Clear Front-Sight Picture of What Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Will Do

By Larry Keane

Concealed Carry Success
Concealed Carry Success

U.S.A.-( The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, H.R. 38, has passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 231 to 198. It was one of the first bills introduced in this Congress, and even up to its passage, and now subsequent consideration in the U.S. Senate, there’s been quite a bit of misinformation meant to derail this legislation that would benefit concealed carry permit holders and maintain states’ ability to enforce their laws.

Second Amendment Rights Don’t End at State Borders

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act will do several things. First and foremost, it will ensure that Second Amendment rights don’t end at state borders. It will allow authorized handgun owners who are legally permitted in their home state to carry a concealed firearm in others states that also allow concealed carry. Given that all 50 states, and the District of Columbia, now have some form of concealed carry permit, it would eliminate a dangerous patchwork of laws that concealed carry permit holders must navigate across state lines.

The sponsor of the legislation, U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) summed it up when he said, “This is just simple, common-sense legislation that says if you’re a law-abiding citizen we’re not going to turn you into a criminal just for crossing an invisible state line.”

Burden of Proof Lies with the States

The legislation would also shift the burden of proof where it belongs, on the state, to demonstrate a permit holder didn’t comply with their state laws. When it comes to federal lands, concealed carry permit holders would be permitted to carry concealed firearms in the National Parks System, National Wildlife Refuge System and lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation.

States would maintain the authority to set their own firearms laws and regulations for issuing permits in within their borders. The legislation provides that a permit holder who carries in another state must abide by that state’s laws and regulations when it comes to carrying concealed. Residents of states that passed Constitutional carry laws would be able to carry in another state with Constitutional carry without having to obtain a permit.

Opposition and Outlandish Claims

That hasn’t stopped opponents of gun rights and firearms from lashing out, sometimes with outlandish claims of what is to come if the legislation is eventually signed into law.

Claim: The U.S. Conference of Mayors, including no less than anti-gun Mayors Bill de Blasio of New York City and Rahm Emmanuel of Chicago, claims concealed carry reciprocity would “remove local governments’ ability to maintain sensible gun standards, and keep a proper vetting process in place …”

Correction: This is just plain wrong. As previously stated above, the bill would allow states to set their own laws and regulations. If a state requires a permit to carry concealed, and a firearms owner comes from a state that has Constitutional carry, that person would be required to obtain a permit from their home state before carrying a firearm concealed in their neighboring state with stricter concealed carry laws.

Claim: Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety claims the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would “make our communities less safe.” That chicken-little sky-is-falling hyperbole has been tried before. It wasn’t’ true then, and it just isn’t true now. As individual states passed laws permitting law-abiding gun owners to carry concealed, predictions of a cataclysm were never borne out.

Correction: The opposite has been true. More than 16.3 million law-abiding Americans have concealed carry permits. This year, more than 1.83 million alone were issued. John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center reported violent that crimes fell, and at a considerable rate. Lott’s study also found that concealed carry permit holders were actually more law-abiding than the population in general, with permit holders committing crimes at even lower percentages than police officers.

Claim: Former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords group has been particularly vocal in her groups’ opposition to permitting Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Her group issued a press release following the House of Representatives’ passage, claiming the legislation would “let people with violent criminal histories carry guns.” This is a patently false claim.

Correction: Individuals with a violent criminal history are not permitted to buy a firearm, much less carry that firearm concealed in public. States issuing permits run the same FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) on applicants just as they do on anyone purchasing a firearm. If that individual isn’t allowed to buy a firearm because of a prohibiting factor, including felony convictions, mental health adjudication, domestic violence convictions and a fugitive from justice, among other disqualifying grounds, that person would be barred from receiving a concealed carry permit.

The irony is, this Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, in addition to providing America with an increasingly law-abiding armed citizenry, would also strengthen background checks by incentivizing states to submit criminal and mental health records of prohibited persons.

