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WILL WE FINALLY SEE A NATIONAL POLICY ON CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY AND RECIPROCITY?

12 May 2017 by Online Carry Training

Gun ownership in all forms is a lot more socially acceptable then it was 10 years ago. The laws around firearms ownership and carrying a handgun have experienced a fair amount of change. Constitutional carry is gaining ground, and there’s an ongoing push for nationwide CCW reciprocity.

Constitutional Carry

Fourteen states now do not require a permit/license for concealed carry (constitional carry), e.g. ID, MS, MI, NH,SD,AL, MO, WV, AL, AZ, KS, ME, VT, and WY. In 2017, Missouri, New Hampshire, Alabama and North Dakota passed constitutional carry into law.

Several other states have legislation introduced or in process. Indiana, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin are all considering Constitutional carry. That list may increase as the year progresses.

The Push for National Reciprocity

National reciprocity already exists in the 22 states that recognize all other concealed carry licenses or permits or allow law-abiding non-residents to carry a firearm without a license. In states that do require a permit/license to carry, training standards vary.

Representative Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) introduced H.R. 38 — “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017” — on the first day in session for the 115th Congress of 2017. Briefly, this bill would authorize people who have a valid concealed handgun license and who are not otherwise prohibited from owning a firearm to carry a concealed handgun in any state (territory and Washington, DC) that permits concealed carry. However, they would still have to follow the rules and regulations for the state or jurisdiction they are visiting when carrying a concealed handgun. Currently, law-abiding gun owners wishing to carry a concealed handgun in another state must first understand and follow complex and different state reciprocity agreements.

As with any proposed legislation, it is not the broad proposal but rather the 5 W details that are the real issue.

Who can carry concealed guns? Any prohibitions and regulations for certain people already banned under Federal law from buying and carrying a gun would likely remain in place, but anti-gun advocates want to broaden that.

What types of guns can be carried? Some anti-gun advocates have concerns that all types of guns including assault rifles will be able to be carried concealed.

Where can they be carried? Some people believe this bill will allow people to get a concealed carry permit/license from any state regardless of where they live and then carry a concealed weapon in ANY other state.

When can they not be carried? there is a provision in the new bill for states which says that a person who carries a concealed handgun is not subject to the prohibitions of Section 922(q) of the U.S. Code. Section 922(q), the “Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990.”  Currently, this Federal law prohibits people from carrying firearms in schools or school zones.

Why do we need to have a nationwide concealed carry bill? Those on both sides of the issue will be using this bill to advocate their long held positions on guns. Pro-gun advocates believe the bill will eliminates the confusion and complexity that currently shrouds the wide variety of state laws on concealed carry and allow law-abiding citizens to exercise the right to self-defense  when they travel across state lines.  Anti-gun advocates see the law as another way of arming and helping criminals, putting more guns on the streets and reducing state control over what happens within it’s borders.

So the debate continues.

 

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