The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is alerting activists across the country that a potential amendment to a Department of Defense authorization bill scheduled for action in the U.S. Senate as early as next week would eviscerate limitations in many U.S. states on who can carry a loaded, hidden handgun in public in their state.
“We believe that, at the urging of the extremist gun lobby, some Senators want to adopt Federal legislation that would undercut state law limits on carrying hidden handguns,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign. “This will endanger public safety and make it more difficult for our police officers to do their jobs.”
The Brady Action alert emailed yesterday urged activists to call their Senators’ offices to voice their opposition.
The bill that may be introduced as an amendment, S. 845, would allow the carrying of loaded, concealed firearms outside a person’s home state, even by persons legally barred from possessing guns in the state where the carrying occurs. It would apply in the 48 states that allow concealed carrying of firearms and would effectively allow the weaker concealed carry laws of one state to nullify the restrictions on gun carrying of other states.
Under the proposed legislation, to carry concealed weapons people need only meet the minimum requirements of federal law to possess a gun, be permitted in their home state to carry a concealed weapon, and abide by a state’s concealed carry location restrictions. For example, Alaska allows adult residents to carry a concealed weapon without a license, background check, or training as long as they are allowed to possess a gun under weak Alaska gun laws - even if they have committed repeated violent misdemeanors or have committed misdemeanor sex offenses against minors. This legislation would force the other 47 states that allow concealed carrying to allow many Alaskan violent misdemeanants to carry concealed guns in their state, even if a state completely bans gun possession by such persons.
Multiple studies have shown that laws allowing the carrying of concealed firearms have not reduced crime and, if anything, have increased violent crime, including murder and robbery. Numerous examples of crimes and dangerous acts committed by concealed carry licensees are at http://www.bradycenter.org/xshare/pdf/facts/ccw-crimes-misdeeds.pdf.
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