National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Bill Introduced In U.S. House
National Rifle Association
FAIRFAX, Va. --(Ammoland.com)- Last week, H.R. 822, was introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.).
The measure would allow any person with a valid state-issued concealed carry permit to carry a concealed firearm in any state that issues concealed firearm permits, or that does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms. A state’s laws governing where concealed firearms may be carried would apply within its borders. The bill also applies to Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and U.S. territories.
H.R. 822 would not create a federal licensing system. Rather, it would require the states to recognize each others’ carry permits, just as they recognize drivers’ licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards. Rep. Stearns has introduced such legislation since 1995. Right-To-Carry: The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Bill
H.R. 822, introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), would allow any person with a valid state-issued concealed firearm permit to carry a concealed firearm in any state that issues concealed firearm permits, or that does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms for lawful purposes. A state’s laws governing where concealed firearms may be carried would apply within its borders. The bill applies to D.C., Puerto Rico and U.S. territories.
H.R. 822 recognizes the significant impact of the landmark cases, District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010), which found that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms and that the protections of the Second Amendment extend to infringements under state law.
Today, 48 states have laws permitting concealed carry, in some circumstances. Forty states, accounting for two-thirds of the U.S. population, have right-to-carry laws. Thirty-six of those have “shall issue” permit laws (including Alaska and Arizona, which also allow carrying without a permit), two have fairly administered “discretionary issue” permit laws, and Vermont (along with Alaska and Arizona) allows carrying without a permit. (Eight states have restrictive discretionary issue laws.)
Citizens with carry permits are more law-abiding than the general public. Only 0.01% of nearly 1.2 million permits issued by Florida have been revoked because of firearm crimes by permit holders. Similarly low percentages of permits have been revoked in Texas, Virginia, and other right-to-carry states that keep such statistics. Right-to-carry is widely supported by law enforcement officials and groups.
States with right-to-carry laws have lower violent crime rates. On average, right-to-carry states have 22 percent lower total violent crime rates, 30 percent lower murder rates, 46 percent lower robbery rates, and 12 percent lower aggravated assault rates, compared to the rest of the country. The seven states with the lowest violent crime rates are right-to-carry states. (Data: FBI.)
Crime declines in states with right-to-carry laws. Since adopting right-to-carry in 1987, Florida’s total violent crime and murder rates have dropped 32 percent and 58 percent, respectively. Texas’ violent crime and murder rates have dropped 20 percent and 31 percent, respectively, since enactment of its 1996 right-to-carry law. (Data: FBI.)
The right of self-defense is fundamental, and has been recognized in law for centuries. The Declaration of Independence asserts that “life” is among the unalienable rights of all people. The Second Amendment guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms for “security.”
The laws of all states and the constitutions of most states recognize the right to use force in self-defense. The Supreme Court has stated that a person “may repel force by force” in self-defense, and is “entitled to stand his ground and meet any attack made upon him with a deadly weapon, in such a way and with such force” as needed to prevent “great bodily injury or death.” (Beard v. United States (1895))
Congress affirmed the right to own guns for “protective purposes” in the Gun Control Act (1968) and Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (1986). In 1982, the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution described the right to arms as “a right of the individual citizen to privately possess and carry in a peaceful manner firearms and similar arms.”