5 states ask Congress to swiftly pass national reciprocity

A group of state attorneys general has signed on to a letter urging lawmakers to approve a measure that would allow universal recognition if concealed carry permits across the nation.

The letter, signed by the top legal advisors in Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana and South Carolina, supports the passage the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, a U.S. Senate bill, or the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, a similar measure in the U.S. House.

“Passing this law would not expand who’s allowed to have a concealed weapon permit,” said South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson in a statement. “It just eliminates the confusion we have now over which states recognize which other states’ permits and makes that constitutional right uniform across the country. The Framers were unwavering in their right to self-protection and steadfast in their support of the Second Amendment.”

The bills currently in Congress have over 250 lawmakers– almost all Republicans– signed on to support and would expand carry rights nationwide, in effect forcing states and local jurisdictions to respect all valid concealed carry permits. While they are among the most-viewed bills in Congress, neither is scheduled for a committee hearing despite being hailed by Second Amendment member groups and the trade organization for the firearms industry.

A wide array of gun control advocates contend the move is a mistake which would lead to a “race to the bottom” to recognize permits from states with no training requirements and slim vetting, pledging $25 million in funding to oppose the legislation while enlisting police lobby groups and Hollywood celebrities to amplify their argument.

Each bill is in the corresponding Judiciary committee of their respective chambers.