A new bill has just hit Congress that has many gun owners jumping for joy. H.R. 38 and S.498 will be the first test of how a complete Republican controlled government will take on gun rights. Substantial expansion of gun rights has not really happened at the federal level for decades.
However, under a Republican Congress and a Trump White House it looks like gun rights are set to expand and the first bills are likely going to be a national concealed carry reciprocity bill that will allow legally licensed concealed carriers to carry firearms in any state that allows for any type of concealed carry.
Right now, states work out their own individual agreements with other states and state to state carry laws are a patchwork of varying laws, sometimes varying from city to city within a state.
The proposed bill would help concealed carriers by trying to make the experience across the country more uniform. Most states offer some sort of legitimate concealed carry option for residents, and over 40 states have reciprocal agreements with other states.
According to a Fox News report:
The National Rifle Association said confusing and conflicting state laws can ensnare law-abiding gun owners.
“The current patchwork of state and local gun laws is confusing and can cause the most conscientious and law-abiding gun owner to run afoul of the law when they are traveling or temporarily living away from home,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA.
While many gun rights advocates have praised the bill as being a step in the right direction, not everyone is overly happy about the proposed changes. A statement from anti-gun group, Everytown For Gun Safety (a group founded by former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg), blasted the bill and says it will decrease public safety. In a statement, they said:
Bottom Line: Concealed carry reciprocity would force each state to recognize concealed carry permits from every other state, overriding each state’s core laws on who is too dangerous to carry guns in public or even to possess guns at all. Law enforcement overwhelmingly opposes this legislation, which would put police in danger of being sued for doing their jobs.
Reciprocity would force states to let violent offenders and people with no firearm safety training carry hidden, loaded handguns—even if those people could not otherwise legally purchase a gun in the state.
Legislation pushed by the gun lobby (H.R. 38; S.498) would even force states to allow concealed carry by many people with no permit whatsoever—allowing people who have never been screened by a background check to carry throughout the country.
Here is a video report on the proposed changes: