Lawmaker Hopes To Pass Bill For National Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Tuesday, February 17th 2015, 6:28 pm
By: News 9

A Texas lawmaker proposed changes to conceal carry laws on a national level. The Senator is looking to make it easier for permitted gun carriers to travel with their weapon to other states.

Think of this law as being similar to your driver's license. But instead of being able to drive your car from state to state, you'd be able to take your home state conceal carry permit into any state with conceal carry laws.

In 2013 a New Jersey State Trooper pulled over a mother of two for an unsafe lane change. During the traffic stop, the woman told the officer she had a handgun in her purse and had a permit for that gun from her home state of Pennsylvania. The mother of two wound up being taken in to custody for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

This is the issue Sen. John Cornyn is trying to fix with his Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. Oklahoma law already allows gun owners with permits from other states to legally carry their guns across the state line.

But Scott Tatum with Wilshire Gun has some concerns with the proposed law.

“Good idea, needs some tweaking. We need to seriously look at the other state's laws and make sure they match ours,” said Tatum.

In Virginia, state law only requires applicants to take a quiz and pass a background check, never having them fire a gun.

“If state ‘X' is totally backwards from us and doesn't require background checks then I don't think we should have reciprocity with that state going both ways,” he said.

Supporters of the bill believe it'd create less confusion for law abiding gun carriers while traveling with their weapon.

Currently concealed carry is allowed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, but to varying degrees. Most states, but not all, require gun owners to apply for a permit.

Cornyn's bill is similar to one he proposed last year that did not pass. This new bill may have a better chance under the Republican majority.