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.Â Â 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 ownersâ€™ 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.Â Â 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 120 cosponsors.Â 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.
These members of Pennsylvania’s delegation have signed on to support the bill as of 4/8/11:
Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.)
Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.)
Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.)
Rep. Tim Holden (D-Pa.)
Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.)
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.)
Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.)
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.)
Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.)