Advancing to the U.S. Senate

There is still work to be done. A companion bill is still being considered in the Senate, where antigun Senators have vowed to do everything in their power to block the legislation. And, gun control groups like Mayor Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety are already lining up to file lawsuits to thwart the exercise of the Second Amendment.

About NSSF:National Shooting Sports Foundation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 6,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers.

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  • 11 thoughts on “Clear Front-Sight Picture of What Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Will Do

    1. Fighting this in the legislature is a waste of time and money. The only ones who benefit are the corrupt politicians and the lawyers/special interest groups. Its a dog and pony show for us with no real action.

      The real fight belongs in the courts. Anyone with half a brain knows the only way to advance our rights as they were intended and not pretended, is in the court system. SCOTUS will rule in our favor if they have the right cases before them. We need to flood the court system with cases demonstrating our rights are being violated. Its the only way to cut thru the charade and circus act. The law is on our side…we need to make that clear and get the corrupt politicians out of the mix. Courts will follow the Constitution if given the right cases. Its really that simple, just needs to be done. The ABA is full of Liberals if you ask why this has not been done yet…AKA traitors.

      1. @Renov8, I would not put too much faith in the S. Ct. because they have not been following the Constitution for many years. Look at the courts section of the Constitution and compare that with what the S. Ct is doing.
        And this S. Ct is too packed with liberals.

        1. I put more faith in the new administration and the members being appointed to the SCOTUS. The next appointment or two will solidify our rights for the next few generations. State courts are important, but when the judicial activists are writing law rather than enforcing it, the problems become more profound. Legislating from the bench is not what our founding fathers envisioned.

          If the courts do not uphold the rights as enumerated, the people will.

    2. Larry Keane, please provide an explanation for two seemly contradictory statements in your article.

      “Residents of states that passed Constitutional carry laws would be able to carry in another state with Constitutional carry without having to obtain a permit.”

      “If a state requires a permit to carry concealed, and a firearms owner comes from a state that has Constitutional carry, that person would be required to obtain a permit from their home state before carrying a firearm concealed in their neighboring state with stricter concealed carry laws.”

      1. it is real simple and not contradictory.
        if your state is a constitutional carry state, meaning no permit is required, then you can also carry without a permit in any other state that is constitutional carry.

        but , if you want to carry in a state that allows Concealed Carry with a permit, then you must obtain a permit from your state to be able to carry in those other states

    3. IF (and that is a big IF) this ends up passing the senate (hopefully without the fix NICS attachment), there are still a fair number of anti-gun states that I will choose NOT to visit – for a large variety of reasons. Why would I want to support their hateful policies and pitiful treatment of their own Citizens with my hard earned retirement money? There are far too many gun friendly places to visit……………….;-)

      1. No matter what we may want the chances of reciprocity passing without the FixNICS is essentially zero. The good news is FixNICS is nothing to worry about. In 2007, the GOA told us how bad the NICS improvement bill was. Nothing they said was true. Nothing they predicted happened – everything that the NRA, SAF/CCRKBA and NSSF said was true. GOA is categorically opposed to any and all background checks. They think the best way to proceed is to do everything they can to hobble the system.

        I have a different opinion. I think the best thing we can do is insist that current gun laws be enforced – especially those applying to criminals and prohibited persons. Here’s why: I have been watching the antis at work for 50 years. They pass laws, but they NEVER enforce them. Then when nothing changes, they say “Well what we really need is more laws!” Why do you think it is that they haven’t cared one bit about a flawed reporting system? They want it to fail as badly as possible. I am not saying that I think the NICS system is going to end gun crime – it clearly won’t. The absolute best it could ever do is to puch prohibited persons into the illegal market. Here’s the thing about that: Most people would find a drastic reduction in prohibited persons buying through legal channels to be enough. They are not then going to conclude that because guns are being trafficked illegally to criminals, that the answer is more restriction on legal sales. That is exactly why gun control groups really don’t really want NICS to be fixed. Right now they have to maintain that they do, but their actions in between events like VT and the Texas church shooting reveal their true agenda.

