WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution Wednesday that would allow people with a concealed-carry permit to carry a firearm in another state that permits concealed weapons.
The House voted 231-198 for the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, with six Democrats voting for the resolution and 14 Republicans voting no.
West Virginia Republican Reps. David McKinley, Alex Mooney and Evan Jenkins voted in favor. Jenkins co-sponsored the bill when it was introduced on Jan. 3, and McKinley and Mooney joined on Feb. 17 and Feb. 21 respectively.
People in legal possession of a concealed weapon would be allowed to carry firearms to other states with similar laws. Individuals would also be permitted to possess these weapons on federal lands and — for certain off-duty and retired law enforcement personnel — in a school zone.
The bill would additionally establish changes as an attempt to improve how records are reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The Air Force said it discovered several issues related to the reporting of information about the man accused of killing 26 people at Texas church in November, the worst mass shooting in the state’s history.
The bill would also require U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to submit a report to the House Judiciary Committee regarding how bump stocks are used in crimes and if penalties should be issued for using the devices. The Las Vegas shooter used bump stocks in his attack that killed 58 people in October.
Thomas Brandon, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday he was not sure the agency has the authority to regulate bump stocks.
McKinley said on Twitter the bill provides gun owners with a unified set of national rules, as well as make changes to would result in better reporting of criminals.
Mooney, in a press release, said Wednesday’s vote was an example of his promise to stand up for “Second Amendment rights.”
“For too long, law abiding gun owners have had their constitutional right to keep and bear arms hindered by government bureaucrats. This is a commonsense bill would implement concealed carry reciprocity across the country,” he said.
Jenkins said in a video released after Wednesday’s vote he was a “proud co-sponsor” of the legislation.
“We’re standing up for our rights each and every day in the Capitol,” he added.
The National Rifle Association also applauded the bill’s passage.
“This bill ensures 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. We now call on the Senate to take up and pass this critical legislation,” said Chris Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action.
Leaders with the advocacy organization Mothers Demand Action for Gun Sense in America said they will hold those who supported the bill accountable.
“House Republicans just ignored opposition from law enforcement and the public in order to eviscerate state gun laws and make it easy for people with dangerous histories and no training to carry hidden, loaded guns across the country,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety.
Shannon Watts, founder of Mothers Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said they are putting lawmakers on notice.
“If you stand with the gun lobby, against public safety, then we will use our grassroots power to vote you out of office,” she said.
Former Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords, who was wounded in a 2011 shooting that left six people dead, called the move a poor response to this year’s shootings.
“There’s only one remedy for a Congress that can’t keep us safe: a Congress that can. Elections are less than a year away, but they can’t come soon enough,” she said in a press release.