|For Immediate Release
October 13, 2011
Contact: Kim Smith Hicks, 202-225-3951
Statement of Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith
Full Committee Markup of
Markup of H.R. 822, the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011”
Chairman Smith: H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, is sponsored by Mr. Stearns of Florida and cosponsored by 245 members from both sides of the aisle.
The bill 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.
This legislation does not preempt a state’s ability to set concealed-carry requirements for its own residents. It requires states that currently permit people to carry concealed firearms to recognize other states’ valid concealed carry permits – much like the states recognize drivers’ licenses issued by other states.
H.R. 822 also does not affect state laws governing how firearms are carried or used within the various states. A person visiting another state must comply with all laws and regulations governing the carrying and use of a concealed firearm within that state.
Studies show that carrying concealed weapons reduces violent crime rates by deterring would-be assailants and by allowing 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.”
The study has been replicated and the results confirmed by other scholars – some of whom found that the Lott and Mustard study underestimated the effect of concealed carry laws on violent crime rates.
This bill simply allows Americans who travel in interstate commerce to bring their Second Amendment rights with them.
Congress has previously passed laws to permit certain active-duty and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons in other states. H.R. 822 extends the same ability to all law-abiding citizens.