On Wednesday, the United States House of Representatives passed what may turn out to be one of the most significant pieces of legislation pushed through in the first year of the Trump administration: the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017.
The act, also referred to as H.R. 38, drastically expands the rights of concealed carriers nationwide, and if passed it would greatly increase what your concealed carry permit could do for you.
“This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms,” the congressional website reports.
The bill passed the House by a margin of 231-198, and is now headed toward the Senate. Of the number who voted for the bill, there were even several Democrats, showing a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation in a politically polarized time.
“This vote marks a watershed moment for Second Amendment rights,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.
“The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is the culmination of a 30-year movement recognizing the right of all law-abiding Americans to defend themselves, and their loved ones, including when they cross state lines.”
The NRA-ILA further notes that included in the bill are improvements to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, NICS, which will hopefully assist in better vetting gun purchasers and keep firearms out of the wrong hands.
The fact is, whether folks like it or not, this bill’s a slam dunk.
The passage of this bill is a huge win for fans of the Second Amendment, but as you can imagine, not everyone is so excited.
The Democrat & Chronicle, a subsidiary of the USA Today Network, denounced the potential reciprocity law as “less effective than thoughts and prayers.”
The real concern now, however, is not any amount of journalist nay-sayers, but the United States Senate.
The bill was met with a majority in the House that saw double-digit Republicans vote against the bill, and as we all know, those who tend to be in support of pushing Second Amendment-friendly legislation are most often right-of-center.
In other words, the Republicans would really need to be running a tight ship and convince several members of the other side of the aisle to gain cloture — end of the Senate debate so that a bill can be voted on.
Traditionally, they’d need 60 “yes” votes, but there are only 52 Republicans in the house.
As we’ve seen in the past, the Senate “nuclear option” could be used to break the issue down to a simple 51-vote majority, but again, the Republicans would have to be really on their game.
So, in short, get excited that the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 passed through the House. It’s a huge win for Americans.
However, be cautious, because we’re nowhere near out of the woods yet.
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