Arkansans could soon be able to legally carry concealed weapons when traveling out-of-state if a federal bill introduced Tuesday becomes law.
U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, a North Carolina Republican, filed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 this week. It allows people with a state-issued concealed carry license or permit to conceal a handgun in any other state that allows concealed carry, as long as the permit holder follows the laws of that state.
How carry permits are regulated differ from state to state, but all states allow some form of concealed carry. Therefore, if this bill becomes law, someone with a concealed carry permit in their home state could travel while carrying in other states without fear of legal consequences.
Citizens of constitutional carry states like Arkansas where no permit is required from the state would also be able to carry in other states, according to Hudson.
Hudson said in a statement:
Our Second Amendment right doesn’t disappear when we cross state lines, and this legislation guarantees that. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is a common sense solution to a problem too many Americans face. It will provide law-abiding citizens the right to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits. As a member of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to get this legislation across the finish line.
This measure has already picked up two co-sponsors from Arkansas — Reps. Bruce Westerman and French Hill.
Westerman said in an email to The Arkansas Project that he believes the second amendment is a Constitutionally-protected right of all Americans in all states.
If a law-abiding citizen is able to legally own a firearm in Arkansas, he or she should have the right to carry in the rest of the nation. The same is true of individuals licensed in other states who come to Arkansas. This is common sense legislation that protects an individual’s right to bear arms and I look forward to its passage.
The bill also legalizes concealed carry on federally-owned land such as National Parks.
Hudson has been advising President-elect Trump on gun-related issues, so it’s likely the bill would be signed into law if it makes it through Congress. Trump said during the Presidential campaign that he supports a national concealed carry law.
This is common-sense legislation that protects lawful gun owners from legal uncertainties while travelling out of state. Hopefully, it becomes law, so that gun owners no longer have to be limited by state lines if they want to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
A spokesman for Hill didn’t return a request for comment.