The House will vote today on the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011. A bill that would allow individuals with valid state-issued concealed firearm permits to carry a concealed firearm in any other state that also issues concealed firearm permits or licenses, or in any other state that does not generally prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms.
“It’s kind of like having a driver’s license,” Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told Politico, a vocal supporter of the bill who penned an op-ed in USA Today this week on the measure. “There are some states that have stricter driving laws than others.”
Basically, this bill would allow full CCW reciprocity in every state and jurisdiction with the exception of Washington, D.C. and Illinois. There was an effort to include D.C. and Illinois in the legislation, but it was struck down for fear that it would complicate matters as neither currently issues CCW permits. Supporters of the bill wanted a “clean” and uncomplicated bill to vote on.
With 245 co-sponsors, including several Democrats, many believe the House will pass the bill without a problem. And an earlier vote on the rule for the bill passed yesterday 271-153, also suggesting that the bill itself is due to pass.
However, not everyone in the House is pleased with the bill, including Republican Rep. Dan Lungren of California.
“It’s a clash of two interests: Second Amendment rights and the 10th Amendment, the idea of federalism,” Lungren said in an interview Tuesday. “I think it’s a states’ rights issue.”
Of course, Lungren’s GOP peers were inclined to disagree with his assessment.
“I don’t think it’s a violation of states’ rights because it doesn’t repeal any right that a state has to have or not have its own laws,” said Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.). “The fact is, we have a tradition in this country of upholding other states’ laws [and] allowing them to apply in other states.”
Opponents of the bill are also quick to point to the different standards each state has with respect to its CCW issuing process.
New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman explained in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that his state requires all gun license applicants to undergo a background check and a mental health review — measures that are not required in other states.
“This would create a lowest common denominator approach to public safety that would increase the threat to New Yorkers, impede the ability of law enforcement to do its job and undermine the will of our citizens as expressed through their duly elected state legislators,” Schneiderman wrote.
Guns.com will continue to keep you updated on the progress of this bill. If it passes the House, it will make its way over to the Democrat-controlled Senate.
UPDATE: The House has passed the bill!
The vote was 272-154, with only seven Republicans voting against it and 43 Democrats supporting it.