WASHINGTON ― House Republicans passed legislation on Wednesday that would force states to honor concealed carry permits issued in other states, including those with far looser regulations. The bill’s advancement is a major win for the National Rifle Association, while opponents fear the measure will endanger Americans, particularly domestic violence victims.
The 231-198 vote, largely on party lines, comes one month after a shooter killed 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas — about half of them children — and roughly two months after 58 people were shot to death at a concert in Las Vegas.
“How can we face the families of these people and say this bill is the best we could do?” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) asked on Wednesday.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would treat concealed carry permits more like driver’s licenses, meaning that anyone who is allowed to carry a hidden firearm in one state could legally carry the weapon across state lines. This would have a particularly dramatic impact in places like New York City, which has very tough concealed carry restrictions but would have to honor the permits from other states, including those like Vermont that require no permits.
The concealed carry measure, which the House coupled with a modest background check fix, is considered dead on arrival in the Senate, as Republicans would need support from a number of Democrats to overcome a filibuster there. But the House vote still illustrates congressional priorities as Americans grapple with the worst mass shootings in recent history.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said that currently, “those traveling or living on the border of a state that does not recognize their home…