On April 29, 2021 Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) joined Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), in introducing a bill called the “Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.” The introduction of this legislation is another step in the direction of freedom. While similar measures have been introduced in the past, it’s important to note that many laws are only instated after the corresponding bill has been introduced a few times. It’s obvious this isn’t a slam dunk to be approved this year, as there will probably not be enough support from left of center congresscritters, but it’s still important to continue to introduce such bills, and honestly, this bill could actually prove to be more popular in the Senate than the background check bills approved by House Democrats earlier this year.
“The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is common-sense legislation that protects law-abiding citizens’ right to self-defense and to keep and bear arms when traveling between states that allow concealed carry,” said Inhofe. “I am glad to join Sen. Cornyn in introducing this bill and I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this proposal through the Senate.”
“This bill focuses on two of our country’s most fundamental constitutional protections–the Second Amendment’s right of citizens to keep and bear arms and the Tenth Amendment’s right of states to make laws best-suited for their residents,” said Cornyn. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important legislation for law-abiding gun owners nationwide.”
“Law-abiding Tennesseans who are permitted to carry a firearm should be able to exercise that constitutional right in other states, consistent with those state’s laws, without having to obtain a separate permit,” said Hagerty. “The constitutional right of self-defense should not disappear while traveling or temporarily living away from home, which is why I’ve joined Senator John Cornyn in introducing this legislation that respects constitutional rights and individual state laws while eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy.”
“This bill reduces confusion and legal inconsistencies for responsible gun owners when they travel outside of their home state, while also respecting states’ rights to set their own laws. I’m happy to again support this bill,” said Grassley.
Earlier in the year a similar bill was re-introduced by Congressman Richard Hudson, of North Carolina. His bill, H.R. 38: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act., seems like it may differ than the proposed Senate version. The proposed text of S 1522 is not yet available, but from the press release the following is noted:
Allows law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while they are traveling or temporarily living away from home.
Allows individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to conceal carry in any other states that also allow concealed carry.
Treats state-issued concealed carry permits like drivers’ licenses where an individual can use their home-state license to drive in another state, but must abide by that other state’s speed limit or road laws.
Some of that language might be subtle, but it’s important. Back when Hudson originally introduced H.R. 38, the text of the bill was similar, however it was changed. The change revolved around the state of issuance of any CCW permit. Hudson’s bill has the following text, which seems like an increase in scope of who may or may not qualify under the Act:
…and who is carrying a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm or is entitled to carry a concealed firearm in the State in which the person resides…,
The Senate version does not seem to address the matter of non-resident CCWs, whereas the House version does.
The concept of reciprocity is an important one, as many people have fallen victim of draconian laws unknowingly. The gold standard of how entrapped a person can become because there are no such measures in place would be the case of Shaneen Allen. Allen, a resident of Pennsylvania, was arrested in New Jersey for unlawfully being in possession of a firearm. She was unaware of the blatant disregard towards the Bill of Rights which New Jersey subscribes to and willingly volunteered the fact she was armed during a traffic stop (which was questionable to begin with). Allen was a lawful gun owner and had a permit to carry in her home state. Only through public outcry and the generosity of former Governor Chris Christi was Allen able to enter into a pre trial intervention program. If something similar would happen today, it is doubtful Governor “the Bill of Rights is above my pay grade” Murphy would come to Allen’s aid.
Given the current makeup of both chambers and who is seated in the White House, there is little chance for this bill to pass into law at this time, but We The People should definitely contact our representatives (even Democrats) to show our support for both the House and Senate versions of right to carry reciprocity.