Good news for gun owners and self-defense enthusiasts alike! This week, the House easily passed, H.R. 38: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, an expansion of the right to carry a concealed firearm across state lines. The basic premise being, if you are licensed to carry in one state, your license would cover you in all states—much the same as a driver’s license.
The House also included bipartisan language meant to increase reporting of legal and mental health records to the national background check system. This puts firearms in the hands of those legally allowed to possess them, while aiding the fight to keep them out of the hands that cannot. The passage in the House now leaves the Senate as the last hurdle. President Trump has already committed to signing the legislation, if it makes it to his desk. The final House vote was 231 to 198, with six Democrats in favor and 14 Republicans against the bill.
The biggest danger to passage would a filibuster in the Senate. If the Democrats vote primarily down party lines—as they did in the House—there would not be enough Republican votes to break a filibuster. That would mean 60 votes in the Senate would be required for passage. A successful filibuster, would, in effect kill the legislation.
One positive, is that there has been a fair amount of support for Second Amendment-related legislation from the Democrats in Senate of late. Last week, the Senate’s Judiciary Committee debated legislation on new background check bill. However, Senate leaders seemed disinclined to take up the concealed-carry measure anytime soon.
Will the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 pass? Only time will tell. Second Amendment enthusiasts should celebrate either way. Awareness—even though most of us believe this matter was settle in 1791 with the Bill of Rights—is an important step toward victory in a decades-long fight to extend concealed carry and simplify the rules for gun owners.
Chris W. Cox, the NRA’s executive director, praised the vote as a “watershed moment” for Second Amendment rights.
“This bill ensures that all law-abiding citizens in our great country can protect themselves in the manner they see fit without accidentally running afoul of the law,” he said.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) hailed the passage noting the FixNICS language.
“With House passage of H.R. 38, we have cleared a major hurdle toward what will be two major achievements for America’s law-abiding gun owners and for our federally-licensed firearms retailers,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “This legislation provides a solution to the confusing patchwork of concealed carry laws and ensures that our citizens’ Second Amendment rights do not end at the state line.”
“Federally licensed firearms retailers rely upon the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to be accurate in preventing the sale and transfer of firearms to prohibited persons. The Fix NICS Act provisions included in the legislation passed today builds on the successes of NSSF’s FixNICS campaign to encourage states to enter all applicable disqualifying records into the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and requires federal agencies to properly report relevant records and hold those who fail to do so accountable,” Keane said.
“On behalf of our members, NSSF would like to recognize Congressmen Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), John Culberson (R-Texas), and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) for their bipartisan leadership in advancing this important legislation,” Keane concluded.
Do you think H.R. 38 will pass in the Senate? Would concealed carry reciprocity change the way you travel? Share your answers in the comment section.
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