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News > National > House Passes Bill To Make It Easier To Carry Handgun Across State Lines

House Passes Bill To Make It Easier To Carry Handgun Across State Lines

The bill would require states that currently don't recognize Indiana's concealed carry permit, like Illinois, to recognize it.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Indiana is one of 32 states where you can can visit the state and carry a handgun if you have a concealed carry license from your home state. However, 18 other states in the union and the District of Columbia are not as welcoming.

A bill being voted on today in the U.S. House of Representatives looks to change that. It's called the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill.

"The bill says, if a state offers a concealed carry licence or permit to its own residents, then they would have to recognize the license or permit issued by any other state for visitors to there state," says Guy Relford, a gun rights attorney on Indiana Outdoors.

Second amendment advocates, like Relford, argue that gun owners should not lose their right to bear arms as they travel across state lines. 

Relford says there are 32 states in the union that recognize, or give "reciprocity" to, the Indiana license to carry a handgun. What the bill would do is require the other 18 states that don't to do the same. 

According to Reflord, a perfect example of this is Illinois. 

"Illinois gives some protections for having a handgun in the car," Relford said. "But if you're going to Terre Haute and miss your exit and cross into Illinois, and maybe you stop to get gas, you are a felon because Illinois does not recognize the Indiana license to carry a handgun."

Even though the law would require the state you're visiting to recognize your Indiana handgun license, it would also mean that you have to abide by the state's gun laws. The bill would also update background check practices for purchasing a handgun, a measure which has drawn bipartisan support.

The House passed the bill Wednesday to send it to the Senate where Relford says it will be a tougher challenge, since 60 votes will be needed for its passage. This means the bill will need at least eight Democrats to break ranks, considering all 52 Republicans vote "yes."

(PHOTO: marianvejcik/Thinkstock)

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