This week, U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.
With 58 cosponsors, bipartisan support and the backing of many pro-gun organizations, the bill seeks to ensure that law-abiding citizens who are licensed or permitted to carry in their home state, can also carry when traveling around the country.
“Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that,” said Hudson in a press release.
“The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense solution to a problem too many Americans face,” he continued. “It will 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, if passed, will do all of the following:
- Ensure that valid concealed carry permits issued in one state are valid for carrying concealed handguns in other states that recognize their own resident’s right to concealed carry;
- Allow those from constitutional carry states the ability to carry in other states that recognize their own resident’s right to concealed carry;
- Put the burden of proof clearly on the state to show that an individual carrying concealed did not comply with the law, thus protecting law-abiding gun owners from onerous civil suits;
- Provide legal protections against states that violate the intent of this bill, making attorney’s fees and damages available to victorious plaintiffs in civil suits, as well as to defendants who prevail in criminal cases; and
- Allow individuals who are carrying concealed to do so in the National Park System, National Wildlife Refuge System, and on lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation.
— Richard Hudson (@RepRichHudson) January 3, 2017
It’s important to note that the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 does not tell the states that they have to adopt a certain concealed-carry issuing standard (e.g. May Issue versus Shall Issue versus Constitutional Carry). In other words, the states retain the authority to determine the regulations and process for one to carry in public.
“As a member of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to get this legislation across the finish line,” said Hudson.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, wholeheartedly endorsed the bill.
“This legislation provides an answer to the confusing patchwork of concealed carry permits, particularly with regard to states where laws make unwitting criminals out of legal permit holders for a simple mistake of a wrong traffic turn,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.
“It safeguards a state’s right to determine their own laws while protecting the Second Amendment rights of all Americans,” continued Keane. “We thank Rep. Hudson for his leadership on behalf of America’s hunters and recreational shooters.”
With Trump set to take office and a GOP majority in both chambers, this bill has a good chance of becoming law. Certainly better than previous iterations of National Reciprocity did with Obama in office. We’ll keep an eye on it and update you as it makes its way through the legislative process.