Should a concealed carry gun permit be valid in every state?

Dec 17, 2013

Kristen Whitehurst demonstrates a holster disguised as a pager for carrying a concealed handgun during the NRA’s 125th Anniversary Annual Meetings and Exhibits in Dallas, Texas on April 19, 1996. ; Credit: PAUL K BUCK/AFP/Getty Images

It’s become easier to carry a concealed gun in nearly every state in the US, but there’s one problem gun owners regularly encounter. A permit filed in one state is typically not valid in another. The NRA has been trying to push a national “reciprocity” law through Congress that would require states to allow anyone with a valid permit in one state to be valid in all states.

It would particularly affect states like California, which requires applicants be “of good moral character” and demonstrate “good cause”.  A version of the reciprocity law came close to passing in the Senate last year after making it through the House of Representatives. Another push will likely be made after the November elections.

In the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary last December, gun control advocates and some lawmakers made a strong push for more restrictive gun laws but made little progress.

Should gun control advocates accept a ‘reciprocity’ deal in exchange for some other restrictions on gun rights? Is Congress likely to take the proposal seriously? Would a national standard for gun laws make it easier to enact good legislation?


Alan Berlow, journalist and author of the article ‘Concealed Carry’

Richard Feldman, President Independent Firearm Owners Association, Inc.

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