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Editorial: Concealed carry bill undercuts state laws

Editorial: Concealed carry bill undercuts state laws

New York has very tough regulations
Editorial: Concealed carry bill undercuts state laws
Photographer: Shutterstock

The Second Amendment applies to everyone in the country.

Individual states’ gun laws do not.

Of all the laws Congress could consider in the wake of the nationwide rash of mass shootings, including the Las Vegas massacre, the House of Representatives pushed through a bill that would allow people from other states to carry concealed weapons across state lines.

The law is a careless and potentially dangerous concession to the National Rifle Association. It undermines the laws of states like New York, which promote strict gun control, in favor of states with weak gun laws and fewer protections for citizens.

New York has very tough regulations when it comes to allowing individuals to carry concealed weapons.

Concealed-carry permits in New York are issued by the local county or city where the person resides or works.

Some counties require background checks and fingerprinting, limit issuance based on age and criminal/mental health history, require the individual to take a firearms safety course or other training, and require a reason why the person feels the need to carry a concealed weapon. Among the legal reasons for seeking such a permit are hunting, target-shooting and self-defense.

Those requirements are not unreasonable, and they ensure that the public is protected from mentally unstable individuals, criminals and those who have no reason for carrying a concealed weapon other than to do harm to someone else.

New York does not recognize concealed-carry permits from other states, in part because many of those state’s laws are less restrictive and therefore less protective than New York’s. Allowing individuals with permits from other states to carry their weapons into New York undercuts the protections New York’s government put in place.

The bill the House passed on Wednesday would essentially override the state’s concerns, actions and laws by endorsing the lowest-common denominator when it comes to other states’ concealed-carry laws.

Local Rep. John Faso, who voted for it, said the bill adds uniformity to the patchwork of concealed-carry laws in the nation and will help reduce confusion.

But if all states had to recognize the permit requirements from other states, then the state with the least restrictive gun laws, the one with the fewest requirements for background checks and shooter training, would be the standard for the country.

Any individual from that state could, under this ill-advised legislation, carry a hidden gun without having passed the same safety requirements that New York requires.

According to a 2016 report issued by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office, 74 percent of guns used in crimes in New York come from other states.

The confusion cited by proponents of the law over the so-called patchwork of individual states’ laws is overblown, as is the claim that individuals are restricted from carrying their weapons into other states.

All it takes is a quick Google search to find out where you can carry a concealed weapon issued by your state.

USA Carry posts on its site concealed-carry information by state, has interactive concealed-carry-permit reciprocity maps, and hosts forums to inform gun owners about their rights.

On this website, all you have to do is click your state on a map and it will tell you which other states will honor your permit and which won’t.

For instance, click on Iowa. Immediately, a colorful map and guide comes up identifying the 34 states that honor Iowa concealed-carry permits and the 23 states, districts, territories and major cities that don’t.

If you’re confused about whether your state’s permit is valid in the state you’re traveling to, visit the USA Carry website to find out.

There. End of confusion.

Of all the laws Congress could be considering in the wake of all the shootings, the first one they choose to push for would actually make it easier for individuals to carry concealed guns across state lines.

This law, if passed by the Senate and signed by the president, will only make residents in all states less safe.

This legislation is far from common-sense.

It’s nonsense.

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