New Reciprocity Bill: Gun Rights Shouldn't End At The State Line

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posted on January 6, 2017
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An important national Right-to-Carry reciprocity bill has been introduced in the U.S. Congress, and the measure is receiving whole-hearted support from the National Rifle Association.

Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 on Tuesday, Congress’ first day in session for 2017. The measure, officially known as H.R. 38, would eliminate the current confusing patchwork of state carry laws by allowing individuals who possess concealed-carry permits from their home state or who are not prohibited from carrying concealed in their home state to exercise those rights in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry.

“Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that,” Hudson said in a statement. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common-sense solution to a problem too many Americans face. It will provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits.”

The National Rifle Association has long lamented the difficulty that law-abiding Americans face when carrying firearms for self-defense during interstate travel. Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said the proposed legislation could alleviate the problem of law-abiding gun owners becoming accidental felons simply by crossing some state lines. “Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that.” — Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C.

“The current patchwork of state and local laws is confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed-carry permit holders,” Cox said on Wednesday. “This confusion often leads to law-abiding gun owners running afoul of the law when they exercise their right to self-protection while traveling or temporarily living away from home.

“Congressman Hudson’s legislation provides a much-needed solution to a real problem for law-abiding gun owners.”

The measure would not override state laws governing the time, place or manner of carrying, nor would it establish national standards for concealed carry. Individual state gun laws would still be respected. If a person is prohibited under federal law from carrying a firearm, he or she will continue to be prohibited from doing so under this bill.

As expected, those opposed to freedom and the right to armed self-defense are coming out strongly against the common-sense measure. Such a bill would be “dead on arrival” in the Senate, boasted anti-gun U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

NRA-ILA’s Cox summed it up best, however, noting it is all about freedom, not politics.

“Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines,” he said. “This is an extremely important issue to our members, and we thank Congressman Hudson for leading the fight to protect our rights.”“Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines.” — Chris W. Cox, NRA-ILA executive director

It’s interesting to note that some on the pro-freedom side of the gun issue worry that national reciprocity legislation violates states’ rights. But as attorney and constitutional scholar Dave Kopel explains in the upcoming February issue of America’s 1st Freedom, national Right-to-Carry reciprocity legislation is solidly within Congress’ 14th Amendment powers to protect the Second Amendment and the right to travel. 

For American travelers who hold a carry permit in their home state to be disarmed and endangered by their host state deprives them of their constitutional right to travel freely and safely throughout the entire United States of America. Consequently, ensuring that interstate travelers can exercise their Second Amendment right of self-defense is an appropriate subject for congressional action. 

We’ll continue to cover this important piece of legislation closely and keep A1F Daily readers apprised as further action is taken.

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