The gun lobby’s top priorities enjoy wide support in Congress. On December 6, 2017, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This legislation was a top priority of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and, if enacted into law, would cause a race to the bottom on gun safety standards. The Senate is expected to take up this same bill this year. We can’t let that happen.
Under this legislation, states would be required to recognize other states’ standards governing the possession of concealed firearms in public. This means that even though one state may have stringent regulations such as a permit or training requirement, that state would have to allow people from other states with lower standards - with perhaps no permit or training required at all - to carry concealed firearms without following the more stringent regulations.
This legislation would deprive states and localities from fully determining the appropriate gun safety protocols for their communities, and would allow the lowest common denominator to prevail. This will make concealed and loaded firearms more readily available at lower safety standards, raising the risk of gun violence for everyone.
For those reasons, every major law enforcement association opposes this bill because of its potentially disastrous implications for public safety. After all, this legislation would make it easier for more dangerous people, like stalkers, domestic abusers, and people who have committed violent crimes to carry loaded, concealed guns in more public places. This makes the risk of violence more imminent for all of us.
The bill is next poised for a vote in the Senate sometime in 2018, where it has a real chance of being stopped.
The bill would need 60 votes to pass, so Republicans can’t do it alone. It’s now up to Democratic senators - will they side with the NRA to give Trump a victory? Or will they stand strong against gun violence and reject the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act?
SAMPLE CALL SCRIPT
Caller: I’m disturbed that H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act passed the House, and it’s essential that the Senate stop it from becoming law. Will [Senator] commit to voting against this bill when it comes to the Senate?
Staffer: Thank you for reaching out and sharing your concerns. The Senator will evaluate the legislation and make a decision at the time it comes up.
Caller: I’d like to see the Senator commit immediately to opposing this legislation. Particularly in light of the devastating mass shootings we’ve seen recently, it’s as important as ever not to weaken gun safety standards, and prevent firearms from falling into dangerous hands. This is why every major law enforcement agency has opposed this bill.
Staffer: I’ll be sure to relay your concerns to the Senator.
Caller: Please do, I’ll be monitoring [his/her] statements and following up if I don’t see a commitment to oppose the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.