After sending Republican Donald Trump to the White House, holding the House and Senate and defeating a number of gun control measures across the country on Election Day, the National Rifle Association has its eye on another target: National concealed carry reciprocity.
Within grasp now looms a trophy long sought: federal legislation that would, if passed by Congress, extend the right to carry a concealed firearm in any one state, no matter how minimal the licensing standards, to all 50.
New York would have to allow its permit holders to carry a hidden pistol in public, overriding state law allowing gun permits only to those with the temperament and need for a firearm.
So it would go for New Jersey, and Connecticut, and other states with stringent safety-focused prerequisites for carrying guns.
On the campaign trail, President-elect Trump advocated for national reciprocity.
“The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If 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," Trump's campaign website states about the issue.
Last year Texas Senator John Cornyn introduced legislation allowing firearms to be legally carried across state lines.
S. 498 – Introduced by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), this legislation would respect the rights of individuals who possess concealed carry permits from their home state, or who are not prohibited from carrying concealed in their home state, to exercise those rights in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry. This bill currently has 22 cosponsors. Please contact your U.S. Senators at (202) 224-3121, and ask them to cosponsor and support S. 498.
Republicans have a majority in the Senate, but would still need a few votes from Democrats to make the legislation a reality.
National reciprocity would not only allow Americans everywhere to further exercise their Second Amendment rights, but would prevent the unnecessary prosecution of legally licensed concealed permit holders innocently crossing from one state to another.