(NationalSentinel) States honor each other’s driver’s licenses, so why not their concealed carry licenses? That’s the logic behind a push by Second Amendment rights groups to have more states honor the concealed carry permits issued by other states.
As reported by Fox News, gun groups are hoping to push a “national reciprocity” measure through the Republican-controlled Congress as President-elect Donald J. Trump prepares to take office. Trump repeatedly said on the stump he was a Second Amendment supporter and that at times, he himself is armed.
Fox News noted further:
The bill, put forward in the new Congress last week by Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., would allow gun owners with a state-issued concealed-carry license to have that license recognized in any other state that allows concealed carry. This also would apply to states that recognize so-called “constitutional carry” where a license is not required for a concealed handgun.
The goal, Hudson says, is to prevent gun owners from getting caught in a patchwork of state-by-state laws.
“Your driver’s license works in every state, so why doesn’t your concealed-carry permit?” Hudson’s office said in an accompanying fact sheet.
States that do not currently have concealed carry laws, such as many along the East and West coasts, would not be required to recognize permits from other states and thus allow holders to carry concealed. But in states that do allow some form of carry, which is most of them, the federal law change would be a marked improvement in de-criminalizing the right to self-defense, say bill backers.
“Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, told Fox News. “This is an extremely important issue to our members and we thank Congressman Hudson for leading the fight to protect our rights.”
If the Senate keeps the 60-vote filibuster rule in place, it may be difficult to get the bill to pass in the upper chamber, even though it would likely sail through the House. Still, some Democratic senators in purple or red-leaning states, like Joe Manchin from West Virginia, are up for reelection in 2018 and may seek to burnish their gun-rights credentials and support national reciprocity ahead of the balloting.
“We think the chances of passing concealed carry reciprocity are very good. The Senate has already voted on similar legislation twice in the past — and both times the bill garnered a large majority,” said Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, pointing to amendments in 2009 and 2013 that gained 58 and 57 Senate votes, despite Democratic control of the chamber.