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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

House Weighs Bill to Make Gun Permits Valid Across State Lines

Lawmakers are considering a House bill that would give Americans who hold permits to carry firearms in their home states the right to carry their weapons across state lines.

Although many states have entered into voluntary agreements, there is no nationwide framework for honoring permits and licenses uniformly. A bipartisan bill, co-authored by Reps. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., and Heath Shuler, D-N.C., aims to change that.

Supporters say the measure would not create a federal licensing system, but would require that all states recognize lawfully issued permits -- regardless of where they were issued. Gun rights advocacy groups say it's the only way to make sure that lawful gun owners' Second Amendment rights are guaranteed when they travel away from their home states.

But opponents say the bill tramples on each state's autonomy to set the standards legislators believe are necessary to confront local problems. Foes also said that the law could allow violent offenders to hold on to their weapons.

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