Conservative voters are counting on Donald Trump and a Republican Congress to protect the Second Amendment, but a new bill from North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson could indicate a much more aggressive agenda for the 115th Congress. Hudson has introduced a national reciprocity bill that would force every U.S. state to recognize concealed-carry licenses issued in other states – a law that gun-rights groups have wanted for years.
“Your driver’s license works in every state, so why doesn’t your concealed-carry permit?” Hudson asked in a fact sheet accompanying the bill.
The purpose of the bill isn’t necessarily to change local and state laws by federal decree, but rather to prevent situations where gun owners are arrested for unintentionally violating another state’s laws.
It has the support of the NRA, which released a statement approving of Hudson’s legislation.
“Law-abiding citizens should be able to exercise their fundamental right to self-defense while traveling across state lines,” said the organization’s Chris Cox. “This is an extremely important issue to our members and we thank Congressman Hudson for leading the fight to protect our rights.”
This is the second time Hudson has proposed national reciprocity legislation, but his 2015 attempt never made it past committee. The Republican is hopeful that it can make it further with a new man in the White House.
“As a member of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition, I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to get this legislation across the finish line,” he said.
The bill should have no trouble passing the House, but it could run into problems in the Senate where Republicans have a much slimmer majority. Passing legislation requires 60 votes, and the GOP only has 52 seats under their control. There are a few Democrats who could potentially be persuaded to support a bill like this, but we’ll see. The party is in fight mode right now, so it may be obstruction as far as the eye can see.
Democrats would actually do themselves a big favor by supporting this bill, though. It’s a harmless law and it’s common sense. The party could find a way to support it without dropping their gun control messaging, and it would be an olive branch to gun owners after the disastrous Obama years.
Unfortunately, there’s no indication that Democrats are interested in pulling themselves out of the far-left bubble they’ve built for themselves, so don’t hold your breath.