In case you missed it, the International Association of Chiefs of Police wrote a letter to Congressional leaders reaffirming its opposition to the NRA’s number one legislative priority, “concealed carry reciprocity,” which would undermine state gun laws and make it easy for people with dangerous histories and no training to carry hidden, loaded handguns across the country. The letter was signed by 473 police officials from 39 states. The “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act,” which passed the House in December, has now been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. A Senate version of the policy (S. 446) has also been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“The letter from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, representing 18,000 police departments across the United States and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, targets the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act,” which passed the House in December and is now assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The letter is endorsed by 473 police officials from 39 states, from large departments such as Los Angeles and Atlanta to small departments such as Spanish Fork, Utah, and Falls Church, Va.
“This legislation,” the letter states, “is a dangerous encroachment on individual state efforts to protect public safety, and it would effectively nullify duly enacted state laws and hamper law enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence.”
Right now, every state has different standards for who can carry a concealed gun in public. “Concealed carry reciprocity” would not create a national standard for who can carry a hidden, loaded gun in public. Instead, it would force each state to accept the concealed carry standards of every other state, even states that have weak standards, or worse, no standards at all.
“On concealed weapons, states issue permits to individual gun owners to carry concealed weapons, and different states have different criteria for issuing the permits. Some states require training and proof of proficiency, while some states require no qualifications. Some states recognize the permits of certain other states, but many do not. And a dozen states now have ‘constitutional carry,’ meaning weapons can be concealed without a permit.
“The bill in Congress, described by the National Rifle Association as its ‘highest legislative priority,’ would require all states simply to recognize the permits of all other states, regardless of the conditions imposed by individual states for obtaining the permits.
“‘There are 50 states, and everybody has their own take on this,’ [Springfield, Mo., Police Chief Paul] Williams said. ‘To try to take that patchwork of laws that are already in place and say we’re going to do a one-size-fits-all, I don’t know how you do it. I fear there will be misunderstandings and confrontations between the public and law enforcement officers tasked with upholding this law, and it’s just a terrible idea.’”
This letter adds to the widespread opposition from our nation’s law enforcement community and mayors. The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, which includes the International Association of Chiefs of Police and many of the nation’s largest law enforcement organizations, and the bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors have also opposed concealed carry reciprocity. Additionally, a group of seventeen state attorneys general released a letter opposing the policy. The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys also wrote a letter to Congress urging them to oppose the legislation.
More information about the proposed legislation to gut state gun laws is available here. If you have additional questions about this dangerous legislation, don’t hesitate to reach out.