Measure proposes nationwide concealed carry reciprocity
MISSOULA, Mont. - The U.S. House approved a measure Wednesday that would require every state to recognize another state's concealed weapons permit. Ian Mena-Wieland sells guns at Axmen Firearms, and he has a concealed weapon permit but was asked to take his weapon off as he traveled just four months ago. "I went to the state of Washington, and on a Montana permit I can carry in Montana, Idaho, but I do have to take it off on the border of Washington," said Mena-Wieland. If you get caught in another state carrying a concealed weapon without that state's permit you can be penalized. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox sent a letter to Congress supporting a bill that would let anyone with a concealed weapons permit use it anywhere. Fox issued a statement saying, "Nationwide reciprocity for concealed carry permits would provide our nation's most responsible gun owners the assurance their right to self-defense under the Second Amendment is recognized regardless of what state they are in." But not everyone agrees, the National Conference of Mayors called the bill dangerous and said it would only bring more firearms into cities. Mena-Wieland and others say the permit's background check weeds out problems. "If you are an upstanding person then you should defend yourself no matter where you are," said Mena-Wieland. Retired state agent with the Montana Department of Justice Will Cordes likes the idea of uniform rules. "There are probably over 40 states that issue carried permits, and it would be nice if it was reciprocity with all of those, but there are some states that make it so difficult to get a permit that really that may fly or not," said Cordes. Ten states, including California, New York and Connecticut, refuse to recognize out-of-state carry permits. Mena-Wieland says the proposed law would make the process easier instead of checking each state to see if they accept certain permits.