Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) made headlines last week with the introduction of the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015, a bill that would allow licensed concealed carry permit holders to carry firearms in any state that has concealed carry laws on the books.
Since all 50 states have some type of issuing standard, it would mean universal concealed carry reciprocity.
Not surprisingly, pro-gun control lawmakers and activists were quick to criticize the measure, often claiming that it wound endanger public safety.
“This bill is a menace to New York and would allow potentially dangerous people from other states to carry concealed weapons in our grocery stores, movie theaters and stadiums, without even notifying the police,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told the New York Daily News.
“It is a nightmare for our law enforcement officers and the community, and I will fight this legislation tooth and nail,” he continued.
Likewise, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety John Feinblatt complained that the bill “would create a lowest common denominator that makes the weakest state requirements the law of the land.
“This bill is evil and dangerous,” added Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
In an effort to find out more about why gun-control advocates oppose the measure, I reached out to Ladd Everitt, the communications director for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
S.H. Blannelberry: First off, do you support it?
Ladd Everitt: No.
S.H. Blannelberry: Under what conditions would you support national CCW, if any?
Ladd Everitt: The devil is in the details. It would greatly depend on the required screening/training presented in the bill. We see Senator Cornyn’s bill as a race to the bottom in terms of standards. Generally, however, we feel permitting of this nature is best handled at the state/local level. Different states experience the problem of gun violence differently.
S.H. Blannelberry: Do you believe there is any chance that it will clear Congress?
Ladd Everitt: Past votes in the Senate have been close and there’s no reason to expect it wouldn’t be close again this time. Both sides will be counting votes and lobbying Senators.
As I argued Tuesday, I believe that national concealed carry reciprocity is inevitable, whether it comes via a federal bill or happens organically as courts and judges continue to remind state Legislatures that our Second Amendment rights extend by the home and into the public square. Over time, states will have to accept that just as our First Amendment right to free speech is not limited when we travel from one state to the next, our right to keep and bear arms must also be preserved and protected.
What are your thoughts on this bill?