Rep. Richard Hudson’s concealed-carry gun legislation passes committee vote

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 1, 2017

A bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson to allow people with concealed-carry gun permits to carry firearms into other states that allow concealed carry was passed by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

The bipartisan bill, known as the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, has been called one of the most important pro-Second Amendment measures in Congress. It’s among the first pieces of gun legislation since this fall’s mass shootings.

Hudson, a Republican who represents the 8th Congressional District, said the bill does little more than make concealed-carry permits recognized nationwide, much like driver’s licenses.

“My bill is a simple, common-sense solution to the confusing hodgepodge of concealed-carry reciprocity agreements between states,” Hudson said. “It will affirm that law-abiding citizens who are qualified to carry concealed in one state can also carry in other states that allow residents to do so.”

Hudson spoke Thursday about the shortcomings of current reciprocity laws. He said permitted travelers often are arrested and detained even if they are following the rules of their permits.

He cited Shaneen Allen, a single mother who was arrested in New Jersey last year for having a gun in her car. Allen had a concealed-carry permit in her home state, Pennsylvania.

If it passes, Hudson’s bill will allow anyone with a state-issued concealed-carry permit to conceal a handgun in any other state that allows concealed carry.

Exceptions would include people who are prohibited by federal law from possessing or receiving a firearm.

The gun holder would be required to carry a valid government-issued photo ID, and they would have to follow the laws of the state, county and municipality where they have the concealed weapon.

Hudson said the last distinction is key, especially for those who fear the bill will increase gun violence.

“States still have rights to decide what kind of gun you can carry and where you can carry it,” he said.

Hudson said Thursday that with 213 co-sponsors — three of whom are Democrats — he is confident the bill will reach President Donald Trump’s desk by early next year.

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