As we reported earlier this week, the measure—known as the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 or H.R. 38—was set to receive a markup in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. A markup is when amendments or changes are made to a proposed bill. After going through that process, the committee then voted to pass the bill in a 19-11 party line vote.
The measure first introduced by Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-08) would treat your concealed carry permit like a driver’s license in the sense that it would be valid in all 50 states, not just the state in which it was issued and the states with which that state has reciprocity.
“My bill is a simple, common sense solution to the confusing hodgepodge of concealed carry reciprocity agreements between states,” Hudson said in a statement. “It will affirm that law-abiding citizens who are qualified to carry concealed in one state can also carry in other states that allow residents to do so. I am pleased to see such strong support in committee, and I look forward to continuing this momentum and bringing the bill to the House floor as soon as possible.”
The bill has the strong support of the NRA, which has referred to it as a “top legislative priority” this year.
“Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines without fear of unknowingly breaking the law,” said Chris Cox, the executive director for the NRA Institute for Legislative Action. “For years, the National Rifle Association’s top legislative priority has been to pass National Concealed Carry Reciprocity, a much-needed solution to the confusing patchwork of state and local gun laws. The NRA and law-abiding gun owners across America are excited to see this important legislation headed for a vote in the House of Representatives. We thank Congressman Richard Hudson and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte for their leadership in moving H.R. 38 to the House floor.”
The concealed carry reciprocity bill now move to the House floor for a full vote, where it will likely pass. However, as the Washington Post notes, getting it to pass in the Senate will be a tougher battle; it would take a 60-vote supermajority to advance the legislation, while the Republicans currently have a majority of 52. A companion bill introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has yet to receive consideration by a committee.
Speaking of Cornyn, his “Fix NICS Act” bill was also passed by the House Judiciary Committee in a 17-6 bipartisan vote.