Will states allow reciprocity for concealed carry?
- The U.S. Constitution, the constitutions of 44 states, common law, and the laws of all states recognize the right to use arms in self-defense.
- The numbers of gun owners and firearms, RTC states, and people carrying firearms for protection, have risen to all-time highs, and through 2008 the nation's murder rate has decreased 46 percent to a 43-year low, and the total violent crime rate has decreased 41 percent to a 35-year low.
- Analyzing National Crime Victimization Survey data, criminologist Gary Kleck concluded
The right to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon in public is legal in 49 of the 50 states (Illinois is the only state without a concealed carry permit system in place). While each state has different regulations, research shows that states with concealed carry laws have 22-percent lower total violent crime rates, 30-percent lower murder rates, 46-percent lower robbery rates, and 12-percent lower aggravated assault rates, according to the NRA.
Yet, despite such positive statistics, permit-holders are under the constant threat to limit their rights. Campaigns to prohibit concealed firearms in national parks and on college campuses are just two recent examples of attempts to restrict concealed carry. Thankfully, the right to carry in national parks has been secured, while the fight to carry on campus is ongoing. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled twice in the past five years in favor of Second Amendment rights, overturning the D.C. and Chicago handgun bans.
Another big issue facing concealed carry is the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity bill. This would require any state to honor the concealed permit of a different state, which would allow permitted individuals to carry their firearms over state lines. Both the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012,” and the “Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012,” were put on hold last year by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).