Westport, Fairfield police chiefs oppose concealed carry bill

FILE- Hank Johnson displays his handgun in Springboro Ohio

The bill was part of a House GOP gun bill that also included a proposal popular with both Democrats and Republicans to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Concealed carry reciprocity is the gun lobby's top priority legislation.

By a vote of 231-198 on Wednesday, the House passed the Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, a bill that, if it becomes law, will force states to honor concealed-carry handgun permits from other states.

Beyond being a basic constitutional right, states that do not allow non-residents to carry concealed weapons leave these citizens in danger and with no real option for self-defense in instances of gun violence.

Seeley called the legislation a win-win for the Second Amendment and said taking people's guns away from them will not stop gun violence.

Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said the bill "most assuredly puts the safety of all police officers and the public at risk.". Two New Jersey Republican House members -Reps. It now goes to the Senate. CCR would override the standards that states have set for who can carry hidden, loaded guns in public. It would not alter access to guns and it would not change the federal law requiring background checks.

"The truth is that concealed carry laws save lives", Ryan said in a statement.

Gun control advocates believe the legislation will have a much tougher time clearing the Senate, where it will need 60 votes and some Democratic support to pass and survive a filibuster. He said the bill maintains states' rights to determine permit requirements, but allows citizens who meet the qualifications for concealed carry in their home states to carry in any state as long as they follow the local concealed carry laws. It would make it much more hard to distinguish a legal handgun from an illegal handgun, putting law enforcement at danger especially at traffic stops. Right now a person has to find out what the law says in each state that they are traveling in so they don't get arrested. "This bill could return New York to the bad old days, by rolling back the protections that have reduced gun-related deaths in New York State to some of the lowest rates in the nation".

Recognizing the sovereignty of states' rights has been a mantra of conservative Republicans for generations - it has been used to support racial segregation, voter disenfranchisement and anti-LGBT laws.

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