While the new Congress is still some weeks away from being sworn in, one Republican congressman has written a national concealed carry reciprocity bill to submit to it. National reciprocity is expected to be the first gun-rights measure to be pushed by president-elect Trump when he takes office next month.
This story from freebeacon.com says North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson released the details of the bill this week, which he plans to introduce in the next session.
So what would the bill do exactly?
Primarily, it would allow anyone with a valid concealed carry permit from their state of residence to carry a firearm in any other state, regardless of a given state’s current reciprocity rules. This would end the current, extremely confusing patchwork of reciprocity agreements currently in place among various states across the country.
Essentially, the bill would treat CCW permits like driver’s licenses, the story says.
“Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and I plan to introduce legislation in the first days of the 115th Congress to guarantee that,” Hudson said in the story. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense bill 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.”
The bill would prevent more restrictive states—such as New Jersey, which doesn’t currently recognized CCW permits from any other state—from prohibiting out-of-state residents from legally carrying a gun.
Carriers would still be required to carry their permit on their person along with a government-issued photo ID. They would also have to abide by a given state’s concealed carry laws, regarding where and when specifically they can carry. That means those who live in states with permitless concealed carry, or “constitutional carry” would have to obtain a permit if they want to carry across state lines.
If adopted, the bill could cause some headaches for certain states. Again, New Jersey, one of the most restrictive when it comes to issuing concealed carry permits, has issued incredibly few CCW permits to its 9 million residents. If the bill passes, the state would be surrounded by Pennsylvanians and New Yorkers who can legally carry in New Jersey, but its own residents could not.
Similar legislation has been regularly introduced by GOP lawmakers in the past three Congresses, but has gained no traction. This time, things are expected to be different, despite the fact that there are only 52 Republicans in the new Senate and 60 votes are need to shortcut a filibuster, according to this story from guns.com.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told the Wall Street Journal that any version of a national reciprocity bill would be “dead on arrival.”
Opponents of the legislation said it would violate states’ rights by allowing visitors to carry even if the permit holder may not meet the criteria to possess a firearm under the laws of the state they are visiting, as each state has different CCW permit requirements.
The new Congress meets for the first time on January 3.