Proposed federal law would recognize concealed-carry permits in - WSMV News 4

Proposed federal law would recognize concealed-carry permits in every state

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Changes could be on the horizon regarding how states recognize gun laws with a move that would make a concealed-carry permit more like a driver's license.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 moving through Congress would require every state to universally honor another state's concealed carry permit no matter how much training you may or may not have. 

The U.S. House of Representatives has already approved the bill, but it is still up for debate in the Senate. 

If it becomes law, Tennessee handgun carry-permit holders would be able to carry in the 13 states where they are currently illegal, including California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Washington. 

Gun law attorney Edwin Walker told News4 he believes the law is a step forward.

"It's good to finally see a federal versus state's rights issue play in the favor of people who want more freedom," said Walker of U.S. Law Shield. "I don't believe that states with more restrictive laws are going to be able to impose those laws on folks who carry guns in their home states."

Some argue it makes travel easier, while others say it puts more people at risk. 

In some states, it's very hard to get a carry permit. While in other states, there are no requirements or mandatory training. 

"That would be good because they made a big effort to educate us on that in the carry permit class that it's not the same everywhere you go," said Jim Webb, who recently obtained his carry permit in Nashville.

In Tennessee, a person must go through an eight-hour class, gun training, and a written test. 

Royal Range instructor Bob Allen teaches those classes, and he believes there's always a need for training.

"I think it's invaluable.," Allen explained. "From training the police for years and years and training civilians and military people, you don't just get a gun and know how to use it," 

Right now, regardless of their training, carry permit holders are required to follow the gun laws of whichever state or city they are visiting.

"There are constitutional rights," said Webb. "It really seems like it ought to be universal across the U.S., but it's not  -- so how I feel is not as important as that I understand what the rules are, so I don't get into a situation."

Opponents of the bill argue law enforcement cannot easily verify if a person's out-of-state carry permit is valid. 

You can follow the progress of the bill in Congress here.

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