Washington (CNN) – The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday to dramatically expand the right to carry concealed firearms in most states.
The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act passed the House by a vote of 272-154, with representatives dividing mostly along party lines.
The legislation would allow individuals with a permit to carry a concealed gun in one state to bring that weapon into any other state that also has a concealed firearm law.
Illinois and the District of Columbia are currently the only jurisdictions in the country that don't allow individuals to carry concealed weapons.
Though the measure cleared the House, its prospects are considered unclear in the Democratic-controlled Senate. President Barack Obama - often the subject of attacks from the National Rifle Association and its allies in Washington and elsewhere - has not weighed in on the matter.
"The right to self-defense is unquestionable and the right to carry a firearm is recognized in our Constitution," said Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Florida, one of the bill's co-authors. The measure "would merely require states to recognize each other's carry permits, just as they recognize driver's licenses and carry permits held by armored-car guards."
Gun-control advocates Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-New York, sent Obama a letter last week urging the president to veto the measure if it reaches his desk.
"Passage of such a law would start a race to the bottom on gun safety, with each state forced to follow another state's laws on gun ownership," they wrote. "In a country with almost 300 million guns, we need to be strengthening our gun-safety laws, not weakening them."
Noting that their states generally have tighter restrictions on firearms, Lautenberg and McCarthy also argued that "it is particularly surprising for congressional Republicans to be pushing a measure that directly goes against their deep-rooted support for states' rights."
"The measure "would merely require states to recognize each other's carry permits, just as they recognize driver's licenses and carry permits held by armored-car guards."
Merely. Merely? If that's the attitude now being espoused by the GOP regarding forcing other states to recognize laws from other states, then legislation making all states recognize gay marriages from the states where it's currently legal should be no big deal either, right?
So conservatives have no qualms forcing states to recognize other states' laws when it comes to guns, but think it is wholly unfeasible to force states to recognize gay marriages from states where it is legal.
Shows you the priorities of conservatives....guns before committed relationships.
Another political show by these loafers who won't put together one piece of legitimate, important legislation. What a waste of taxpayers money.
Why can't I carry my gun as I travel I do agree it should be treated just like having a license. Is your license restricted to one state??If pulled over aren't you suppose to give you gun permit with you license that way the officer is aware that you are carrying a weapon?? This is honestly something I always do!!! I think officers should be able to pull up your gun permits information the same way your driver's license can be pulled then if something comes up that officer can arrest that person and that person should be prosecude in that state of incident. No state should restrict anyone of there 2nd admendment.Its about time the law changes!!
I thought the republican people wanted government out of their business? So why not no controls for guns at all? everyone can be trusted, right? What could go wrong?!?!?!?!
I hope they pass this but honestly it shouldn't be needed. SCOTUS should have struck down the restricted reciprocity years ago under Article IV Section 1 of the Constitution:
"Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof."
GIVE ME A BREAK! at best this partime republican lead house has only been in session 115 days in the last year while most american full time workers put in 250 per year 5 days a week as compared to the house puting in 2 days a week in washington. when they are in washington do they work on the very big problems that this country has, no they spend 2 days working on gun laws!!!!!!!! the election they hope will bring more part time republican reps to washington to enjoy some of the best full time job benifits in the country at the same time they cut benifits to most of the people in america by only working part time. ONLY IN AMERICA I GUESS WHILE IT LASTS.
The bill makes sense, but it still needs to make clear that one person entering another state with a gun must obey that state's gun laws. By the way, I don't think it's legal to carry a concealed firearm in New York City. If it is, it's very hard to get a gun permit in the first place.
Republicans have ruined this country.
Let's all sing the Beatles' song "Happiness is a warm gun..." till death us do part.
People should question why kind of society do we have. Guns are more important than jobs. What happens when some of those carrying guns do not have jobs and their frustration gets the better of them? It may be one or two, but that is one or two too many. Something is off in our country. We are not the wild west anymore - but with the talk of too many people, perhaps I am incorrect.
Thank God! I can now make up for my *deficiencies* by carrying a handgun state to state.
Hooray!! Pass it, pass it, pass it!!!
"Passage of such a law would start a race to the bottom on gun safety...." NOT so!
".... we need to be strengthening our gun-safety laws, not weakening them." It doesn't weaken them!
When will the Chicken Littles realize that people who carry legally are law-abiding citizens who go through training, understand gun safety, undergo a background check, are photographed and fingerprinted, and don't get permits so they can go out and commit a crime.
The people they should worry about are the thugs, punks, and criminals who have no regard for the law, or you, and will obtain and conceal a weapon with the intent of doing harm and committing crimes. Safety is not high on their list.
Passing this law does suddenly flood the streets with guns for criminals. Criminals get guns regardless of the law.
So...would they prefer that criminals are armed and the rest of us are not?
The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 allows "safe passage" of guns across state lines where "conceal and carry" laws are not in effect, as in, you will not be charged if you got the proper permit and abide by the conceal and carry transport provision. If you are traveling to a state where it is legal for "conceal and carry" there is no problem. There is no "fear of being caught in bureaucratic red tape" because it does not exist.
This bill is a waste of time, redundant and is political theater for the right. Just as the bill that re-assured "In God we trust" is the nations motto, of course it is. Anything to get out of doing work, eh?
Congress is reminding me of a procrastinating student who puts off that big paper till it's too late.
Get to it, or start updating that resume!