Staying true to his lifelong support for Americans' Second Amendment rights, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) today voted for the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act that allows law-abiding gun owners with valid state-issued concealed firearm permits or licenses to carry a concealed firearm in any other state that also allows concealed carry.
"I have always been committed to ensuring that our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights are protected and this important bill is a continuation of that commitment," said Luetkemeyer, a co-sponsor of H.R. 822. "Just as one state recognizes the driver's license from another state, this legislation will simply require a state with a concealed carry gun law to accept a concealed carry permit from another state."
The legislation would authorize a person who is carrying a government-issued photo identification and a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state, and who is not prohibited from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm under federal law, to carry a concealed handgun in another state in accordance with the restrictions of that state. The legislation is similar to how states recognize drivers' licenses issued by other states. The person visiting another state must comply with all laws and regulations governing the carrying of a concealed firearm in that state. It should also be noted that the legislation does not create a federal licensing or registration system and does not establish a minimum federal standard for the carry permit.
Studies show that carrying concealed weapons reduces violent crime rates and allows law-abiding citizens to defend themselves. A 1997 study published by John Lott and David Mustard regarding the effect of concealed carry laws on crime rates estimated that "[w]hen state concealed handgun laws went into effect in a county, murders fell by more than 7 percent, and rapes and aggravated assaults fell by similar percentages." Congress has previously passed laws to permit certain active duty and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons in other states.
The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act will directly benefit Missourians since Missouri is a concealed carry state. The legislation is also supported by the National Rifle Association.