Tuesday, June 5, 2012

National Right To Carry Reciprocity Act - Isn't It About Time That It Passes?

Our forefathers fought hard for American citizens to not only own but also carry firearms. Politicians know they cannot simply take that freedom away as an entire package although there are many that would like to. Their alternative plan is and has been to eliminate that right in steps by adding restrictive anti-gun laws. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, laws were passed to ban handguns in many states. Prior to 1987, there were only 10 states with right to carry laws.

Experts were able to prove that citizens lawfully carrying firearms reduced crime rates in every U.S. county by deterring criminals. When and where concealed carry laws went into effect, rapes fell by five percent, aggravated assaults fell by seven percent and murders fell by slightly more than eight percent. Anti-gun activists have tried to present other numbers, as many of us know, but their quantification methods involved using irrelevant numbers from several decades ago instead of current statistics. This is why right-to-carry laws have been adopted by so many states in recent years.

As it stands today, 49 states have laws allowing law-abiding citizens to obtain concealed-carry permits. However, some are more restrictive than others. States are classified as may-issue, shall-issue, no-issue or unrestricted. Illinois and the District of Columbia are the only no-issue zones. Although, it should also be noted that even though New Jersey is classified as a "May-Issue" state, they are truly a "No-Issue" state. They summarily turn down all permit applications with the exception of Law Enforcement and Armored Car Drivers(armored car drivers can only carry while on duty). In fact, in the Garden State, when a law-abiding person asks for an application, most police officers will recommend to not even bother applying.

Several shall-issue states are forming reciprocity agreements with neighboring states or states with similar permit requirements, which allows permit holders to carry their guns in both locations. Until 2011, any ideas or proposed legislation to make the right a nationwide standard had been refused.

In November of 2011, H.R. 822, which is also known as the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives. In a bipartisan vote of 272-154, the bill was approved. Fortunately, all proposed amendments meant to undercut it were rejected. This is a great step in the right direction for legal gun owners. However, the bill still has to be passed to become effective. Law-abiding citizens should not be limited to carry in specific states or only within their own state's lines. For example, cross-country truck drivers are frequent victims of crime. However, many drivers who have permits from the states they reside in cannot legally carry their guns in nanny states where crime rates are unreasonably high.

This bill is currently in the Senate where it has not yet been acted upon. If you want to make a difference, write to your lawmakers and encourage them to pass the bill. You can find your U.S. State Senators' contact information at www.Senate.gov. Talk to other gun owners, and encourage them to get involved. Some gun owners are misinformed or don't even know about this issue. Some wrongly believe this bill includes a national firearm registry requirement, a removal of unrestricted carry zones and a bureaucracy to establish nationwide permit standards. Encourage them to read the bill in full to dispel these misconceptions.

Statistic Sources:
http://www.nraila.org/legislation/federal-legislation/2012/demand-action-on-national-right-to-carry-reciprocity-act.aspx
http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/articles/2010/right-to-carry-2010.aspx?s=%22Right-To-Carry%22&st=&ps=