Republican Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee have introduced national concealed carry reciprocity legislation, and 43 of their colleagues have signed on as co-sponsors.
The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act was announced Wednesday. It has the backing of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Whip John Thune. There are no Democrats on the roster, and noticeable by their absence are Republican Senators Rand Paul, Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.
The bill has already garnered support from the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
In a prepared statement, Cornyn observed, “I’m proud to support law-abiding gun owners across America with this commonsense legislation that would let them concealed carry in all states that allow it…This legislation strengthens two of our most fundamental constitutional protections – the Second Amendment’s right of citizens to keep and bear arms and the Tenth Amendment’s right of states to make laws best-suited for their residents.”
“The constitutional right of self-defense should not disappear simply because an individual crosses state lines,” Hagerty added. “I’m pleased to join my Senate colleagues in this commonsense legislation to ensure that law-abiding Tennesseans who are permitted to carry a concealed firearm are able to exercise that right in other states, consistent with those states’ laws, without having to obtain a separate permit.”
In a news release, CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb echoed Hagerty’s remarks.
“No citizen should leave his or her self-defense rights at their state border,” Gottlieb said. “While many individual states do have reciprocity agreements, we have always maintained—and the Supreme Court has affirmed—the right to keep and bear arms applies to the entire nation, and this legislation certainly recognizes that.”
According to Cornyn’s office, these are the important points of the reciprocity legislation:
- Allows individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to exercise those rights in any other state with concealed carry laws
- Treats state-issued concealed carry permits like drivers’ licenses where an individual can use their home-state license to drive in another state, but must abide by that other state’s speed limit or road laws
- Protects state sovereignty by not establishing a national standard for concealed carry
A national reciprocity law was passed by the House during the Trump administration, but it stalled in the Senate. At the time, anti-gunners were raising false alarms that the bill, if passed, would essentially nullify individual state laws on concealed carry, forcing strict states such as New York and New Jersey, to essentially operate under the laws of other states. Those arguments were never seriously questioned by the press.
On the other side, some gun rights activists were concerned that the federal government would establish a national standard for concealed carry.
The bill has not yet been assigned a number.