A Dangerous Threat to Public Safety
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed and the Senate will soon consider the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, a proposal that would actually make it legal for more dangerous and untrained people to carry loaded, hidden guns in more public places. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act creates a dangerous threat to public safety by forcing states with strong concealed carry laws to honor permits from states with weak or non-existent concealed carry laws.
Standards for issuing permits to allow people to carry loaded, hidden guns in public are dangerously lax in many states—12 states do not even require a permit to carry concealed firearms. This legislation forces states with strong gun laws to comply with weak laws from other states, endangering public safety, and making it substantially more difficult for police to enforce gun laws that are proven to save lives.
Fact Sheet: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (S. 446)
Statement: Gabby Giffords on the House Vote to Approve Concealed Carry Reciprocity
OpEd: Mark Kelly Calls on Congress to Oppose Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Eroding States’ Rights
Right now, each state has the right to determine which concealed carry permits from other states they choose to recognize. This is critical as requirements for obtaining a permit vary significantly among states. Currently, there are 12 states that do not require a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Without a permit system, there is no way for a law enforcement officer to determine who is lawfully carrying a weapon. States with high standards for carrying a concealed weapon would have to allow people from states without permits to carry weapons in their state, even if they would otherwise be prohibited in that state.
To illustrate how this bill will impact specific states, Giffords released a series of state fact sheets that show how the bill would weaken each state’s current laws if enacted:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
Law Enforcement Opposes Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Law enforcement groups overwhelmingly oppose federally mandated concealed carry because it would put them in a confusing and dangerous position. Under this bill, there is no way for officers to easily verify that someone is carrying lawfully because officers would be essentially required to know the permitting standards of every state, a heavy and unnecessary burden. Most alarmingly, the bill in the House of Representatives goes so far as to open up law enforcement to the threat of personal litigation. If a law enforcement officer mistakenly questions a person’s legal authority to carry a concealed firearm, they can be personally sued.
Letters from law enforcement calling on Congress to oppose concealed carry reciprocity
- Statement from the Major Cities Chiefs (December 4, 2017)
- Statement from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (December 5, 2017)
- Letter to Congress from 17 State Attorney General (October 22, 2017)
- Letter to Congress from the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence (July 7, 2017)
- Letter to Congress from the Giffords Law Enforcement Coalition (November 28, 2017)
From law enforcement speaking out against concealed carry reciprocity:
- Lawmakers must listen to law enforcement on dangerous gun bills — by Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus (Arizona Daily Star)
- Gun Bills Risk State’s Rights, Public Safety — by Retired Detective Sergeant and Montana Gun Owner Judith Heilman (Billings Gazette)
- Lawmakers must have the courage to oppose concealed-carry proposal — By Retired Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Our police officers need protection from gun violence too — By Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (The Hill)
From legal experts speaking out against concealed carry reciprocity
- Doing the Gun Lobby’s Bidding — By Laura Cutilletta and Matthew Miller |
- Column: Concealed-carry reciprocity would be bad for Florida — By Andrew Warren, Tampa District Attorney
Mounting Opposition to Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Recent polling found that nearly 9 out of 10 American gun owners—about 88 percent—support laws requiring a permit to carry a concealed gun and organizations concerned about public safety have been spending letters to Congress, calling on elected leaders to reject the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.
Letters from organizations calling on Congress to oppose concealed carry reciprocity
- American Bar Association (July 20, 2017)
- American Federation of Teachers (November 28, 2017)
- Amnesty International USA (November 28, 2017)
- Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (November 27, 2017)
- Baltimore Police Department (December 6, 2017)
17 Attorneys General (October 22, 2017)
- Faiths United To Prevent Gun Violence (November 30, 2017)
- Law Enforcement Coalition (November 27, 2017)
Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence (July 7, 2017)
- Statement from the Major Cities Chiefs (December 4, 2017)
- National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence (November 28, 2017)
- Third Way (December 1, 2017)
- U.S. Conference of Mayors (July 23, 2017)
- Senate Bill: Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (S. 446)
- House Bill: Federally Mandated Concealed Carry Reciprocity (H.R. 38)
- Bill Comparison: Comparing S. 446 and H.R. 38
Additional Resources from Giffords
- Federally Mandated Concealed Carry Reciprocity (H.R. 38): This fact sheet provides a summary of H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.
- FACT CHECK: Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s false statement on concealed carry reciprocity: Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s opening remarks for the committee markup were full of misleading information and outright lies. We corrected the record.
- 7 Myths About Concealed Carry, Debunked: Here are 7 myths about concealed carry reciprocity the gun lobby wants you to believe, and the facts that bust them.
- What’s Training Got To Do With It: This post explains how training standards for concealed firearms permits vary dramatically from state to state.