National Reciprocity for Concealed Carry under President Trump

National Reciprocity for Concealed Carry under President Trump

We May be Closer than You Think


With Republic control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives there is a good chance of National Reciprocity becoming law.  What would life in America be like for law abiding gun owners if our gun permits were as easily honored for carry a concealed firearm as our driver’s licenses are today for operating a vehicle?  Carrying your favorite revolver anywhere under National Reciprocity would be easy and care-free right?  Not so fast!  We are a long ways away from what I would call easy and care free but we may be closer than you think.


There are two ways President Trump can make this happen.  One is to issue an Executive Order.  That would be fine for the next 4 or 8 years but the next President can undo an Executive Order with the mere stroke of a pen.  The second way is make National Reciprocity a law.  This is harder to achieve but much more difficult to undo by future Administrations so it has lasting power.  How can National Reciprocity become law?


  1. A U.S. Senator or Representative must first introduce a bill for national reciprocity.
  2. The introduced bill is assigned to a committee to be refined.
  3. That bill must pass its own portion of Congress; Senate or House of Representatives.
  4. Once passed, it must then pass the other portion of Congress in identical form.
  5. An agreed upon bill goes to the President to sign or veto. If signed the bill becomes law.


Sounds simple right? Not really.  That is a lot of people that must agree on a highly politically charged issue before the President has opportunity to decide.  However, we already have four bills related to national reciprocity introduced!


Senate / House Bill Name Latest Action
Senate S.498 Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015 02/12/2015 Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
House of Representatives H.R. 923 Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015 03/16/2015 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
House of Representatives H.R. 402 National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015 02/05/2015 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
House of Representatives H.R. 986 Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015 03/16/2015 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.



All four of these bills have been introduced and assigned to a committee.  None has passed the Senate or House yet.  However, two are at least aligned; S 498 in the Senate and H.R. 923 in the House of Representatives are identical bills.  This is encouraging to me.  At least they have identical bills that can move forward.  This takes care of step 4 above but still must be voted on and pass both the Senate and the House, publically registering votes (or no votes) on a political hot button.  One could reasonably guess that while these two bills appear “ready to go,” they have likely been sat on until after the election.


What would it take to move these forward?

Your action.  Pick up your cell phone right now and call both US Senator’s offices in Washington.  It takes 30 seconds.  How do I know that?  I just did it as I am writing this article.


Senator Ed Markey                         202-224-2742

Senator Elizabeth Warren            202-224-4543


Here is how the conversations went:


“Hi I’m___________ and I live in ______.  I’m calling to urge Senator ______ to support S498.  Will you please register that request?”


It’s that simple.  One office asked for my name, address and email account.  The other office asked for a clarification that I “support” the bill.  Fast, easy and they pay attention to phone calls more than emails.


Here is a challenge for you and your buddies.  One of you calls the Senators every Monday. One of you calls the Senators every Tuesday, etc.  Let them hear from the people!


Let’s assume the Senate and House bills on Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015 both pass.  What does that look like?


The bill reads, essentially, that a valid license to carry shall be recognized in other states but the person must still play by the rules of the state they are in, not the rules of the state from which their license was issued.


Therefore, even if these bills pass and become law, those visiting Massachusetts are still going to have to play by the restrictive laws under which we all live (if you’re reading this as a MA resident).  How about that Glock with a 15 round magazine?  Probably not OK.  How about that Springfield XDS that is not on the Massachusetts Approved Firearm Roster?  Probably not OK…


When we travel outside of Massachusetts… did you know hollow point bullets are illegal in NJ?  I for one am not going to load target rounds when I’m carrying to protect my family so that’s a problem.  How about “gun-free zones” in different states?  Do you know them all? I don’t but I know I can look it up on .  Did you know New York City has different gun related laws than the rest of the state of New York?


Even with National Reciprocity it is still going to be restrictive and it is not going to be easy and care-free. But, I’ll take it.  I’ll take it with a smile on my face to at least move the pendulum a little bit back towards the original rights and freedoms our forefathers intended when they declared “… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Massachusetts License To Carry In 3 Easy Steps

Massachusetts License to Carry in 3 Easy Steps


It takes a bit of time and a bit of money but, yes, you can get a License to Carry in MA in just a few steps.


Step 1: Attend a Basic Firearms Safety Course (about $95)

The basic safety courses are offered in a few places in the Boston metro area.  I took mine at MA Gun Safety in Woburn.  As gun permit applications continue to grow each year, there is often a wait of a month or so for an opening so plan ahead. This is a solid orientation to gun safety and MA gun laws.


You will learn how revolvers and semi-automatics operate, how to safely load a firearm, how to safely handle it, how to safely store it, etc.  You will learn about stove-pipes, hang fires and other malfunctions; what to do and what NOT to do when they happen.  You will learn about safely and legally transporting handguns and long guns.


All courses take a slightly different path according to the instructor’s experience but the above fundamental elements of safe handling and laws will all be covered.


What you will NOT learn is threat detection, draw and present techniques from concealed carry, using cover and concealment, tactical reloads, managing multiple threats, etc.  These courses are available, affordable, fun and they are EXTREMELY important.


Buying a guitar does not make you a musician.  Likewise, buying a handgun does not make you a Navy SEAL.  After you purchase your firearm, attend at least one training course to get you started in the practical use of your new tool.


Step 2: Apply for a License to Carry at your local law enforcement office (free to about $100)

When you have your date scheduled for the Basic Firearms Safety Course, call your local Police Department to request an appointment to apply for the LTC.  Yes, you will likely need an appointment and you may have to wait months to get it!  Welcome to Massachusetts.


I was on a three month waiting list at my local PD.  The appointment also required a $100 cash fee that was not refundable even if my license was denied.  Every city is a little different but this is one example for which you should be mentally prepared.  If you get a quick appointment and no processing fee, great!


You must present the original Basic Firearms Safety Course certificate.  You’ll be fingerprinted, photographed and your background will be checked.  References are also required.


A part of the process will include…

The big question:  Why are you applying for a firearms license?

The correct answer: “For all lawful purposes.”


Don’t try to over explain yourself.  “For all lawful purposes” is the terminology in Mass General Law Chapter 140, Section 131 that the people processing your application are familiar with.  Use their terminology and keep it simple.


Massachusetts is a “May Issue” state (most of northeast + California) as opposed to a “Shall Issue” state (rest of the country). May Issue means that the local Chief Law Enforcement Officer has the final say in whether or not you are granted your license even if you have a clean background.  He/She “may issue” your license and they may not.  Welcome to Massachusetts.


Step 3: Wait patiently

Once your application is in process there is nothing left to do but wait.  It may be just a couple weeks or it may take months.  My own experience was a 6 week wait.  When your license arrives you will go to the Police Department to pick it up.  It’s a plastic card similar to a driver’s license which is handy because you will want to keep this license in your wallet if you carry.  You will also need to present it when you go purchase your first firearm and every time you buy ammo.


Along with the license you will also receive a PIN which is required when your purchase a firearm.  It is just as valuable and needs to be safeguarded as the PIN to your bank account so keep it secure.


So, after a couple hundred bucks and likely 3 or 4 months of processing, you can finally go purchase your first firearm!  Not exactly what our founding fathers had in mind when they documented “… the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” but there is at least still a pathway to get there!  Again, welcome to Massachusetts.


Good luck and welcome to the great community of gun owners!


Check out for more details on the process and laws in Massachusetts.  This is an excellent resource.