Nationwide firearm carry reciprocity got a boost this week when H.R. 38, was voted out of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and sent to the full House for consideration.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is well placed to pass the House with 213 co-sponsors and passed committee on a 19-11 party-line vote. The provision would require state governments to give the same rights, and privileges to out of state gun carry license or permit, as those within the state.
Resetting the System
Passage of the Act would be a major victory for gun rights advocates, and allow all those with valid licenses and permits to carry guns, to do so without regard to what jurisdiction within the United States, they are in.
Our current federalist system of state licensure yields an often confusing, and often changing patchwork of agreements and prohibitions amongst and between various states governing how, when, and where a resident of a given state may carry a firearm in another.
The National Rifle Association, which lobbied hard for the legislation, stated the law simply allows Americans the right to exercise their rights in any state.
While the usual anti-gun groups that oppose even water-pistols naturally can’t stand this legislation, some opposition has come from pro-freedom advocates who claim this “leveling” is not permitted by the constitution. The Tenth Amendment Center, “the nation’s leading source for constitutional education and nullification activism,” and hardly hostile to gun owners, leads this charge:
If one accepts the fallacious notion that the Second Amendment grants the general government the authority to pass this law, or accepts “incorporation” of the Bill of Rights against the states, then they accept federal dominion over the states and are suggesting that the people of the individual states do not in fact have a right to their own self-government. And if they accept that premise, then it is further proof that we have surrendered our revolutionary legacy as a federal “union” of sovereign republics.
A current party line vote will yield passage in the Senate, and President Trump, who holds a license to carry, has already announced his support. His campaign website explicitly supported nationwide reciprocity mandated by the federal government. He made the analogy to driving stating, “[i]f we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.”