House panel approves concealed carry reciprocity for all 50 states


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The House Judiciary committee yesterday approved a nationwide law that would require states to recognize the legality of concealed carry licenses from other states.

The legislation allows firearm owners with a concealed carry permit issued by their home state to carry the firearm into any other state (all allow some form of concealed carry, although many are highly restrictive). The gun owners wouldn’t have to reveal they are carrying a weapon, though the bill does require they be eligible to possess a firearm under federal law (which requires a background check), carry a valid photo identification and a concealed carry permit. Gun owners from states that don’t require a concealed carry permit will need to obtain some credential from their home state to take advantage of the new law’s provisions. What form that would take isn’t specified in the House bill.

The bill still has to pass both the House and the Senate. A similar bill in the Senate already has 38 co-sponsors.

The article is typical for the modern mainstream press. It spends a lot of time getting quotes from numerous anti-gun groups and Democratic politicians, but never highlights the numerous examples in recent years where entirely innocent individuals have had their lives ruined because they entered places like New Jersey, DC, and New York with a gun that was totally legal in their home states.

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20 comments

  • Cotour

    Never happen, IMO purely symbolic.

    Pro or con gun a law like this ignores states rights and the duly elected governments there in to regulate their own borders and laws.

  • Cotour: In case you haven’t noticed, the exact same kind of federal law exists for driver’s licenses.

  • Cotour

    Never will happen, especially with the polarized nature of the issue as it exists in each separate state.

    The right to drive an automobile is not analogous to universally carrying a gun in public in the various states of the union. Your analogy about licensing or consent is not universal.

    As an example and to my point:

    https://www.bhwlawfirm.com/legal-age-consent-united-states-map/

    What is the Age of Consent in the United States?

    Is There a Uniform Age of Consent for all 50 States in the United States?
    No, there is not a uniform age of consent. The “Age of Consent” is the age at which a person may consent to participation in sexual intercourse. A person younger than the legal age of consent cannot legally consent to a sexual act. The age of consent in the United States ranges from 16-18 depending on the state, meaning that a person 15 years of age or younger cannot legally consent to sex. Each state enacts its owns laws which set the age of consent. If someone engages in sexual activity with a person younger than the age of consent in that state, the person could be charged with Statutory Rape or other offenses depending on the nature of the contact.

  • wayne

    Mr. Z– check that headline for spelling

    Cotour-
    apples and oranges for comparison’s .

    I think you might be over-interpreting the headline itself. It’s reciprocity across States under Federal Law, which doesn’t necessarily imply a mass influx of gun owner’s travelling across State line’s.
    I have no clue if this will ultimately pass, but as Mr. Z notes with the Driver License example, it would serve to bring some Uniformity to one aspect of a conflict between State & Fed gun-laws, that are getting people thrown into State jails for no rational reason.
    If my driver’s license is good when I’m in New York, any associated firearm licenses/registrations should be recognized a priori as valid. I should be aware of the laws in different States but the simple act of crossing a State line with firearm, shouldn’t land me in jail, in that State.
    That doesn’t however exempt me, for example, for obeying the traffic laws of NY, anymore than I would be exempt for obeying the gun-laws of NY.

  • Wayne: spelling fixed. Thank you.

  • Cotour

    I will stick by my assessment, IMO its purely driven by pandering Republicans. If it were ever passed as a law the Supreme Court would strike it down in the interests of states rights.

    I find this contradictory in the article :

    “The House Judiciary Committee late Wednesday voted 19-11 for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which would amend the federal criminal code to allow the concealed transport of handguns across state lines, so long as both states allow it. States will not be able to impose their individual requirements for a concealed carry license on armed travelers from other states.”

    And

    ““This would end abuses in anti-gun states like New York and New Jersey and allow law-abiding concealed carriers to exercise their rights nationwide with peace of mind,” the NRA website states. “[The bill] would not, as some critics claim, affect how states issue their own concealed carry permits.” ”

    Is it me or do the two paragraphs contradict each other?

    PS: I am not arguing for or against either side just analysis.

  • wayne

    Cotour–
    I’d have to read the language in the Bill to look at the details. But no, what you post appears consistent to me. (as understand the underlying problem)
    But I’m not the person to explain this clearly, so I’d hope a CC permit holder chimes in on this Topic.
    -The bigger picture take on this, is how the various States respect each other’s laws, within our Federal/State system.

