The House Judiciary Committee announced yesterday that House Resolution (H.R.) 38—the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017—was approved by a 19-11 vote.
What does this mean? If reconciliation in the Senate can occur and a bill is agreed upon by both chambers, all U.S. states can soon enjoy rights to concealed carry reciprocity — especially rights that have been denied to folks in high crime blue states and their crime-ridden cities.
“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. 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.” Gun Owners of America similarly issued a statement and provided it to The Resurgent:
Erich Pratt, Gun Owners of America's Executive Director, issued the following statement to The Resurgent:
"GOA applauds the committee passage of the concealed carry reciprocity and encourages the House leadership to take up the bill right away. This legislation will allow decent Americans to carry in any state in the country, thereby countering the fascist gun laws of anti-gun states.
"GOA also sends special kudos to Republicans on the Judiciary Committee who shot down an attempt by Democrats to delete the Constitutional Carry protections in the bill. Gun Owners of America opposed the amendment that sought to limit concealed carry reciprocity to permit holders only and was happy to see it go down to an inglorious defeat."
The Concealed Carry Act of 2017, if passed, would expand concealed carry rights for law-abiding gun owners. Here's more of the bill's text for your viewing pleasure:
Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof (except as provided in subsection (b)) and subject only to the requirements of this section, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, who is carrying a valid identification document containing a photograph of the person, and who is carrying a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm or is entitled to carry a concealed firearm in the State in which the person resides, may possess or carry a concealed handgun (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, in any State that—
“(1) has a statute under which residents of the State may apply for a license or permit to carry a concealed firearm; or
“(2) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes.
“(b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of any State that—
“(1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or
“(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.
Earlier this year, Second Amendment Caucus chair Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced legislation— H.R 2909, or D.C Personal Protection Reciprocity Act — in wake of the Alexandria, Virginia, ballpark shooting that left Congressman Steve Scalise severely wounded. If passed, this bill would grant law-abiding gun owners with "valid concealed carry permits issued from their home state to carry their firearms in the District of Columbia."
“After the horrific shooting at the Republican Congressional Baseball practice, there will likely be calls for special privileges to protect politicians,” Congressman Massie said . “Our reaction should instead be to protect the right of all citizens guaranteed in the Constitution: the right to self-defense. I do not want to extend a special privilege to politicians, because the right to keep and bear arms is not a privilege, it is a God-given right protected by our Constitution.”
Let's hope the Senate can get its act together and pass an accompanying bill. Law-abiding gun owners in blue states and neighboring states shouldn't be criminalized in the eyes of the law any longer.