The Time for National Reciprocity is NOW
Concealed carry works. It's been proven over many decades. And the time for National Reciprocity is now.
Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on January 3, 2017, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R.38) calls for reciprocity in all 50 states. Here's the summary from Congress.gov:
This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.
A qualified individual must: (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in, his or her state of residence.
Additionally, the bill specifies that a qualified individual who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state: (1) is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone, and (2) may carry or possess the concealed handgun in federally owned lands that are open to the public.
This is a simple, straightforward piece of legislation that basically says if you can legally own and carry a gun, and you have a valid photo ID and a valid carry license or permit from your state of residence, you can carry in any other state that allows concealed carry.
In addition, the bill specifies that you may not be arrested or detained for a firearm violation if you are otherwise carrying legally. And if you are charged, it puts the burden of proof on the state, awards attorney fees for wrongful prosecution, and allows you to sue for damages.
However, it's also worth noting what this bill doesn't do. H.R.38 does not affect the ability of private property owners or state governments to prohibit carry on private property or in government buildings as they may do now. While we would prefer that these entities respect our Constitutional rights fully, this is a tactical / practical matter. To do otherwise would insert a poison pill that would almost certainly kill any chance of passing the legislation.
In other words, concealed carry would be treated in a manner similar to driving. If you have a driver's license in Ohio, you can drive in any other state under that license, but you still have to obey the various rules of the road in each of the other 49 states.
This bill currently has 207 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, including 10 from Ohio: (UPDATE: 212 co-sponsors 9-13-17)
- Rep. Steve Chabot (R) District 1
- Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R) District 2
- Rep. Jim Jordan (R) District 4
- Rep. Robert Latta (R) District 5
- Rep. Bill Johnson (R) District 6
- Rep. Bob Gibbs (R) District 7
- Rep. Michael Turner (R) District 10
- Rep. David Joyce (R) District 14
- Rep. Steve Stivers (R) District 15
- Rep. James Renacci (R) District 16
Here are the Representatives NOT signed on as co-sponsors:
- Rep. Joyce Beatty (D) District 3
- Rep. Warren Davidson (R) District 8 (UPDATE: Davidson co-sponsored 9-12-17)
- Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D) District 9
- Rep. Marcia Fudge (D) District 11
- Rep. Pat Tiberi (R) District 12
- Rep. Tim Ryan (D) District 13
We encourage you to USE OUR ACTION CENTER to thank your Representative if he's a co-sponsor. If your Representative is not yet a co-sponsor, tell him or her to step up and sign on to this bill right away.
NOTE: This is a bill at the federal level. So be sure to look up your U.S. Representative, not your local Representative in the Ohio House.
Concealed carry is the great American experiment. The idea of carrying concealed weapons goes back a long way, but Florida kicked off the modern era of popular concealed carry in 1987 and paved the way for other states to enact relatively simple licensing. Today, every state has some form of concealed carry. And the results of this experiment are overwhelmingly positive, showing that license holders are considerably more law-abiding than the general public, even more law-abiding than police.
Consider that 22 states, including Ohio, already honor the licenses of all other states. So if this simple concept of reciprocity works for 44% of U.S. states, why would it not work for all of them? Again, the time for national reciprocity is now.
Dean Rieck is Executive Director of Buckeye Firearms Association, a former competitive shooter, NRA Patron Member, #1 NRA Recruiter for 2013, business owner and partner with Second Call Defense.