On February 14, 2018, a high school in Broward County, Florida, experienced a mass shooting when a former student used a legally-purchased assault weapon to kill at least 17 students. This marked the thirtieth mass shooting and eighteenth school shooting to that point in 2018.
Donald Trump and Members of Congress continue to extend “thoughts and prayers,” but it’s not enough. It is time for Congress to do something to stop this type of gun violence. But instead, Congress is considering making mass shootings easier, not preventing them.
The gun lobby’s top priorities enjoy wide support in Congress. On December 6, 2017, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This legislation was a top priority of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and, if enacted into law, would cause a race to the bottom on gun safety standards. The Senate is expected to take up this same bill this year. We can’t let that happen.
Under this legislation, states would be required to recognize other states’ standards governing the possession of concealed firearms in public. This means that even though one state may have stringent regulations such as a permit or training requirement, that state would have to allow people from other states with lower standards – with perhaps no permit or training required at all – to carry concealed firearms without following the more stringent regulations.
This legislation would deprive states and localities from fully determining the appropriate gun safety protocols for their communities, and would allow the lowest common denominator to prevail. This will make concealed and loaded firearms more readily available at lower safety standards, raising the risk of gun violence for everyone.
For those reasons, every major law enforcement association opposes this bill because of its potentially disastrous implications for public safety. After all, this legislation would make it easier for more dangerous people, like stalkers, domestic abusers, and people who have committed violent crimes to carry loaded, concealed guns in more public places. This makes the risk of violence more imminent for all of us.
CONGRESS MUST REJECT THE NRA’S AGENDA
Defeating this legislation should be a no-brainer for Congress in the wake of these mass shootings. The bill is next poised for a vote in the Senate sometime in 2018, where it has a real chance of being stopped. Here are two ways to help this fight:
1. Contact Turner and tell him that you are disappointed in his vote to support of HR 38 and that you will remember this when you are voting in November.
Call: Mike Turner at 202-225-6465
Call Script: Hello, My name is [NAME]. I’m calling from [ADDRESS] and I’m really disappointed that Rep. Turner voted in favor of H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This is the NRA’s top legislative priority and will create a race to the bottom in gun safety standards. We’ve seen over and over how the over-availability and lax regulations surrounding guns has caused mass shootings, terror and loss of life. This bill would force all states to recognize the lowest common denominator in gun safety regulations, even allowing people without a permit or training to carry a concealed firearm in public. This places us all at risk, which is why every major law enforcement agency has opposed this bill. I’m alarmed that he would side with Trump and the NRA to weaken gun safety, and I’ll be taking this vote into consideration during his next re-election bid.
2. Call both Brown and Portman and urge them to oppose the bill when it comes to the Senate.
Call Rob Portman at 202-224-3353
Call Sherrod Brown at 202-224-2315
Script: Hello, My name is [NAME]. I’m calling from [ADDRESS] and I’m disturbed that H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act passed the House, and it’s essential that the Senate stop it from becoming law. Will [Sen. Brown/Portman] commit to voting against this bill when it comes to the Senate?
I’d like to see the Senator commit immediately to opposing this legislation. Particularly in light of the devastating mass shootings we’ve seen recently, it’s as important as ever not to weaken gun safety standards, and prevent firearms from falling into dangerous hands. This is why every major law enforcement agency has opposed this bill. I’ll be monitoring his statements and following up if I don’t see a commitment to oppose the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.