HR 38 : Federally Mandated Concealed Carry

Position: Oppose Status: In the Senate Judiciary Committee

The House, including Congressmen Schrader and Walden, voted December 6, 2017 to pass HR 38, Concealed Carry. This bill will endanger law enforcement, private citizens, and allow people who have been convicted of violent misdemeanors carry hidden, concealed guns in all states.

Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate (H.R. 38; S.B. 446) that would mandate “concealed carry reciprocity.” This means that each state would be required to honor a concealed carry permit issued by another state.

Currently, each state has its own rules about which carry permits, if any, from other states it will honor. But under concealed carry reciprocity, for example, Maryland – a state with broad discretion in granting permits – would be required to honor a permit granted by the state of Utah – a state which grants permits without discretion, even to out of state residents.

Maryland would then have to allow the Utah permit holder to carry a concealed firearm everywhere within Maryland that a local permit holder may carry.

In addition, 12 states are permitless carry states. That means untrained residents from those states who may legally possess firearms in their state could legally carry concealed firearms – without obtaining a permit – even in the other 38 states that normally require permits.

Oregon law does not require a concealed carry applicant to even touch a gun before obtaining a permit to carry a loaded, hidden gun. While some counties require hands-on training, Oregon law does not.

Over 200,000 Oregonians currently hold concealed handgun licenses and are permitted to carry loaded, hidden guns into sensitive places including public schools, graded K through 12.

Reciprocity is similar to allowing people who have never even been in a car to have drivers licenses and forcing other states to honor those licenses. Oregon state law does not require an applicant for a concealed handgun license (CHL) to even touch a gun to obtain a CHL. (Some Oregon counties do require CHL applicants to shoot a firearm before granting a CHL but Oregon state law does not.)

HR 38 does not require high standards for carrying concealed guns. We are all at higher risk of gunshot injury when untrained people carry guns.

Update


The House voted December 6 to pass HR 38, Concealed Carry. This bill will endanger law enforcement, private citizens, and allow people who have been convicted of violent misdemeanors carry hidden, concealed guns in all states.

We are taking this fight to the Senate and expect to defeat the bill there.

Oregon Congressmen Walden (R) and Schrader (D) both voted yes for the bill.
Rep. Schrader: (503) 557-1324
Rep. Walden: (541) 389-4408

Final House Vote: 231 Yea, 198 Nay, 4 Not Voting


  • Dangerous for Law Enforcement: Law enforcement groups overwhelmingly oppose federally mandated concealed carry because it would put them in a confusing and dangerous position. Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez argues that officers cannot “effectively do their jobs and ensure public safety” under this bill because there is no way for them to verify that someone is carrying lawfully. Federally mandated concealed carry essentially requires law enforcement to know the permitting standards of every state, a heavy and unnecessary burden. Most alarmingly, the bill in the House of Representatives goes so far as to open up law enforcement to the threat of personal litigation. If a law enforcement officer mistakenly questions a person’s legal authority to carry a concealed firearm, they can be sued, personally. This could have a chilling effect on law enforcement who would fear conducting a thorough investigation and enforcing our laws — two of the core responsibilities as guardians of public safety.
  • National forced concealed carry ignores the rights of states. Right now, each state has the right to determine which concealed carry permits from other states they choose to recognize. This is critical as requirements for obtaining a permit vary significantly among states. Currently there are twelve states that do not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Without a permit system, there is no way for a law enforcement officer to determine who is lawfully carrying a weapon. States with high standards for carrying a concealed weapon would have to allow people from states without permits to carry weapons in their state, even if they would otherwise be prohibited in that state.
  • Concealed handgun licenses (CHL) are not like drivers licenses.
    • U.S. drivers licenses have a minimum standard of training and education required. CHLs do not.
    • For example, Oregon CHL applicants are not required by law to even touch a gun, let alone show marksmanship proficiency, undergo live-fire training, practice active shooter training, or take a simple conflict de-escalation course. Even Texas has higher requirements than Oregon does.
    • Reciprocity endangers us all just to save some paperwork for a few.
  • Some states, like Oregon, grant the privilege of carrying a loaded, concealed firearm only to residents of that state.
    • These states do not allow people with concealed handgun licenses (CHLs) in other states to carry concealed guns in Oregon. The states have a right to determine this for themselves. This concept is called states’ rights.
    • Other states practice reciprocity meaning that State A will accept CHLs from State B if State B accepts CHLs from State A.
    • Requirements for CHLs (sometimes called “concealed carry” or “permit to carry”) differ widely from state to state.
    • The actual licenses for CHLs also differ widely, making police work even more difficult and dangerous.
  • Senate companion bill is S 446.
  • CALL your Senators now!  Tell them to vote NO on concealed carry reciprocity.  We have a handy list of phone numbers for them below. Not in Oregon? Find your legislators here. Tell them to vote NO on HR 38.
  • Oregon Federal Senators:
  • Senator Ron Wyden: (503) 326-7525 (Thank Senator Wyden for opposing S. 446, the Senate version of this bill.)
  • Senator Jeff Merkley: (503)  326-3386 (Thank Senator Merkley for opposing S. 446, the Senate version of this bill.)
  • Oregon Congressional Delegation:
  • Rep. Suzanne Bonamici: (503) 469-6010 (Thank Rep. Bonamici for opposing this bill, HR 38)
  • Rep. Greg Walden: (541) 389-4408 (Tell Rep. Walden you are disappointed that he is endangering Oregon law enforcement and our families by cosponoring HR 38.)
  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer: (503) 231-2300 (Thank Rep. Blumenauer for opposing this bill, HR 38.)
  • Rep. Peter DeFazio: (541) 465-6732 (Ask Rep. DeFazio for his position on HR 38.)
  • Rep. Kurt Schrader: (503) 557-1324 (Ask Rep, Schrader for his position on HR 38.)