Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act: Myth v. Facts

communications • December 6, 2017

As with every piece of legislation regarding your Second amendment rights, the critics are loud. You’d recognize the arguments. In fact, we’ve gone ahead and listed them below for your convenience. Also listed below are the facts to set straight the various misconceptions regarding the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. Read through and tell us what you think!

Courtesy of the Office of Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC)

Myth: Nationwide concealed carry reciprocity will make it easier to buy a gun and allow dangerous people obtain a firearm. It would also allow people with mental health issues to walk around with guns.

Fact: This bill has nothing to do with gun purchases. Every person who wants to buy a firearm in America would still have to go through a thorough federal background check – my bill would not change that.

Additionally, H.R. 38 categorically excludes from its protections anyone who is “prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm.” This includes anyone who:

  • Has been “convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year” (this category includes misdemeanors punishable by more than two years in prison – e.g., second degree assault in Maryland – as well as felonies – e.g., armed robbery – and applies even if the individual never served any prison time at all)
  • Is “a fugitive from justice”
  • Is “an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance”
  • Has been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or “committed to a mental institution”
  • Is an alien who is “illegally or unlawfully in the United States” or who was “admitted to the United States under a non-immigrant visa”
  • Has been “discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions”
  • Has “renounced his [United States] citizenship”
  • Is subject to certain restraining orders concerning an intimate partner or child of such intimate partner (e.g., restraining orders issued after a hearing alleging spousal or child abuse)
  • Has been “convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence”
  • Is possessing the firearm in the course of employment for any of the preceding categories of persons
  • Is under indictment for a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year
  • under age 18 in the case of a handgun

Myth: Additional legislation is necessary for reciprocity to extend to D.C.

Fact: D.C. is considered a state for the purposes of this law, so its firearms restrictions would be treated the same as those of any other state. In fact, the term “state” also includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the possessions of the United States (not including the Canal Zone).

Myth: This legislation would allow people to carry who shouldn’t be allowed to possess firearms in the first place.

Fact: It would allow a law-abiding citizen to carry concealed only if they are not federally prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm, are carrying a valid government-issued photo ID, and are lawfully licensed or otherwise entitled to carry a concealed handgun. 

Myth: Congress doesn’t have the ability to regulate concealed carry permits, states do.

Fact: Article IV, Section I of the Constitution requires states give “full faith and credit” to the “public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state. And that Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.” It’s exactly why a driver’s license is recognized from state to state yet we still have to follow the laws of the states we drive in.

This bill simply says that IF a state chooses to recognize lawful concealed carry for its own residents, it must recognize the right of a person who can lawfully carry concealed in another state to carry concealed in that state.

Myth: Under H.R. 38, states lose the ability to dictate where people within that state can carry.

Fact: Non-residents will be following the same laws on the books as residents of any state, county or municipality and this legislation does not attempt to change that. That means a state or locality can dictate where people can carry in their municipalities.

Myth: Passing nationwide concealed carry reciprocity will arm criminals or increase gun violence.

Fact: If a criminal with malice wants to commit a crime, I can guarantee he or she isn’t worried about following the laws on the books. Unfortunately, we can’t change that. But we can ensure law-abiding citizens can legally carry concealed firearms to defend themselves. Since 1991, 25 states have adopted Right to Carry laws, the number of people with carry permits has risen to over 12 million, and the nation’s violent crime rate has decreased 51 percent. Many states who have adopted Constitutional Carry have seen their crime rates decrease. After Alaska adopted Constitutional Carry in 2003, handgun murders declined and declined faster than the overall number of murders in Alaska. After Arizona adopted Constitutional Carry in 2010, there was no increase in the number of murders, including those committed with guns – including handguns explicitly. The downward trend of murders continued after Constitutional Carry was enacted.

Myth: H.R. 38 would prevent police officers from doing their jobs.

Fact: H.R. 38 does not prevent police officers from doing their jobs. The legislation merely ensures that law-abiding citizens have the ability to exercise their fundamental right of self-defense when traveling across state lines.

H.R. 38 recognizes the authority of a police officer encountering an individual with a concealed firearm to conduct an appropriate investigative stop in order to determine whether a person is carrying lawfully. If not, state law – including licensing and possession requirements – remains fully enforceable.

Myth: H.R. 38 would eliminate the Gun Free School Zones Act.

Fact: The Gun Free School Zones Act exempts individuals who are permitted to carry or possess firearms under state law. H.R. 38 would apply this same exemption to anyone carrying a concealed handgun under the provisions of the bill. State level prohibitions on carrying and possessing firearms on school grounds would not be affected.

Tell us what you think about this!

Related:

PASSED: The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017