National CCW Reciprocity Bill Introduced for 2017

VAnonresRecipAsk any concealed carry license holder who does any appreciable amount of travel and they can tell you that the United States can be a patchwork of state and local laws.  Can you have a loaded firearm in your car?  Are rifles and handguns treated differently?  Does a loaded magazine count as “loaded,” or must a round be chambered?  Do No Guns Allowed signs carry the force of law?  Can you carry in restaurants which serve alcohol?  Is your concealed carry permit even good in your destination state?

These issues might represent a lot to consider when traveling with firearms, but a new bill introduced in the House might solve at least one of them.

Yesterday marked the first day of the 115th Congress and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC-8) kicked it off with a piece of pro-gun legislation in the form of The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.  HR38 would eliminate the confusing hodgepodge of laws across the nation by allowing individuals who legally carry a concealed firearm in their home state to exercise the same right in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry – a concept known as National Reciprocity.

NRA-ILA Executive Director, Chris Cox, supported the bill, saying “the current patchwork of state and local laws is confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders. This confusion often leads to law-abiding gun owners running afoul of the law when they exercise their right to self-protection while traveling or temporarily living away from home.

The official Congressional summary of HR38 is still pending as of this writing; however, Rep. Hudson has released this text of the bill, a one-pager summary, and a brief Q&A.

Hudson, a strong advocate of Second Amendment rights, has introduced similar legislation in the past, including last session’s HR986 during the 114th Congress.  Despite decent support from among his congressional peers, this bill failed to make it through the legislative process.  Now, with republican control of the House, Senate, and White House – along with at least one Supreme Court seat to be filled by the incoming President Trump – the new iteration of the national reciprocity bill has a chance at passing.  It is already off to a good start with a bi-partisan field of more than 60 co-sponsors. 

Hudson commented on the bill:

Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense solution to a problem too many Americans face. 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. 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.

The legislation would not override any state laws pertaining to when or how concealed firearms may be carried and prohibited persons are still prohibited.  Further, the new law would not only allow individuals with a CCW permit from any state to carry in other states but also includes a provision for individuals from states who allow permit-less “constitutional carry.”

Congressman Hudson’s legislation provides a much needed solution to a real problem for law-abiding gun owners,” Cox added, “law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines.”

Be sure to contact your representatives and urge them to support The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.

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