The “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act” was passed in House of Representatives on Wednesday by 231-198. The bill has been a top priority for the National Rifle Association because it essentially creates a Federal gun license based on the lowest nationwide standards concealed carry requirements.
Representatives voted mostly according to party lines, except for six Democrats that voted with the GOP and 14 Republicans that sided with the Democrats in opposition. Democrats in the Senate are strongly against the bill, saying that this law will override any state laws which aim to control who can carry concealed weapons inside their own borders, which in many cases exceed that standards set by other states.
The bill also improves the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and requests that the US attorney general announce the position the Justice Department takes on the use of “bump stocks,” specifically their use would lead to additional criminal penalties.
Republicans hailed the passage of the bill as an important victory. The bill’s author, Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) said the vote “is a huge win for freedom, the American people, and the 15 million concealed carry permit holders across the country who every day become the risk of becoming criminals because they cross an invisible state line.”
Gun control advocates and Democrats say the bill is “dangerous and misguided.” Especially now when the US has just seen a tragic wave of death due to mass shootings.
“The bill is horrible,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. “What it does is rob every state the ability to maintain standards on concealed carry.”
“It uses the power of the federal government to import the law in the one state into another state so that New York would have to allow concealed-carry permits approved in Texas, even if Texas has no standards whatsoever,” Nadler added.
The vote angered gun-control groups, saying it was a huge step backwards in the county’s efforts to stay safe from gun violence.
“Congress has failed the American people,” said former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was severely wounded in a 2011 mass shooting that left six people dead. “After two of our nation’s worst mass shootings, Congress took direct instruction from the gun lobby and passed a bill that will override existing state laws and allow dangerous, untrained people to carry guns in every state and every city. Let’s be clear: These politicians are trading our safety for political contributions from the gun lobby.”