National Reciprocity Now!

Now is a great time in America for those of us who have chosen to be responsible for the safety of ourselves and our families by carrying a concealed firearm.  As of 2016, there were over 14.5 million citizens with concealed carry permits across the country, an increase of 1.73 million people over the previous year.  In addition, it is now possible to obtain a concealed carry permit in all 50 states, although it is much more difficult in some than others.  Also, there are now 12 states in which no permit is required in order to legally carry a firearm.  All of this in spite of 8 years of an openly hostile administration and never ending lies and intentional ignorance on the part of the leftist press.

One of the issues that still needs to be addressed is the hodgepodge of laws concerning the concealed carrying of a weapon in different states.  Today, states generally fall into one of three categories: no permit required, shall issue, or may issue.  In states where no permit is required, if it is legal for you to possess a handgun, you can carry it.  “Shall issue” states are required to issue a concealed carry permit to every citizen who meets the legal requirements.  “May issue” states restrict the rights of its citizens through the use of high fees, excessive paperwork, long wait times, and requirements for proof of need.  It is possible to obtain a permit in these states, all in the Northeast except for California, but it is difficult.

In an effort to alleviate some of the confusion, many states recognize permits issued by other states through reciprocal agreements.  My Tennessee permit, for instance, makes it legal for me to carry in every state except California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.  Vermont is also listed as not recognizing Tennessee permits, but to their credit, Vermont recognizes no permits as they are a true Constitutional carry state.  Others states should pay attention.  Most states have some similar reciprocity agreement with other states.  That’s great, but imagine traveling across the country and having to figure out where you’re legal and where you’re not.  Those of us who travel for business or make their living on the road have to be very cognizant of where we’re going and which states will be crossed in getting there.  Many of you will remember the 2009 arrest of Brian Aitken, a legal gun owner from Colorado who was arrested after travelling to New Jersey with two unloaded and inaccessible hand guns (along with scary standard capacity magazines and defensive ammunition) buried deep in his car.  Fortunately, his sentence of seven years in prison was commuted in 2010.

With the White House and both houses of the Legislature controlled by those more friendly to personal defense, it is time to remedy the situation by instituting national reciprocity.  The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38) will do just that.  The bill was introduced on January 3, 2017, and currently has 199 co-sponsors.  With the exception of  Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas, every co-sponsor is a Republican (go figure).  Simply put, the bill will require every state currently issuing permits for concealed carry to recognize the permits issued by every other state.  To me, this is simple logic.  What other inalienable right protected by the Constitution varies from state to state?  Imagine if your speech were limited in one state more than another.  What if you could only go to a certain church because of state laws?  Would it be OK for the police to need a warrant to search your property but not that of citizens in a neighboring state?  No, such abuses of Constitutionally protected rights would never be tolerated.  This is precisely what has been done with the Second Amendment and I see no reasonable argument for allowing it to continue.  Yes, I understand that there are limits on even inalienable rights.  In the case of states that limit a citizen’s ability to legally carry a firearm, they are denying them the essence of the right.  This issue was headed to the Supreme Court in the case of Peruta v. California, but SCOTUS, in a move that proves they are no longer capable of impartiality, has just decided not to hear the case because neither side felt assured of winning.  Read that again slowly.

The CCRA is a great start, but it will not end the confusing array of laws governing firearms across the country.  It will not necessarily prevent outrages such as the one which happened to Brian Aitken.  As a gun owner, it will still be incumbent on you to know the laws of the place in which you are travelling.  That will remain part of our responsibility as law-abiding gun owners.  But it will ensure that your right to carry your weapon concealed is protected regardless of what other draconian laws exist in a given state. As such, I fully support the CCRA and I hope you will as well.  Please consider contacting your Representative and urge them to support H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

As always, I thank you for reading!  I hope that you’ll leave your comments on the page and share this post.  You can also find us on Twitter @FrustratedAmer4.




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