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Woman concealed carry gun in purse

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North Carolina’s Rep. Richard Hudson introduced a concealed carry reciprocity bill in the House of Representatives yesterday. The bill has 154 cosponsors. As Hudson’t press release notes . . .

“Our Second Amendment rights do not disappear when we cross state lines, and H.R. 38 guarantees that,” said Rep. Hudson. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2021 is a common sense solution to provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits. I am especially proud to have such widespread and bipartisan support for this measure and will work with my colleagues to get this legislation over the finish line.”

H.R. 38 would allow people with state-issued concealed carry licenses or permits to conceal a handgun in any other state, as long as the permit holder follows the laws of that state. It also allows residents of Constitutional carry states the ability to carry in other states.

If the news of a national reciprocity bill gets your heart a-pounding, relax. This bill has precisely zero chance of going anywhere. Newly reelected House Speaker Nancy “Let Them Eat Ice Cream” Pelosi would sooner eat her own grandchildren than allow the bill to come up for a vote on the House floor.

And if a feeling of deja vu overcomes you at the announcement of this bill, there’s good reason for that.

Rep. Hudson has introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act in previous years. In Dec. 2017, the bill passed in the U.S. House by a vote of 231-198, yet was not taken up in the U.S. Senate. Rep. Hudson said at the time he would continue to pursue the legislation until it reaches final passage.

If the Democrats are victorious in today’s Georgia Senate runoff races, there won’t even be a Senate Majority Leader McConnell to let this bill die should it miraculously make it that far again.

Still, any pro-gun rights move in Washington, no matter how futile, is worthy of note and the National Shooting Sports Foundation issued this press release to hail Hudson’s legislation . . .

NSSF®, the firearm industry’s trade association, hailed U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson’s (R-N.C.) introduction of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2021, H.R. 38, on the first day of the 117th Congress. The legislation was introduced with bipartisan support and 154 original co-sponsors, demonstrating the wide-ranging support for protecting law-abiding concealed carry permit holders from navigating a patchwork of varying gun control laws when crossing a state line.

The bill aims to eliminate the confusion of varying state-by-state laws and provide protection for Second Amendment rights for permit holders. The legislation would allow handgun owners who are legally permitted and authorized by their home state to carry a concealed firearm in other states while complying with the laws of each state – much in the same way a driver’s license is recognized.

“This legislation provides an answer to the confusing patchwork of laws surrounding concealed carry permits, particularly with regard to states where laws make unwitting criminals out of legal permit holders for a simple mistake of a wrong traffic turn,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “It safeguards a state’s right to determine their own laws while protecting the Second Amendment rights of all Americans. We thank Rep. Hudson for his leadership on behalf of America’s hunters and recreational shooters.”

“Our Second Amendment rights do not disappear when we cross state lines, and H.R. 38 guarantees that,” said Rep. Hudson. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2021 is a common sense solution to provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits. I am especially proud to have such widespread and bipartisan support for this measure and will work with my colleagues to get this legislation over the finish line.”

Unlike other rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, the right to keep and bear arms is regulated differently by individual states. While individual rights to speech, religion and protections of Due Process or Search and Seizure are constant, gun rights vary according to the state. Reciprocity agreements exist, but not between all states and are ever-changing. That puts individuals at risk of running afoul of varying state-by-state laws when traveling and crossing borders.

The pitfalls of these varying state-by-state laws were exposed when Philadelphia resident Shaneen Allen faced up to five years in prison for bringing a firearm into New Jersey in 2013. She held a valid license to carry in Pennsylvania, but not in neighboring New Jersey. The mother-of-two voluntarily told a law enforcement officer of the firearm during a traffic stop, but was still arrested, charged, convicted and spent 48 days in jail – all for having made a wrong turn and accidentally crossing state line. Fortunately, after an 18-month legal ordeal, Republican Gov. Chris Christie pardoned Allen. Others are not so lucky.

 

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