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Public Statements

National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

This amendment would effectively gut the bill, though the intent is actually somewhat unclear.

As written, the amendment allows a visitor to carry a handgun under the provisions of the bill only in States that require applications to be completed and submitted in person; however, few States have such a requirement for nonresidents.

This amendment would create unnecessary confusion. For example, Florida accepts applications by mail, but the State of Washington does not. If this amendment were adopted, a Virginia resident who held a valid permit could carry a handgun in Washington, which requires everyone to apply in person, but not in Florida, which has no concerns about issuing permits by mail.

It is possible that the amendment was intended to allow interstate carry under the bill's provisions only for holders of permits that were issued in person. The problem is that isn't how the amendment is drafted. If it were, it would still effectively gut the bill because so few States require in-person application.

The fact is that any application or fingerprinting requirements for a resident or a nonresident to obtain a concealed-carry permit are in addition to all the other requirements, including a national instant-background check that the applicant must go through first to legally purchase the gun.

Despite what some opponents of H.R. 822 would have you believe, not everyone who owns a gun is a criminal. And, in fact, there is overwhelming evidence to show that concealed-carry laws have resulted in lower crime rates in most States. Typically, most criminals don't bother with legally purchasing a gun and then making sure they have a valid permit before they carry it concealed; they just do it. That's why we call them criminals.

I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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