Madigan & Attorneys General Detail How Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act Would Undermine Local Public Safety Decisions, Endanger Communities & Police
Chicago —(ENEWSPF)—October 24, 2017
By: Office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan
Attorney General Lisa Madigan, along with 16 other attorneys general, sent a letter to Congress forcefully opposing the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, arguing that the ill-conceived legislation would override local public safety decisions and endanger communities and police. The legislation (H.R. 38 / S. 446) would force states to recognize concealed carry weapon permits from other states.
The attorneys general fear that, if enacted, the legislation would inevitably “lead to the death of police officers and civilians, the proliferation of gun traffickers, and acts of terrorism and other mass violence.”
The attorneys general continue:
“Under the legislation, our residents would lose the protections that their legislators and law enforcement agencies have deemed appropriate, in favor of rules made by States legislating for very different local conditions. Rather than creating a new national standard for who may carry concealed firearms, these bills would elevate the lowest state standard over higher ones and force some States to allow concealed carry by people who do not qualify under their laws.”
That lowest state standard would, for example, weaken local prohibitions on concealed carry by violent misdemeanor offenders, domestic abuses and others who states have determined would pose a danger.
Madigan and the other attorneys general also point out that the U.S. Constitution and federalist system primarily reserve policing public safety to the states, given the great diversity among them. “We would not mandate that one State honor another’s fishing, liquor, or hunting permits, yet the proposed legislation applies that same flawed approach to the far more serious issue of who may carry a concealed firearm.”
“The result of the proposed legislation would be a proliferation of potentially dangerous or irresponsible non-residents with concealed weapons in the States, cities, and towns across America that have made local judgments that certain regulations on the carrying of such weapons are necessary to protect public safety. Furthermore, the House bill would override some state laws that prohibit carrying concealed weapons in bars, schools, shopping malls, movie theatres, subways, or parks. States would not be able to enforce those restrictions; nor would local law enforcement officers reacting to specific risks to the public in such locations, which have tragically been the site of mass shootings in recent years,” the attorneys general write.
The letter also highlights how the legislation would endanger local law enforcement officers by forcing them to determine quickly, and often under duress, whether an armed individual is allowed to carry a concealed weapon under his or her local laws. This is particularly disturbing, given that 12 states allow concealed carry without a permit. Finally, the legislation would facilitate gun trafficking, allowing traffickers to even more easily transport guns across state lines with just a driver’s license from a “permitless” state.
Joining Madigan in sending the letter are the attorneys general of: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. Collectively, these attorneys general represent over 140 million Americans.
In addition to the attorneys general, law enforcement from across the country have spoken out against this legislation – including local police commissioners (such as the NYPD and LAPD) and the Law Enforcement Partnership, which is comprised of a dozen law enforcement associations, such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, and the Police Foundation.