Chris W. Cox

Thanks to the good work of millions of American gun owners and NRA members, Congress is moving closer to restoring one of our fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

Ten days ago, the House Judiciary Committee considered amendments to the “National Right-to-Carry-Reciprocity Act” (H.R. 822), which would allow any person with a valid, state-issued concealed firearm permit to exercise the right to carry a firearm in any state that permits concealed carry.

Some members of the Committee tried to weaken the bill with anti-gun amendments, and I’m happy to report that every one of them failed. The committee is expected to pass the bill soon, after which it will go before the full House for a vote.

As of today, 49 states have laws in place that permit their citizens to carry a concealed firearm in some form or another. Only Illinois completely denies its residents the right to carry a concealed firearm outside their homes or businesses for self-defense, an injustice for which President Obama fought hard when he was an Illinois state senator.

In 41 of these 49 states, law-abiding citizens can carry a firearm without having to navigate an overly restrictive bureaucratic process.

The problem is that some states allow visiting permit holders from other states to exercise their right to carry, and some states do not. As you can imagine, this presents a nightmare for interstate travel, as many Americans are forced to check their Second Amendment rights, and their fundamental right to self-defense, at the state line.

The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act would solve this problem by simply requiring states that allow concealed carry to recognize each other’s permits. Nothing more.

Predictably, gun-ban organizations like the Brady Campaign and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s deceptively named “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” are doing everything they can to demonize H.R. 822, as are their allies in the anti-gun media.

First, they tried to scare Americans into thinking that H.R. 822 would unleash a new “wild west” atmosphere in the United States. This tactic fell flat because nearly every state in the nation already allows concealed carry and none of these outlandish predictions have materialized. In fact, quite the opposite has occurred.


Chris W. Cox

Chris W. Cox is the Executive Director of The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action and serves as the organization’s chief lobbyist.