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?
- A U.S. Senator or Representative must first introduce a bill for national reciprocity.
- The introduced bill is assigned to a committee to be refined.
- That bill must pass its own portion of Congress; Senate or House of Representatives.
- Once passed, it must then pass the other portion of Congress in identical form.
- 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 www.handgunlaw.us . 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.”