Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Rep. Cliff Stearns
WASHINGTON, NOV. 16, 2011 - “The right to defend yourself and your loved ones from criminals is fundamental, and it should not be extinguished when you cross a state border,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) in a press release.  “H.R. 822, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act, recognizes this important fact by establishing the interstate recognition of concealed carry permits in much the same way drivers’ licenses are recognized.”

Today, the House approved H.R. 822 with a bi-partisan vote of 272 to 154.  The measure provides that lawfully issued carry permits will be recognized in all other states that also issue carry permits.  In addition, it requires permit holders to abide by the laws of the state they are in, preserving the rights of states to set their own concealed carry standards.

Explained Stearns, “Although 49 states issue these permits and many have reciprocity agreements with other states, the lack of uniformity makes it hard for law-abiding permit holders to know for sure if they are obeying the law as they travel from state to state. This legislation will simply make it far easier for law-abiding permit holders to know they are in compliance with the law when they carry a firearm as they travel. This legislation guarantees citizens’ constitutional rights as affirmed by two recent Supreme Court cases, D.C. v Heller and McDonald v Chicago, which ruled the Second Amendment is an individual right.”

H.R. 822 does not set up a federal carry permit system or establish any federal regulation of concealed carry permits.  That power remains with the states. Additionally, this legislation does not include any new federal gun laws nor does it call for additional federal regulation of gun ownership.  

In addition, various studies show that allowing the carrying of concealed weapons reduces violent crime rates by deterring criminal acts and by allowing law-abiding citizens to defend themselves.  A study by John Lott and David Mustard regarding the effect of concealed carry laws on crime rates estimated that they resulted in murders falling “by more than 7 percent, and rapes and aggravated assaults fell by similar percentages.”

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