Ho-Reps Pass legislation extending concealed carry privilege across state lines

From [HERE] A highly divided US House of Representatives [official website] on Wednesday voted 231-198 [roll call, text] to pass HR 38 [text, PDF], a bill loosening gun regulations and allowing individuals with concealed weapons carrying permits to legally travel between states.

The votes fell largely along partisan lines with most Democrats voting against the bill and Republicans voting in favor, although six Democrats voted in favor of the bill while 14 Republicans voted against it. Called "the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act," the bill was proposed by Doug Collins of Georgia in January and sponsored by Richard Hudson of North Carolina and amends Title 18 of the US Code, "to provide a means by which nonresidents of a State whose residents may carry concealed firearms may also do so in the State." The US House Judiciary Committee [official website] approved the bill late last month despite severe opposition to the bill from 17 states [JURIST report].

The National Rifle Association's (NRA) [advocacy website] executive director, Chris Cox [official profile] expressed jubilation [NPR report] at the passage of the bill stating that the bill would ensure that "all law-abiding citizens in our great country can protect themselves in the manner they see fit without accidentally running afoul of the law" while Elizabeth Esty [official profile] of Connecticut, representing Newtown where where 20 first-graders and six teachers and staff were killed in a 2012 mass shooting incident, condemned [NPR report] it stating that bill would "hamstring law enforcement and allow dangerous criminals to walk around with hidden guns anywhere and at any time. It's unspeakable that this is Congress' response to the worst gun tragedies in American history."

The bill now goes to the Senate [official website], where proponents of the bill will need approximately 60 votes to overcome a potential filibuster by the opponents.