WASHINGTON — A Republican congressman is prepared to introduce national concealed carry legislation in the next Congress after Donald Trump is sworn in as president.
North Carolina Republican Rep. Richard Hudson introduced a similar bill in February 2015, H.R. 986.
Now known as the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, the bill, which The Daily Caller obtained exclusively, would allow a person with a concealed carry license from one state to carry a concealed handgun in any other state that permits its resident to concealed carry, as long as the person is not banned from possessing or transporting a firearm under federal law. The bill excludes carrying “a machine gun or destructive device,” and the person must follow “the restrictions of that state.”
“Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and I plan to introduce legislation in the first days of the 115th Congress to guarantee that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense bill to provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits,” Hudson wrote in a statement to The Daily Caller. “As a member of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to working with the administration to advance policies that support and protect our right to keep and bear arms.”
Additionally, according to a congressional source, the bill allows for an individual from states with more restrictive concealed carry firearm laws–like New York, California, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachussets–the opportunity to obtain a non-resident Concealed Carry Permits from a state, like Utah, that recognizes the right to carry. All CCP holders (whether resident or non-resident) still have to abide by all the laws of the state in which they are carrying concealed.
Hudson and his staff shared the text of the bill Monday and spoke with offices around Capitol Hill about it.
Other members, like Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, have introduced national concealed carry legislation in the past, when Democrats held the majority in the upper chamber, but Cornyn could not indicate to The Daily Caller last week if there was any plan re-introduce his legislation next year.
One congressional source confirmed to TheDC that Hudson’s office has been working on the bill for a while and “thinking about what we are going to do in the new year and we plan to introduce the bill from this Congress with the addition of constitutional carry in the first days of the 115th Congress.”
Trump, with the help of the National Rifle Association, won the backing of Second Amendment supporters and promised during his campaign to push an expansion of gun rights under his administration. This included a national firearm reciprocity bill.
“This is our historic moment to go on offense and to defeat the forces that have aligned against our freedom once and for all,” Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the National Rifle Association, said in a video following the Nov. 8 election. “The individual right to carry a firearm in defense of our lives and our families does not and should not end at any state line.”
The passage and effectiveness of such legislation, though, is uncertain as Democrats and their allies are already preparing for a fight in Congress over national concealed carry legislation. Gun control advocates have won victories in tightening gun and ammunition restrictions in New York, Connecticut, Colorado, Nevada, California and Washington state in recent years.
*This piece has been updated with new information 12/9/16