- The Progressive Pulse - http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org -

U.S. House passes first major gun bill since Las Vegas…and it makes things worse

[1]

Rep. Richard Hudson

You’ve got to hand it to the Trumpists running the U.S. government; just about every time you think they’ve hit rock bottom, they pull out their shovels and start digging the national hole a little deeper. As Rebekah Entralgo of Think Progress reports [2], the latest outrage involves guns.

In the first major legislation to move forward since the horrific Las Vegas tragedy, the NRA and their paid employees in the U.S. House have approved a bill (the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act”) that was first put forth by North Carolina’s Richard Hudson and that would force every state in the union to abide by the laws of the states with the lowest level of regulation of concealed weapons. This is from Entralgo’s story:

The bill, called the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, would effectively allow residents from states with looser restrictions on concealed weapons to circumvent states with tighter gun laws. For example, a resident of Mississippi, where it is legal to carry a concealed gun without a permit, would be able to bring their firearms into a state like New York or Massachusetts, where residents are required by law to demonstrate a need for self-protection in order to carry without a permit.

In response to Wednesday’s vote, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt by a gunman in 2012, released a statement, saying,

“Congress has failed the American people. After two of our nation’s worst mass shootings, Congress took direct instruction from the gun lobby and passed a bill that will override existing state laws and allow dangerous, untrained people to carry guns in every state and every city. Let’s be clear: These politicians are trading our safety for political contributions from the gun lobby. Studies show states with weaker concealed carry laws let people with violent criminal histories carry guns in public, and as a result those states have more violent crime and murder. If you live in a safe community now, this legislation undermines law enforcement and shreds the laws that protect you.”

In her statement, Giffords cited research out of Stanford University that found state right-to-carry legislation is linked to an increase in violent crime. [3]

In addition to being the first major piece of gun legislation passed after two mass shootings, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is also the the National Rifle Association’s [4] (NRA) first big win during the Trump presidency. The NRA, which spent roughly $50 million last year to help elect President Trump, has called the reciprocity legislation its “highest legislative priority in Congress [4].”

The House victory also comes as Americans nationwide begin calling for increased gun control. Gallup polling [5] from October and November found that at least 60 percent of Americans support tighter gun laws.

There is some hope that the bill will fail to muster the 60 votes it will need to pass the Senate. Stay tuned. For more information check out the website of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence at www.ncgv.org [6].