As national reciprocity languishes in the Senate, it seems the anti-gun forces aren’t taking any chances on it staying that way. Recently, a group of police chiefs decided it was time to step up and do something about it. You know, just in case.
They sent a letter to leaders of Congress expressing their opinions on the bill.
The country’s police chiefs are rising up against another conservative crime-fighting initiative. They sent a letter Thursday (April 19) to leaders of Congress to oppose a bill that would let gun owners with concealed-carry permits in one state carry concealed weapons in all 50 states.
The letter from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, representing 18,000 police departments across the United States, and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans targets the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act,” which passed the House in December and is now pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The letter is endorsed by 473 police officials from 39 states, from large departments such as Los Angeles and Atlanta to small departments such as Spanish Fork, Utah, and Falls Church, Va.
“This legislation,” the letter states, “is a dangerous encroachment on individual state efforts to protect public safety, and it would effectively nullify duly enacted state laws and hamper law enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence.”
On concealed weapons, states currently issue permits to individual gun owners, and different states have different criteria for issuing the permits. Some states require training and proof of proficiency, while some states require no qualifications. Some states recognize the permits of certain other states, but many do not. And a dozen states now have “constitutional carry,” meaning weapons may be concealed without a permit.
The bill in Congress is described by the National Rifle Association as its “highest legislative priority.” The measure would require all states simply to recognize the permits of all other states, regardless of the conditions imposed by individual states for obtaining the permits.
Now, some may accept this as evidence that this is a bad idea. I, however, don’t.
First, it’s just over 2.6 percent of the departments represented by the Association of Police Chiefs. That’s a tiny fraction of the group. While it’s unlikely you’d ever get all the chiefs to sign onto the letter, if this had some overwhelming support from the chiefs, you’d expect to see at least a double-digit percentage represented.
That didn’t happen.
In other words, this was something more than 95 percent of the chiefs didn’t feel like signing on for because they most likely understood there were no risks involved in this.
Every state that issues a concealed carry permit has different requirements, but all include a background check beyond the NICS check used to purchase a firearm. The reality is, we’ve seen that those with permits are far less likely to commit crime than those who aren’t part of that group. Lawful gun owners aren’t the problem and never have been.
It seems that the vast majority of police chiefs understand that and opted to not sign the letter. Those that did represent liberal communities that just don’t know any better and don’t want to be bothered with facts that blow up their preconceived notions.