As we've been reporting week in and week out, H.R. 822 -- the "National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011" is very good legislation for gun owners. The time is past due to dispel the alarmist rhetoric about the bill, and to set the record straight.
Most of the misguided, unfounded, and incorrect characterizations circulating lately regarding H.R. 822 have come from the anti-gun groups and media. However, a small number of vocal and supposedly "pro-gun" groups continue to report falsehoods, despite clear evidence to refute their assertions. Though they claim to be on the side of America's gun owners and the Second Amendment, their stance on this measure proves otherwise.
One group claimed H.R. 822 would include anti-gun amendments that would create "disastrous federally mandated infringements on our rights."
But, as we recently reported, the House Judiciary has already considered amendments to H.R. 822, and all anti-gun amendments offered that would weaken or gut the legislation were defeated.
The same group warns of "a 'study' to control firearm sales over the internet," and decries a "review" process that they claim will provide "a perfect opportunity for more changes." In reality, there was no amendment to study firearm sales over the internet. Period. And the "review" they speak of has nothing to do with adding new anti-gun provisions. The amendment referred to only requires a study of the law's effects, and that study would take place after the law is in effect.
Another group is trying to insinuate that anti-gunners in Congress will support the bill in order to limit our gun rights. In evaluating this ludicrous accusation, please consider that H.R. 822 has not just 245 cosponsors, but 245 pro-gun cosponsors. And -- just as telling -- none of the stalwart anti-gun representatives have signed on. In addition, well known anti-gun groups, including the Brady Campaign and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, have made killing H.R. 822 their top legislative priority. There is no hidden anti-gun counter-plot going on here.
Opponents of the legislation also claim that it tramples on each "states' rights." But states don't have rights, only powers. And while many anti-gun lawmakers who've long pushed national gun bans, national bans on private gun sales, national waiting periods and other federal restrictions have suddenly become born-again advocates of "states' rights" to oppose this bill, several provisions of the Constitution give Congress the authority to enact interstate carry. Congress also has the power to protect the rights of citizens, nationwide, under the 14th Amendment (please see related article from a recent Grassroots Alert).
Again, and for the record:
H.R. 822 is a GOOD bill and is GOOD for gun owners. The bill ENHANCES Americans' right to self-defense by enabling millions of permit holders to exercise their right to self-defense while traveling outside their home states.
There is currently only one remaining state (Illinois) that has no clear legal way for individuals to carry concealed firearms for self-defense outside the home. H.R. 822 would require states to recognize each others' lawfully-issued carry permits, just as they recognize driver's licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards.
H.R. 822 DOES NOT:
- Create a federal licensing or registration system;
- Establish a minimum federal standard for the carry permit;
- Involve the federal bureaucracy in setting standards for carry permit;
- Destroy permitless carry systems such as those in Arizona, Alaska, Vermont and Wyoming.
H.R. 822 is headed to the House floor. Please IMMEDIATELY contact your member of Congress and urge him or her to support the earliest possible consideration of H.R. 822.
You can find contact information for your U.S. Representative by using the "Write Your Representatives" tool at www.NRAILA.org. You may also contact your Representative by phone at (202) 225-3121. Additionally, you may CLICK HERE TO EMAIL YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS.
To listen to an NRANews interview about H.R. 822 with the bill's sponsor Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), please click here.
To listen to an NRANews interview about H.R. 822 with NRA-ILA Director of Research and Information John Frazer, please click here.
To read an op-ed piece about H.R. 822 by NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox, please click here.