Today we announced in Politico that for the first time, and as part of a full-force campaign, Everytown for Gun Safety will score a Congressional vote on the NRA’s top legislative priority: “Concealed Carry Reciprocity.”
As you know, right now, America has varying laws across states when it comes to who can carry concealed weapons in public. Some states have high standards; others do not. Twelve states do not even require a permit to carry hidden, loaded guns in public.
“Concealed Carry Reciprocity” would make Americans less safe, as states would be forced to recognize the concealed carry standards of every other state, no matter how low (or nonexistent) those standards. In other words, it would make the weakest link the law of the land and force states to allow domestic abusers, convicted stalkers, people with violent histories, and people who lack even the most basic gun safety training to carry concealed guns in public.
To be clear, this chaotic and dangerous policy would not create a national standard for who can carry guns in public across our country. In fact, it would do nothing to help prevent gun violence. The American public does not support it – 88 percent support requiring safety training and a clean criminal record to carry a concealed gun. Nevertheless, “Concealed Carry Reciprocity” is the gun lobby’s dream. The NRA tried (and failed) to pass this policy in Congress multiple times before, and we have successfully defeated it in the past.
Now we – Everytown and Moms Demand Action, together the counterweight to the NRA – are mounting a full campaign to ensure this dangerous legislation fails again. That means activating our 50-state grassroots network of more than three million supporters to hold their elected officials accountable – and investing financially in this long-term battle all the way through to the 2018 elections and beyond.
This past November, we held Sen. Kelly Ayotte accountable for her 2013 vote against background checks following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook. Ayotte lost her seat, after Everytown mobilized our grassroots base, New Hampshire Moms Demand Action, and spent money alongside other groups like Americans for Responsible Solutions to remind voters that Ayotte defied 80 percent of her constituents when she voted against a simple background check bill. That was just one part of the more than $25 million we spent last cycle, when gun safety’s victories represented the silver lining of the 2016 elections.
Now, we are prepared to spend what it takes to defeat “Concealed Carry Reciprocity.” Everytown and Moms Demand Action volunteers are already writing to their elected officials, making phone calls, and showing up at town halls to voice their opposition to this dangerous legislation.
We know how to be the David to the NRA’s Goliath. Over the last couple years, we have taken them on and won in statehouses across the country. Defeating “Concealed Carry Reciprocity” is now our main national priority, and we are putting Washington on notice that we will bring the same investment of resources and grassroots power to the fight against it.