By: Ricky Casner
The House and Senate may soon be voting on a bill known as the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.”1 Given that the Presidency, House, Senate, and Supreme Court are now held by conservatives or conservative majorities, it is speculated that the bill will have no trouble passing. This bill will likely spark heated debate from Republicans and Democrats alike as some people fear the ramifications this bill may have on their freedoms and security.
If passed, this bill would allow individuals, possessing the legal right to own and carry a concealed firearm within their state’s borders, to also carry their firearm throughout the United States without suffering legal infringement or penalty. The authors of this bill have endeavored to emphasize that it will not supersede or limit any laws of states within America.1 The bill still recognizes the right of “private persons or entities”1 to prohibit one’s ability to carry a concealed firearm on their property. Moreover, it would prohibit one from carrying “on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.”1
People who are lawfully permitted to carry a firearm and who observe the aforementioned rules would be protected from arrest and detainment unless they were found to be breaking laws not addressed in the bill. People arrested or detained in a manner contrary to the rights articulated in the bill, would have the right to sue the offending parties and the burden of proof would then rest on the prosecutor.
Under the bill, states would no longer be able to restrict the ammunition type or magazine capacity that a person carries for personal protection and it would allow people to carry firearms on many types of federally owned land. It is important to note that the aforementioned freedoms are open to amendment as this bill has yet to be voted on. It would be wise for all people to familiarize themselves with the statements in the six-page (not long) bill.
Not surprisingly, this bill has attracted a lot of attention and controversy. However, more surprising is the resistance coming from some on the right. They are opposed to any federal law that restricts the right of the states to govern themselves. Some feel that the annoyance of having to decipher different state laws when they travel is better than the federal government overreaching their jurisdiction4. Some people also feel that the bill would make states with stricter concealed carry requirements less safe due to people entering their state from Permitless Carry states.2
Supporters of the bill argue that it does not usurp any states’ rights as all 50 states allow the concealed carry of a firearm in some form. Furthermore, supporters also feel that the more restrictive firearms laws become the more unsafe people will be, as evidenced by the relation between the firearms restrictions and crime rate in Chicago, Illinois.
This bill carries numerous long awaited freedoms that many Second Amendment advocates have only dreamed of previously. This comes on the heels of other Second Amendment victories such as Permitless Carry in multiple states, sound suppressors possibly becoming easier and cheaper to obtain, firearms being permitted on university campuses, etc.
If this bill becomes law, many who carry concealed firearms might ask themselves, “are we willing to let the federal government pass a law that may restrict a state’s ability to govern itself when that law upholds the Second Amendment?” Or “do current state laws already infringe on the rights of the people, and thereby violate the Second Amendment, making the people unable to protect themselves by neglecting to honor the certifications of other states?”
I would like to hear how you feel about this issue, so please leave a comment at the bottom of the page and remember to like and share.
- Concealed carry reciprocity act of 2017, H.R. 38, 115th cong. (2017-2018).
- Friedman, D. (2017, January 6). New bill would force states to allow visiting gun owners to pack heat without a permit. Retrieved 2017, from The Trace: https://www.thetrace.org/2017/01/new-bill-congress-states-concealed-constitutional-carry-reciprocity/
- (2017, January 11). National reciprocity bill. Retrieved 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYf_JLGkgAk
- Owens, B. (2017, January 4). The good and bad of the concealed carry reciprocity act. Retrieved 2017, from Beaaring Arms: https://bearingarms.com/bob-o/2017/01/04/the-good-and-bad-of-the-concealed-carry-reciprocity-act/
About Ricky Casner
In 2008, following a two year ecclesiastical mission, Ricky chose to focus his professional endeavors on firearms and firearms education. In 2010, Ricky graduated from the Colorado School of Trades with an associate degree in Gunsmithing. Since that time, Ricky has practiced as a gunsmith, built machine guns for foreign and domestic militaries, and owned and operated a Concealed Carry Weapons (CCW) business in Colorado. Currently, Ricky is pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Idaho in Recreation, Tourism, and Sports Management and is the Marketing Director for Forward Movement Training Center in Meridian, Idaho.