Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Group 2

A Dangerous Threat to Public Safety

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed and the Senate will soon consider the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a proposal that would actually make it legal for more dangerous and untrained people to carry loaded, hidden guns in more public places. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act creates a dangerous threat to public safety by forcing states with strong concealed carry laws to honor permits from states with weak or non-existent concealed carry laws.

Standards for issuing permits to allow people to carry loaded, hidden guns in public are dangerously lax in many states—12 states do not even require a permit to carry concealed firearms. This legislation forces states with strong gun laws to comply with weak laws from other states, endangering public safety, and making it substantially more difficult for police to enforce gun laws that are proven to save lives.

Fact Sheet: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (S. 446)
Statement: Gabby Giffords on the House Vote to Approve Concealed Carry Reciprocity
OpEd: Mark Kelly Calls on Congress to Oppose Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Eroding States’ Rights

Right now, each state has the right to determine which concealed carry permits from other states they choose to recognize. This is critical as requirements for obtaining a permit vary significantly among states. Currently, there are 12 states that do not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Without a permit system, there is no way for a law enforcement officer to determine who is lawfully carrying a weapon. States with high standards for carrying a concealed weapon would have to allow people from states without permits to carry weapons in their state, even if they would otherwise be prohibited in that state.

To illustrate how this bill will impact specific states, Giffords released a series of state fact sheets that show how the bill would weaken each state’s current laws if enacted:  

Law Enforcement Opposes Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Law enforcement groups overwhelmingly oppose federally mandated concealed carry because it would put them in a confusing and dangerous position. Under this bill, there is no way for officers to easily verify that someone is carrying lawfully because officers would be essentially required to know the permitting standards of every state, a heavy and unnecessary burden. Most alarmingly, the bill in the House of Representatives goes so far as to open up law enforcement to the threat of personal litigation. If a law enforcement officer mistakenly questions a person’s legal authority to carry a concealed firearm, they can be personally sued.

Letters from law enforcement calling on Congress to oppose concealed carry reciprocity

From law enforcement speaking out against concealed carry reciprocity: 

From legal experts speaking out against concealed carry reciprocity

Mounting Opposition to Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Recent polling found that nearly 9 out of 10 American gun owners—about 88 percent—support laws requiring a permit to carry a concealed gun and organizations concerned about public safety have been spending letters to Congress, calling on elected leaders to reject the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

Letters from organizations calling on Congress to oppose concealed carry reciprocity

Bill Summaries

Additional Resources from Giffords