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Sunday
Mar252012

Second National Right to Carry Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

For the second time in as many weeks, a national Right-to-Carry reciprocity bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.

On March 20, U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) introduced Senate Bill 2213, the “Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.”   Under this self-defense bill, an individual who has met the requirements for a carry permit, or who is otherwise allowed by state law to carry a handgun, would be authorized to carry a handgun in any other state that issues such permits or does not prohibit concealed carry, subject to the laws of the state in which it is carried.

The NRA strongly supports this measure. USA Carry strongly supports this law.  The Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Bonzer Wolf strongly support SB 2213.

The Thune-Vitter bill, S. 2213, is important because it would give full reciprocity to all law-abiding gun owners in “constitutional carry” states.

Equally important is the fact that a compromise bill, introduced by anti-gun Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Max Baucus (D-MT) primarily for the purpose of maintaining Democratic control of the Senate, has only four sponsors and cosponsors.

But here’s the problem: The House already passed legislation similar to the compromise Begich-Manchin bill.

This should not be a huge problem.  The Republican House would accept the pro-gun Thune-Vitter language in a heartbeat.

But it does allow Senators Mark Begich and Joe Manchin to argue for their watered-down bill by pointing to its similarity to the House-passed legislation.

The solution?

House Republicans need to cosponsor the House counterpart to the Thune-Vitter bill, introduced by Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia.

The Broun bill, H.R. 2900, would recognize full reciprocity rights to “constitutional carry” states.  Unlike Begich-Manchin, it would not require pro-gun states like Vermont to change their laws in order to take advantage of reciprocity.

A strong show of support for the House bill will let congressional leaders know that grassroots gun owners will not settle for a watered down, compromise bill that will actually undermine efforts at the state level to pass constitutional carry legislation.

None of these bills would affect existing state laws.  State laws governing where concealed firearms may be carried would apply within each state’s borders.

As of today, 49 states have laws in place that permit their citizens to carry a concealed firearm in some form.  Only Illinois and the District of Columbia deny its residents the right to carry concealed firearms outside their homes or businesses for self-defense.

ACTION:  Contact your Congressman.  Ask him or her to cosponsor the Constitutional Carry Reciprocity bill in the House, H.R. 2900. Also be sure to contact your U.S. Senators today and urge them to cosponsor both S. 2213.

You can find contact information for your U.S. Senators by using the “Write Your Representatives” tool at www.NRAILA.org.  You may also contact your Senators by phone at (202) 224-3121.

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