National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Passes House

The carry bill now includes the bi-partisan "Fix NICS" bill, which could help it pass.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act heads to the Senate for a vote after passing in the House 231-198.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act heads to the Senate for a vote after passing in the House 231-198.web photo

In something of a surprising turn, the House of Representatives passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act by a vote of 231-198 with four abstentions.

if the bill goes on to become law, it would require that every state in the country recognize a concealed-carry gun permit issued by any other state.

That means anyone with a valid cocnealed-carry permit in one state can travel to another state with their firearm and not worry about being arrested or fined under local laws.

“Reciprocity does not affect any specific state’s laws about carrying a concealed weapon. Some states have relatively restrictive permitting procedures. New York state, for example, has one of the most rigorous standards for anyone seeking a concealed-carry gun permit. The process, if successful -- and success is far from guaranteed – entails completing a large amount of paperwork, months of waiting and detailed inquiries into applicants’ history and personal lives. The bill that just passed does not require New York to change or stop enforcing its existing laws. The state can continue to enforce relatively restrictive standards for anyone seeking, within the state of New York, a concealed-carry gun permit. “There are at least seven states whose laws about concealed carry are relatively strict. Besides New York, those states are Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The remaining 43 states generally take a somewhat less restrictive approach to applications for a concealed-carry gun permit.”

It’s lawmakers and residents from those states who have raised the most concern over the bill, since it would mean it would be easier for out-of-state residents to carry legally than it would be for residents.

The law is mean to avoid circumstances like those that led to the arrest of Texas resident Elizabeth Elderli in New York City at the Semptember 11 Memorial in 2015, whose story is recounted in the foxnews.com post.

When Elderli, who has a concealed carry permit from Texas, saw the “no firearms” sign at the security checkpoint, she alerted guards to the 9mm and .380 pistols in her backpack, believing her permit was valid there. It wasn’t.

She was arrested and charged with felony possession of a weapon and left facing 3.5 to 15 years in prison for an honest mistake.

There has been no word on when the bill will be up for a vote in the Senate.

The controversial "Fix NICS" legislation has been attached to the reciprocity bill including efforts to create "maximum coordination" instates providing the federal government with mental health records and other information required for FBI background checks to be more effective. The bill also applies penalties to government agencies for not reporting to the National Instance Criminal Background Check System. Currently, there are no repercussions.

The issue was thrust into the limelight when a man who shot a number of innocent people in a Texas church was found to have passed a background check when he bought the rifle he used in the attack. A former airman, the Air Force failed to forward records of his imprisonment, hospitalization (including and escape), and discharge to NICS.