Texas senator John Cornyn announced in a press release this morning that he has introduced to the Senate the anticipated “National Conceal-Carry Reciprocity Legislation.” The amendment to S. 649, known as The Constitutional Concealed Carry Act of 2013, would “guarantee the rights of gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines and within other states that also have conceal-carry laws.”
Currently, the biggest issues being considered in S. 649 are in relation to background checks, illegal gun-trafficking penalties and increased revenue for school safety.
If passed, the amendment would essentially allow state-issued conceal-carry permits to be treated similar to drivers’ licenses, allowing law-abiding citizens with conceal-carry privileges to conceal-carry in any other states that also permits it by law. However, it would not allow those who are unable to obtain a permit in their own state to cross state lines in order to obtain a permit in another state.
According to the press release, the amendment seeks to support the nation’s most fundamental rights, while maintaining respect for each state’s individual laws.
But this isn’t the first time this idea has been presented. A similar bill was introduced, and passed through the House of Representatives in 2011, although it never made it through the Senate, lacking a mere two votes to overcome the filibuster.
While the amendment is supported by the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, opinions on the proposed amendment vary greatly, in both the pro-gun and anti-gun community, as noted on Senator Cornyn’s Facebook page following the posting of the press release.
Some of the comments include:
“I am proud of our Texas senators. Stay strong & fight to keep America strong, I want to leave the same strong country to my grandchildren as was left to us!”
“We really, really need new Senators to represent our state.”
“Rather than adding a ‘teaser’ [amendment] to get folks who are concerned about their 2nd [amendment] rights on board. How about you fight to make sure this never passes Senator?”
“I think Texas concealed-carry laws make a lot of sense. Sadly, there are other states that don’t require any kind of background check or training before issuing a permit, and you are doing Texas (and Texas law enforcement) a dis-service by forcing us to accept the lax permitting requirements of other states.”
Currently, only Illinois and D.C. have denied the right for citizens to carry concealed, which also incidentally have some of the highest crime rates in the country. Ten states are “may-issue” states, including New York and California. The remaining 34 states are “shall-issue.” Six states also require that you be a resident of the state to obtain a permit issued by that state. In addition, individual state’s current requirements for recognizing out of state permits varies greatly from state to state.