The proposed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, H.R. 38, has picked up its 200th supporter in the House of Representatives, but it has been sitting in a House subcommittee since its introduction in mid-January, and impatient gun owners might start wondering why.
This is especially so after Congressman Barry Loudermilk, a Georgia Republican, proposed allowing members of Congress who are licensed to carry in their home states to carry while they are in Washington, D.C. That was his response to the shooting of fellow Republican Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip, by a hate-inspired liberal activist at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va.
The reciprocity act, sponsored by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), would require that states honor the concealed carry permits and licenses issued by other states, same as states now honor other states’ driver’s licenses.
The reasoning among Second Amendment activists seems clear cut: Members of Congress should not enjoy self-defense rights beyond what their constituents enjoy. Nobody leaves their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms at the border of his or her home state. Since many states now have reciprocity agreements, proponents of the Reciprocity Act think the issue should simply “go nationwide.”
Anti-gunners such as Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) are vehemently opposed to the idea, but gun owners are adopting an aggressive stance on this issue, reminding Republicans that they are now in charge on Capitol Hill.
National reciprocity is just one item on the Republican agenda, which Democrats and the dominant media have been seemingly working overtime to derail since Donald Trump took office. It has been one “crisis” after another, with demands for investigations providing plenty of political distraction.
“A person who carries or possesses a concealed handgun in accordance with subsections (a) and (b) may not be arrested or otherwise detained for violation of any law or any rule or regulation of a State or any political subdivision thereof related to the possession, transportation, or carrying of firearms unless there is probable cause to believe that the person is doing so in a manner not provided for by this section.”–Language in H.R. 38
Then came the Scalise shooting, and suddenly the subject of gun control seems to be back in the limelight. That might be another distraction, away from liberal hate speech that may have inspired, or at least contributed, to the rage demonstrated by would-be assassin James Hodgkinson before he was fatally wounded by police.
Loudermilk’s suggestion that members of Congress be allowed to carry might be considered a proverbial “good first step” by some gun rights activists, but for many others, it hardly goes far enough.
Conservative Firing Line has reached out to members of Congress regarding the holdup on H.R. 38. It has apparently not been scheduled for a hearing by the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations. That may seem to be an odd place to put legislation that deals with the exercise of a constitutionally-delineated civil right, considering the growing support the measure seems to have.
H.R. 38 is actually a very short bill, covering two pages. It simply says that a person licensed to carry in their home state may carry in any other state that allows concealed carry. Every state has a concealed carry statute, but in some of those states, including New Jersey, Maryland, New York, California and Hawaii, getting a permit is nearly impossible. Politicians from those states like it that way, and are not about to let the reciprocity bill pass without a fight.
Right now, the problem on Capitol Hill appears to be that Republicans aren’t too eager to engage in such a fight, and gun owners who were instrumental in giving them the majority and the White House are not likely to accept excuses for inaction.