The National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38) is gaining traction with more than 150 co-sponsors, although there do not appear to be any co-sponsors from Oregon and only two representatives from neighboring Washington are on the list so far.
Gun owners in the Evergreen and Beaver States might wonder “what’s up with that?” There are tens of thousands of Oregonians who are licensed to carry concealed. As of Feb. 1, there were more than 574,000 Washington active concealed pistol licenses, which adds up to roughly 10 percent of the adult population. About 20 percent of those CPL holders are women.
Who speaks for all of these armed Northwest citizens on Capitol Hill? Joe Waldron, legislative director for the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, writes in the March issue of Point Blank, the CCRKBA member newsletter, that now is the time for people to contact their member of Congress and urge him/her to sign on.
As of this morning, Washington Republicans Dan Newhouse (4th District) and Jaime Herrera Buetler (3rd District) were on the list.
National concealed carry reciprocity has a decent chance of moving in the Republican-controlled Congress. On the campaign trail, President Donald Trump indicated support for the idea, and the GOP could push this legislation as a way of demonstrating to the nation’s gun owners, who turned out in good numbers in November, that their support was important.
Many states already have reciprocity agreements, but a national measure would recognize that American citizens do not leave their Second Amendment right, or the right of self-defense at the state line. It might also send a message to mangers of public and private facilities that the sun is setting on the day of the so-called “gun-free zone.”
That brings the focus around to Spokane, where Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich was “flabbergasted Saturday night” when security officers prohibited him from entering the Spokane Chiefs game because he was armed, according to KAYU/Fox 28 News.
Some gun rights activists might tell Knezovich “Welcome to the party.” Legally-armed private citizens are prohibited from carrying their personal sidearms into public facilities around the state. This is all done in the interest of “public safety,” but who better than the county sheriff to defend the public in the event of a criminal act?
Knezovich pegged it in a remark to the station: “This is bureaucracy and bureaucrats run wild. I’ve never seen anything quite like this.” Maybe the sheriff hasn’t been looking very hard.