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U.S. House of Representatives Considering National Right to Carry Reciprocity Bill…

Urge Your Representative To Cosponsor H.R. 822, The National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act Of 2011
Friday, April 08, 2011
Congressmen Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) have introduced vital legislation that will enable millions of permit holders to exercise their right to self-defense while traveling outside their home states.

There are now only two states that have no clear legal way for individuals to carry concealed firearms for self-defense.  Thirty-nine states have shall-issue permit systems that make it possible for any law-abiding person to obtain a permit, while most of the others have discretionary permit systems.

H.R. 822 would make a major step forward for gun owners’ rights by significantly expanding where those permits are recognized.

Dozens of states have passed carry laws over the past 25 years because the right to self-defense does not end when one leaves home.  However, interstate recognition of those permits is not uniform and creates great confusion and potential problems for the traveler. While many states have broad reciprocity, others have very restrictive reciprocity laws. Still others deny recognition completely.

H.R. 822 would solve this problem by requiring that lawfully issued carry permits be recognized, while protecting the ability of the various states to determine the areas where carrying is prohibited. The bill would not create a federal licensing system; rather, it would require the states to recognize each others’ carry permits, just as they recognize drivers’ licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards. Rep. Stearns has introduced similar legislation since 1995.

In the few weeks since its introduction, H.R. 822 has added over 163 cosponsors. Click here to see if your Congressman is a cosponsor. However, more support is needed to make this bill a higher priority.

If your Congressman is not yet a cosponsor, respectfully urge him or her to support the fundamental right to self-defense by becoming a cosponsor of H.R. 822. If your Representative is already a cosponsor, please offer your thanks for his or her support.  And remember to watch this alert for updates!

The complete text of this bill is included below.

This information was provided by the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.  http://www.nraila.org

The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Bill


H.R. 822, introduced in the U.S. House by Representatives Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), would allow any person with a valid state-issued concealed firearm permit to carry a concealed firearm in any state that issues concealed firearm permits, or that does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms for lawful purposes. A state’s laws governing where concealed firearms may be carried would apply within its borders. The bill applies to D.C., Puerto Rico and U.S. territories. It would not create a federal licensing system; rather, it would require the states to recognize each others’ carry permits, just as they recognize drivers’ licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards. Rep. Stearns has introduced such legislation since 1995.

• H.R. 822 recognizes the significant impact of the landmark cases, District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) and McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010), which found that the Second Amendment protects a fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms and that the protections of the Second Amendment extend to infringements under state law.

• Today, 48 states have laws permitting concealed carry, in some circumstances. Forty states, accounting for two-thirds of the U.S. population, have right-to-carry laws. Thirty-six of those have “shall issue” permit laws (including Alaska and Arizona, which also allow carrying without a permit), two have fairly administered “discretionary issue” permit laws, and Vermont (along with Alaska and Arizona) allows carrying without a permit. (Eight states have restrictive discretionary issue laws.)

• Citizens with carry permits are more law-abiding than the general public. Only 0.01% of nearly 1.2 million permits issued by Florida have been revoked because of firearm crimes by permit holders. Similarly low percentages of permits have been revoked in Texas, Virginia, and other right-to-carry states that keep such statistics. Right-to-carry is widely supported by law enforcement officials and groups.

• States with right-to-carry laws have lower violent crime rates. On average, right-to-carry states have 22 percent lower total violent crime rates, 30 percent lower murder rates, 46 percent lower robbery rates, and 12 percent lower aggravated assault rates, compared to the rest of the country. The seven states with the lowest violent crime rates are right-to-carry states. (Data: FBI.)

• Crime declines in states with right-to-carry laws. Since adopting right-to-carry in 1987, Florida’s total violent crime and murder rates have dropped 32 percent and 58 percent, respectively. Texas’ violent crime and murder rates have dropped 20 percent and 31 percent, respectively, since enactment of its 1996 right-to-carry law. (Data: FBI.)

• The right of self-defense is fundamental, and has been recognized in law for centuries. The Declaration of Independence asserts that “life” is among the unalienable rights of all people. The Second Amendment guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms for “security.”

