The United States House of Representatives has passed H.R. 38, the national reciprocity bill currently before Congress a short time ago. This is a bill that many in the Second Amendment Rights community has been clamoring for over the last few years.
The vote was 231-198.
From the office of Rep. Tom Graves of Georgia:
Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) today voted for and the House passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38). The legislation permits individuals with a concealed carry permit to carry a concealed firearm in any state that allows it.
“The Second Amendment is alive and well, and passing this bill reaffirms the constitutional right of every law-abiding American to keep and bear arms,” said Rep. Graves. “With concealed carry reciprocity, those who legally hold a concealed carry permit in one state can carry in another state without fear of accidentally breaking its laws.”
The case of Shaneen Allen is an example of why H.R. 38 is necessary. In 2013, Ms. Allen, a single mother of two, was arrested in New Jersey for unlawful possession of a weapon even though she was licensed to carry a concealed firearm in her home state of Pennsylvania. After spending 40 days in jail and losing her job, she was pardoned by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
The Shaneen Allen case is one that has enraged gun rights activists throughout the nation. However, Ms. Allen was far from the only person to encounter such treatment.
Not everyone is thrilled with this, however. Giffords had their own statement:
“Congress has failed the American people. After two of our nation’s worst mass shootings, Congress took direct instruction from the gun lobby and passed a bill that will override existing state laws and allow dangerous, untrained people to carry guns in every state and every city. Let’s be clear: These politicians are trading our safety for political contributions from the gun lobby. Studies show states with weaker concealed carry laws let people with violent criminal histories carry gunsin public, and as a result those states have more violent crime and murder. If you live in a safe community now, this legislation undermines law enforcement and shreds the laws that protect you.
“Several years after being shot in the head, I’ve learned a lot – how to walk again, how to talk again, and how to start each day ready to change the world. But today, I’m furious. I’m angry that with shootings on the rise, the response from politicians is to sell out to the gun lobby and weaken our public safety laws. I’m angry that House Republicans are trying to sink a genuine bipartisan solution to problems with our background check system. I’m angry that the Senate is avoiding responsibility for limiting bump stocks. I’m angry that when this country is begging for courage from our leaders, they are responding with cowardice.
“There’s only one remedy for a Congress that can’t keep us safe: a Congress that can. Elections are less than a year away, but they can’t come soon enough. Americans will have the choice to demand courage from our elected officials, stand up to the gun lobby, and elect leaders who will put the safety of their families first. Our fight to reduce gun violence won’t be won overnight, but Election Day 2018 will be remembered for when the American voter said, ‘Enough.’”
Of course, all we can do with regard to Giffords is point out to them that, time and again, concealed carry license holders are among the most law-abiding citizens out there, regardless of the state they’re from or the requirements placed on them for those permits.
As a result, it appears that H.R. 4477, the Fix NICS Act of 2017, also passed as the two bills had been merged. However, it looks like much of the issue regarding H.R. 4477 stems from some confusion regarding the bill, so this is likely not the setback some are claiming it is.
Now, the bill goes to the Senate where it’ll face an uphill battle.