Washington, D.C. – The House Judiciary Committee today approved two bills to protect the Second Amendment and curb gun violence, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 and the Fix NICS Act of 2017. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) applauded today’s Committee approval of these bills in the statement below.
Chairman Goodlatte: “Today the House Judiciary Committee took action to protect Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms and enhance public safety. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act ensures that law-abiding citizens’ Second Amendment right does not end when they cross state lines. Citizens with a state-issued concealed carry license or permit, or individuals who are citizens of states that do not require a permit to carry a concealed firearm, should not have to worry about losing these rights when entering another state that may have different rules and regulations.
“Further, the Fix NICS Act strengthens our nation’s existing laws by ensuring criminals are reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Tragically, our nation has all too often witnessed heinous acts of violence by criminals who should never have been able to purchase a firearm. We must ensure that both federal and state authorities are properly and accurately reporting criminals to NICS so that we prevent crime and protect lives.
“I thank Representatives Hudson and Culberson for their work on these important bills and look forward to the House of Representatives taking them up in the coming weeks.”
The House Judiciary Committee first approved by a vote of 19-11 the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38), sponsored by Representative Richard Hudson (R-N.C.). This bill allows people with a state-issued concealed carry license or permit, or individuals who are citizens of states that do not require a permit to carry a concealed firearm, to conceal a handgun in any other state that allows concealed carry, as long as the individual follows the laws of that state.
“My bill is a simple, common sense solution to the confusing hodgepodge of concealed carry reciprocity agreements between states,” said Representative Hudson on today’s Committee vote on H.R. 38. “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 Committee also approved by a vote of 17-6 the Fix NICS Act of 2017 (H.R. 4477), sponsored by Representative John Culberson (R-Texas). This bipartisan, bicameral bill ensures federal and state authorities comply with existing law and report criminal history records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The Fix NICS Act also penalizes federal agencies that fail to report relevant criminal records to the FBI, incentivizes states to improve their reporting, and directs federal funding to make sure domestic violence records are accurately reported to the FBI. Further, the bill requires the Bureau of Justice Statistics to report to Congress within 180 days the number of times that a bump stock has been used in the commission of a crime in the United States.
“Had existing law been enforced, the terrible tragedy in Sutherland Springs, Texas would have never occurred,” said Representative Culberson. “There is simply no excuse for the ongoing negligence of criminal history reporting into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). I’m greatly encouraged by this bipartisan effort to ensure federal and state authorities enforce existing law. I urge my colleagues in Congress to support this lifesaving piece of legislation.”