On Tuesday, November 15, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on H.R. 822, the "National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act." Please contact Representative Pallone and urge him to vote for this pro-gun legislation. This important bill would allow any law-abiding concealed carry permit holder to legally carry a concealed firearm while visiting any state that does not prohibit concealed carry.
The Facts About H.R. 822, the "National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act"
Unfortunately, but predictably, H.R. 822 continues to be attacked by anti-gun organizations and the media. Regrettably, even some so-called "pro-gun" organizations have joined with the anti-gun Brady Campaign and Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns to try to defeat this pro-gun bill.
This critically important legislation, introduced earlier this year by Congressmen Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) and cosponsored by more than 240 of their colleagues, would enable millions of permit holders to exercise their right to self-defense while traveling outside their home states.
There is currently only one remaining state (Illinois) that has no legal way for individuals to carry concealed firearms for self-defense. Forty states have permit systems that make it possible for any law-abiding person to obtain a permit, while most of the others have discretionary permit systems. (Vermont has never required a permit.)
H.R. 822 would mark a major step forward for gun owners' rights by significantly expanding where permits are recognized. Dozens of states have passed Right-to-Carry laws over the past 25 years, because the right to self-defense does not end when one leaves home. However, interstate recognition of permits is not uniform and creates great confusion and potential problems for travelers. While many states have broad reciprocity, others have very restrictive reciprocity laws, and a few deny recognition completely.
H.R. 822 would solve this problem by requiring that lawfully issued carry permits be recognized in all states with some form of a permit system, while protecting the ability of the various states to determine the areas where carrying is prohibited within their boundaries.
Opponents of the legislation claim that it tramples on "states rights." States, however, don't have rights, they have powers. And while many anti-gun lawmakers who've long pushed national gun bans, national bans on private gun sales, national waiting periods and other federal restrictions have suddenly become born-again advocates of "states' rights" in opposing this bill, several provisions in the U.S. Constitution give Congress the authority to enact interstate carry. Congress also has the power to protect the rights of citizens, nationwide, under the 14th Amendment (please see related article from last week's Grassroots Alert).
Next, despite what a few so-called "pro-gun" activists have argued, this bill would not create a federal licensing or registration system, nor would it establish a minimum federal standard for carry permits. Rather, it would require the states to recognize each others' carry permits, just as they recognize driver's licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards. Unfortunately, these self-proclaimed "gun rights" supporters, who have no active lobbying presence in any legislature, have an agenda that has very little to do with promoting the interests of gun owners. Here are the FACTS about a few of their claims:
Myth: H.R. 822 would involve the federal bureaucracy in setting standards for carry permits, resulting in "need" requirements, higher fees, waiting periods, national gun owner registration, or worse.
FACT: H.R. 822 doesn't require-or even authorize-any such action by any federal agency. In fact, since it would amend the Gun Control Act, it would fall under a limitation within that law that authorizes "only such rules and regulations as are necessary to carry out" the GCA's provisions. No federal rules or regulations would be needed to implement H.R. 822, which simply overrides certain state laws.
Myth: H.R. 822 would destroy permitless carry systems such as those in Arizona, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming.
FACT: H.R. 822 would have absolutely no effect on how the permitless carry states' laws work within those states. For residents of Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming, where permits are not required but remain available under state law, H.R. 822 would make those permits valid in all states that issue permits to their own residents. Residents of Vermont, where no permits are issued or required, could obtain nonresident permits from other states to enjoy the benefits of H.R. 822.
Myth: If H.R. 822 moved through the legislative process, it would be subject to anti-gun amendments.
TRUTH: By this logic, neither NRA, nor any other pro-gun group, should ever promote any pro-gun reform legislation. But inaction isn't an option for those of us who want to make positive changes for gun owners. Instead, we know that by careful vote counting and strategic use of legislative procedure, anti-gun amendments can be avoided or defeated.
H.R. 822 is a good bill for gun owners. Don't listen to false or misleading accusations; instead, read the bill and our fact sheet explaining its provisions. Then, please contact your member of Congress and urge him or her to support the earliest possible consideration of H.R. 822 this year.
Please contact Representative Pallone at (202) 225-4671 or by email by clicking here and urge him to stand up for gun owners' rights by voting for this important legislation.
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