Rep. Rutherford: Constitutional Right to Bear Arms Should Not Stop at State Lines
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Rutherford released the following statement after the House Judiciary Committee passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38) and the Fix NICS Act, two commonsense measures aimed at preventing violence. The bills now advance to the full House for consideration.
Congressman Rutherford said, “We want good people carrying guns. In my years in law enforcement, I have seen good, law-abiding citizens use legal firearms to stop dangerous people from harming themselves, their families, their neighbors, and other innocent lives. Law-abiding citizens who are authorized to carry firearms should have the ability to stop a violent incident before law enforcement can intervene.
“Following the horrific acts of violence in Sutherland Springs and Las Vegas, we must do all we can to prevent these tragedies from happening again. Had our existing background check laws been enforced, the tragedy in Sutherland Springs could have been avoided all together. Thankfully, a brave, law-abiding citizen assisted in disrupting the attack and saved many lives. We need Congress to pass the Fix NICS Act to strengthen criminal history reporting into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to keep guns out of the hands of bad people, and we need Congress to pass the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act to ensure that good, law-abiding citizens can retain their constitutional right to bear arms and legally conceal carry across state lines.”
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would allow citizens with state concealed carry permits to carry concealed in any other state. Similar to drivers licenses, all states would be required to recognize the concealed carry permits of residents from other states. Concealed carry permit holders would be required to follow the concealed carry laws of the state, county and municipality in which they are present. Congressman Rutherford offered an amendment to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act to ensure that the legislation does not prevent a law enforcement officer with reasonable suspicion from conducting an investigation of a person with a concealed carry permit.
The Fix NICS Act would strengthen gun background checks by requiring federal agencies and states to have plans ensuring they properly update the federal NICS database. It also reauthorizes and improves important law enforcement programs to help state governments share relevant criminal record information with NICS.