many in anti-gun groups and the so-called “mainstream” media are crying foul over the Judiciary Committee vote and spreading misinformation about H.R. 38.
An editorial at newsobserver.com headlined “GOP bows obediently to the NRA, again,” claimed, “… the states ought to respect the laws of neighboring states and others far away. And some more enlightened states have stronger gun laws than others. This legislation simply legalizes disrespecting those states by overriding their laws.”
Obviously, the newsobserver.com editorial board got it all wrong. The measure is all about recognizing a right that is enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. And we’re closer to being able to practice that right while traveling state to state than we have ever been.
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.
Use Your Power!
American gun owners and others who appreciate freedom are encouraged to ask their U.S. representative to co-sponsor and vote yes on H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. You can call the congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your representative's office, or write them directly byclicking here.