As expected, a House panel green lit national concealed carry reciprocity this week despite intense caterwauling from Democrats and anti-gun groups.
By a vote of 19-11, the House Judiciary Committee said “yes” to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38). This NRA-backed bill would allow permitted gun owners to carry in all 50 states. It would also allow off-duty police and retired police carry in school zones.
“Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines without fear of unknowingly breaking the law,” said Chris Cox, the executive director of the NRA-ILA.
“For years, the National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority has been to pass National Concealed Carry Reciprocity, a much-needed solution to the confusing patchwork of state and local gun laws,” Cox continued.
During the hearing, Democrats tried to add various amendments to the bill. As USA Today reported, the amendments would have:
- banned anyone convicted of a violent misdemeanor in the past three years from carrying a concealed weapon in a state where that conviction would disqualify them from carrying in public.
- protected state laws banning firearms on private property, such as bars.
- expanded background checks.
- required the permits to be issued in the states where the holder resides.
The panel rejected all of them. The bill will now head to the House floor for a full vote. Maybe as soon as next week. This has anti-gunners are in full panic mode.
“House Republicans have ignored growing opposition from the law enforcement community, mayors and the American public in order to push the gun lobby’s number one priority, ‘concealed carry reciprocity,’” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety.
“Everytown and Moms Demand Action will work tirelessly to defeat ‘concealed carry reciprocity,’ and in the voting booth next fall, Americans will remember who supported this dangerous legislation,” he concluded.
National Reciprocity will likely clear the House but it will definitely face stronger opposition in the Senate. In fact, to clear the Senate, it will need some Democrats to jump on board.
Along with H.R. 38, the panel voted 17-6 in favor of bipartisan legislation to improve the FBI’s background check system.
The Fix NICS Act, as it’s called, is a carrot and stick approach to background checks. It provides incentives for states and government agencies to report relevant criminal and mental health records to NICS. It also seeks to hold “accountable” those agencies and states who fail to submit records.
Democrats and Republicans, pro-gunners and anti-gunners support the Fix NICS Act. It’s a pretty safe bet that it will become law.