THEIR VIEW: All guns laws are not created equal

Published on Monday, 7 May 2018 18:05
Written by

In New Hampshire and Maine it is legal to carry a concealed loaded firearm without first getting a permit or license, essentially stripping police chiefs of the power to evaluate whether someone poses a danger to the public.

If you think this is a bad idea, wait until you hear what Congress wants to do now.

At a time when the overwhelming majority of Americans are urging Congress to do more to protect innocent people from gun violence, the U.S. House recently passed the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017,” which would amend the federal criminal code to force states to ignore their own gun laws and honor those of other states, even when those state laws are far less restrictive.

The bill would also “override some state laws that prohibit carrying concealed weapons in bars, schools, shopping malls, movie theaters, subways or parks,” according to a letter objecting to the bill, signed by 17 state attorneys general. That bill is currently before the Senate, which has its own, similar reciprocity bill, S 446.

Fortunately, local police chiefs, attorneys general, the American Bar Association and many other groups are pushing back against the idea that states with lax gun laws should have the ability to determine gun regulations in states that deemed it necessary to have a conceal carry permitting process for public safety.

Forcing states to accept the lowest common denominator of gun laws impinges on states’ rights, endangers the lives of law enforcement officers and removes barriers to gun trafficking and terrorism, according to the attorneys general letter.

We ask those who support this reciprocity bill how they’d feel if Congress imposed gun laws from New York or Massachusetts on their states. We’re certain those who successfully passed concealed carry in New Hampshire and Maine wouldn’t like it at all.

The Portsmouth Herald

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Monday, 7 May 2018 18:05. Updated: Monday, 7 May 2018 18:07.