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Wednesday
Nov162011

Houses Passes Cross-State Gun Law

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- By a bipartisan vote of 272-154, the House passed a measure Wednesday that will enable non-resident gun owners to carry a concealed firearm across state borders.

Forty-three Democrats joined 229 Republicans in supporting the measure, which had 245 co-sponsors. Just seven Republicans joined 147 Democrats in voting against the bill.

H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, allows gun owners with valid state-issued concealed firearm permits to carry a concealed firearm in other states that also allow concealed carry.

Currently, Illinois is the only state that bans individuals from carrying concealed firearms, while 49 states allow concealed carry permits. Forty of those that do allow it extend some degree of reciprocity to permit holders from other states.  This bill simply applies the states’ reciprocal agreements nationwide.

The bill is unlikely to pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where companion legislation has not yet been introduced.

Brian Malte, the federal legislation director for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said the bill would create a “race to the bottom,” where people would flock to states with the most lax requirements in order to obtain a concealed handgun license.

“This bill says, ‘Forget states rights, forget the ability of states to determine which states you want to have a reciprocal agreement with,’” Malte said. “It’s a one-size-fits-all that tramples states rights, that allows dangerous and untrained people to carry in any state.”

But under the bill, those non-resident permits would not be valid in the license holder’s home state.

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