The movement for national concealed carry reciprocity is gaining steam… and picking up unexpected supporters.
Radio personality Howard Stern, who supported Hillary Clinton during the election, voiced his approval last Tuesday for national concealed carry reciprocity.
“It makes total sense,” he said on his Sirius XM radio show. “If somebody is a legal and responsible gun owner, let’s say in Massachusetts, why all of a sudden when he crossed the border is he an outlaw?”
Stern’s statements come in the wake of a renewed national dialogue about Trump’s proposal to enact national reciprocity for concealed carry permits. Under this proposal, concealed carry permits would, like driver’s licenses, be valid in every state.
Trump outlined the policy on his official campaign platform:
The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.
The consequences of such a law would be enormous. If concealed carry permits were valid in every state, a California resident (who could never acquire a permit under California’s gun control laws) would simply have to travel across the border to Nevada. National concealed carry reciprocity could, in effect, erase draconian state gun control laws and allow citizens of every state to carry a concealed handgun.
Second Amendment supporters would be stymied if states were to enact residency requirements for obtaining a concealed carry permit. In that scenario, a California resident may not be able to obtain a permit in Nevada unless he or she became a Nevada resident. But residency requirements would be under state control. Texas, for example, does not require a person to be a Texas resident to obtain a permit, and that policy would likely continue after national reciprocity takes effect.
As President, Trump cannot enact his proposal on his own. Congress must first pass a law, and there is one being considered right now. The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015 is sponsored by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, but has been held up in the Senate Judiciary committee since last year. Its companion House measure has 121 co-sponsors but has been similarly delayed in committee since last March.
With control of both the executive and legislative branches, however, the Republicans could move to pass national reciprocity when they re-convene next year.