Gun rights advocate Shaneen Allen is calling on Senate Republicans to “put their money where their mouth was” and pass national reciprocity for concealed carry.
On December 6 Breitbart News reported that national reciprocity passed the House. Its fate has been in the hands of the Republican-controlled Senate ever since.
Allen is a concealed carry permit holder who was arrested in 2013, after telling a New Jersey police officer she was carrying a firearm. Allen had a valid Pennsylvania concealed carry permit but New Jersey lawmakers refused to recognize the permit as valid for carry in their state. As a result, Allen faced up to 11.5 years in prison for possessing the legally purchased firearm.
Her story resonated with permit holders all around the country, wearied by the cumbersome patchwork of laws whereby a law-abiding citizen can legally carry his gun in one state for self-defense but not another. And her story gained even greater notoriety when it was learned that she was a single mom who had acquired her firearm as a way to protect her two small children.
Governor Chris Christie (R) pardoned Allen in 2015 and she is now campaigning for Senate Republicans to follow the House’s lead and pass national reciprocity legislation. The passage of reciprocity will prevent other innocent, law-abiding citizens from going through the legal fight that Allen faced in 2013.
The Daily Mail quoted Allen saying, “I thought my license was just like a driver’s license.” In other words, she did not know she faced prison time for possessing a gun as long as she had a carry permit. But the current reality in America is that some states recognize the permits of other states, but some do not.
For instance, California does not recognize any permit other than one issued in California. Illinois is the same way. And among states that do recognize the permit of other states, most only recognize some while rejecting others.
The national reciprocity legislation that passed the House December 6 would treat concealed permits like driver’s licenses, making the permit of one state valid in the other 49. Achieving national recognition of each state’s permit is at the heart of Allen’s campaign. She is calling out Senate Republicans, telling them it is time to “put their money where their mouth was.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.