In December of 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 38, The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. The bipartisan vote represented a solid majority of 237 in favor of the act with only 198 opposed.
Now the Act goes to the Senate where Republicans currently hold 51 seats and Democrats hold 47 seats with two seats going to independents. The public and media outcry over the passing of H.R. 38 has been swift and loud.
Gun owner advocates need to be equally vocal and persistent in support of this Act so that it makes its way to the floor of the Senate.
Why is the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 so important?
Currently, all 50 states have different laws and regulations regarding concealed carry weaponry. Most citizens live in one state but travel to many. Some states offer limited reciprocity for concealed carry permits. Unfortunately, not all states do. In fact, some states have policies that make it downright difficult to travel through their state with a concealed weapon.
Combine that with the fact that it can be difficult to keep up with state laws, that are constantly changing, in individual states – especially for people who travel frequently. The more states you go through routinely, the more difficult it becomes to keep up with the regulations in each state and travelers could easily violate local or state laws by accident.
This act eases the burden on ordinary citizens by allowing the concealed carry permit they’ve met all the requirements of and purchased in their home states to be recognized by all the states they travel through. It eases concerns over questionable confiscations and the possibility of fines or arrests related to accidentally breaking a state regulation.
In fact, the primary effects for the bill according to the NRA-ILA is that it means states with tougher anti-gun laws would no longer have the authority to arrest and detain gun owners who are passing through. It opens the roads up again for gun owners to travel.
What are the critics saying?
People opposed to the Act maintain that it usurps states rights in the matter of gun control. Oppositional alarmist claim that the bill will allow anyone to come in their states from states that do not require permits and carry weapons into sporting arenas and other venues to do harm.
That isn’t the case. Reciprocity only works for people who have actual permits. This means they’ve gone through the vetting process and background checks required to get them. Additionally, most of the venues critical call vulnerable already have strict screening protocols in place to prevent even concealed weapon carriers from entering. In fact, NFL stadiums and other professional sports arenas are some of the places you are least likely to bring guns into because they have such strictly enforced policies about what can and cannot be brought in.
Which is the bottom line here. If all laws were as strictly enforced as gun control laws for people who have gone through the vetting process for concealed carry permits (not even talking about the illegal guns that flood the streets each year), perhaps law-abiding citizens wouldn’t feel the need to carry concealed weapons while traveling through these stricter gun control states.
~ Firearm Daily