Handgun permits should be universal

Staff Editorial

Proposed House Bill 822 would allow anyone with a valid state-issued concealed firearm permit to carry a concealed firearm in any state that issues such permits or does not prohibit the carrying of a concealed firearm. Of the 50 states, only Illinois does not allow concealed carry in any form. Every other state either has its own requirements to obtain a permit or accepts permits from another state.

The proposed bill would not be such a leap from the current regulations; it would only be a national extension of the current state regulations. All of these laws are stemmed from the Second Amendment, which grants citizens the right to keep and bear arms.

Many people are opposed to this legislation, arguing that it takes the power out of the states’ hands. However, the country is made up of united states that should support each other and the decisions, permits, and licenses they distribute. For instance, a person driving through Louisiana is still a legal driver even though their license is from Texas. The same concept should be applied to a concealed handgun license; what’s valid and acceptable in one state should apply to another state.

Texas requires that a concealed handgun holder be at least 21-years-old and have passed a written exam and a shooting proficiency exam to obtain a license. However, Arizona offers many ways to obtain the license including completing any National Rifle Association (NRA) firearms training course, completion of any hunter education or safety course approved by the Arizona game and fish department.

According to statistics provided by the FBI, citizens with carry permits are more law abiding that the general public. FBI statistics show that on average, states that have right-to-carry laws in place have lower crime and murder rates. Since adopting right-to-carry in 1996, Texas’ violent crime rates have dropped 20% and murder rates have dropped 31%. If one state has certified that it’s resident has completed the sufficient requirements to own and carry a concealed handgun, the license should be upheld through every state. Most states already accept licenses from other states, but this House Bill would make licenses from any state acceptable in any other state as well.

For example, New York’s concealed and carry license is acceptable in 16 states but New York only accepts their own state’s license. With the passage of this bill, any license obtained in another state would be accepted in New York.

If a citizen is willing to pay the fees on their own state’s permit and go through the requirements to obtain a permit in their own state, they should be able to use their license from their state of residence while visiting another state. It would be perfectly acceptable to require a citizen to obtain a new license once they have changed states of residence; but to visit another state while on vacation or staying for a short period of time should not prevent a citizen from continuing their carrying of a concealed weapon.


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