Bill S.498 will allow a conceal carry permit holder to carry in any state.
On Thursday Feb. 12, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015 was introduced by Senator John Cornyn of Texas. If passed, it will make all 50 states recognize anyone holding a conceal carry permit. This does away with individual state laws and establishes a new universal right to permit holders.
As of now, anyone carrying a concealed weapon must abide by individual state laws while traveling or visiting. A lot of states are already flexible with honoring each other’s permits. Others only recognize their own leading to incidents of accidental legal trouble for permit holders.
“Senator Cornyn’s legislation provides a much needed solution to a real problem for law-abiding gun owners,” said Chris W. Cox from the NRA. “The current patchwork of state and local laws is confusing for even the most conscientious and well-informed concealed carry permit holders.“
Incidents of arrest from accidentally bringing guns to states not recognizing other’s permits are more common than you think. John Tonnesen of Lake Worth, Florida is a permit holder in Florida and was arrested in Maryland last year for unlawful transportation of a handgun. Maryland does not recognize any other state’s permits.
Gun groups feel that this universal law would undermine the state’s right to make their own local permit requirements. The Every Town for Gun Safety group released a report focused on the topic. A statement from the report reads:
Federally mandated concealed carry reciprocity would upend each state’s carefully considered judgments about public safety. Under this scheme, even if a state has determined that public safety requires live-fire training for permit holders, the state would have to allow permit holders from other states without any training requirements to carry guns on their streets.
This bill is similar to others that have tried to pass over the last five years. The Thune-Vitter Bill in 2009, HR 822 in 2011, and another act in 2014 that never seemed to make it through to law.