Shannon Watts Opposes National Concealed Carry But Isn’t ‘Anti-Gun’

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which is now, along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, part of the Everytown for Gun Safety coalition.

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which is now, along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, part of the Everytown for Gun Safety coalition.

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said in a recent interview that she’s “not anti-gun” but that her organization doesn’t support a national concealed-carry reciprocity bill.

“With rights come responsibilities and the NRA is trying to create an America without responsibility,” she told the Daily Camera, noting that her members support “common sense” measures.

When it comes to a national concealed carry reciprocity bill, what can be more common sense than that?

Okay, maybe a national Constitutional Carry standard, one that doesn’t require a permit at all to exercise one’s right to keep and bear arms, but apart from that, what makes more sense than allowing licensed gun owners to carry across state lines without worrying about becoming instant criminals?

See, national reciprocity not only keeps gun owners safe from being ensnared in draconian laws cooked up by anti-gun municipalities, but it makes the country as a whole safer. Fewer gun-free zones equal fewer soft targets for mass killers, criminals, and drug dealers. That’s common sense!

Yet, Watts doesn’t see it that way. She believes that full reciprocity would be a threat to public safety.

“Some states are incredibly strict,” explained Watts. “There’s never been a federal agreement on what that standard should be and the NRA wants it to be the lowest common denominator.”

As an example, she said, somebody could buy a gun in a lenient state and then take it into Times Square, where New York has some of the tightest laws.

That raises an obvious point, what’s wrong with carrying a firearm into Times Square for self-defense? Criminals already carry all over NYC. Would it really be that big of a deal if a law-abiding citizen carried as well? In fact, wouldn’t common sense suggest that we want more responsible citizens carrying in places where the criminal element faces almost zero armed resistance from the public at large?

Even permit holders from the most lenient states are infinitely better than no armed resistance at all.  Right?

Watts is correct in saying that rights come with responsibilities. But at the same time, rights are rights. We have a codified right to keep and bear arms — bear as in carry them! That’s not subject to infringement. Yet, one can argue, we’ve already infringed on that right by allowing states to concoct concealed-carry permitting systems in first place.

All these different state-run systems function in a way to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals.  With a patchwork of concealed-carry standards that honor some states and don’t honor others, we’re consenting to the notion that one’s legal standing as it pertains to their Constitutionally-protected right to carry is a simple question of geography.  Oh, you’re carrying a concealed firearm in Tennessee.  That’s okay, Tenessee honors your permit.  Oh, you’re carrying in Times Square — oops, you’re a criminal!

If you ask me, our 2A right comes with responsibility — the responsibility to ensure that the government doesn’t infringe upon it.  We’ve already dropped the ball to a degree.  A national concealed-carry reciprocity bill would be a good start to getting us back on track.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Uncle Dave December 16, 2016, 9:06 pm

    So, I can DRIVE in every state with the license I was tested for, and passed… But if I am tested for, and pass, for a license for a CCW that’s a whole different set of rules… HUH???
    I guess I lost the “common sense” part of that somewhere…!

  • Hockeyboy December 16, 2016, 8:11 pm

    Watts is so anti gun. She opposes your right to conceal carry across state lines. That’s an anti gun ploy if there ever was one. I say, a law abiding citizen should be able to carry for protection, where ever they may roam, inside the USA. End of discussion.

  • Mike Watkins December 16, 2016, 4:51 pm

    Note to self:

    Shannon Watts. Another idiot I would gladly ignore if it wasn’t for the danger she poses to my rights.

    Solution: Do not ignore, but do not pay inordinate attention to, either. Class with Hillary, Barry, Kerry, Reid, Pelosi, Soros, et al.

    End of note.

  • Patriot December 16, 2016, 12:37 pm

    Do not believe that Shannon Watts is not “anti-gun”. She is anti-gun unless you follow her demands regarding National Concealed Carry which would be rediculous. No doubt whatsoever that she voted for Hillary and the anti-gun Dems. She is obviously trying to remain in her anti-gun position until the Dems are resurrected and then do all she can to support more laws to deny Second Amendment rights.

    • deanbob December 16, 2016, 12:43 pm

      Ask Shannon how many gun safety courses she has sponsored.

    • Mike Loveall December 16, 2016, 2:57 pm


      • Outlaw December 23, 2016, 2:15 am

        The one Bloomberg paid to have lifted off her.

