Senators John Kennedy (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Bill Hagerty (R-TN) on Wednesday unveiled legislation that would treat concealed carry permits similarly to driver’s licenses, rendering a permit from any state acceptable in all the other 49 states.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a Senate proposal, maintains state-specific regulations while making concealed carry permits from any other state valid in other ones. This implies that a Kentucky resident with a concealed carry permit might travel across Illinois with a pistol for self-defense, but they would have to abide by Illinois’ restrictions on carrying in certain places.
Regarding the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, Senator Kennedy stated, “The Second Amendment helps defend the constitutional rights of all Americans. This legislation would uphold the fundamental liberties of all Americans while upholding the right of any state to enact its own laws.”
Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, supported the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act and said:
“This is plain sense legislation that addresses the issue of the confusing patchwork of concealed carry permit rules, particularly with regard to places whose laws transform lawful concealed carry permit holders into unsuspecting criminals for a simple error like taking the incorrect traffic turn. The Second Amendment rights of all Americans are safeguarded by this act, which also protects a state’s ability to make its own laws.”
The House reciprocity measure, H.R. 38, introduced by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) in early January has a counterpart bill in the Senate.
Breitbart News reported on January 10, 2023, that Hudson has introduced H.R. 38, which would likewise treat concealed carry permits like driver’s licenses when permit holders travel from one state to another.
In response to Hudson’s legislation, he said:
“The Second Amendment is not nullified when you pass an arbitrary state border, thanks to H.R. 38.”
“It safeguards the rights of law-abiding persons to move freely between states and carry concealed weapons without being concerned about incongruous state laws or onerous civil lawsuits. As I continue to strive to pass this legislation, I am especially gratified to have such broad and bipartisan support for it.”
All 50 states have concealed carry permit systems in place, however, some of them presently only accept permits from a small number of other states. The difficulty of traveling with a self-defense handgun is caused by the patchwork of permit recognition.