Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is once again planning to introduce his concealed carry reciprocity bill, something gun owners were promised when President Donald Trump won his election in 2016.
Pro-gun advocates have long advocated for concealed carry reciprocity for a number of reasons. As it currently stands, you can be a law-abiding gun owner and concealed carrier in one state but if you cross into another state with a concealed firearm then you’re breaking the law. Some states allow only residents to carry concealed, even if the person is licensed in another state
"This bill focuses on two of our country’s most fundamental constitutional protections -- the Second Amendment’s right of citizens to keep and bear arms and the Tenth Amendment’s right of states to make laws best-suited for their residents," Cornyn said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important legislation for law-abiding gun owners nationwide.”
Here's what the bill will accomplish:
Protecting Fundamental Constitutional Rights:
- Allows law-abiding citizens to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while they are traveling or temporarily living away from home.
- Allows individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to conceal carry in any other states that also allow concealed carry.
- Treats state-issued concealed carry permits like drivers’ licenses where an individual can use their home-state license to drive in another state, but must abide by that other state’s speed limit or road laws.
Respecting State Sovereignty:
- Does not establish national standards for concealed carry.
- Does not provide for a national concealed carry permit.
- 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.
- 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.
Cornyn introduced identical legislation last Congress. That bill had 40 cosponsors. In the 113th Congress, a nearly identical amendment received 57 votes in the Senate, including 13 Democrats. Clearly, there is broad bipartisan support.
Pro-gun groups were quick to applaud Cornyn’s efforts.
“The current patchwork of state and local gun laws is confusing and can cause the most conscientious gun owner to unknowingly run afoul of the law when they are traveling or temporarily living away from home,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA. “Sen. Cornyn’s legislation provides a much-needed solution to a real problem for law-abiding gun owners.”
"Sen. Cornyn is a champion for Americans' Second Amendment rights and the firearms industry. His leadership on this issue is proof that he is a national leader in preserving and respecting Americans' right to keep and bear arms," said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president for government and public affairs and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "This legislation is critical to ensuring that Americans' constitutional rights do not end at their state's border. The bill would prevent law-abiding concealed carry permit holders from running afoul of another state's laws simply by crossing a border, while still preserving and respecting the right of each state to enforce its own firearms regulations. We applaud Sen. Cornyn's dedication to protecting Americans' right to protect themselves and their loved ones."
"Honest citizens should not be punished for traveling with a self-defense firearm. And Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity is the constitutional fix to this problem," said Gun Owners of America's Executive Director Erich Pratt. "In addition to protecting those with carry permits, the reciprocity legislation in Congress will also protect those from Constitutional Carry states. This legislation will allow residents of permitless carry states to carry across the country without government permission -- which is an important and necessary inclusion to protect concealed carriers in over one-fifth of the country. Gun Owners of America supports this legislation and encourages gun owners to contact their Senators in support of this legislation."