We’re hearing a lot of talk these days about federalism, defined as the relationship between national government and its the states. Specifically, conservative voices have urged that our country recognize the importance of the states and ask that many important issues - such as the way to pay for health care - be left to local leaders.
How, then, does that square with proposed legislation backed by the National Rifle Association that would allow concealed-carry gun permits issued in one state to be valid in all states.
According to the Associated Press, top prosecutors from 17 states including Connecticut sent a letter to congressional leaders in both parties on Sunday, warning that federal reciprocity proposals being debated on Capitol Hill “will lead to the death of police officers and civilians, the proliferation of gun traffickers, and acts of terrorism and other mass violence.”
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which already has more than 200 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, “remains the NRA’s top legislative priority,” Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the NRA’s lobbying arm, told AP. The measure, if approved by Congress, would allow people with concealed-carry gun permits in one state to bring their guns into any other, regardless of whether that state has tougher requirements for obtaining permits.
Connecticut has one of the strictest weapons laws in the country, enacted after the horrific shooting of 20 children and six educators in Newtown. And, in this case at least, we’re guessing that most of our citizens would side with those who speak up for a state’s right to enact laws that reflect its people’s values and experience.
Frankly, we don’t want to enter a crowded venue knowing that some stranger may be carrying a concealed weapon. Do you?