  • Phill O

    “though the bill does require they be eligible to possess a firearm under federal law (which requires a background check), carry a valid photo identification and a concealed carry permit”

    Possesion and purchase from an FFC are two very different things, are they not?

  • wodun

    The problem with stuff like this is that it could be determined that the state with the harshest restrictions determine what goes for the rest of the country. Also, in WA state we have a law that says state law can’t supersede federal law and a national law makes it easier to impose gun laws through controlling one congress instead of 50.

    I’d rather see each state implement reciprocity on their own. Perhaps a similar bill could be worked on but then implemented state by state. Many states already have reciprocity but I haven’t seen any effort to do something like this on a 50 state scale. (I don’t follow 2nd amendment activism much though.)

  • Max

    This is good news, unfortunately they have a battle with the judiciary which is fighting back in their own way. Florida.

    http://www.news-press.com/story/news/2017/11/27/u-s-supreme-court-refuses-take-up-florida-gun-case-banned-open-carry/898047001/

    When the Supreme Court refuses to hear a case like this, it usually sends a signal to the other states.
    The lower court decision now stands.
    Other states will treat this as the undeclared law and make similar copycat laws.
    It is the same for these challenges they refused to hear. Illinois.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/06/26/supreme-court-refuses-to-hear-right-to-carry-guns-case-justices-thomas-and-gorsuch-say-there-is-such-a-right/?utm_term=.951e9f9c5223

    Maryland.
    http://thefederalist.com/2017/11/27/supreme-court-guts-second-amendment-refusing-hear-semi-auto-ban-case/

    It is the law of nature or creator that all living things have a right to defend themselves. The second amendment is a guarantee that the federal government, that “we the people” created, will not infringe on this unlienable right. Any who are elected and take an oath to obey the constitution then try to pass laws against this right is in violation of the Constitution and should be tried for treason. In my opinion.

    In other countries who do not allow the people to own guns, or to defend themselves, are Serfs or subjects to their betters who own them. They live or die to their king or dictator or governments wishes.
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/11/28/u-s-coast-guard-operating-secret-floating-prisons-pacific-ocean/900462001/

  • Dick Eagleson

    It’s also worth noting that rights affecting neither driving nor sexual intercourse are mentioned explicitly in the Bill of Rights. Gun Ownership (keep) and gun carry (bear) are thus mentioned. State-level restrictions on gun carry, concealed or open, are, thus, pretty obviously violations of the 2nd Amendment and should be invalidated, en masse. The proposed legislation doesn’t do this, but it makes a large step in that direction.

    Once such a law is passed, it would also appear to form a basis for suits by residents of states with restrictive gun carry laws to get these overturned on equal protection grounds – very analogous to what the Civil Rights Movement did anent school attendance by bringing the suit that resulted in Brown vs. Board of Education. Gun rights are simply another form of civil rights.

  • wayne

    Dick-
    Excellent stuff!

  • Andrew

    I agree that it won’t get through congress. Too many elected representatives from too many states that very restrictive gun control laws, particularly regarding concealed carry.

    HOWEVER, Like driver’s license law reciprocity, this law IF PASSED would fall under the constitutional umbrella of The Commerce Clause. Which is regularly used to protect U.S. citizens from egregious differences in state laws. There is also a huge amount of precedents for The Commerce Clause being very liberally interpreted to encompass just about anything.

    Just Saying. I really don’t think it will go anywhere.

  • pzatchok

    I am a CCW holder in Ohio.

    We are a ‘shall issue’ and not a ‘may issue’ state. Meaning the person might be delayed in getting their permit but if they pass the class and background check they will get the concealed carry permit. In ‘may issue’ states the local law enforcement agent might turn down the permit for any personal reason.

    The reason states normally do not have reciprocity rules among each other is because each state has different permitting process.

    Ohio has one of the more restrictive process’s. We have to undergo 12 hours of class both on shooting range and in class legal overviews. The range class is pretty much just a safe handling course. And believe me the legal class is NEEDED. The instructor can make you retake the class at no extra cost but he eventually must pass you.

    My class had all kinds of people. From a retired FBI agent to an elderly couple who had never owned or fired a gun before. In fact they were unpacking their handgun for the first time that day.

    But some other states have no class requirements at all and just issue on request. And after talking to a few of those CCW holders they really do need at least the legal part of the class. They didn’t know any of the restrictions even their own state had. Like carrying in a bar or court house. they were just asking to be arrested and thus loosing their permits.

