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Stutzman files cross-state gun permit bill

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, believes he should be able to carry a concealed firearm in any state that allows its own residents to do the same.

Stutzman said Wednesday he has filed legislation – the Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act – that would require states to honor one another’s concealed-carry permits.

“The right to self-defense is the cornerstone of the Second Amendment and my responsibility as a father to keep my family safe doesn’t change when I cross state lines,” Stutzman said in a statement.

The House approved similar legislation in 2011. At the time, Stutzman said in a floor speech that he had an Indiana permit to carry a concealed firearm. His office confirmed that Stutzman has such a permit for his handguns.

The 2011 reciprocity bill and a Senate version were not considered by the Senate.

According to the website Handgunlaw.us, Stutzman can carry his guns in 26 states other than his own, while 22 states and the District of Columbia don’t recognize Indiana permits. In some cases, states allow only their own residents to carry concealed weapons.

Indiana honors permits from all other states. Illinois is the only state where concealed weapons are outlawed.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence opposes Stutzman’s legislation.

“Laws need to be made stricter by allowing law enforcement to decide who in the community may be issued a permit to carry a loaded hidden handgun in public,” Brady spokeswoman Debra DeShong Reed said in an email. “Currently, 40 states have stripped law enforcement of its discretion in issuing these permits, including four states where no permit is required at all.”

Those four are Alaska, Arizona, Vermont and Wyoming. Stutzman’s bill would not require residents of those states to obtain permits to carry weapons in other states, nor would it override state laws that prohibit firearms in certain areas.

“I’m proud that this legislation respects state laws and does not establish a national permit system,” Stutzman said in his statement. “It simply ensures that if you’re legally carrying a concealed firearm in one state, you can legally carry it in another.”

bfrancisco@jg.net

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