Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 Moves Forward

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 was introduced into the House of Representatives earlier this year. A Republican Representative from North Carolina, Richard Hudson, introduced the bill.

This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms. In order to be able to do this, the person must legally be allowed to possess, transport or receive a firearm under federal law. They must also carry a valid photo identification document and carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in, his or her state of residence.

The NRA is urging Congress to pass the bill, and for a long time there had been no action on the bill other than it being introduced and then referred to subcommittees. But on Wednesday November 29, the House Judiciary Committee voted 19-11 in favor of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, after rejecting numerous attempts by Democrats to amend the bill. The members also approved a less controversial bill 17-6 to boost authorities’ compliance with the federal background check system.

The current US gin laws are a patchwork of some being stricter than others. The Reciprocity Act would allow people who are licensed in what some might regard as a “lenient” state to take their gun into states that are considered “strict.” For instance, Missouri residents no longer have to take an 8-hour safety course or complete a live-fire exercise with a range instructor in order to carry a gun. So 12 states (as far as I can tell) fear that Missourians won’t know how to handle their gun should the need arise, so those states don’t want to recognize Missouri’s permits.

The concealed carry bill would require each state to recognize concealed carry permits from every other state — as they would a driver’s license — regardless of different permitting standards. We felt strongly that when President Trump got elected that he would take action on this bill and we’re sorry that hasn’t happened yet. But this seems like a good step forward.