• The laws of all states and the constitutions of most states recognize the right to use force in self-defense. The Supreme Court has stated that a person “may repel force by force” in self-defense, and is “entitled to stand his ground and meet any attack made upon him with a deadly weapon, in such a way and with such force” as needed to prevent “great bodily injury or death.” (Beard v. United States (1895))

• Congress affirmed the right to own guns for “protective purposes” in the Gun Control Act (1968) and Firearm Owners’ Protection Act (1986). In 1982, the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on the Constitution described the right to arms as “a right of the individual citizen to privately possess and carry in a peaceful manner firearms and similar arms.”

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Nephew Arrested with my Pistol…Will I Be Affected?

February 11, 2010 Legal Issues, Out-of-State Carry, State Firearms Laws Comments Off

Question: My nephew had my 9mm pistol as I let him use the firearm to go target practice shooting while he was visiting family in CA. He got pulled over with my 9mm loaded while intoxicated and is now being charged with carring a loaded concealed firearm along with a DUI.  Will this have any affect on my CCW in Arizona since it is my gun that he had in his possession?

Answer: Fortunately for you, it will not.  While it is not always a good idea to load out firearms, as long as he was legally able to possess a firearm in Arizona, it was legal for you to loan it to him.  It was NOT very smart of him to take your firearm to California without having a complete understanding of the laws there.  Based on my understanding of California law, the weapons charge is far more serious than the DUI.  Having a loaded, concealed firearm in his possession alone carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1000.  I’m sure that they firearm was confiscated.  You may wish to contact the Police Department that arrested your nephew and see if there is a way for you to recover your firearm.  I’m guessing that you would not be in a position to recover it until after the case is tried since it would most likely be considered to be evidence.  For future reference, I would be very careful about traveling to California with a firearm in the future.

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Scope of the LEOSA Act regarding Concealed Carry by Law Enforcement

Question: Under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act thatsexempts qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from many local and State provisions regarding concealed carry, are there any there any state or local police depts that still will not honor it. I plan to drive from SC to NY and need to know.

Answer: If a person is covered by the LEOSA, then “notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof,” he or she may carry a concealed firearm in any state or political subdivision thereof. See Title 18, USC, Section 921, which defines “state” to also include the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Possessions. Thus, the LEOSA-qualified person does not generally require a state-issued CCW permit to carry a concealed firearm.

However, there are two types of state laws that are not overridden by the federal law, these being “the laws of any State that (1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or (2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.” This does not mean that LEOSA-qualified persons are prohibited from carrying concealed firearms in such areas, but only that they must obey whatever state laws apply on those two points. They are free to disregard all other state and local laws that govern the carrying of concealed firearms.

The LEOSA overrides state and local laws, but not other federal laws.  LEOSA-qualified individuals must continue to obey federal laws and agency policies that restrict the carrying of concealed firearms in certain federal buildings and lands.

Whether or not a person is covered by the LEOSA depends entirely on whether or not he or she meets the definitions in the federal law for either “qualified law enforcement officer” or “qualified retired law enforcement officer.” It does not matter whether or not a given individual is defined as a “law enforcement officer” under the law of his state; only the definition in the federal law applies.

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Out of State Residents with Arizona CCW Permits

January 12, 2010 AZ CCW Laws, Out-of-State Carry, Reciprocity Comments Off

Question:  I am a Snowbird with an IL driver license and Arizona ID.  If I carry my Arizona ID with my Arizona CCW am I permitted to carry in states that recognize the Arizona CCW Permit?

Answer: As long as the state recognizes a ‘non-resident’ permit, then you can carry a firearm using your Arizona CCW permit when visiting those states.  However, some states do not recognize ‘non-resident’ permits.  Those states include:  Colorado, Florida, Kansas, New Hampshire, South Carolina and West Virginia.

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CCW Name Change and Moving to Colorado

December 29, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, CCW Administrative Rules, Out-of-State Carry Comments Off

Question: I recently got married but I also moved a couple weeks ago to Colorado. Where do I start? What forms do I fill out? Do I have to take a class again in Colorado and do it all over? If you can let me know I would appreciate it, I want to be valid. Thanks!

