Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced a bill last week that would essentially allow gun-owners to carry concealed weapons around the country.
Called the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, the proposed law would “treat state-issued concealed-carry permits like drivers licenses,” according to his office’s press release.
For example, if you can legally drive in New York, you can also legally drive in California. Under the same logic, Cornyn’s bill would allow people with concealed-carry permits granted in one state to keep their guns handy in other states that also let people carry concealed weapons.
“This is perfectly reasonable, except for the part about gun permits being anything whatsoever like drivers’ licenses,” as New York Times columnist Gail Collins points out.
Different states, however, have different standards for concealed-carry permits.
For example, all a concealed-carry permit requires in Mississippi is the ability to fill out an application. Virginia offers online courses. And Florida grants concealed-carry permits to people who have never actually lived there — as long as they pay $US112, according to Collins.
All 50 states and DC allow concealed-carry to varying degrees, and most states require owners to apply for a permit, according to The Hill.
Cornyn argues concealed-carry reciprocity upholds both the Second Amendment and states’ rights. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), John Thune (R-South Dakota), and David Vitter (R-Louisiana), all back him, which makes the bill a bipartisan endeavour.
Many states already have reciprocity laws that honour concealed-carry permits granted in neighbouring states with similar standards, according to The Guardian. Cornyn’s bill, however, could permit people to carry guns in states where they couldn’t even purchase one. For example, New York prohibits stalkers from possessing guns. New Hampshire doesn’t, as the New York Daily News reported.
Under the bill, New York would have to honour New Hampshire’s law, which would “make the weakest state requirements the law of the land,” John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, told the Daily News. Also, police sometimes have no way to verify out-of-state conceal carry permits, as Collins notes.
Cornyn attempted to pass the same bill back in April 2013 but failed with a Democratic majority in the Senate. Under Republican control in both houses, he could have a better chance now, The Hill speculates.
Unsurprisingly, the National Rifle Association and other gun groups have rallied behind the proposed law.
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