WASHINGTON (GrayDC) (2/8/2019) - Lawmakers are pushing for new legislation to increase the power of a concealed carry permit.
Some lawmakers want to establish a uniform system to allow those with concealed carry permits to travel across all state lines. But the divided Congress may present some challenges.
"In Texas, to get a concealed carry license, you go through a background check, a criminal records check, you go through training, and when you receive that license, that license should be valid in other states," said Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas.
Texas senators say allowing someone who has a concealed carry gun permit to take that gun into another state with similar laws is just common sense.
"To me, it's like a driver's license. If I can get a license to drive my car in Texas, why can't I drive my car in Virginia or Maryland?" said Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas.
This is not the first time the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act has been introduced, but Cornyn hopes this time it will finally become law.
"Otherwise, it's a game of gotcha where people who inadvertently drive across state lines and forget they have a gun with them, they get caught in that trap," he said.
Andrew Patrick, with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, calls the bill troubling. He said some states have easier concealed carry requirements than others.
"Would someone from Chicago be comfortable with someone from South Dakota coming in who's had no training at all and walking the streets with a deadly weapon?" he said.
But one thing both sides seem to agree on: a divided Congress may mean the legislation won't go anywhere.
"I doubt very seriously this will be brought up for a vote on the House of Representatives," Patrick said.
Cruz said he believes it is unlikely House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would even entertain a vote on concealed carry reciprocity given most Democrats are opposed to loosening gun regulations.
Cornyn said he will be urging the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham to get the legislation into the Senate for a vote very soon.