Answer: Congrats on your wedding!  Sorry we lost you to Colorado.  You will need to file both a change of address and a change of name with AZ DPS.  The forms that you need to fill out are available on the Arizona DPS website at:  http://www.azdps.gov/services/concealed_weapons/

If you look on the left side of the page you will see a link to “Forms”.  Click there and look for the “Name Change” form.  You can use the same on for both the name and address change.  Once you get to Colorado and get a CO driver license, you’ll need to take a CCW course there to get a Colorado permit.  If you are in the Denver area, check out the folks at Profire USA.  Their website is:  http://www.profire.us/

They are a great bunch of folks and you will get top quality training with them.  Your Arizona permit will work as long as you have an Arizona license since you won’t be considered to be an ‘official’ resident of Colorado until you get your license and registration there.

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Resident vs. Non-Resident Arizona CCW Permits

December 29, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, Out-of-State Carry, State Firearms Laws Comments Off

Question: Can you apply for a residential permit by merely owning property in Arizona or do you need to apply for non residential status?  The reason for the question being the residential permit gives you more states that recognize your Arizona permit.

Answer: In terms of the issuance of the Arizona CCW permit, there is no distinction drawn between Arizona residents and non-resident that meet the requirement for issuance of the Arizona CCW permit.  Your question relates to recognition of the Arizona permit in other states.  Some states, like Florida, only recognize a concealed carry permit from another state when the permit is issued to a resident of that state.  They do not recognize ‘non-resident’ permit holders.  They do this specifically to prevent people that do not live in the state where the permit is issued from simply getting a permit to allow them to carry in other locations.

Currently Florida, Kansas, New Hampshire, South Carolina and West Virginia do not recognize ‘non-resident’ permits.  If you wish to carry these states, you must be in possession of a permit from your state of residence and that state’s permit must be recognized.

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Private Party Firearm Sales to Non-Residents

Question:  I am a Texas resident, but working in Utah.  I purchased 2 firearms while in Utah.  I am going back to Texas, but have to drive through Arizona, and New Mexico.   What are the laws for those particular states regarding transporting firearms through them?

Answer:  Thanks for your question.  While I’m sure you have no intent to do this, if you drive home with those two firearms you bought, you are actually violating Federal law.

Federal law provides that a face to face transfer of a firearm can only occur between residents of the same state if such transactions are permitted by state law.  If you are not a resident of Utah, but in fact are a resident of Texas, you should not have been able to purchase firearms from a licensed dealer without them shipping those firearms to an FFL in Texas.  Assuming you bought them from a private party, again they can only be legally transferred through an FFL since you are not a Utah resident.

The deal here is that the Feds want any person buying a firearm in ‘interstate commerce’ to be legally allowed to own a firearm in their state of residence.  The only way they can do that is by transferring them through an FFL that is in the state of residence of the purchaser.

Because many are ignorant of the law, they find themselves in the same situation that you do now.  Will you get caught?  Most probably not as long as you are a law-abiding person and don’t do anything illegal or to draw attention to the fact that you have the guns, but it will make it more difficult to establish your legal ownership of the guns.  Any bill of sale that you might have received would be evidence of your violation of Federal law.

To answer your more specific question, you can legally transport your firearm in Arizona as long as it is plain sight in the vehicle in any condition you wish.  In New Mexico, you can carry your firearm in any condition either concealed or openly in your vehicle. My recommendation would probably be to keep them unloaded and cased in the trunk or storage compartment as this is universally permitted under Federal law.  The exception to this would be any firearm that you would wish to carry for personal defense.  That one I would probably keep handy.

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AZ CCW Permit Reciprocity

Question: What exactly does this mean? When I arrive do I follow the states laws? Do I tell them I have arrrived? What exactly does this mean that other states recognize my AZCCW? Please advise. Also, where can I get the details in writing? Thanks for the opportunity to ask questions!

Answer: In terms of carrying a concealed firearm in other states using your AZ CCW permit, there are two types of arrangements between states to permit you to do this.  The first is through what is termed ‘reciprocity’ while the second is called ‘recognition’.

Reciprocity occurs when two states exchange written documentation stating that they will each honor the concealed carry permits of their respective states.  Recognition occurs when a state simply informs others that they will ‘recognize’ the validity of another state’s CCW permit if a resident of that state is a visitor.

