A bipartisan measure currently in the U.S. Senate would do away with the patchwork of state reciprocity laws and establish a uniform right to carry concealed firearms across all 50 states.
This bill, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, was introduced Thursday and would treat concealed carry permits like driver’s licenses, allowing current permit holders to carry in any other state that issues permits.
“This bill strengthens two of our nation’s fundamental rights – the right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and states’ rights to adopt laws that are best suited for their residents,” said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the sponsor of the legislation, in a statement.
Noting that, for example, a Texas concealed handgun license is only valid in 35 states, Cornyn explained, “This bill is an important affirmation of the Second Amendment, and has been a top priority of law-abiding gun owners in Texas for some time.”
Cornyn’s bill, entered as S.498, has 16 early co-sponsors to include West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. It would allow the holder of a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun in any state. Persons carrying as a non-resident in a state would otherwise be bound by whatever laws of the state they are visiting. This would end the confusing patchwork of reciprocity agreements that are currently in place across the country.
A companion bill, H.R.923, was introduced to the House by Rep. Marlin Stuzman, R-Indiana.
The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, in both its Senate and House versions, have been refereed to their respective committees on the judiciary.