  • Jay December 16, 2016, 12:02 pm

    For those people that have been trained on to get their CCW, a national reciprocity permit makes complete sense. More people are killed in car accidents than guns, yet a drivers license has national reciprocity? The drivers test and license was much easier to obtain than a CCW permit.Your opinion is welcome, but to tell someone how and when to protect themselves is none of your business.

  • Leighton Cavendish December 16, 2016, 10:50 am

    Yeah…and Hitler wasn’t anti-Jew….right?
    Maybe if the group got busy trying to confiscate the guns from criminals, thugs and gangs…I might believe they were after more than a total gun ban.
    Work for tougher enforcement of current laws…especially straw purchases by family members of criminals.
    Work for longer sentences for gun crimes…and no early releases or pardons.
    Maybe fund mental health to help prevent all the gun suicides…60% of gun deaths each year.

  • KimberproSS December 16, 2016, 10:35 am

    Having a National Right to Carry, reciprocity doesn’t really increase the number of people on the street carrying firearms. It does in locations that currently don’t allow them probably. Those that carry, are doing so in their legal locations now, so why not elsewhere. What this will solve is the innocent law abiding citizen that has a firearm with them in a location that prohibits and are caught with it. They have the book thrown at them, maybe labeled as a felon with their right to bear revoked, all because they failed to learn the laws in the unfamiliar location. It is a confusing puzzle now.

    I hunt in various states. When I pass through the Peoples Republic of Illinois, I am always nervous. Even if you do everything right, it is going to be expensive and possibly very punitive. That should be stopped.

  • blh557 December 16, 2016, 10:06 am

    The cogent point is that despite what some have said, even in this string, licensed carriers are less likely to committ any crime than even police officers. MP, above, seems to intimate that everyone carrying wants to get into a fight and shoot it out. If that were so, as anti-gunners have continually argued, there’d be as many deaths by firearm as by automobile, prescription medication mistakes, and drunk drivers. BTW, MP, you must have been reading too much Huffpo if you think gun owners and carriers think like you’ve stated. Sheesh.

    As Mr. Korwin states in another post, I think the issue we as gun owners and carriers must address is that of criminality for bearing our personal property with us, no matter what that personal property is. If we are not committing a CRIME we should not be charged with a CRIME even in places like Washington, DC, New York, Boston, or any of the other bastions of “law and order” that don’t permit law-abiding people to live peacefully. The simple existence of a firearm (or spent cartridge case as in Washignton, DC) does not indicate the commission of a crime any more than a person who happens to be carrying a prescription medication, even though those same prescription meds cause many more deaths than guns on a yearly basis.

    What the law muct do, in order to be effective, as Mr. Korwin has stated, is protect the LAW ABIDING CARRIER and not simply “allow” them to carry at the behest, benevolence, and beholdence of the “state”.

    Just my 2% of a dollar.


    • Mike December 16, 2016, 10:47 am

      Why should anyone have to seek permission to go about prepared to protect themselves and their family?

  • Diamon47 December 16, 2016, 9:50 am

    National right to carry should not be approved unless it gives us the right to carry in EVERY state and not let states like New York opt out. If opting out is allowed the law is just another useless exercise.

  • MP December 16, 2016, 8:51 am

    The “Criminals carry- so it’s better to have more good guys walking around with guns” argument is, to my mind, waaaaay too simplistic and binary.

    That argument seems to imply that criminals are criminals, and good guys are good guys, and most importantly, seems to imply that truly good guys with guns can do no wrong. In this fantasy they wear white hats and exist solely to foil those evil doers amongst us – and the good guys never miss center mass and the raghead with an AK that appears out of the subway will be gunned down so fast he literally won’t know what hit him and the good guys who did it will spit on his body and congratulate each other on their marksmanship. “Did you hit ‘m in the left eye or was that me?” “Naw. I aimed for the right.” “Nice shootin’, Tex”

    The problem is, it seems like few people on this board have combat experience. The fantasy is SO far from the reality.

    Those who speak of training are speaking the language of responsible carry. You have to constantly be applying principles of perfect practice – we fall to the level of our training, not our ability.

    It seems like the gun community has a shared delusion of inherent “ability” under duress. It just ain’t so- and a Nation of untrained Concealed Carriers actually terrifies the shit outta me.

