Friday, February 13, 2015

Texas senator proposes reciprocity bill to allow concealed weapons nationwide

“…The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, introduced this week by US Senator John Cornyn, would allow concealed weapons permits issued in one state to be recognized in any state… 

‘The current patchwork of state and local laws is confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders,’ Chris W Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, the group’s lobbying branch, said in a statement. ‘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. Senator Cornyn’s legislation provides a much needed solution to a real problem for law-abiding gun owners.’

“Opponents argue that such a law would inevitably trample stricter state or local laws when permit holders cross state lines. In the US, states regulate how citizens may carry concealed weapons. There is currently no federal law governing this practice. Under the proposed bill, a state would be required to honor permits issued by other states. And under the bill, those barred under federal law from owning a gun would still be prohibited...

“As of last year, all 50 states allow citizens to carry concealed weapons in public, though some states such as Arizona and Alaska do not require a permit to do so. Illinois was the last hold-out, but the state’s ban on concealed weapons was overturned by a federal appeals court in 2013. The state was forced to adopt a concealed carry law that went into effect in 2014.

“A majority of states have some version of a reciprocity rule in place honoring permits issued by a neighboring state or a state with a comparable standard, and a handful of states honor all out-of-state permits… Cornyn proposed similar reciprocity legislation that fell three votes shy of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate. With Republicans controlling both houses, the bill may have a better chance of clearing Congress” (Texas senator proposes bill to allow concealed weapons nationwide).


“Concealed carry has proven to be sound public policy in the United States.  H.R. 2959 recognizes both the increased popularity of concealed carry and the increased mobility of the U.S. population. The current patchwork of state and local laws and reciprocity arrangements can prove daunting and confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders. People carrying in good faith and strictly for defensive purposes have been arrested and subjected to prosecution for inadvertent violations, sometimes as a result of voluntarily disclosing their possession of firearms to law enforcement officers.  H.R. 2959 allows law-abiding Americans to exercise their rights under the Second Amendment with confidence and peace of mind, while still allowing states to enforce their own standards of conduct and restricted places of carry for those in possession of firearms” (The Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2013:House Resolution 2959). 

It is recommended that no matter what a state’s legal restrictions are, before traveling to others states, one should verify the state’s reciprocity status by contacting the official state agencies. Moreover, a person, who conceals and carries a weapon and is stopped by a policeman, should let an officer know that he or she has a permit and is legally carrying a weapon.

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