Rooney, House Pass National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rooney (FL-17) voted in favor of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38) as it passed on the floor of the House of Representatives today.
“I am a staunch supporter of our Second Amendment. The U.S. Constitution clearly protects our individual right to keep and bear arms,” said Rooney. “Despite this truth, many states restrict the ability of U.S. citizens to carry concealed firearms, especially those who reside in other states. If you legally own a firearm and have a valid concealed carry permit in your home state – your rights should not have to end at any particular state line. Just as a driver’s license would be recognized in another state, a person who is legally permitted to carry a concealed handgun for their or their loved ones’ own protection should have that ability anywhere in our nation. People should not be forced to sacrifice their protection and sense of safety because they choose to travel across state lines. I was proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill and I will continue to support the rights of law abiding citizens who use firearms responsibly, while working to punish those who break the law.”
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would allow individuals with a valid concealed carry permit in their home state to carry a concealed handgun into any state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms. The bill does not allow the carrying of firearms by felons, those involuntarily committed to mental health facilities, and other persons prohibited by federal law from possessing or receiving firearms. Furthermore, this legislation was combined with a measure that would increase federal and state reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS): the national system run by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that checks available records on persons who may be disqualified from purchasing or receiving firearms. Disqualifying factors include those who have a criminal record, or have been deemed mentally defective, or who are in this county illegally or unlawfully, among others. Additionally, this bill incentivizes states to improve their reporting and directs federal funding to make sure domestic violence records are accurately reported to the FBI.
“Responsible gun-owners are among the most law-abiding citizens in this country. We need to protect their constitutional rights, while also ensuring that those who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm don’t slip through the cracks” Rooney said. The bill passed by a vote of 231 – 198.