Full Faith and Credit for Carry Permits?

October 26, 2011

H.R. 822 is currently wending its way through the halls of Congress.  The bill would essentially grant the same type of state-by-state reciprocity to holders of concealed weapons permits as is granted to holders of state driver’s licenses.

In its current form, it reads:

Sec. 926D. Reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms

‘(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the law of any State or political subdivision thereof, related to the carrying or transportation of firearms, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm, and who is carrying a government-issued photographic identification document and a valid license or permit which is issued pursuant to the law of a State and which permits the person to carry a concealed firearm, may carry a concealed handgun (other than a machinegun or destructive device) that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, in any State, other than the State of residence of the person, that-

             ‘(1) has a statute that allows residents of the State to obtain licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms; or

             ‘(2) does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms by residents of the State for lawful purposes.

‘(b) A person carrying a concealed handgun under this section shall be permitted to carry a handgun subject to the same conditions or limitations that apply to residents of the State who have permits issued by the State or are otherwise lawfully allowed to do so by the State.

‘(c) In a State that allows the issuing authority for licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms to impose restrictions on the carrying of firearms by individual holders of such licenses or permits, a firearm shall be carried according to the same terms authorized by an unrestricted license or permit issued to a resident of the State.

‘(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preempt any provision of State law with respect to the issuance of licenses or permits to carry concealed firearms.’

2011 CONG US HR 822

Currently, every state in the country, save Illinois and the District of Columbia provide some means by which its residents may lawfully carry a concealed firearm.  Some are considered “Shall Issue” states (See Minn. Stat. 624.714).  Others are “May Issue” (NY Penal 400.00).  Still others practice what has been termed “Constitutional Carry” where no permit is required.  Even among the states that fall into the Shall Issue and May Issue categories, the actual practices and requirements for the permit vary greatly.

This new legislation would provide some standards across the country for those who have permits to carry a firearm to lawfully carry subject to the laws of the state they are currently in, much the same way drivers are required to follow the laws of the states they visit. 

But the carrying of firearms is undoubtedly a more hot button issue than driving across state lines.

In fact, a similar bill was introduced in the last session of Congress, but 2009 CONG US HR 197 died in committee.  The current bill has already cleared its first hurdle, but there are undoubtedly many more issues to come.

Tracking

To keep up with the track of this bill, I set up a WestClip in CONG-BILLTX and BILLTRK using:

“HR 822” (right-to-carry /10 reciprocity)). 

That same query has generates over 230 hits in ALLNEWS:

(“hr 822” (right-to-carry /10 reciprocity))

For a full breakdown of the states’ laws regarding lawful carrying of a firearm, this search may be a good start: 

TE,PR,CA(lawful! legal! permit /s carry! /s firearm pistol)

 I ran this in All States in WestlawNext and got 381 results.  You can also use ST-ANN-ALL on Westlaw.com. Alternatively, on WestlawNext, simply try

conceal and cary firearm

Then, choose statutes and filter by state.

The Firearms Law Deskbook (FALDB ) may also be a helpful source on either  Westlaw.com or WestlawNext for a wide variety of issues related to firearms, including issues related to state and federal regulation.

[Editor’s Note: The Firearms Law Deskbook by Stephen P. Halbrook includes a great 50-state survey of gun laws in the appendix.  See FALDB APP A. The publication is current throught the 2011 updates.]