It's no secret California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, but a new bill making its way through Congress could drastically change how the state can enforce those laws, while also making it easier for California residents to get a concealed carry permit.
The bill -- the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act -- will require each state to recognize concealed carry permits from every other state, even states that don't require concealed carry permits.
"This is a huge change for California," Sam Paredes, the Executive Director of the Gun Owners of California, a lobbying group that is promoting the bill, told ABC10. "Now, residents of 49 states and Washington D.C. will be able to carry concealed fire arms in the state of California if they have a CCW or they reside in one of the constitutional carry states where the government does not require them to have a permit to legally carry."
The bill, if passed, would also allow Californians to apply for a concealed carry permit in states that offer permits to non-state residents -- meaning more Californians will be able to get permits.
"They can apply for a permit in Utah, Florida Nevada multiple states where they can get a valid in the state of California," Paredes explained, "And there's nothing that anybody can do about it in the state of California to prevent that from happening."
Gun control advocates are adamantly opposed to the bill.
In a statement, the California chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said. "California has MUCH to lose if HR 38 becomes federal law. Our state has strong safety training and permitting requirements regarding who can carry a loaded, hidden gun in public."
They added, "HR 38 would force California to recognize concealed carry standards from every other state, even from those with dramatically weaker standards or no permitting and background check requirements at all.”
The House of Representatives is set to vote on the bill on Wednesday.