New Concealed Carry Legislation in the Senate
In early March, Senator John Cornyn of Texas introduced a bill entitled the “Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.” A similar piece of legislation, the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.” was also introduced into the House of Representatives in January by Representative Richard Hudson of North Carolina.
Background on the Legislation
These important pieces of legislation would require states to recognize carry permits issued by other states, simplifying travel for law abiding citizens with carry permits that wish to carry their firearm while travelling out of their state. Regarding this newly introduced bill, Senator Cornyn stated the proposed legislation would improve “both the constitutional right of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and the power of states to implement laws best-suited for the folks who live there.”
The Importance of Reciprocity Agreements for Law Abiding Citizens
Proponents of the bill, such as the National Rifle Association, state that the current system (in which certain states do not recognize carry permits issued in other states) creates a situation where law abiding citizens risk run-ins with law enforcement, seizure of their firearms, criminal charges, and even imprisonment.
Eight states (and Washington D.C.) do not currently allow for reciprocity within their borders: New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
Jennifer Baker, the public affairs director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action told Newsweek that this situation presents, “a real problem for law-abiding gun owners who travel across state lines and want to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”
What You Need to Know About The Past & Current Legislation
Previously, bills similar to these two pieces of legislation have been introduced into Congress, but have never made it past committee hearings. This includes a piece of 2015 legislation introduced by Senator Cornyn in 2015 which gained sponsorship from 35 Congressional members, including several Democrats.
The main difference between the current Senate and House bills is in regards to the permit holder’s home state. The House version of the bill allows residents to obtain carry permits from states other than their own, while the Senate draft still requires permit holders to obtain their permits and adhere to laws from their state of residence.
According to Newsweek, the current bill introduced by Cornyn on March 3rd would require the support of every Senator from the Republican party, as well as the vote of at least eight Democratic Senators in order to make it out of the Senate without a filibuster.
Want to Learn More About Tennessee Carry Laws?
If you are interested in learning more about firearm carry laws in the state of Tennessee, our Nashville shooting range is here to assist you. Our handgun training and carry permit course go above and beyond the required state standards, educating participants of the state’s gun laws, liability issues, gun safety, handgun maintenance, and completing the permit process.
If you want to learn more about obtaining your carry permit in Tennessee, check out our recent video detailing the training course offered by Royal Range. As always, you are more than welcome to contact us at the range with any questions that you might have!