The U.S. House approved a bill making it easier for gun owners to legally carry concealed weapons across state lines.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act passed on Wednesday with a vote of 231-198 in the Republican-controlled House, with six Democrats voting in support.
“For the millions of law-abiding citizens who lawfully carry concealed to protect themselves, for conservatives who want to strengthen our Second Amendment rights, and for the overwhelming majority of Americans who support concealed carry reciprocity, Christmas came early,” Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., the bill’s sponsor, said.
Hudson had tried unsuccessfully for years to pass similar legislation, which he says attempts to clarify the different state laws that confuse citizens who might unwittingly be arrested while going from state to state.
A similar bill is pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Reciprocity will not change the requirements for obtaining a gun permit nor will it change already restrictive laws on the books for concealed carry in seven states: New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The remaining states take a less restrictive approach to applications for a concealed-carry gun permit.