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It’s official: the United States House of Representatives has passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38) today in a vote of 231 to 198, with six Democrats voting in favor of the measure and 14 Republicans voting against it.

“For the millions of law-abiding citizens who lawfully carry concealed to protect themselves, for conservatives who want to strengthen our Second Amendment rights, and for the overwhelming majority of Americans who support concealed carry reciprocity, Christmas came early,” said the bill’s author, Rep. Richard Hudson (NC-08).

H.R. 38 ensures that your concealed carry permit is treated like a driver’s license; that is, it’s recognized in all 50 states, not just the state in which it was issued and states with which the state of issuance has reciprocity. It essentially clears up the confusing patchwork of laws that have been known to trip up otherwise law-abiding gun owners while traveling.

Per H.R. 38, citizens can only carry if they’re not federally barred from doing so. They also need to have a government-issued photo ID and be lawfully licensed or otherwise entitled to carry a concealed handgun. Furthermore, the person must respect the laws of each state, county and municipality where they’re carrying.

“This vote marks a watershed moment for Second Amendment rights,” Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the NRA-ILA, said in a statement. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is the culmination of a 30-year movement recognizing the right of all law-abiding Americans to defend themselves, and their loved ones, including when they cross state lines.”

“With House passage today of H.R. 38, we have cleared a major hurdle toward what will be two major achievements for America’s law-abiding gun owners and for our federally-licensed firearms retailers,” said Lawrence Keane, senior VP and general counsel for the NSSF. “This legislation provides a solution to the confusing patchwork of concealed carry laws and ensures that our citizens’ Second Amendment rights do not end at the state line.”

Included with the bill is the “Fix NICS Act,” a measure designed to clean up flaws in the NICS system which were exposed in the wake of the Sutherland Springs, Texas church shooting, in which the shooter was able to buy firearms because the Air Force never submitted his domestic violence conviction to the NICS. This measure compels states and government agencies to properly update the NICS with the most current records.

“Federally licensed firearms retailers rely upon the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to be accurate in preventing the sale and transfer of firearms to prohibited persons. The Fix NICS Act provisions included in the legislation passed today builds on the successes of NSSF’s FixNICS campaign to encourage states to enter all applicable disqualifying records into the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and requires federal agencies to properly report relevant records and hold those who fail to do so accountable,” Keane said.

According to the NRA, the bill also creates a process for removing records that were “erroneously” entered into the system. Right now, it can take up to a year for a person to have their name removed from the NICS if they’re incorrectly added to it. This bill would compel the NICS to respond to an appeal within 60 days.

The bill now heads to the Senate. If it passes there, the bill will be sent to the desk of President Donald Trump for signature.

 

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