A group of Senate Republicans, led by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), have introduced a bill that would allow individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to exercise those rights in any other state with concealed carry laws.
“This bill focuses on two of our country’s most fundamental constitutional protections—the Second Amendment’s right of citizens to keep and bear arms and the Tenth Amendment’s right of states to make laws best-suited for their residents,” Cornyn said in a statement. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this important legislation for law-abiding gun owners nationwide.”
Joining Cornyn in launching the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act were Sens. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
The measure would allow individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to conceal carry in any other states that also allow it, while respecting specific state restrictions around the types of firearms and locations they can be carried in.
“Law-abiding Tennesseans who are permitted to carry a firearm should be able to exercise that constitutional right in other states, consistent with those state’s laws, without having to obtain a separate permit,” Hagerty said. “The constitutional right of self-defense should not disappear while traveling or temporarily living away from home.”
The idea behind the legislation is to treat state-issued concealed carry permits like drivers’ licenses, where people can use their home-state license to drive in another state but must follow the other state’s speed limit or road laws.
“This bill reduces confusion and legal inconsistencies for responsible gun owners when they travel outside of their home state, while also respecting states’ rights to set their own laws. I’m happy to again support this bill,” Grassley said.
At the same time, the bill respects states’ authority to set their own concealed carry laws, as it does not establish national standards for concealed carry nor does it provide for a national concealed carry permit.
“The Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is common-sense legislation that protects law-abiding citizens’ right to self-defense and to keep and bear arms when traveling between states that allow concealed carry,” Inhofe said. “I am glad to join Sen. Cornyn in introducing this bill and I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance this proposal through the Senate.”
The bill is co-sponsored by 27 other Senate Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
While many states honor concealed carry permits from other states, some—including California, New York, and Maryland—do not, which effectively bans the carry of handguns by nonresidents visiting their state.
The protection of Second Amendment rights has drawn renewed scrutiny since President Joe Biden, who has repeatedly called for tougher gun restrictions, took office.