The gun lobby would like you to believe that their top legislative priority, concealed carry reciprocity, is nothing more than common sense. They would like you to think that gun laws should travel with people, and that out-of-state visitors shouldn’t be held to the same standard as residents. They want you to think that guns and drivers’ licenses are the same thing. And they believe that you’ll just take their word for it and not do your due diligence.
If you looked at the facts the gun lobby wants you to ignore, you’d discover one simple fact: they are lying to you.
Concealed carry reciprocity isn’t designed to make things simpler for gun owners; if that was what the gun lobby wanted, they could simply push for a national concealed carry permit with high training and safety standards, and strict rules. But that’s not what they are pushing for. It isn’t even close.
And they aren’t pushing for that because their goal isn’t to make it simpler for gun owners to travel. Their goal is to undermine state gun laws and force concealed guns into places citizens and residents have already said they do not want guns.
Here are some examples of what would be forced on your state, and on your town, if the gun lobby got its way.
The bill being pushed by the gun lobby makes it legal for any person who is legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon where they live, to carry a gun in your state. Well, what’s the problem there, right? Those states must have rules too, right? Wrong. In many states, the gun lobby has spent years pushing “constitutional carry” laws. These laws completely eliminate permitting and training requirements for concealed carriers; anyone can strap a gun to their hip, put on a jacket, and walk around. And in many states, law enforcement officers aren’t even allowed to question people carrying guns to determine if they are felons or other violent people.
For example, let’s say Frank lives in western Kansas and wants to carry a concealed handgun; he can just do it. Frank doesn’t have to undergo any training. And, because Kansas doesn’t require background checks on all gun sales, he can just go buy a gun without filling out any paperwork. It’s perfectly possible that no one has ever even checked to confirm that Frank isn’t a felon or a domestic abuser, or doesn’t have a restraining order issued against him. But just a few miles away, in eastern Colorado, Frank would’ve had to undergo a background check to buy that gun, and would’ve had to meet competency and training requirements before he could concealed carry. All of a sudden, the laws in Colorado mean nothing, and the desires of Coloradans mean nothing.
But it isn’t just that Frank could carry the gun. See, the gun lobby’s concealed carry bill doesn’t just undermine laws about who can carry guns; it undermines laws about where they can carry guns too. The bill, among other things, takes people who are allowed to carry a concealed gun in their home state and exempts them from the federal laws which keep guns out of schools. Nationwide. So Frank, who has never undergone a background check, has never been trained to use his gun, and doesn’t even live in Colorado, would be allowed to strap a gun to his hip and walk around Colorado schools. Or the schools of any other state, anywhere in the country. And no one could stop him.
And even that isn’t all. The gun lobby hasn’t just been pushing reciprocity at the national level; they’ve been doing it at the state level too, along with laws that allow non-residents to get concealed carry permits. And what does that mean? Well, it means that if Frank didn’t live in Kansas, but in a state with strong gun laws, he could simply apply for permits from states which issue permits to non-residents. And if, as the gun lobby desires, states must recognize permits from other states, then all of a sudden the states which have put public safety above the desires of gun lobbyists and cowards have their laws thrown out the window. All because the gun lobby wants nothing more to push guns into every single place they can, no matter the consequences.
Concealed carry reciprocity means untrained people, who have never undergone background checks, and who live in other states, would be allowed to carry guns in your kid’s school.
And that’s not like drivers’ licenses at all.