Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill: Non-Resident Permits Valid Everywhere

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill: Non-Resident Permits Valid Everywhere
If your state makes getting a carry permit difficult or impossible, you can simply get one in another state–and it'll be valid back home, according to the legislation.web photo

According to this story from freebeacon.com, Rep Richard Hudson (R-NC) clarified an important aspect of his national concealed carry reciprocity bill introduced to Congress recently that may have a big impact on residents of "may issue" states.

The story says that the proposed bill would apply to CCW permits issued by states to residents AND non-residents alike.

"My legislative intent is to ensure a non-resident carry permit is recognized, and I've confirmed this with legislative counsel and Judiciary Committee staff," Hudson said in the story.

For states like California and New Jersey that use a “may issue” permitting process, this means residents could obtain concealed carry permits from other states that grant them to non-residents and those permits would then be valid under the new legislation in their home state. In fact, under Hudson’s proposal, that permit would allow them to carry in any state in the country as well.

So-called may issue states lay the final decision in granting a CCW permit to the discretion of government officials who often put stringent requirements on applicants, resulting in very few permits being granted to regular citizens.

For instance, an individual from Washington D.C., where concealed carry permits are difficult to obtain, even for those who complete the required training and pass background checks, could get a CCW permit from Virginia that would then allow them to carry in the District, the story says.

"Exercising your Second Amendment rights and using the means to defend yourself should not stop at a state border," the Second Amendment Foundation's Alan Gottlieb said. "We applaud Rep. Hudson for including the acceptance of non-resident permits in other states the same way resident permits are. The gun prohibition lobby will fight every attempt to remove their roadblocks to the right to keep and bear arms. This is one of their major roadblocks."

Concealed carriers would still be required to follow local laws dictating where concealed carry is prohibited, like government buildings or schools, depending on the state.

The legislation is an attempt to simplify the rules for carrying firearms in the country. Currently, a patchwork of reciprocity agreements exist between individual states that can be confusing for travelers. Some states, like New Jersey, don’t recognize permits from any states, while others recognize permits from only certain states.

Confusion over these laws is not only inconvenient and perplexing, but it has ruined the lives of otherwise law-abiding citizens who simply made a mistake. An often cited case is that of Shaneen Allen, a Philadelphia woman who was arrested for carrying a legally purchased gun in New Jersey because she was unaware that her Pennsylvania concealed carry permit was not recognized there. Allen was eventually pardoned by Gov. Chris Christie (R., N.J.), but not before spending 40 days in jail and losing her job, the story says.

Hudson's bill would create a federal requirement for reciprocity among all states to avoid situations like Allen's. The bill has gotten support from the NRA and is a top priority for gun rights advocates in 2017. The bill already has over 100 co-sponsors in the House of Representative, the story says.