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Washington, D.C. -- In an effort to remove burdensome red tape that limits the ability of legal concealed carry permit holders to carry concealed firearms into other states that allow them, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is sponsoring the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2012, which has the backing of the National Rifle Association. 

Under the legislation, an individual with a valid ID and concealed carry permit would be allowed to carry a concealed handgun into any state that allows residents to carry concealed firearms. 

“This commonsense legislation would cut down on the layers of regulations facing law-abiding Americans who have the right to own guns and use them responsibly,” Senator Manchin said. “If we can streamline and simplify some of our rules governing gun ownership, everybody wins – especially the 65,000 West Virginians who hold concealed carry permits.” 

The legislation also says an individual who is ineligible for a concealed carry permit in his or her state would not be allowed to obtain an out-of-state permit in a state with less restrictive eligibility requirements, and use that permit to carry a concealed handgun in his or her state.

The Senate bill, endorsed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), is also sponsored by Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska). A similar bill passed the House last year with a vote of 272-164.

The executive director for the NRA’s Institute for Legislation Action, Chris Cox, praised the Senators for introducing the bill and said it is critical to protect Second Amendment rights.

"Over the last two decades, the NRA has led the way toward a brick-by-brick restoration of self-defense laws throughout the country. National Right-to-Carry reciprocity is yet another step forward for law-abiding Americans," said Chris W. Cox, executive director for NRA's Institute for Legislative Action. "Citizens aren't immune from crime when they cross state lines, so it is only reasonable that they have an effective means of protecting themselves and their loved ones while in other states. The introduction of S. 2188 is a significant step forward in the ongoing effort to improve self-defense laws in this country."

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