|For Immediate Release
November 16, 2011
Contact: Kim Smith Hicks, 202 225-3951
House Passes Right-to-Carry Bill
Washington, D.C. – The House of Representatives today passed a bill that recognizes the importance of the Second Amendment and makes it easier for individuals with concealed carry permits to carry a firearm in other states. H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, allows law-abiding gun owners with valid state-issued concealed firearm permits to carry a concealed firearm in other states that also allow concealed carry. The bill passed by a vote of 272-154.
Similar to how states recognize drivers’ licenses issued by other states, H.R. 822 requires states that currently allow people to carry concealed firearms to recognize other states’ valid concealed carry permits.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) voted in favor of H.R. 822 and urged his colleagues to support the bill during the floor debate.
Chairman Smith: “The Second Amendment is a fundamental right to bear arms that should not be constrained by state boundary lines. This legislation enhances public safety and protects the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment.
“Studies show that carrying concealed weapons reduces violent crime rates by deterring would-be assailants and by allowing law-abiding citizens to defend themselves. Data from the FBI’s Annual Uniform Crime Report shows that ‘right-to-carry’ states, or those that widely allow concealed carry, have 22% lower total violent crime rates, 30% lower murder rates, 46% lower robbery rates, and 12% lower aggravated assault rates, as compared to the rest of the country.
“This bill simply allows Americans who travel in interstate commerce to bring their Second Amendment rights with them.”
Forty-nine states allow concealed carry permits, and 40 of these extend some degree of reciprocity to permit holders from other states. This bill simply applies the states’ reciprocal agreements nationwide.
H.R. 822 recognizes the right of states to determine eligibility requirements for their own residents. State, local and federal laws and regulations regarding how, when, and where a concealed firearm can be carried that apply to a resident will apply equally to a non-resident. The bill requires a person to show both a valid government-issued identification document, such as a license or permit, and a valid concealed carry license or permit. H.R. 822 only applies to states that allow concealed carry. States that prohibit the concealed carrying of firearms are not affected by this legislation.
Chairman Smith’s full remarks from the floor debate