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National Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill Will Increase Gun Violence

By Penny Okamoto, Executive Director of Ceasefire Oregon

Republican representatives and senators have introduced a bill that would mandate that all states honor the concealed carry firearm permits of other states. This bill would decrease public safety and increase gun violence.

Concealed carry laws vary from state in state. In Massachusetts, people who apply for licenses to carry concealed guns must be evaluated by their local police chiefs. Police departments check their criminal and mental health background by searching both the federal background check system, the commonwealth system, and any police reports concerning the applicant. If people have violent mental illnesses or histories of domestic violence, they are not given licenses. Additionally, all applicants have to take an approved gun safety class, and these licenses are renewed every six years.

Because of these effective gun laws, very few Massachusetts license holders have committed murder. By contrast, Florida has none of these requirements. Imposing federally mandated reciprocity of state level concealed carry laws would enable unqualified, dangerous people like George Zimmerman to carry concealed firearms across the nation. That is extremely dangerous.

We hope that Congress will take note and refuse to make it easier for potentially dangerous people to carry concealed weapons.…