Every year, I make the cross-country drive from Colorado to my parents’ home in New Jersey. I load up my wife, our animals, and our bags into the car and head east.
I have not one, but two concealed carry permits — one from Colorado, and another from Utah — which gives me the ability to carry a concealed pistol in 37 states.
But even with all of this training and these two permits, I still need to stop at the Illinois border, take off my pistol, and lock it up in the trunk of my car before I am allowed to drive into the state. Then, when I cross into Indiana, I stop at Cabela’s just over the border and bring the pistol back into the front of the car.
I’m good for a couple more hours of driving, but when I hit Philadelphia, I once again need to lock my pistol and ammunition up in separate containers in the trunk before I cross into New Jersey. Even then, I have to pray I don’t get pulled over because New Jersey law doesn’t recognize my right to transport a locked pistol to my parents’ house.
Why did I tell you my holiday travel itinerary? Because this is the type of nonsense that millions of law abiding Americans have to put up with on a day to day basis.
But more importantly, this is the patchwork system that the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would fully fix!
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act basically says that if you have a legal concealed weapon permit from a state, you can use that to carry in every state. States would have to recognize every other state’s concealed carry permit, the same way they recognize out of state driver’s licenses.
Gun owners would still need to learn each state’s self-defense laws, such as when they are allowed to defend themselves, but states would no longer be allowed to arbitrarily block Americans from exercising their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.
Most importantly, this would also apply to “non-resident carry permits” as well. In California, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Delaware, the state technically retains the right to deny a concealed carry permit at any time for any reason.
What that means is that 26% of the country lives in states where police chiefs and judges can block them from exercising their Constitutional right, even if they are perfectly law abiding and passed all the training requirements. These are called “may issue” concealed carry laws because, well, they only “may issue” you a permit…
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would allow residents of these states to bypass their state governments entirely and get non-resident carry permits from states like Utah, Florida, and New Hampshire. Then, they could use that permit not only to carry around the country, but also in their home state!
This legislation would essentially roll back more than a century of state-level anti-gun laws by letting law abiding gun owners circumvent their anti-gun state governments all together!
This bill sat in the House for months but with your help, we forced Paul Ryan to schedule a vote. And what do you know… it passed the House of Representatives 231-198. Even six House Democrats voted for it.
Now, however, it is stalling in the Senate and Republicans are eyeing major changes to the bill to cut out a lot of the best parts.
Mitch McConnell won’t let it hit the floor yet. Currently, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is just one of over 300 bills that have passed the House, but gone nowhere in the Senate.
I spoke with a prominent 2nd Amendment lawyer who told me that the Senate will likely vote on the bill in January. However, a number of Senate Republicans are taking issue with the non-resident permit provision and would only support the bill if that was removed. They think this would violate states’ rights, even though states have no right to violate Americans’ constitutional rights.
The Supreme Court already ruled in Chicago v. McDonald that the 2nd Amendment’s promise of “shall not be infringed” applies to state and local governments as well. States cannot just block otherwise qualified people from defending themselves in public.
This is not a “compromise.” I refuse to allow the 26% of Americans living in these anti-gun states to be left behind.
Paul Ryan is saying he did his job by pushing it through the House and refuses to attach the carry bill to the next round of must-pass spending bills. Mitch McConnell says there’s no time to pass this bill and it will simply have to wait. Neither one wants to do what is necessary to put this massive pro-gun bill onto President Trump’s desk.
When we first started advocating concealed carry reciprocity, few thought we would ever see the day when Americans would be able to carry guns in all fifty states.
But we never gave up and together — I literally mean together — we took an obscure piece of legislation and pushed it through one chamber of Congress. The finish line is literally in sight, but there is no time to celebrate.
The establishment wants to stall this as long as possible. Don’t let the GOP get away with letting this legislation die!
Don’t let the GOP get away with letting this legislation die!
Photo courtesy of Alien Gear Holsters