GOP Sens. Introduce National Reciprocity for Concealed Carry

concealed carry

Sens. John Kennedy (R-LA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and John Cornyn (R-TX), introduced legislation Wednesday to treat concealed carry permits like drivers’ licenses, making a permit from any one state valid in the other 49.

The Senate bill, titled the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, makes the concealed carry permit of any given state valid in other states while also preserving the specific rules that exist in each state. This means a concealed carry permit holder from Kentucky would be able to carry a gun for self-defense while traveling through Illinois but would have to adhere to Illinois’ prohibitions against carrying in certain areas.

Sen. Kennedy commented on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, saying, “The Second Amendment helps safeguard all of Americans’ constitutional rights. This bill would affirm Americans’ fundamental liberties while respecting individual states’ rights to establish their own laws.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s senior vice president and general counsel Larry Keane praised the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, saying:

This is common sense legislation that solves the problem of the confusing patchwork of laws surrounding concealed carry permits, particularly with regard to states where laws make unwitting criminals out of legal permit holders for a simple mistake of a wrong traffic turn. This legislation safeguards a state’s right to determine their own laws while protecting the Second Amendment rights of all Americans.

The Senate bill is companion legislation to the House reciprocity bill, H.R. 38, which was put forward by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) in early January.

On January 10, 2023, Breitbart News reported Hudson’s introduction of H.R. 38, which would also treat concealed carry permits like drivers’ licenses as permit holders travel state-to-state.

Hudson commented on his legislation, saying:

H.R. 38 guarantees the Second Amendment does not disappear when crossing an invisible state line….[It] protects law-abiding citizens’ rights to conceal carry and travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state codes or onerous civil suits. I am especially proud to have such widespread and bipartisan support for this measure as I continue working to get this legislation over the finish line.

All 50 states have concealed carry permitting systems in place but currently, some states only recognize the permits of a handful of other states. This patchwork of permit recognition makes traveling with a self-defense firearm onerous.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News 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 and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a PhD in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.