For example, in November the House of Representatives passed a “reciprocity” bill that would all require all fifty states to honor concealed handgun permits, similar to the way driver’s licenses are honored. It passed in the House by a vote of 231 to 199. But Senate Democrats have vowed to filibuster the bill.
Proponents of the bill say it will not supersede state or local firearm laws, nor will it weaken background-check laws. They cite the fact you cannot purchase a firearm, let alone obtain a concealed carry permit, if you cannot pass a background check. Individuals convicted of any violent crime, been found to be mentally ill or users of illegal drugs are barred from owning handguns.
In fact, concealed-carry permit holders are extremely law-abiding, proponents say, accounting for an exceedingly small percentage of firearm offenses. They also say that objection to such a law ignores reality. Thirty-two states already honor cross-state permits, they say, and 16.4 million Americans are concealed-carry-permit holders.
Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control advocacy group made up of parents & survivors of gun violence, as well as Mayors from cities and town touched by gun violence, believe Concealed Carry Reciprocity (CCR) will render the toughest gun control laws in the nation toothless.
“CCR is a chaotic and dangerous policy that would gut every state’s gun laws and make our communities less safe,” a statement from the organization read. “Right now, every state sets its own rules for who can carry a hidden, loaded handgun in public. There is no national standard for who can carry hidden, loaded handguns in public, and rather than create a uniform standard, CCR would effectively turn the weakest state’s laws into nationwide laws.”
Republicans in Congress believe their legislative focus in the wake of the Parkland should be shoring the country’s troubled mental healthcare system. Democrats are insisting on introducing gun-control bills, such as the one Senator Feinstein (D-CA) has introduced. It would raise the eligibility age for purchasing assault rifles like the AR-15 to 21. An AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was believed to have been used in the Florida attack.
Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland have organized a gun reform march on Washington next month to advocate for school safety and gun reform. Congress is on a week-long winter recess and will be returning next week.