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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. GOODLATTE. I thank the chairman for yielding and for his leadership on this issue.

Mr. Chairman, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011.

This bipartisan bill has 245 cosponsors, and it enhances Americans' right to self-defense by enabling millions of permit holders to exercise their right to self-defense while traveling outside their home States.

The Second Amendment is in the United States Constitution, and we are all taking an oath in this body to uphold the United States Constitution, including rights under the Second Amendment. The 10th Amendment is certainly an important right as well, but it does not trump the right or the responsibility of this body to protect rights under the Second Amendment.

Forty-nine States have laws that permit their citizens to carry a concealed firearm in some fashion or another. Unlike driver's licenses, however, concealed-carry permit holders in one State are not always authorized to carry their firearms when traveling outside their home States.

H.R. 822 remedies this problem by granting concealed-carry permit holders reciprocity between States. The firearm owner must abide by all applicable State laws when carrying in a foreign jurisdiction. This bill affirms that the Second Amendment protects the fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms and that the States cannot unreasonably infringe upon that right.

In McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court concluded that the due process clause of the 14th Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment right recognized by the Supreme Court in the District of Columbia v. Heller.

This bill does not create any kind of Federal bureaucracy that may concern some people. It simply extends to them their Second Amendment rights when they travel in other States. H.R. 822 recognizes that right, and I urge my colleagues to support this measure.

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