House passes bill making it easier to take concealed-carry firearms across state lines

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Gun owners with concealed-carry permits are a step closer to having those state-issued permits more widely recognized thanks to a bill passed last week by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Officially titled “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017,” the legislation will allow individuals with concealed-carry permits universal reciprocity with all other states where concealed carry is lawful.

Currently, states are able to pick and choose which out-of-state concealed-carry permits they will honor. The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, would allow for general access regardless of previous limitations.

The National Rifle Association praised last week’s vote that took place largely along party lines, calling it a “the most far-reaching expansion of self-defense rights in modern American history.”

The bill passed the House with 231-198 vote Wednesday. Six Democrats voted yes, while 14 Republicans voted no.

This vote marks a watershed moment for Second Amendment rights,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. “The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is the culmination of a 30-year movement recognizing the right of all law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their loved ones, including when they cross state lines.”

All four of Utah’s House representatives voted for the measure.

“Every state in our country has a legal procedure in place for its residents to lawfully carry a concealed handgun,” Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, told St. George News Friday. “(The bill) allows lawful individuals who are licensed in their own state to be able to travel state to state without fear of prosecution.”

Utah’s standard permit – issued to those 21 and older – is recognized in 37 states, while its provisional permit – issued to those between 18 and 20 years old – is recognized in 18 of those states.

Read more: Utah Senate passes conceal carry bill lowering permit age to 18

Opponents, mostly Democrats, said the bill could endanger public safety by overriding state laws that place strict limits on guns.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, said during the House debate that his state forces gun owners to meet an array of conditions before obtaining a concealed-carry permit — in contrast to some states where “if you’re 21 and have a pulse” you can get a gun permit.

Certain states require concealed-carry permit applicants to undergo firearms training in addition to taking a course detailing the responsibilities connected with carrying a concealed handgun.

States that do not require firearms training as a part of the permit application won’t always see the resulting permit honored by other states where training is seen as a must.

Utah requires concealed-carry applicants take a sit-down class in addition to paying associated fees and passing a background check.

Read more: Editorial: Conceal carry; it’s no small decision

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, who was critically injured by a gunshot wound to the head during an assassination attempt in 2011, denounced the House action.

I’m angry that when this country is begging for courage from our leaders, they are responding with cowardice,” she said in a statement.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said those who carry concealed handguns not only are better prepared to defend themselves, but can help others. He cited a 2015 incident in which an Uber driver shot and wounded a gunman who was firing into a crowd of people in Chicago.

“Without this citizen’s quick thinking and actions, who knows how many could have fallen victim to this shooter,” Goodlatte said.

He and other Republicans compared the concealed-carry permit to a driver’s license that is valid in any state.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colorado, scoffed at that notion. “Georgia has no business, no right, to tell Colorado what its laws should be,” he said.

The Constitution does not end at state borders and time and time again we see that concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law-abiding citizens in America,” Stewart said.

Part of the legislation also would strengthen the FBI’s database of prohibited gun buyers.

This measure comes in the wake of the U.S. Air Force failing to add to the database the criminal history of former airman Devin P. Kelley, the shooter who killed over two dozen people in a church in Texas last month.

The Air Force acknowledged that Kelley, who had a domestic violence conviction, had not been added to the FBI’s National Criminal Information Center database as he should have been. The Air Force has discovered several dozen other such reporting omissions since the Nov. 5 shooting.

All Americans, including law-abiding gun owners, agree that violent criminals should not have legal access to firearms,” the NRA said in a statement. “However, the system is only as good as its records, and recent events have shown that sometimes the correct information is not entered into the system.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.


Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • Sedona December 12, 2017 at 12:09 am

    The states that won’t recognize Utah CCW permits from other states are states I most likely wouldn’t visit anyway.

    States that do recognize UT CCW permits are:
    Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan (you’ll need one in Detroit), Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (I advise carrying in Pittsburg), South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming. (

    States that don’t want citizens to protect themselves with firearms are:
    California…of course, (I carry there), Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois (Chicago owns highest murder rate in the country), Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico (I carry there), New York…of course, Oregon (I carry there), Rhode Island, District of Columbia (High murder rates there too). Reference:
    These states combined make up over 76% of the violent crimes committed in the US. (FBI stats) Go figure…it isn’t hard to.

    In addition, the majority of the “liberal slant” on this article was brought to you by your vociferous anti-gun proponent…..The Associated Press.

    • Badshitzoo December 12, 2017 at 9:11 am

      Boohoo cry baby! “vociferous anti-gun proponent” huh. Barrack Obama did more in his two terms for the gun industry than any president in history. He gave you paranoid whiners a “Boogie man” to make everyone afraid of, and the gun manufacturers spread that fear far & wide. More AR’s were bought in that period than in all other previous years combined. It ruined gun shows from SLC to Vegas where you couldn’t find an FN or H&K rifle to save your life, and CCW sub-compact plastic pistols were all the rage. Who goes to gun shows to look for AR’s! The lines to get in were out the door & around the block, and you could hear the Obama fear openly. It was a brilliant psychological marketing campaign on the gun manufacturers part. “Boo! There’s a negro gang banger in the white house, and he’s coming to take your guns.” Now how many Americans have died at the hands of the completely unhinged with an AR to date? Look, I love guns! Bought my 1st assault rifle at 16 (an H&K-93), which may have been a little premature in hindsight, and I’ve owned pretty much everything that shoots since. I think everyone who carries should carry openly as a deterrent, and open carry should be the law nation wide; because, at this point we have no other real options to stop mass murders. I think even a situation like Vegas would have been deterred if when planning that, the gunman’s 1st question would have been “How will I stop those 22k concert goers, and everyone in this building from killing me after my first 10 shots?” There’s my “liberal slant”. There are “Boogie man” out there, but Obama wasn’t one of them.

  • Not_So_Much December 12, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Well said Sedona.

  • DRT December 12, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Every once in a while I will see a “NO WEAPONS ALLOWED” sign or something similar. It always makes me feel so safe to be in these places that don’t allow weapons. Because we all know that people who have no compunction about killing somebody would NEVER break the “NO WEAPONS” rule.

  • mctrialsguy December 12, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Love of the above response comments…right on! Strange that a Democrat was the Vegas shooter, and all violent protesters have been liberal followers. A coincidence….(?)…NOT!

  • Sapphire December 12, 2017 at 11:24 am

    A person should be able to take a vacation and keep a firearm hidden away for protection, particularly when camping without having to worry about state borders.

  • ladybugavenger December 12, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    I don’t carry a gun, yet.
    But, I want to be around any one of you that do, when a psycho killer starts shooting at me, please pull out that weapon and shoot to kill

    • Honor1st December 13, 2017 at 4:04 am

      So you are Oblivious to the Reality that these Concealed carries have been around for decades and NEVER saved anyone from the psychos ?
      Life in your fictional fantasy bubble must be so much fun . . .

  • Honor1st December 13, 2017 at 4:02 am

    The Stephen Paddocks , James Holmes & Adam Lanzas of the planet just Love love love these bills backed by lite brained saps .

  • commonsense December 13, 2017 at 7:11 am

    One responsible armed citizen could take out a mass murderer and save countless lives.
    I carry and hope I never need to draw my weapon but if necessary I will protect myself and any innocent citizen who is in mortal danger.
    A weapon is a great equalizer in a fight between an elderly person and a young male thug , hence the second amendment.

    • Utahguns December 13, 2017 at 9:10 am

      Your screenname says it all….

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.