WASHINGTON -- Today, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) placed a full-page ad in the Philadelphia Inquirer imploring Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey to oppose any congressional legislation that would impose nationwide concealed carry reciprocity on the states. The ad asks Pennsylvania residents to call Casey and Toomey and tell them to voice their opposition to this dangerous idea. It is the second in a series of ads by CSGV, the first of which was published yesterday in the Boston Globe and directed at Senator Scott Brown.
The U.S. Congress is currently considering legislation that would force Pennsylvania to let individuals from around the country carry concealed, loaded firearms in public—even when those individuals have a history of domestic violence and would not qualify for a concealed carry permit under Pennsylvania law.
To protect victims of domestic violence, Pennsylvania has set common-sense standards for carrying loaded, concealed guns that go well beyond the basic federal background check. For example, Pennsylvania denies concealed carry permits to individuals who have been convicted of certain misdemeanor gun or drug crimes, or who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
But if the National Rifle Association gets its way, Pennsylvania will lose its say in the matter entirely. That means domestic abusers with permits from other states would be able to carry a gun in Pennsylvania, which they could use to threaten a partner who may have moved to The Kestone State to escape from abuse.
"National concealed carry reciprocity legislation is a terrible idea for public safety and a huge affront to states' rights," said CSGV Executive Director Josh Horwitz. "The NRA is putting its allies in swing states in a difficult position by pushing legislation that puts them on the opposite side of law enforcement, domestic violence groups, mayors, faith leaders and the general public."
CSGV is part of a broad coalition urging Members of Congress to reject this misguided legislation. That coalition includes the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the American Prosecutors Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, CeaseFire PA, and 600 mayors from across the country.
"Our ads are designed to remind Senators that there is a steep cost for supporting this irresponsible legislation—the introduction of a gun into a domestic dispute can tear a family apart." said Horwitz. "We'll be paying close attention to their votes—and informing their constituents about where they come down."