California’s attorney general and a coalition of 16 fellow AG’s sent a letter to Congressional leadership Monday urging Congress to reject legislation that would force every state to recognize the concealed firearm carry standards of every other state.
Two bills currently under consideration, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (S.446) and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38), would allow non-residents to carry a concealed weapon in any state – even states where that is illegal – as long as they are permitted to do so in their state of residence.
In their letter, the Attorneys General make clear that these bills betray the constitutional principle of federalism and pose a danger to public safety and law enforcement.
“The right of states to decide what is best for them, especially when it comes to public safety, is a founding ideal of this nation,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “And yet Congress is trying to tell California and a majority of U.S. states that it’s not up to them to decide what gun safety measures they may enact to protect their state residents. The proposals before Congress would threaten public safety and make it harder for local law enforcement authorities to do their job.”
The letter explains that the legislation would force states to accept lower standards over higher standards on matters of public safety involving firearms. Commonsense protections designed by local governments – such as responsible restrictions on concealed carry in parks, schools, or shopping malls – would become unenforceable, endangering both the public and law enforcement officers.
The legislation would also facilitate illegal gun trafficking with concealed carry permits, real or forged, from states with fewer restrictions or with an ID from any of the 12 states that have no restrictions at all for carrying a concealed weapon.
Attorney General Becerra was joined on the letter by the Attorneys General of Connecticut, Washington District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.