The House is poised to pass a bill that allows concealed carry permit holders from one state to legally carry their guns in any other state — legislation the National Rifle Association has called “their highest legislative priority” in 2017.
Voted out of the House Rules Committee by a vote of 8-3 along party lines, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act also passed the House Judiciary Committee in a party-line vote last week. The Fix NICS Act was added to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act despite efforts to separate the two by Democrats. The joint legislation will be voted on as one as early as Wednesday.
Democrat members of the House Rules Committee were not pleased that the legislation was going to be pushed through while conjoined to the bipartisan Fix NICS Act. That legislation — which the NRA, National Shooting Sports Foundation, former Rep. Gabby Giffords's gun control group and Everytown for Gun Safety have all said they support — is aimed at improving the accuracy of background check data used by gun store owners to prevent the sale of firearms to people who are prohibited from buying them.
“It scares me to death,” Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I know we can’t stop this bill. I know this is going to pass. […] This is not the Congress that I’ve known and loved so many years, but it’s the one we’ve got.”
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., expressed concern over the legislation's impact on public safety.
“This bill would eviscerate the core public safety determinations that each state makes concerning the concealed carrying of guns in public, based on the unique circumstances in each state and the desires of its citizens," Nadler said in prepared remarks.
Though a number of law enforcement groups have come out against the concealed carry legislation, 23 state attorneys general signed a letter supporting it.
“We share a strong interest in the protection of our citizens’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and we are committed to supporting federal and state policies to preserve that constitutional right. These bills, if enacted, would eliminate significant obstacles to the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms for millions of Americans in every State," the letter by the attorneys general said.
The hashtag #OpposeCCR was trending Tuesday evening on Twitter as numerous Democratic lawmakers said they would not be voting in support of the legislation.
It’s outrageous that @HouseGOP responds to two of the worst mass shootings in modern American history by weakening our gun laws through #HR38. Change can only happen when elected officials stand up to the gun lobby and reject dangerous proposals such as this. #OpposeCCR— Rep. Diana DeGette (@RepDianaDeGette) December 5, 2017
I oppose #HR38 because concealed carry reciprocity is dangerous for Maryland and for our country. It would damage state and local governments’ ability to craft gun laws appropriate to their needs. #OpposeCCR— Elijah E. Cummings (@RepCummings) December 5, 2017