In a huge move on Monday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which seeks to make it so that gun permits from any state are recognized in all other states similar to how driver’s licenses are treated.
“This bill strengthens both the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and the power of states to implement laws best-suited for the folks who live there,” a statement from Cornyn read. “This legislation is an important affirmation of our Second Amendment rights and has been a top priority of law-abiding gun owners in Texas for a long time.”
The Washington Free Beacon reported:
Currently, each state and jurisdiction decides which states’ concealed carry permits it will honor. Often this takes place on a rolling basis and changes from year to year and administration to administration. Some states, like Virginia, honor permits from every state. Other jurisdictions, like Washington, D.C., don’t honor permits from anywhere else.
Chris Cox, head of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action, released a statement about gun laws in regard to reciprocity and the importance of this legislation.
“The current patchwork of state and local gun laws is confusing and can cause the most conscientious and law-abiding gun owner to run afoul of the law when they are traveling or temporarily living away from home,” Cox said. “Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines.”
In January, Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced a similar bill in the House and recently praised Cornyn’s Senate legislation via a statement.
“Senator Cornyn has long been a champion for our Second Amendment rights and I’m pleased to see him continue his strong leadership on national concealed carry reciprocity,” Hudson said. “With a groundswell of support from Americans across the country and a pro-Second Amendment president, I believe we can make national concealed carry reciprocity a reality.”
The[ir] two pieces of legislation appear to differ on one point, however. Hudson told the Washington Free Beacon in January that his legislation would require a state to honor all nonresident permits from other states, even if it is held by one of its own residents. In other words, this provision would allow someone who lived in a state like Hawaii, which issued zero concealed carry permits last year, to legally carry in Hawaii by obtaining a nonresident permit from another state.
Cornyn’s bill does not include this provision, according to his aides. Under Cornyn’s bill, if individuals are allowed to carry in their home states then they are eligible to carry in other states. Individuals will not be free to obtain concealed carry permits from other states to use in their home state.
“The legislation allows a person to use a nonresident permit to carry in their home state so long as their own state recognizes the permit as valid,” a Cornyn aide said.
We’ll see what happens when these major pieces of legislation regarding gun rights are brought to the House and Senate floors for hearings.