In both cases, the permit holder must carry their firearm in compliance with the laws of the state they are visiting.  In order to avoid breaking the law, the visitor should understand the concealed carry laws of the state they are visiting.  Usually there is a summary of the relevant laws relating to concealed carry on the website of the issuing agency from each state.  In most cases the issuing agency is either the State Police or the County Sheriff.

In terms of Arizona reciprocity, the written policies are available in the Administrative Rules relating to concealed carry on the Arizona Department of Public Safety website which is:

http://ccw.azdps.gov

You do not need to inform anyone of your arrival or your intention to carry a concealed firearm.

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Traveling from California to Arizona with a Handgun…

Question: I will be traveling to Arizona from California, and was thinking of bringing my S&W M&P 40.  I am an experienced hand gun owner, and know California Hand Gun law pretty well. Once I cross into AZ, I can load it, holster it and put it in a glove compartment or center storage, correct ?  I don’t have a CCW AZ yet.  Can a California resident open carry in AZ ?

My other question is it worth it, to bring it, under the circumstances?. ( I know that’s a loaded question !!) I will not carry it open in AZ, I do not want that kind of attention,
in general and again I would lock it up in the hotel in a hotel safe

When my wife and I stop for the bathroom, can I keep it on the seat next to me?  I want to keep an eye on my girl.  What is we break down, then can I open carry or just keep it within sight or reach on the car seat?  I just don’t want more stress then needed going in to another state, but don’t want to regret not taking it.  Advice?  Thanks!

Answer: Yes, once you cross into Arizona from California, you are subject to Arizona law.  Arizona permits you to have a holstered or cased firearm in the storage compartment of a vehicle (loaded or unloaded).  The key is that the firearm may not be ‘immediately accessible’ to the occupants of the vehicle unless they have an Arizona CCW permit.  Since the handgun would be in a case or holster and then secondarily in a glove box or storage console, you would be fine.  Since you are subject to Arizona law while visiting, you can legally engage in open carry as long as it is in a location where open carry is permitted by Arizona law.  A word to the wise, don’t carry into any establishment that serves alcohol.  That is a big no-no here.

Is it worth it to bring it?  How much is your life worth?  Seriously, I carry a firearm everywhere as long as I am legally permitted to do so.  You never know when you will need it, so in my opinion, when you don’t have it you are completely unprotected.  As far as your bathroom stops, you can legally have your firearm immediately accessible as long as it is in plain view on the seat or anywhere else in the vehicle as long as it is plainly visible to the casual observer.

Personally, I encourage people to keep their firearm handy.  You truly never know when a criminal attack may happen.  Another key is to maintain a high level of awareness of what is happening around you.  If you are alert to your environment and aware of developing situations around you, a lot of times you can spot potential trouble before it happens and take steps to mitigate or avoid the situation altogether.

Enjoy your visit to Arizona and please do exercise your Second Amendment rights here.

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National Right to Carry Defeated in the US Senate Despite Majority Vote…

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fairfax, Va. – Today, by a margin of 58-39, a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate voted in favor of an amendment offered by Senator John Thune to provide interstate recognition of right-to-carry permits. The amendment to S.1390, the National Defense Authorization Act, would acknowledge that the right to self-defense extends across state lines. Under this provision, individuals with carry permits from their home state, or who are otherwise allowed to carry a firearm in their home state, could carry in any other state that issues permits.

“Today’s strong majority vote in the U.S. Senate was an important step forward in the National Rifle Association’s decades long effort to make right-to-carry and national reciprocity the law of the land,” said NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.

Expanding right-to-carry enhances public safety, as criminals are deterred from attempting crimes when they know or suspect that their prospective victims are armed. A Department of Justice study found that 40 percent of felons had not committed crimes because they feared the prospective victims were armed. The Thune-Vitter amendment recognized that competent, responsible, law-abiding Americans still deserve our trust and confidence when they cross state lines.

Passing interstate right-to-carry legislation would not only reduce crime by deterring criminals, but — most important of all — would protect the right of honest Americans to protect themselves if deterrence fails.

“While we are disappointed that the 60 vote procedural hurdle was not met, the vote shows that a bipartisan majority agrees with the NRA,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. “We would like to thank Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), along with all senators who voted in favor of this amendment on both sides of the aisle. The efforts of these senators were not in vain, as the NRA will continue to work tirelessly to ensure this important legislation finds the right avenue to come before Congress once again.”

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