Smucker Votes to Allow Concealed Carry Reciprocity and Update FBI Background Check System
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (PA-16) today voted to protect law-abiding gun owners’ right to carry a concealed firearm and improve the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
The bipartisan Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38) allows handgun owners who are legally permitted and authorized to carry a concealed firearm by their home state to carry a concealed firearm in other states that allow concealed carry. Individuals carrying a concealed firearm across state lines must also carry a valid government-issued ID and concealed carry permit from their home state.
“Law-abiding gun owners deserve the full protection of the U.S. Constitution when exercising their right to carry a concealed weapon – and that right should not end at a state line,” said Rep. Smucker. “This legislation will help to reduce the confusion that can lead to gun owners unknowingly breaking the law when they travel to other states. I am also glad the House is updating the NICS system to help ensure our federal background check system is working as intended.”
This legislation categorically excludes from its protection anyone who is “prohibited by federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving firearms.”
H.R. 38 also requires all federal agencies to comply with existing law and increases penalties for federal agencies that fail to report individuals who should not be in possession of a firearm. Through increased grant funding, training, and technical assistance it incentivizes states to actively input data into NICS. Specifically, this provision would:
- Create benchmark requirements for the U.S. Attorney General to ensure that federal agencies are complying with the law on an annual basis;
- Establish a Domestic Abuse and Violence Prevention Initiative to ensure that states have sufficient resources and incentives to share information with NICS that show a felon, domestic abuser, or individual with mental health reasons are prohibited from owning a firearm;
- Increase grant opportunities and offers increased technical assistance for states to incentivize active participation in the NICS system;
- Require the U.S. Attorney General to publicly share a report on which federal agencies failed to submit their required certification or submitted certification that was not in compliance with the plan on the Department of Justice’s website and to Congress each year; and
- Establish noncompliance penalties for federal agencies that fail to accurately complete their certification requirements. Political appointees of a federal department that failed to certify compliance will be denied bonus pay and overtime pay until the federal agency fixes their certification.