January 8, 2021
On January 4, 2021, the opening day of the 117th Congress, North Carolina Representative Richard Hudson introduced H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (“CCRA”). This bill would allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed firearm in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms. In order to be considered a “qualified individual,” one must be eligible to possess a firearm under federal law; carry a valid photo identification document; and either carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by any state, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in one’s state of residence without a permit.
There are currently sixteen states that recognize a right to carry concealed without a permit. In addition, forty-two states and the District of Columbia routinely issue concealed carry permits to all qualified applicants. Typically, these states enter into reciprocity agreements to give effect to those permits beyond the issuing state. States are also increasingly passing universal recognition laws for all concealed carry permits. Despite this trend to make concealed carry across state borders easier, there are still anti-firearm states where concealed carry permits are issued on a discretionary basis, and which entirely deny non-residents the ability to legally carry a concealed firearm. This difference in policy often creates confusion amongst non-resident concealed carriers, and can lead to criminal charges and possible prison time for the carrier.
The CCRA was previously introduced in December 2017 by Representative Hudson. The bill passed in the U.S. House by a vote of 231-198, but was not taken up in the U.S. Senate. At that time, Hudson said that he would continue to pursue the legislation until it reaches final passage. The CCRA currently has 167 cosponsors (all but two of which are Republicans), and is supported by a number of major pro-Second Amendment groups. After being introduced, H.R. 38 now waits to be assigned to a committee in the U.S. House. It is unlikely that the CCRA will ultimately be enacted into law this Congress, however, because the Democrats control both houses, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and likely Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer are both strong proponents of gun control, and had opposed the CCRA when it was introduced in 2017.
Renzulli Law Firm, LLP will continue to monitor the CCRA. If you have questions regarding the CCRA, please contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.