Op-Ed: What's Wrong With Making It Easier to Carry a Gun Across State Lines?

[Editor's Note: The following op-ed was published before the U.S. House of Representatives voted on November 16 House to pass HR822, but the points are worth considering as debate on the bill will now be taken up by the Senate.]

by John Lott

Congress is expected to vote Tuesday on whether concealed carry gun licenses should be treated the same way we treat driver's licenses for cars. With 245 co-sponsors in the House, the only question is whether there are the 290 votes necessary to override President Obama's veto.

For decades, treating licenses for guns like those for cars was something that gun control advocates wanted.

In his 2000 presidential campaign, Al Gore promised: "We require a license to drive a car in this nation in order to keep unsafe drivers off the road. As president, I will fight for a national requirement that every state issue photo licenses [for handgun buyers]. We should require a license to own a handgun so people who shouldn't have them, can't get them."

Handgun Control Inc., as well as its later incarnation as the Brady Campaign, has pushed licensing plan since the 1970s. But what would this actually mean for gun control? After all, what does a driver's license let you do?

You don't need a driver's license to drive a car on private property, merely on public roads. And once you get a license, you are allowed to drive any car on any public road anywhere in the United States. You are responsible for obeying the different traffic regulations in different states, but as long as you do, you are fine.

Currently gun laws are much more restrictive than those that apply to cars and drivers. Not only do many states regulate guns when they are on your own property, a license to carry a concealed handgun is much more restrictive regarding when you travel outside of your state.

The proposed National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act contains two provisions: if your state issues a concealed handgun license, that permit will let you travel to other states. Of course, you also have to follow the rules in the state you visit, so for Illinois -- the single state that still bans concealed handguns -- an out-of-state license wouldn't let you carry a concealed handgun there.

Click here to read the entire op-ed at FOXNews.com.

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