Fairfax, Va. – Senate Bill 2188, an important self-defense bill that would enable millions of Right-to-Carry permit holders across the country to carry concealed firearms while traveling outside their home states, was introduced in the U.S. Senate today. S. 2188 is the companion legislation to H.R. 822, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on November 16, 2011 by a majority bipartisan vote of 272 to 154.
"Over the last two decades, the NRA has led the way toward a brick-by-brick restoration of self-defense laws throughout the country. National Right-to-Carry reciprocity is yet another step forward for law-abiding Americans," said Chris W. Cox, executive director for NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "Citizens aren't immune from crime when they cross state lines, so it is only reasonable that they have an effective means of protecting themselves and their loved ones while in other states. The introduction of S. 2188 is a significant step forward in the ongoing effort to improve self-defense laws in this country."
S. 2188, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Joe Manchin III (D-WV), would allow any person with a valid state-issued concealed firearm permit to carry a concealed firearm in any other state that issues concealed firearm permits, or does not prohibit the carrying of concealed firearms for lawful purposes.
This bill does not affect existing state laws. State laws governing where concealed firearms may be carried would apply within each state’s borders. S. 2188 does not create a federal licensing system or impose federal standards on state permits; rather, it requires the states to recognize each others' carry permits, just as they recognize drivers' licenses and carry permits held by armored car guards.
As of today, 49 states have laws in place that permit their citizens to carry a concealed firearm in some form. Only Illinois and the District of Columbia deny its residents the right to carry concealed firearms outside their homes or businesses for self-defense.
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America's oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services.