Tuesday, November 15, 2011

HR 822 Passes First Hurdle

HR 822, the National Right-To-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011, passed a hurdle today when the House approved H. Res. 463 by a vote of 271 to 153. House Resolution 463 provides the rule under which the debate will be conducted, any amendments that can be considered, and other procedural issues. All bills have a rule before they are considered for final passage.
Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 822 with 1 hour of general debate. Previous question shall be considered as ordered without intervening motions except motion to recommit with or without instructions. Measure will be considered read. Specified amendments are in order. The resolution waives all points of order against the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute, now printed in the bill. The resolution waives all points of order against the amendments printed in the report.
There were a number of Democrats who voted for H.Res. 463 along with all the Republicans that were present. There were no Republicans who opposed this resolution.

In the Rules Committee, they voted 8-3 along party lines not to allow an "open rule" for HR 822. An open rule would have allowed amendments to be offered from the floor of the House. By not approving an open rule, the Rules Committee made sure that opponents could not keep proposing an endless number of amendments in order to delay the bill. Moreover, it also means that the bill will be clean without the proposed amendment from some Illinois reps which would have allowed concealed carry in both D.C. and Illinois which do not currently have concealed carry.

The 10 amendments that will be considered during debate on HR 822 all come from those opposed to it. Given the number of Representatives who voted for H.Res. 463 and who co-sponsored the bill, they have virtually no chance of passing. A summary is below.

1. Woodall (GA): Would protect the rights of states that already have reciprocal agreements in place for the concealed carry of firearms to continue enforcing those preexisting agreements. (10 minutes)

2. McCarthy, Carolyn (NY): Would specify that the legislation can only go into effect in states that have passed legislation enacting the bill. (10 minutes)

3. Hastings, Alcee (FL): Would exempt states from issuing a carry permit on the basis of state reciprocity which do not require individuals to apply for and complete a carry permit application at their local law enforcement station. (10 minutes)

4. Jackson Lee (TX): Would require a state to create a comprehensive database that would contain all permits and licenses issued by the State for carrying a concealed weapon and would make this comprehensive database available to law enforcement officers from all states 24 hours a day. (10 minutes)

5. Conyers (MI): Would preserve state laws with respect to eligibility for concealed-carry. (10 minutes)

6. Johnson, Hank (GA): Would require the possession or carrying of a concealed handgun in a state to be subject to that state's law regarding concealed carry in regards to firearm safety training that includes live-fire exercise. (10 minutes)

7. Cohen (TN): Would exempt from the bill any State law requiring a person to be at least 21 years of age to possess or carry a concealed handgun. (10 minutes)

8. Jackson Lee (TX): Would require a person provide at least 24 hours notice to a law enforcement officer of the State of the intention to possess or carry a concealed handgun in the State (10 minutes)

9. Cicilline (RI): Would limit the bill from taking effect in a state until the State Attorney General, head of the State police, and the Secretary of State have jointly certified that the other state's carry laws are substantially similar to its own licensing or permitting requirements. (10 minutes)

10. Reichert (WA): Would require a GAO study on the ability of state and local law enforcement authorities to verify the validity of out-of-state concealed firearms permits. (10 minutes)
The House reconvenes tomorrow at 10am. However, the schedule for floor votes is not yet posted on the House's website. Sebastian does report it should be voted on tomorrow.

Correction: As Sebastian points out, Rob Woodall (R-GA) is not anti-gun. Moreover, Dave Reichert (R-WA) is not either. I think his concerns about the bill stem from his service in law enforcement. He was the Sheriff of King County before going to Congress. Both Woodall and Reichert voted for H.Res. 463 which is considered a vote in favor of the eventual passage of HR 822.

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