Nation Needs Right-to-Carry Reciprocity; Responsible Gun Owners Shouldn't Have to Disarm at State Line

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 14, 2011 | Go to article overview

Nation Needs Right-to-Carry Reciprocity; Responsible Gun Owners Shouldn't Have to Disarm at State Line


Byline: Rep. Heath Shuler and Rep. Cliff Stearns, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

As elected officials in Congress, we take seriously our oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the liberties and rights afforded to American citizens. This includes the Second Amendment, and we believe the bureaucratic, piecemeal right-to-carry reciprocity system in our nation threatens the ability of law-abiding American citizens to exercise this vital constitutional right.

The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, H.R. 822, provides a bipartisan, common-sense solution to this problematic system. We are proud to be sponsors of this legislation, which has overwhelming support in the House, with 245 bipartisan co-sponsors and counting. The intent of our bill is simple: If you can legally carry a concealed weapon in one state, you can legally carry a concealed weapon in all states.

H.R. 822 would allow any person with a valid state-issued concealed-firearm carrying permit or license to carry a concealed weapon in any other state. It would not create a federal licensing system but merely would require states to honor one another's carry permits, just as states recognize one another's driver's licenses. Concealed-carry permit holders would have to obey the concealed-weapon laws of the state they enter, just as drivers must obey speed limits and basic safety laws of whichever state they are driving in, regardless of where they are from.

The ideas proposed in this legislation are not new. In fact, hundreds of reciprocal agreements exist between many states across the country. The problem lies herein: Many of these reciprocal agreements don't match up, and law-abiding gun owners are left with a confusing piecemeal system in which states recognize permits from some states but not others. …

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