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NC Congressman Proposes All States Recognize Concealed Carry Permits From Any Other State


As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, gun rights advocates say the climate is right for new measures aimed at ensuring Second Amendment protections for gun owners. Republican North Carolina congressman Richard Hudson this month introduced a bill that would require states to honor concealed carry permits issued in any other state.  About 20 states, including North Carolina, already do that.  Hudson says creating concealed carry "reciprocity" would not lead to an increase in crime.

"We're talking about law-abiding citizens," Hudson said in an interview with WFAE's Mark Rumsey. "Criminals are going to break laws; no new law is going protect you from a dangerous criminal. But what we're talking about is people who are trying to do the right thing, law-abiding citizens - we're trying to make sure they've got protections."

The NRA and other gun rights groups compare the concealed carry proposal to the way a driver's license is recognized by all states.  But opponents of the bill say states with stricter standards should be allowed to enforce them.  Hudson says that under his bill, states would maintain their authority to determine specific locations where people can or cannot carry a concealed weapon. Here are a few other highlights from his interview:

How do you respond to critics who say the bill is essentially a lowest common denominator approach to permitting?

"I certainly understand folks when they first hear about this idea having concerns. We're all concerned about gun violence. There's too much gun violence in America. But if you look at the facts, you look at FBI crime statistics for example, Vermont is a state that doesn't require any type of permit to carry concealed if you're a resident. And in the state of Vermont, we've seen crime go down since they passed that law."

Why have similar proposals failed to pass Congress to this point?

"These proposals have a lot of support in the House of Representatives. I don't know how to gauge exactly the support in the Senate because I don't know the senators as well as I know the House members. But I do think having a president who supports this concept is a huge difference maker. President Barack Obama did not support this concept. President-elect Donald Trump actually campaigned on this issue. If the American people want this and they tell their representatives they want to see it passed, I think it will happen. If I judged this wrong and they don't want this legislation, then they can stop it."

What does law enforcement think of the bill?

"I can't speak for all law enforcement. But certainly the ones I know in my district that I've talked to are supportive of this idea."