A federal bill that would make it legal for a gun owner with a conceal carry permit (CCP) in one state to carry in the other 49 states (where doing so is legal) was voted out of a House Judiciary Committee last week and sent to the House floor.
The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 is under fire by various gun control groups who claim it will let people break CCP regulations and “override state laws” by allowing them to carry concealed without meeting the training/licensing requirements for that state. The National Rifle Association (NRA) disagrees, however, and says there is no conflict because each state sets their own gun laws and would be responsible for the CCL permit process.
Furthermore, they say, Second Amendment rights would be bettered. Rachel Parsons, NRA spokesperson, explained how:
“We think that allowing law-abiding people who have gone through all the legal channels to get a concealed carry permit should be able to use those firearms should they need to in the event of self-defense, and we don’t think that arbitrary lines should stop your Second Amendment freedoms,” Parsons said.
The future of this legislation is uncertain as a similar bill did not move out of the Senate in 2009. It must now pass both the House and Senate before it is sent to the President’s desk.
While this bill is being considered at the federal level, forward progress was recently made in protecting the Second Amendment rights of North Carolina citizens. This last legislative session, Gov. Bev Perdue signed HB 650 into law. The bill made several changes to the state’s gun laws (which go into effect on December 1) such as: “Castle Doctrine language, Fraudulent Firearms Purchase language, allows Right-to-Carry (RTC) permit holders to store firearms in their vehicles when parked on the grounds of certain state properties and courthouses, removes the restriction on owning (but not possessing) firearms by those subject to certain orders of protection, allows for the purchase of rifles and shotguns by North Carolina residents in all of the 49 other states, removes some restrictions on local governments prohibiting RTC permit holders from carrying firearms in parks under local control.”
It remains to be seen whether reciprocity laws will expand, but it is encouraging to see that North Carolina lawmakers have taken steps to ensure that law-abiding citizens are able to more freely exercise their Second Amendment rights while protecting themselves and their loved ones.