If you watch “60 Minutes” on CBS, you might have seen the segment entitled “The Showdown Over the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act,” which aired on Sunday, February 11. (www.cbsnews.com/news/concealed-carry-reciprocity-act-showdown). It describes how, in December 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill (H.R. 38) which would treat concealed gun permits more like driver’s licenses, allowing them to be transportable across state lines.

In essence, if an individual is allowed to carry a concealed weapon in his home state, he would be allowed to carry the concealed weapon in any state. Section 2 of the bill states: “This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into, or possess a concealed handgun in, another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.” All 50 states allow some form of carrying a concealed handgun. And 12 states, including West Virginia, are considered “unrestricted jurisdictions” where no permit is required to carry a concealed handgun.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Richard Hudson, a Republican from North Carolina, and co-sponsored by 213 other congressional representatives; the co-sponsors included six Republicans from Virginia, including our own District 10 Representative Barbara Comstock. The bill passed on December 6, 2017, by a vote of 231-198. Those voting for the bill included 225 Republicans and 6 Democrats.

Needless to say, the bill is opposed by mayors, police commissioners and district attorneys in major cities around the country. In the “60 Minutes” piece, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance was quoted as saying that he thinks the bill would be a disaster for New York City, and NYC Police Commissioner James O’Neill called the bill “insanity.” Fifty million people visit New York City every year, and even if only a tiny fraction were legally carrying concealed weapons it would mean hundreds of thousands of additional guns on the streets of New York.

There is currently no national database for concealed carry permits, so police departments in any city would not be able to immediately determine whether someone was legally carrying or not. H.R. 38 would, in effect, impose the most lax gun laws from states across the nation on all other states.

I believe that many, many citizens are completely unaware of this legislation, which is scheduled to be debated in the U.S. Senate this coming spring. In my opinion, this bill is unconscionable, and the congressional representatives who vote for it are without conscience as well (and also likely deeply beholden to the NRA for large campaign contributions.) We will all be far less safe on the streets of our cities if this bill becomes law.

We know that our own Barbara Comstock falls into the NRA-beholden category. She must be replaced in the elections this coming November. And we should all call any senators that we have access to and let them know that, especially in the wake of the most recent Parkland, Florida school shooting, this bill should be soundly defeated.

Mark Zimmerman is a resident of Frederick County.

(7) comments


To have a concealed carry permit, you have to jump through hoops to get it. If you aren't carrying your permit card while you're concealed carrying, you deserve to have it revoked. There are rules that we have to follow. I like the reciprocity bill. It makes sense. I don't like the WV rule, too Wild Wild West for me. I also don't see the need for a national database either. Ralcalbin, I'm glad a passerby was able to assist, but usually a call to #77 will get a trooper over to dispatch the animal to end suffering as well. Depends on your location of course.

Don Specht

"I don't like the WV rule ... "

By that you mean Constitutional Carry? Fwiw WV is not the only state that allows concealed carry without training or permit. This Mountaineer thinks that if reciprocity means allowing Constitutional Carry everywhere just because your home state allows it then no. Emphatically no.

From Wikipedia ... Among U.S. states, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho (residents only), Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota (residents only; concealed carry only), Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming (residents only) are fully unrestricted, and allow those who are not prohibited from owning a firearm to ...


Other than mockery & harassment, I will post an actual comment. The other night in the county a deer decided to jump in front of my truck, while on one of the secondary roads. It did a number on my truck, & was lying on the road, unable to move & suffering. A car stopped & a couple approached, the guy stated he had a pistol in his vehicle, & could stop the deer's suffering, to which I complied. I didn't interrogate him as to why he had a gun, I appreciated that he did.
There are responsible gun owners, all the laws in the world do not matter to someone intent on breaking them. Florida was forewarned about the school shooter, the FBI was, still he did the deadly deed. I did not want to hit the deer, but I didn't even have time to hit my brakes. It was an accident, but some are not. There are responsible drivers, & irresponsible ones. It's not the inanimate object, it's the operator who decides to use it.

Doc Samson

Hilarious hysteria, Mark. Does anyone on the Left understand the difference between a right and a privilege? How do I know that those "crazy" Maryland drivers have the same level of training that I do? And yet they are allowed to operate their 2 ton death machine IN ANY STATE IN THE UNION!!!! I'll enjoy more verbal gymnastics about how our "rights" deserve to be "infringed". I'd also like an explanation as to why: 1) school systems that have trained their staff so that they can protect their children haven't suffered from a mass shooting, and 2) the huge increase in gun ownership in the US has corresponded with an overall decrease in violent crime in recent years. #FactsShouldMatter...


I love the line about how there's not a national database for concealed carry permit holders, as if they are a clear and present danger to the community. These people are living outside of reality.

Spock Here

Didn't get your NRA bonus yet doc?
I am just about out of tequila....

Doc Samson

1. I don't belong. 2. Didn't answer either of my questions, did you? 3. Keep drinking because it can only help!

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