H.R. 822, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act, cleared the House on November 16th, 2011, after two days of debate.
“The right to defend yourself and your loved ones from criminals is fundamental, and it should not be extinguished when you cross a state border. H.R. 822, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act, recognizes this important fact by establishing the interstate recognition of concealed carry permits in much the same way driver’s licenses are recognized,” said Rep. Clifford B. Stearns (R.-FL), one of the two sponsors of the bill.
“Although 49 states issue these permits and many have reciprocity agreements with other states, the lack of uniformity makes it hard for law-abiding permit holders to know for sure if they are obeying the law as they travel from state to state. This legislation will simply make it far easier for law-abiding permit holders to know they are in compliance with the law when they carry a firearm as they travel,” he said.
Now it is the Senate’s turn to act, and all eyes are on Senator John R. Thune (R.-S.D.). Senator Thune attempted to gain Senate approval for reciprocity for national concealed carry in the last session of Congress with legislation very close to the language in the Broun bill. Ultimately, however, Thune fell two votes short of the 60 votes he needed to end a Democratic filibuster.
This legislation, if signed into law, would not create a federal firearm licensing system. It simply would require the states to recognize each others’ concealed carry permits, just as the states recognize out of state drivers’ licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards.