The 2015 Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act has been officially introduced in the Senate and if passed would treat concealed carry permits like driver's licenses, allowing citizens to travel from state-to-state with their permits recognized. As a result, it will be easier for citizens traveling across state lines to avoid being unfairly charged or prosecuted for exercising their Second Amendment rights.
Bob Owens at Bearing Arms has more details:
The bill will allow law-abiding citizens to exercise their rights without running into local reciprocity “traps” that could turn them into felons, while concealed carriers would still be subject to the laws of the states in which they are travels in regards to the laws that they must follow in terms of keeping it concealed, where they can carry, and when they may use force.
It’s also important to note what Cornyn’s bill does and does not do:
-Does not establish national standards for concealed carry.
-Does not provide for a national concealed carry permit.
-Respects state laws concerning specific types of locations in which firearms may not be carried and types of firearms which may not be carried by the visiting individual.
-Protects states’ rights by not mandating the right to concealed carry in places that do not allow the practice, like Washington, D.C.
-Does not allow a resident to circumvent their home state’s concealed carry permit laws.
If under current law an individual is prohibited by federal law from carrying a firearm, they will continue to be prohibited from doing so under our bill.
The National Rifle Association is publicly offering its support for the legislation.
“The current patchwork of state and local laws is confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders. This confusion often leads to law-abiding gun owners running afoul of the law when they exercise their right to self-protection while traveling or temporarily living away from home. Senator Cornyn’s legislation provides a much needed solution to a real problem for law-abiding gun owners,” Executive Director of NRA-ILA Chris W. Cox said in a statement. “Our fundamental right to self-defense does not stop at a state's borders. Law abiding citizens should be able to exercise this right while traveling across state lines,” continued Cox. “This is an extremely important issue to our members and we thank Senator Cornyn for leading the fight to protect our right to self-defense."
The NRA also offers more information about the legislation.
This legislation wouldn’t override state laws governing the time, place or manner of carriage or establish national standards for concealed carry. Individual state gun laws would still be respected. Concealed carry reciprocity would simply ensure that states honor permits issued by other states, just as they do with driver’s licenses. Importantly, if under federal law a person is prohibited from carrying a firearm, they will continue to be prohibited from doing so under this bill.
A similar piece of legislation introduced by Cornyn in 2013 nearly passed in the Democrat controlled Senate.
Expanding concealed-carry failed 57-43: Sen. John Cornyn's "Constitutional Concealed Carry Act" would give gun owners the right to carry concealed weapons across state lines and into other states that also have concealed-carry laws without obtaining a new license. The Texas Republican argued that Democrats should support this reciprocity because getting a concealed-carry permit is a like a background check "on steroids." It failed 57 to 43. Baucus, Begich, Donnelly, Hagan, Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Heitkamp, Landrieu, Manchin, Pryor, Tester, Mark Udall (Colo.), Tom Udall (N.M.), and Mark Warner (Va.) were the 13 Democrats in favor. Kirk was the only Republican opposed.