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November 17, 2011

House Passes National Right-to-carry Bill

Right-to-carry permit holders moved a step closer to being able to carry concealed firearms outside their home states when yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 822, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act, by a vote of 272 to 154.

NSSF supported the NRA-backed bill, which was introduced by Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-FL.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.). A Senate version of the bill has yet to be introduced.

“Passage of this legislation by a bipartisan majority is welcome news and an important step by Congress to expand the ability of law-abiding Americans to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms,” said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane.

Just as states recognize out-of-state driver’s licenses, this bill ensures that a person with a valid right-to-carry permit can lawfully carry a firearm in other states that issue carry permits or that do not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms for lawful purposes. Forty-nine states recognize the right-to-carry, with only Illinois and the District of Columbia prohibiting this right.

The bill does not affect a state’s concealed carry law. Restrictions on where firearms can be carried within each state would remain in effect.

The bill’s many supporters call it necessary to ensure the fundamental right of self-defense for American citizens.  “The right to defend yourself and your loved ones from criminals is fundamental, and it should not be extinguished when you cross a state border,” said Stearns.

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