One of the first gun bills introduced in the new Congress proposes to dramatically alter the way states regulate who can carry concealed firearms within their borders.
Under the legislation filed by Congressman Richard Hudson, a North Carolina Republican, gun owners — including those from states no longer mandating training or permits for persons wishing to tote hidden pistols — could be cleared to carry in any public spaces across the country that allow guns.
Currently, every state allows for concealed carry.
But many forbid out-of-state residents from carrying concealed weapons within their borders, or only recognize permits from select states. And some cities, like New York, have strict rules about who may obtain a license to carry, with the result that very few people do.
If Hudson's bill passes, states that set high bars for concealed carry would be compelled to welcome gun-toting visitors from "any state that recognizes its residents' right to concealed carry," says a Hudson spokeswoman. That includes states with more relaxed requirements, or no requirements at all.
New York authorities, for instance, may be forced to allow a tourist from Mississippi — one of the 10 states that now authorizes permitless carry — to be armed while walking down Broadway, with his Mississippi ID the only permission he needs.