    4. Further infringing upon a “Right” by transferring more overseeing power to the federal government DOES NOT correct the already, not only infringed upon, but, violated Right to keep and bear arms. It only deepens the gross injustice and violation of our individual Rights!

      “The Right … Shall Not Be Infringed”

      “If the central government has the authority to tell a state it must accept permits from all the other states, then it also has the authority to tell a state it may not accept a concealed permit from any other states. If the central government can do these things it can set up a national concealed carry permit scheme and in essence bring into existence a national arms registry. That is exactly where this is headed.”
      -Attorney Richard D. Fry

      We do not need another federal law! We need to hold the states and the federal government to our basic laws, our original contract with our government, the Constitution, and to the “Prime Directive” that forms the foundation of that contract: “…That To Secure These Rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—” DoI

      I say over and over again, the Second Amendment, for that matter all of the Bill of Rights, all of the Constitution, DOES NOT give anyone “Rights”! It further PROTECTS our already existing natural, inherent, fundamental, God-given, unalienable(inseparable from our human existence)”Rights” from overstepping governments and tyrants.

      “…That To Secure These Rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—” DoI

      The ONLY authority any government has is to secure our Rights, to protect our Rights! The governments have NO authority to oppress, deny, or in any way regulate who may or may not exercise their Right of self defense without an individual criminal action, “due process of law”, in a courtroom of our peers. To deny people their Right of self defense violates not only the Second Amendment but the Fifth Amendment and others.

      To vote on a Right is to VIOLATE that Right! To vote on a Right of self defense is to violate the Second Amendment. Our Rights are owned by each one of us individually, just as our Right to be a free people is an individual Right. If we can vote on this Right to be armed, then, we can vote on reinstating slavery. All it will take is a majority rule! Actually that is exactly what is being voted on. Slaves do not own firearms, but, a free people do! ALL OF THEM! By voting on this our government is saying some people are slaves.

      The Bill of Rights only protects our “Rights” if we are willing to stand up and sign and “… pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” The Bill of Rights DOES NOT guarantee our “Rights”, it is only an instrument of protection. But, like any instrument of protection, it MUST BE backed up by people of courage and conviction. OR a government of tyrants will trample all over those protections and thus all over our “Rights” as our government has been doing.

      Just passing a “law” DOES NOT constitute “due process of law”, since our “Rights” do not get due process! In fact, it is most usually just the opposite. For those passing the “law” are intent upon a narrow-minded agenda that does not include our “Rights”, just an intent to expedite their own end game!

      A law that intends to set a balance so that all people may experience an equality of “Rights” such as stops signs at an intersection is one thing, BUT, a law that rewards a few financially or otherwise at the expense of others is a law of tyrants! A law that disarms or even regulates the arming of law abiding citizens violates the “Rights” of the individual, because it does NOT have at its heart the balance of equality of “Rights”!

      “…The Right … Shall Not Be Infringed.”

      “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
      Thomas Jefferson

      H.R. 38 is just another law that further transfers our “Rights” from us to under the control and authority of the Federal government. The exact opposite of the intended Second Amendment.

      “Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American. What clause in the state or federal constitution hath given away that important “Right”…. The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.” Tench Coxe

      “…The Right … Shall Not Be Infringed.”

    5. It will allow authorized handgun owners who are legally permitted in their “home state” to carry a concealed firearm in others states that also allow concealed carry.

      Correction, this bill is for a permit holder from “a state”. I am not allowed to legally carry in my home state because they do not recognize permits from anywhere else. A change was made at the recommendation of one of our state 2A orgs to allow those of us who don’t live in free America to get a non-resident permit and use it in all 50 states. The “a state” is a very important distinction.

      Here is the wording from the bill:
      “carrying a valid identification document containing a photograph of the person, and who is carrying a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm or is entitled to carry a concealed firearm in the State in which the person resides”

      1. Allow, allow, authorize, permit… these are all the wrong verbs. Repeat after me. My Right to keep and bear. I decide to keep and bear. And bear means carry. Those idiots in government and the judiciary are merely our employees. We must all make it our hobby to get our authority over them back to the People.

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