This weekend I’ll be taking a road trip from Seattle to LA.

I’ll be packing all the usual things one takes on a trip: smart phone, charger, clothes, toothbrush… and my Glock 17 gen 4.

I’ve only been carrying my Glock for a short while and I’m still familiarizing myself with the weapon. But, I feel that it would be prudent for me to take my firearm with me since I’m a 5’2 woman driving down the pacific coast by myself to a big city that’s unfamiliar to me.

Most reasonable people would think it perfectly natural for a woman traveling alone to want to have some insurance for her safety; In this case my insurance is the Glock.

There’s only one problem: even though I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon in my home state of Washington, my permit is not recognized by the state of the California or Oregon.

Even though I passed multiple background checks, first to get my CCW and then again to purchase my firearm, those still will not satisfy California or Oregon.

Nope, in order for me to conceal carry in these states, legally, because I care about such things being a law-abiding citizen and all, I would have go through the process of obtaining a CCW all over again, according to their standards, because unlike with a driver license or a marriage license there is no such thing as national reciprocity.

That’s exactly what the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (hereafter known as the CCRA) will remedy should it pass in the Senate. It has already passed the House with a vote of 231 to 198, closely along party lines.

The bill will face a much harder battle in the Senate where Republicans only hold a 52 vote majority.

Before we lose ourselves in the swampy waters of politics, let’s back up for a minute. What exactly is national reciprocity?

When you obtain a driver’s license, proving you can safely operate a motor vehicle in one state than you are legally permitted to drive in any state.

However, that is currently not the case with carrying a gun. The problem that law-abiding citizens face when it comes to carrying responsibly,  is that every single state has different regulations. While these regulations themselves  are subject to change at the drop of a hat.  

It is incredibly daunting  for gun owners to try and keep up with all this ever-shifting legislation.

You practically have to get your paralegal degree in order to make sure that you’re not breaking any laws.

Back to the trip I am going on:  

It may seem like a whole lot of fuss over nothing to someone who isn’t a gun owner or who is a gun control advocate. But the ability, or more to the point, the freedom, to be able to legally carry my firearm across state lines, without the fear of maybe becoming a felon because I overlooked a regulation, will make me feel a lot safer when I travel.

Every American should have the right to take their safety into their owns hands, regardless of whether they’re in their home state or traveling across the country. Thanks to the GOP passing the CCRA in the House we’re one step closer to making that a reality.

Now it’s up to the Senate to support the right of law abiding citizens to exercise their 2nd amendment rights freely.