Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced HR 38 – Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 – yesterday on the first day of the 115th Congress. The bill provides that if you have a concealed carry permit or you reside in a state which has constitutional carry then you may carry in any state that allows concealed carry for their own residents. The state in which you are visiting would still maintain the right to limit where you may or may not carry concealed.
Federal areas such as National Wildlife Refuges, Corps of Engineers, BLM, and Bureau of Reclamation lands would now be open to concealed carry under the bill. Furthermore, it reinforces the ability to carry concealed in National Parks.
The bill also puts the burden of proof on the state or municipality to show that an individual did not comply with the law if detained. It would also grant the individual attorneys’ fees if he or she won their case.
The bill currently has 63 co-sponsors including at least two Democrats. I expect the bill to have many more co-sponsors added in due time.
In introducing the bill, Rep. Hudson said:
“Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense solution to a problem too many Americans face. It will provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits. As a member of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to get this legislation across the finish line.”
Donald Trump has signaled his readiness to sign such a bill if it passed Congress.
A few things stand out in the language of the bill. First, it does not specify that the concealed carry permit be issued by the carrier’s state of residence. It just says that the person must not be a prohibited person and that they are carrying a permit issued “pursuant to the law of a State.” Your state of residence is only an issue for those people living in constitutional carry states.
Second, if I am reading it correctly, the term handgun means any handgun with any magazine loaded with any ammunition. It does not say that I would be prohibited from having a standard size magazine in California nor does it say that the magazine has to be loaded with ball ammo if I was passing through New Jersey which bans hollow-point ammunition to non-law enforcement.
Third, a person possessing a handgun under this act would not be subject to “the prohibitions of section 922(q).” 18 U.S. Code § 922(q) is the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1994.
The only thing missing from this act is any mention of carry in National Forests.
I have embedded the bill below so that you can read it and see if my conclusions regarding the language of the bill are correct.