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Public Statements

National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MATHESON. I would like to thank my colleague from Florida (Mr. Stearns) for introducing the bill before us today.

Mr. Chairman, I support this bipartisan legislation for two reasons. One, I believe that our gun laws should ensure that a responsible, law-abiding individual is able to exercise his Second Amendment right to carry firearms. Two, this bill simplifies what is now a piecemeal system of existing reciprocal agreements among the States.

There are millions of concealed-carry permit holders in this country, including thousands in my State. They comply with State law to gain a State permit so that they can legally carry weapons for self-defense. By passing this bill, we will ensure that, when they travel to other States, they will be able to exercise their right to self-defense while away from home. This bill does not create a federal licensing or registration system. It does not allow a concealed-weapon permit holder to carry a concealed weapon in States like Illinois, which do not allow concealed carry.

I think that addresses the criticism of this legislation that it would override a State's ability to determine who can carry concealed weapons within that State's borders. Permit holders who want to take their weapons with them to another State are required to be aware of and abide by that State's rules.

As a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights, I support this legislation, and I urge its adoption.

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