An overwhelming majority of Americans support concealed carry reciprocity
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to protect Americans’ Second Amendment rights and to curb gun violence: the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This legislation is one of the most important pro-Second Amendment measures to have passed the House in recent memory.
The pro-gun bill that passed the House, which I was proud to cosponsor, would allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed only if they are not federally prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm. Citizens must also carry a valid government-issued photo ID, and be lawfully licensed or otherwise entitled to carry a concealed handgun. Each person would have to follow the laws of the state, county and municipality in which they are carrying concealed.
An overwhelming majority of Americans support concealed carry reciprocity – 73 percent of adults, according to a recent New York Times survey. It’s also backed by the attorneys general of 24 states, including Texas’ Attorney General, Ken Paxton.
Currently, the patchwork of reciprocity laws and agreements between states is confusing and has caused law-abiding citizens to unwittingly break the law and suffer arrest and detention. Even the most careful and knowledgeable concealed carry permit holders find it difficult to navigate the current maze of state and local concealed carry laws.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that “the inherent right of self-defense has been central to the Second Amendment right,” which is “the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation.” This fundamental right does not stop at a state’s borders and law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise this right when crossing state lines.
Contrary to what some critics say, if the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act becomes law states would retain their authority to enact time and place restrictions on where people can lawfully carry in the state. In addition, the bill would not make it any easier to buy a gun. It has nothing to do with the purchase of guns. It would not alter access to guns and it would not change the federal law requiring background checks.
This legislation will help protect Texans’ Second Amendment rights, and I was pleased to support it.
Member of Congress
Because of campaign finance laws, I will not be sending out an e-newsletter until after the Texas primary election on March 6, 2018. However, I will still be able to share my thoughts with you on my social media channels during the next 90 days. Click here to follow me on Facebook or Twitter.