When I came to Congress nearly 13 months ago, I committed my unwavering support for all Americans’ Second Amendment right to bear arms. As this year comes to a close, I was proud to maintain my commitment by voting to pass legislation which upholds that right and will put an end to the confusion faced by more than 16 million law-abiding Americans with concealed carry permits. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 accomplishes these goals.

Without the provisions of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act in place, Kentuckians who are licensed to carry a concealed firearm in the Commonwealth and wish to visit another state must check to see if reciprocity is granted in every state they plan to cross into. If a mistake is made during their research process, an individual could break the law in another state.

For example, if you live in Kentucky and cross the state line into Tennessee, reciprocity applies, but if you cross the line into Illinois, a separate set of rules apply. That approach is confusing for legal gun owners and creates a patchwork set of gun laws.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act changes this. It simply says that if you can legally carry a concealed firearm in your home state, you can do the same in any other state so long as you follow that state’s concealed carry laws. This is a common-sense approach that reinforces the principle that the Second Amendment doesn’t end at the state line.

Our Founding Fathers enshrined our right to bear arms with the Second Amendment. Today, gun control advocates attempt to place restrictions on this right. I agree that dangerous criminals should not have firearms, but we must be vigilant to ensure wrongdoers do not infringe upon the rights of law-abiding Americans.

As I said, when I came to Congress I made a firm commitment to fight for the Second Amendment rights of not just Kentuckians, but all law-abiding Americans. I believe the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act eliminates the patchwork of red tape created by varying state laws, and I am one of many individuals and groups who have advocated for this common-sense legislation. The National Rifle Association, to name one important group, agrees with concealed carry reciprocity and has made this legislation a priority for their organization for years.

I’m proud the National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act was one of the first bills I cosponsored this Congress as a member of the Second Amendment Caucus. I’m also proud to see this bill, which protects the rights of gun owners, advance through the House of Representatives and I look forward to its timely consideration in the Senate.

Rep. James Comer is a United States Congressman for the First Congressional District, which spans from south central Kentucky to the river counties of far western Kentucky. Contact him with any questions or concerns in his Washington D.C. office at (202) 225-3115, in the Tompkinsville Regional Office at (270) 487-9509, in the Paducah Regional Office at (270) 408-1865, or schedule an appointment in the Madisonville Office by calling (270) 487-9509.