A Long Overdue Solution to the Patchwork of Carry Laws

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posted on January 15, 2021
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In what is an ongoing effort to secure the Second Amendment rights for people who want to practice concealed carry as they travel, U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) recently introduced H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (CCRA). This bipartisan legislation has 154 original cosponsors.

“Our Second Amendment rights do not disappear when we cross state lines, and H.R. 38 guarantees that,” said Rep. Hudson in an official press release. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is a common-sense solution to provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits. I am especially proud to have such widespread and bipartisan support for this measure and will work with my colleagues to get this legislation over the finish line.”

H.R. 38 would allow citizens with state-issued concealed-carry licenses or permits to conceal a handgun in any other state, as long as the permit holder followed the laws of that state. It also would give residents of Constitutional-carry states the ability to carry in other states.

This is essentially the same as a bill that Rep. Hudson introduced in 2017, a bill championed by the NRA. As the NRA Institute for Legislative Action noted at the time, concealed-carry reciprocity ensures that those Americans who can legally carry a concealed firearm in one state will legally be able to do so in every other state. It eliminates the confusing patchwork of state laws that have ensnared otherwise law-abiding gun owners, and have forced law enforcement to waste their precious time and resources enforcing laws that don’t do anything to reduce violent crime.”

Philadelphia resident Shaneen Allen, who faced up to five years in prison for bringing a firearm into New Jersey in 2013, is just one example of this. “Allen was arrested in Atlantic County, N.J. following a traffic stop during which she voluntarily informed a law enforcement officer that she was carrying a firearm. Allen mistakenly thought that her Pennsylvania Right-to-Carry permit would be recognized in New Jersey,” reported NRA-ILA at the time.

After her 18-month legal ordeal, Republican Gov. Chris Christie pardoned Allen. Others have not been so fortunate.

Actually, all by itself, New Jersey makes the case for the CCRA. As America’s 1st Freedom previously reported, New Jersey has arrested and charged numerous people who have carry permits from other states.

People victimized by the New Jersey legal system included one air traveler who flew through the state a number of years ago. “He missed a flight and the airline gave him his luggage—which included a properly checked firearm—as he waited for a later flight. He spent a night in a hotel in New Jersey, and when he returned to the airport to check his handgun for his flight, he was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm.”

That traveler, by the way, spent four days in jail before he was released on bail. The charges were eventually dropped, but it took years for him to have his firearm returned to him.

Rep. Hudson introduced the first version of what is now called the CCRA in 2015, during the 114th Congress, as H.R. 989, and he re-introduced it as H.R. 38, the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act,” in 2017 in the 115th Congress. Unfortunately, this iteration of the bill did not make it through Congress.

Rep. Hudson tried once again in 2019. He reintroduced the bill, but the bill failed to gain the needed traction.

It is noteworthy that this current bill has strong bipartisan support, which could be a huge factor in getting the CCRA passed this time around. Second Amendment supporters in general, and gun owners like Shaneen Allen, certainly hope so!

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