If you have a valid driver’s license issued by one state and travel to another state, or even through several states, that license is recognized by the local authority as a validation of your legal ability to operate a vehicle. The issuing state may have an easier or harder test than the state you are currently visiting, but that is okay. You are just travelling through and the operation of a vehicle is similar, no matter where you are. So why not do the same for concealed weapons license holders? In February of this year, Congress proposed a bill to do just that.
The bill, H.R. 923, states that, if you are properly licensed to conceal a weapon in one state, you may use that license to conceal a weapon in any of the remaining 50 states. There are limitations, however. More limitations, in fact, than those attached to a driver’s license. When driving through a state, speed limit signs are clearly posted so, even if the state you are in has a lower maximum speed limit that the state you were licensed in, you simply have to follow the clear-as-day signage. However, with concealed carry for example, your issuing state may allow a larger maximum magazine capacity than the visiting, which you must follow, but there will be no clear signage posted for you.
Even worse than magazine capacity is weapon type. Some states outlaw certain types of weapons that are legal in other states. Should you carry one of those weapons, you could be arrested for illegal possession of a firearm, which could lead to your license being revoked and you not being able to pass a background check to purchase weapons in the future.
On the outside, this bill sounds like a great idea, until you consider the two potential hang-ups listed above. The third problem with this bill is that it says, “States have a right to choose who can and cannot own, carry, or use a firearm.” while the Constitution recognizes those acts as a natural right that cannot be infringed upon.
On the anti-gun side, they have concerns as well. There is a belief that a person who is barred from owning a gun in one state could get a license in another state, thus being allowed to purchase a firearm and carry it in the state they are barred from possession in. This is not a valid concern. Yes, some states have stricter laws than Federal laws, meaning a person may not be able to buy a gun in one state, but could in another. And yes, some states allow non-residents to obtain concealed carry licenses. The reason this is an irrelevant concern is the fact that a person must be a resident of that state to buy a handgun. No matter what state his carry license is issued by, he must be a resident of that state to purchase a gun. Therefore, he must go back to the state he is barred in to legally purchase. Also, if he is federally barred from possession, he will not be able to obtain a license from any state.
So, on one hand, passing this bill would be a great thing. So long as you know the state laws for where you are traveling, you can carry a concealed weapon in every state. On the other hand, this bill could be a nightmare, making travelers who wish to take advantage of this freedom more susceptible to accidentally breaking inter-state laws. The bill also creates a conflict of the right to own and carry a weapon.
It will be interesting to see where this bill leads and how it helps or hurts carriers in the future, should it pass. One step at a time, though. We may be able to overturn several of the unconstitutional laws surrounding firearms in this nation, and this may be one of those steps. Let’s just hope it is not the hurdle that trips us.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.