In an effort to push their "more guns in more places for more people" agenda, the pro-gun lobby is working hard to dangerously reduce restrictions on concealed gun permitting, nationwide. It's been a long-time scheme of theirs, and now is the moment when we need to act to prevent it.
The U.S. House of Representatives is poised to pass the “National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011” (HR 822). This bill would override the laws of Oregon by requiring us to accept concealed handgun permits from other states even if that out-of-state permit does not require the same safety standards that Oregon requires.
This bill would undercut Oregon's state rights, create serious problems for law enforcement, and weaken Oregon's standards for granting people a license to carry a concealed handgun legally on our streets.
Currently, Oregon's law holds concealed handgun license (CHL) holders to higher standards than many other states. Oregon's requirements include handgun competence, character references, and that the applicant be at least 21 years of age. Oregon prohibits concealed carrying by dangerous criminals, including those who have been convicted of a misdemeanor, such as assault, harassment or driving while intoxicated, in the four years prior to applying for a CHL. Oregon also prohibits people who have an outstanding warrant or are required to register as a sex offender from obtaining a CHL. Many other states do not have these requirements or prohibitions. If HR 822 passes, these dangerous people could legally carry a concealed handgun in Oregon.
HR 822 would create serious problems for law enforcement. It will be very difficult to determine the validity of permits from all states because no national database exists to quickly identify those who legitimately hold a concealed carry permit. Permits can be easily forged. In addition, this bill would enable criminal traffickers who have concealed carry permits from other states to cars full of loaded guns into states with higher standards, like Oregon.
Some argue that a national concealed carry permit would be just like a driver's license, but that is not true. To obtain a driver’s license, people have to pass a test, prove their competency behind the wheel, and get a photo ID card. They must also register and insure their car. H.R. 822 would impose no comparable safeguards.
Finally, there is no Second Amendment right to carry a concealed weapon outside the home. In Heller and McDonald, the Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to defend themselves with a handgun in their own home. The Supreme Court specifically said that reasonable regulations to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people are constitutional. Since Heller and McDonald, no federal court that has considered this issue has found a constitutional right to carry a concealed gun in public.
During the 2011 Oregon legislative session, Ceasefire Oregon worked to stop a similar concealed carry reciprocity bill. The Oregon legislature recognized the danger of the bill and did not enact it. Now the NRA is trying to force reciprocity on all the states regardless of what each state has decided is best for its citizens.
You can find additional information about the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 at these websites:
This a link to a New York Times oped piece about the bill http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/25/opinion/bruni-have-glock-will-travel.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss
New poll shows Americans want stronger gun laws. A new poll, taken Jan. 11–13, 2011, shows overwhelming support for several proposed laws to keep guns away from people who cannot lawfully own them. The poll shows that 86% of Americans, including 81% of gun owners, support requiring background checks for all gun sales. 94% of Americans favor requiring the reporting of lost and stolen weapons, a requirement that took effect in Portland this year. 58 percent of Americans support the banning of high-capacity ammunition magazines, while only 36% oppose such a ban. For more information, see the Mayors Against Illegal Guns website or this article by one of the pollsters.
Ceasefire Oregon works to reduce gun violence by advocating reasonable, effective gun laws. We educate the public and legislators about gun violence, lobby on behalf of bills that will help make our communities safer, and work to prevent the passage of bills that would make it easier for dangerous people to obtain and carry firearms.
We abhor the violence. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by all the shootings in Oregon and throughout the world.
About 30,000 people are killed by firearms in this country every year. More than twice as many are injured. This is a public health crisis of staggering proportions. Guns are too easily available to felons, fugitives, kids, and people with serious mental heath problems. To reduce gun violence, we must make it more difficult for people who cannot lawfully own guns to obtain them.
LINK TO THE BILL: http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/112hr822.pdf