Saw this over at AR15.com, we can only hope and pray that it'll pass.
WASHINGTON -- Americans with state-issued concealed weapons permits would be allowed to carry guns wherever they travel in the country under a bill introduced Monday by 3rd District Rep. John Boozman, R-Rogers.
The measure would eliminate a mishmash of concealed weapons regulations that vary from state to state, Boozman contends. All states would be forced to recognize concealed handgun permits from elsewhere.
Gun control advocates oppose the bill. They say that gun permit standards in some states are so weak that other jurisdictions deserve the right to refuse those license holders.
Boozman said the bill ensures Second Amendment rights.
"I've always felt like you can have a gun, openly display it, and there not be a problem," he said. That some states reject licensed permits from other states "infringes on the Constitution."
Nearly 62,000 Arkansans have concealed gun permits.
Arkansas permit holders are allowed to carry a concealed weapon in 27 states, including every neighboring state.
Arkansas recognizes permits issued in 30 states.
Fourteen states do not recognize permits issued elsewhere.
"You have friends who are used to having a gun in their car and things like that, then inadvertently being over the state line or out of state and being concerned they were running afoul of state law," Boozman said.
Boozman's bill would require even Illinois and Wisconsin, which do not have right-to-carry laws, to recognize licenses issued in other states.
A bipartisan group of 33 House members are co-sponsors of the bill, Boozman said.
He acknowledged that it may be difficult to gain enough support for the legislation, and said there is anti-gun sentiment in the Democratic-led Congress. But he cited statistics that indicate crime decreases in states with concealed guns laws.
According to a study cited by the National Rifle Association, violent crime declined each year from 1977 to 1994 in jurisdictions where a concealed gun law was in effect.
Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said his organization is not anti-gun, but it opposes the bill because of its impact on states.
"There are already too many states that have too weak a system of approving people for concealed-carry permits," Hamm said. "I don't think the majority of states want to rely on the systems of other states to let someone carry a loaded, concealed handgun across state borders."
For instance, Florida's standards are so low that some death-row inmates there have permits, he said.
Arkansas at one time had minimum reciprocity requirements, said state police spokesman Bill Sadler. Those regulations mandated that other states' training standards must be equal to or stronger than Arkansas' minimum requirements for a permit holder.
The General Assembly since has stripped those requirements, Sadler said.
Sadler said he would not comment on the merits of Boozman's bill until he had seen the proposed legislation.
Boozman said he feels strongly that Americans should be allowed to carry guns.
"I grew up in Arkansas, and it was not uncommon to see people in high school with gun racks in the back of their trucks, who would go squirrel hunting after school was over," Boozman said. "To be honest, it's something I always felt like there wasn't any question we could do these things."
His 26-year-old daughter, Kristen Boozman, has an Arkansas concealed weapons permit, as do other family members, he said. The congressman himself does not.
Bill Forces States To Accept Concealed Gun Permits
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