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Pending legislation would force concealed carry reciprocity

The laws involving weapons are notoriously complex, to the point that California gun owners who travel are often unsure of whether they are violating one of the many state and federal laws by owning, carrying or using a weapon. Gun owners' rights are particularly complicated, given the constitutional underpinnings and plethora of activist groups on both sides of the weapons issue. Combine all this with the recent attention in the media to gun ownership, and the issue is one of the hottest out there amongst politicians.

Two new pieces of legislation, the "National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012," and the "Respecting States' Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012," would mandate that states recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states. Recently, however, a hold has been placed on the bills in the Senate, making passage of the bills harder and spurring intense debate.

Proponents of the bills argue they would eliminate the confusion that concealed permit holders encounter whenever they leave their home state. By creating uniformity, the bills would create some clarity amidst a convoluted body of gun control laws. Opponents point to recent episodes of gun violence and allege the bills would put law enforcement and domestic violence victims at risk.

The gun lobby is a significant one, but passing a forced reciprocity law is a steep hurdle. Now that the bills have been placed on hold, it is unclear whether there will be enough support for the measures. Those on both sides of this issue will be watching this legislation closely.

Source: Huffington Post, "Dianne Feinstein Places Hold On Controversial Concealed Weapon Bills," Sam Stein, April 18, 2012

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