Republicans in Congress have just delivered a major win to gun owners throughout the country: National reciprocity for concealed carry has cleared its first major hurdle.
On Wednesday afternoon, the House passed the a�?Concealed Carry Reciprocity Acta�? by a margin of 231-198.
Unlike the recent tax reform bill, this legislation managed to pick up six Democrats in addition to its Republican backers.
If the bill becomes a law, concealed carry permits would function much more like drivers licenses, and allow a legally authorized person to carry concealed across state lines.
Many states already recognize the concealed carry permits from other areas, but the process of interstate travel while armed can be confusing and full of legal pitfalls.
a�?For the millions of law-abiding citizens who lawfully carry concealed to protect themselves, for conservatives who want to strengthen our Second Amendment rights, and for the overwhelming majority of Americans who support concealed carry reciprocity, Christmas came early,a�? explained Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican from North Carolina.
The legislation had the support of 24 attorneys general throughout the country, along with the National Rifle Association.
a�?Despite scare tactics by the billa��s opponents, concealed-carry licensees as a group have proven to be more law-abiding than the general population and even the police,a�? the NRA said in a statement.
a�?We are on the eve of passing the most expansive piece of self-defense legislation in the history of Congress,a�? the gun rights group continued.
Despite the success in the House, the bill may face an uphill battle in the Senate.
According to Fox News, the House version of the proposal was bundled with a provision known as a�?Fix NICS.a�?
That refers to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and a portion of the bill is intended to increase penalties for federal agencies who dona��t properly report pertinent information to the background check network.
There is bipartisan support for a�?fixing NICS,a�? especially in the wake of the recent church shooting in Texas. In that instance, the shooter should not have been allowed to purchase a firearm, but the Air Force neglected to update NICS with his ineligible status.
In the Senate version of the bill, the NICS issue and national reciprocity are not combined, and some pundits believe that linking the two will be required in order to push the proposal through Congress.
a�?They are combining these to pieces of legislation together because they know the conceal carry (bill) is extremely unpopular,a�? complained Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut.
The GOPa��s success in passing this change in the House is a major win for conservative lawmakers and President Trumpa�� but the legislation may need all the help it can get to pass in the Senate.
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