    So Ohio doesn’t have reciprocity with those states. Officially. Unofficially in the early days on CCW laws the nice states police just ignored the CCW reciprocity infraction unless another gun law was broken. Ohio and Pennsylvania used to do this. Things have improved since the early days.

    https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/ohio-ccw-reciprocity-map

    I can carry everyplace but the red states on the map. Even federal land and parks.
    National reciprocity would allow me to carry even in those states. BUT I would have to follow those states CCW laws while doing so. And each state IS different. Just like driving and marriage laws.

    https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/catalog/gun-law-guides

    For 99.99% of America this law will change nothing. For those few who cross state lines for a living or vacation, it just makes things easier.

    This reciprocity law passing might, just might, increase the chance that those no training states will improve and add in that requirement to their states laws.

    Ohio has always been an open carry, Cowboy style, state but Texas only just passed that law a few years ago. Just an example of the different laws we need to know about when we travel.

  • pzatchok

    Cotour
    “November 30, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    I will stick by my assessment, IMO its purely driven by pandering Republicans. If it were ever passed as a law the Supreme Court would strike it down in the interests of states rights.

    I find this contradictory in the article :

    “The House Judiciary Committee late Wednesday voted 19-11 for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which would amend the federal criminal code to allow the concealed transport of handguns across state lines, so long as both states allow it. States will not be able to impose their individual requirements for a concealed carry license on armed travelers from other states.”

    And

    ““This would end abuses in anti-gun states like New York and New Jersey and allow law-abiding concealed carriers to exercise their rights nationwide with peace of mind,” the NRA website states. “[The bill] would not, as some critics claim, affect how states issue their own concealed carry permits.” ”

    Is it me or do the two paragraphs contradict each other?

    PS: I am not arguing for or against either side just analysis.”

    The two statement do not contradict.
    There is a difference between issuing a CCW and having a CCW. national reciprocity would not effect how each state issues a CCW but it would make each states permit legal in every other state. just like a drivers license.

    Just like there is a difference between handling a firearm, possessing a firearm, purchasing a firearm and a CCW.
    Just like there is a difference between fixing or cleaning a car, possessing a car, purchasing a car and driving a car.

    The CCW is like a drivers license for non hunting purposes.

  • wayne

    pzatchok-
    great stuff, thanks for the post!

    referencing the Ohio-reciprocity link; Michigan is listed as “OH resident permit only.”
    What does that mean for you if you came to Michigan?

  • ken anthony

    To Dick’s point… he’s absolutely right but local govts. regularly violate the constitution. Also, would this law invalidate CC everywhere since AZ doesn’t require any permit? Towns like Tombstone had the OK corral because they usurped the constitution.

  • ken anthony: Arizona does not require a concealed carry permit, but it still issues them after a citizen takes a class and passes a test. Thus, if this law was passed the concealed carry license would have great value in allowing a carrier to travel in peace, knowing he or she is legal nationwide.

  • ken anthony

    That parallels the argument for the bill of rights. Some argued, correctly IMHO, that rights do not need to be explicitly written to exist (being innumerable they couldn’t be) and correctly anticipated that govt. would deny rights that weren’t explicit. So it’s a good thing they understood human nature well enough to protect us with some essentials.

    However, the day may come when putting teeth in the 9th and 10th amendments are the only thing that saves us from our govt.

  • pzatchok

    ” wayne
    December 1, 2017 at 10:26 am

    pzatchok-
    great stuff, thanks for the post!

    referencing the Ohio-reciprocity link; Michigan is listed as “OH resident permit only.”
    What does that mean for you if you came to Michigan?”

    Some states issue CCW permits to non residents. Ohio does not. If I wanted to get a Florida CCW all I had to do was fax down a copy of my Ohio permit and a check. Years ago. I think things have changed lately.
    BUT. Non resident permits were normally ONLY recognized inside their issuing state.
    Back years ago people would try to get around reciprocity rules by acquiring three or four non resident permits just to cover what we have now. Utah, I think, and Florida were two of them.

    As for me being in Michigan I would be fine having a resident license. As long as I transported the weapon correctly.

    Every state has different rules for transporting your weapon in a car.

    In Ohio the handgun and ammo must be locked in separate compartments neither accessible to driver or passengers without getting out of the vehicle. If you have a CCW you can transport your carry weapon anyway you like. I have been pulled over with it sitting in my lap and all the cop did was ask for my cars paperwork.

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