Trying to head off a bill in the House of Representatives to force states to honor all concealed gun permits, a large coalition of bipartisan mayors and law enforcement officials have launched a campaign to uphold the rights of each state to set their own minimum standards for carrying guns.
The campaign, “Our Lives, Our Laws,” (website: ourlivesourlaws.org), was started by Mayors Against Illegal Guns in response to a bill being considered Tuesday by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. A similar measure was defeated in the Senate last year.
“In most states, if you’ve been convicted of assault, or haven’t completed a gun safety training program, you can’t carry a concealed, loaded gun in public,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, co-chair of the bipartisan group of 600 mayors. “This bill would override those laws and make communities across the country less safe, which is why so many police and law enforcement organizations strongly oppose it, and why our bipartisan coalition of mayors is launching this campaign to stop it.”
The mayors said in a statement Monday the legislation “would force every state to honor every other state’s permit to carry a concealed gun — no matter how lax the other state’s standards.”
Pointing to a recent poll conducted on their behalf, they noted that 72 percent of voters across the country are opposed to interference from Washington on standards for carrying concealed weapons.
Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who co-chairs the group with Bloomberg, said it would be irresponsible and dangerous to allow “the Washington gun lobby and their allies in Congress” to force a new federal mandate on the states “that needlessly undermines local laws and creates a weak, lowest-common-denominator policy for who can carry concealed, loaded guns.”
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