Attorney General Becerra Urges Congress to Oppose Concealed-Carry Legislation that Would Endanger Communities

Monday, October 23, 2017
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

State AGs to Members of Congress: “Please do not let concealed reciprocity become the next federal loophole lamented in the aftermath of a tragedy”

SACRAMENTO – Today, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and a coalition of 16 fellow attorneys general sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging them to reject legislation that would force every state to recognize the concealed firearm carry standards of every other state. Two bills currently under consideration, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (S.446) and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R. 38), would allow non-residents to carry a concealed weapon in any state – even states where that is illegal – as long as they are permitted to do so in their state of residence. In their letter, the Attorneys General make clear that these bills betray the constitutional principal of federalism and pose a danger to public safety and law enforcement.

“The right of states to decide what is best for them, especially when it comes to public safety, is a founding ideal of this nation,” said Attorney General Becerra. “And yet Congress is trying to tell California and a majority of U.S. states that it's not up to them to decide what gun safety measures they may enact to protect their state residents. The proposals before Congress would threaten public safety and make it harder for local law enforcement authorities to do their job.”

The letter explains that the legislation would force states to accept lower standards over higher standards on matters of public safety involving firearms. Commonsense protections designed by local governments – such as responsible restrictions on concealed carry in parks, schools, or shopping malls – would become unenforceable, endangering both the public and law enforcement officers. The legislation would also facilitate illegal gun trafficking with concealed carry permits, real or forged, from states with fewer restrictions or with an ID from any of the 12 states that have no restrictions at all for carrying a concealed weapon.

Attorney General Becerra was joined on the letter by the Attorneys General of Connecticut, Washington District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington. A copy of the letter is attached to the electronic version of this release at oag.ca.gov/news.

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