    • Outlaw December 23, 2016, 2:23 am

      People who are as ignorant as you scare the shit out of me. You have no ability to judge anyone’s ability other than your own. For everyone that has minimal training there is another who trains more than your average cop ever thought about. Any competent instructor will tell students that a license is “only the beginning.” We all can’t be Navy Seals but then the Seals can’t be everywhere.

  • John December 16, 2016, 7:51 am

    Who the Hell cares what SW thinks?! She’s a fool!

  • jadwinjim December 16, 2016, 7:45 am

    If you are a TARD, it matters little what state you are in, since the only thing that matters is the state of mind, not the state of the country.

  • DEFENDER December 16, 2016, 5:21 am

    Yes to “Bear Arms” is a “right”.

    But I believe if you are going to do this in public you should also be responsible enough to be trained in how to shoot in public and minimize the danger of injury to innocent people. My experience is that most do not want to take the time, effort or money to get the training to be able to do this without putting “everyone” in even more danger. Some states require at least some training and shooting qualification for a permit to carry – I know, not required by the 2nd Amend but we need to get real about how dangerous shooting in public can be especially for the untrained. I, for one, don’t want untrained people blazing away in public. And the states have different training/qualifying standards. Some good, some bad to none. SO – I recommend a National standard for a National Carry Permit. Based on some standard on Self Defense shooting training, etc – the NRA can help here. This would help allay fears of the public in concealed carry, and also help the NRA and NRA Instructors. This would also help with the problem of accidental shootings in homes, children shooting each other, etc. ie be good all the way around. Yes you would have to get some training – how is that a bad thing??
    We do it for Driver Licensing and it works.
    We can and should do it for guns.

    • Ed December 16, 2016, 8:06 am

      I’m glad you mentioned driver’s licensing. it is interesting that the supreme court has basically ruled that a driver’s license is not required if you are traveling on the public roads on your own personal business as the free person you are. google it. there are several articles and rulings supporting the premise that we as free people have the right to travel the public roads no license required.

      also there are way more deaths from cars than guns especially if you take away suicides and justifiable homicides from the gun death numbers.

      we have the right to bear arms. no fees or licensing required. the debate has been had and the framers decided the 2A shall not be infringed.

      • Doug December 16, 2016, 11:36 am

        Ed, thanks for that little tidbit. Looking it up now!

      • DEFENDER December 17, 2016, 5:08 am

        ps Where I am “coming from”.
        I am an NRA, State and Fed Certified Instructor(Retired volunteer) and Competition Shooter(Combat Pistol/Rifle, 3 Gun).
        I have been in 3 real gun fights and survived all.
        I am a Strong supporter of the 2nd Amend.
        And don’t want to change “It”.
        But I also believe certain rights bring on certain responsibilities.
        We have the right to free Speech but you have the responsibility to not abuse it, like yelling Fire in a crowded theater.

        I don’t want to change the 2nd Amend – I want to make it stronger and less subject to attack by adding some responsibility which, by the way will save lives. How is requiring NRA based training for carry in public a bad thing, in the world we live in today?

        I also think it will greatly reduce the forces/people who want to change the 2nd Amend.
        They are still out there and will be coming after us and the 2nd Amend again.
        In your own home, do what you want – although I say NRA training would help a lot with preventing children accidentally shooting each other. And gun cleaning/handling accidents, etc. And prevent accidental husband/wife etc shootings.
        Just yesterday, a husband shot his wife near here thinking she was an intruder. No training!!!
        Lastly – When I ask people about shooting many say “I have shot guns all my life, I know how to shoot”.
        Then ? How much training have you had? Usually little to none.
        If you have not had any training – Uhh – NO you probably don’t really know how to shoot, not in public, not in a gun fight.
        Shooting in a self defense situation is not like at the range – strange things can and do happen to you that you need to train for. In public it is usually an ambush and it usually happens really fast(I am talking seconds, and split seconds), if you have not trained for this you will not be anywhere near ready or competent.

  • Jack December 16, 2016, 3:53 am

    It would appear that this lady needs to go to Chicago and do her work there. They already have the stiffest laws in the country and her job does not appear to have even began there yet.

  • Will Drider December 14, 2016, 12:13 am

    Let us not forget that when reciprocity is controlled by the States, they can kill it with the stroke of a pen. Virginia was going to eliminate if for 25 States it had prior agreements with. This was the action of the VA AG. VA Caught a shit storm over it, VA politicians then banged out legislation on it and the Gov signed it into Law taking it out of the hands of te AG.

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