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Gloria Pan's picture

If three-year-old Johnny loves to whack other children over their heads with his plastic sword and he wanted to bring that sword over to my house for a play date with my kid, then I’d say, “Leave your plastic sword at home.” That would be my right, since it’s my house, and it’s my kid’s noggin.

There’s a bill now moving through Congress that would, in effect, force states to open their doors to Johnny and his sword, except Johnny might be a full-grown felon, and he wouldn’t be bringing his toy sword, he’d be bringing real guns.

HERE’S THE LOWDOWN: The pro-gun lobby is working hard to advance national legislation that would force states to recognize concealed-carry permits from all over the country, regardless of how lax the permitting standards in other states. And some states have lax standards indeed: A Sun-Sentinel investigation found that Florida had issued concealed-carry licenses to 1,400 felons, as well as to hundreds more applicants with warrants, domestic abuse injunctions, or gun violations. And North Carolina, from 2007 to 2011, issued 2,400 conceal-carry permits to people convicted of misdemeanor crimes or felonies.

If mandated national concealed-carry legislation becomes law, it would allow the above felons from Florida and North Carolina to go wherever they like with their firearms. The legislation would also encourage high-risk, would-be gun owners from around the country to converge on states with loose permitting standards in order to easily get concealed-carry licenses that would have to be honored nationally.

This is a big deal. As one news outlet reported: "Concealed carry reciprocity legislation is really a race to the bottom—forcing states to override their own public safety laws and accept a lowest common denominator standard for determining who is eligible to carry loaded guns.”

Should federally mandated concealed carry become the law of the land, individual states would no longer be able to control who is authorized to carry a concealed gun within its borders. Furthermore, police would not even be able to quickly find out if out-of-state permits are valid, putting law enforcement and the public
at higher risk of harm.

Mandated national conceal-carry would gut common sense gun safety laws that parents worked hard to pass in states across our nation. Americans are already about 20 times more likely to be killed by a gun than someone from another developed country. Now is not the time to weaken common sense safety standards or states rights!

Federally mandated concealed-carry is a bad, bad idea. Tell Congress now!


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