This week house Republicans passed historic gun legislation that vastly expands the rights of concealed carry permit holders nationwide. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (HR38), sponsored by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), received bi-partisan support and passed with a vote of of 231-198, 6 Democrats voting in favor. “Despite scare tactics by the bills opponents, concealed carry licensees as a group have proven to be more law-abiding than the general population and even the police,” the NRA said in a statement before the vote.
Concealed carry reciprocity will essentially allow permits to be treated much like drivers licenses. Permit holders would be allowed to concealed carry across states lines, which in my opinion is long overdue due. House Republicans released a statement in which they said HR38 will not only “protect Americans constitutional rights by ensuring that law abiding citizens second amendment rights do not end when they cross state lines.” They ensured that this bill will also strengthen the federal background check system for firearm ownership as it will fix the NICS act. The NICS act ensures that federal and state authorities report criminal history to the to the national background check system, which is in compliance with current law. Failure to do so will result in federal penalties and incentives states comply by offering federal funding.
Supporters of the second amendment are hailing the passage of HR38 as the “most expansive piece of self-defense legislation in the history of Congress.” However, the bill now moves to the senate where it faces a much tougher battle. The Republicans currently have a 52 seat majority, but the bill will need to gain Democrat support as well, as it must receive 60 votes to pass.