US House passes bill to loosen gun restrictions
Washington: The US House of Representatives has approved a legislation loosening gun regulations and allowing those with permits to carry concealed weapons to legally travel with those firearms to other states.
The bill passed on Wednesday mostly along party lines, 231-198, with six Democrats supporting the first major firearms-related bill Congress has voted on since the massacres in Las Vegas and Texas earlier this year, reports CNN.
Fourteen Republicans opposed the legislation and argued that Americans’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms should not end when they cross state lines.
“The Bill of Rights is not a philosophical exercise,” Georgia Representative Doug Collins, who personally had a concealed carry permit for what described as self-defence reasons.
“I don’t think that right should be undermined simply because I travel to another state.”
Democrats angrily denounced the legislation, known as “concealed carry reciprocity”.
Under the House legislation, people with permits for carrying concealed handguns could do so in any state that allows concealed weapons, reports The Hill magazine.
People can only use their concealed-carry permits in other states that allow the practice if they are carrying a valid government-issued photo ID and are lawfully licensed to possess a concealed handgun. They would still have to adhere to established state and local laws.
Concealed-carry reciprocity is a top legislative priority for the National Rifle Association (NRA), which has resisted proposals to restrict access to guns in response to mass shootings.
US states have varying requirements for carrying concealed weapons, like gun safety training, age limits and prohibitions on individuals known to have abusive pasts.