On The Howard Stern Show last week, host Howard Stern questioned why concealed permit holders are only allowed to carry their guns in certain states and voiced support for Donald Trump’s plan to use national reciprocity — or national right to carry — to remove such limitations.
As gun law currently stands, states set up agreements with other states whereby permit holders from a given state can only carry a gun for self-defense in other states with whom they have reciprocity. Under this scenario, a concealed permit holder driving from St. Louis, Missouri, to Louisville, Kentucky, on I-64 would be able to carry a gun in Missouri, Indiana, and Kentucky, but his license would not be recognized in Illinois, through which he must also drive on his way to Louisville.
According to the NRA-ILA, Stern opined on such a scenario, saying, “When you think about it, somebody is a legal and responsible gun owner – let’s say in Massachusetts – why when he crosses the border is he suddenly an outlaw?”
National reciprocity fixes this by making the concealed carry permit from one state valid in all states, similar to a driver’s license. Trump supports such a change, and when co-host Robin Quivers brought up Trump’s position, Stern said, “Makes total sense. I support that.”
As the conversation between Stern and Quivers continued, Stern pointed out how foolish it would be to require drivers to get a driver’s license from every state through which they intended to travel. He said that “doesn’t make any sense” and his point was clear — requiring concealed permit holders to do the same thing doesn’t make any sense either.
Trump’s position on national reciprocity for concealed carry permits was crystal clear throughout the presidential campaign. In September 2015, he posted his position on his website, saying:
The right of self-defense doesn’t stop at the end of your driveway. That’s why I have a concealed carry permit and why tens of millions of Americans do too. That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.
On April 15, 2016, Breitbart News reported Stern’s observation that the handgun is “the great equalizer.” He said, “I believe every citizen needs the right to be armed.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.