A gun owner crossing state lines with a legally registered firearm can land in prison under what critics say is a “patchwork” of laws that have little to do with public safety.
A bill working its way to President Trump’s desk could change that, by allowing gun owners who are allowed to carry concealed guns in their home states to exercise the rights in any other state that does not prohibit concealed carry.
“Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said last month when he introduced a Senate bill that closely tracks one introduced in the House.
“Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines.”
Cornyn’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is aimed at allowing legal gun owners to carry concealed firearms “freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits,” he said.
The National Rifle Association said confusing and conflicting state laws can ensnare law-abiding gun owners.
“The current patchwork of state and local gun laws is confusing and can cause the most conscientious and law-abiding gun owner to run afoul of the law when they are traveling or temporarily living away from home,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA.
The proposed law would not supersede state laws or establish national standards for concealed carry, advocates assure. A companion bill in the House of Representatives was introduced by Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C.
Some 40 states already offer some form of reciprocity with other states.
Critics claim reciprocity laws will undercut states that believe public safety is linked to strict gun control.
“Reciprocity would have a profound impact on state public safety, making the state with the weakest standards into the law of the land, and letting criminals and other dangerous people carry concealed guns in every state in the country,” the gun control group Every Town for Gun Safety said in a statement.