House GOP Wants to Legalize Concealed Carry Across the US

With the United States still reeling from the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, the House of Representatives is moving full steam ahead on some gun reform bills. That is to say, reform bills that will loosen restrictions on gun ownership in the name of preserving Second Amendment rights.

Fifty-nine people were killed, and over 500 were injured, when a gunman opened fire in Las Vegas on Sunday night. The killer had methodically chosen a high position and brought 23 weapons to his hotel room, along with a large supply of ammunition, calculated for maximum damage.

The chaos and confusion made it difficult for law enforcement to respond promptly, and illustrated the high stakes of gun violence in the United States — this massacre was made possible with weapons the Founders never even dreamed of when they crafted the most controversial amendment in the Constitution.

As the United States once again calls for checks on gun ownership – including measures that are overwhelmingly supported by conservatives, liberals and the bulk of NRA members — Congress is marching to the beat of a different drum, one pounded by the National Rifle Association‘s leadership.

The organization is bent on dismantling any and all gun regulation in the U.S., and in defiance of the will of the American people, Congress appears to be complying.

After outcry, House Republicans announced that they would not be bringing the Sportsman Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act), HR 3668, to the vote. The bill would have taken silencers off a list of heavily regulated firearms — including machine guns and short-barreled rifles — making them much easier to obtain.

In a bitter twist, hearings on this bill had originally been scheduled for June 14, 2017 — the same morning a gunman opened fire on a Congressional baseball practice, seriously injuring Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA). After multiple surgeries and a lengthy rehabilitation, Scalise returned to work last week. In the rescheduled hearings, one expert commented that the “unique sound of gunfire” allowed people to take cover that day, even before they fully understood what was happening.

Meanwhile, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, HR 38, is still moving forward, though it hasn’t been formally scheduled for a vote yet. Currently, states make their own laws about concealed carry, with some cracking down while others maintain relatively lax restrictions.

This law would nationalize such laws — if you have a concealed carry permit from one jurisdiction, you can take your weapon anywhere. In states that strongly feel concealed carry laws are a threat to public safety, officials would be powerless to take action when out-of-state visitors arrived armed.

Advocates of the measure say concealed carry reciprocity makes sense for gun owners who want to be able to travel between jurisdictions. They also bring up the “good guy with a gun” claim, despite the fact that actual good guys with guns have repeatedly commented that they felt powerless to stop mass shootings.

Bills like these rely on an interpretation of the Second Amendment that maintains people should have unrestricted access to any weapons and accessories they want. Not everyone supports that view, though. Some argue that the intent of the Second Amendment was for organized militias used in defense — and for an era when firearms were significantly less destructive.

Gun fans also demand that people refrain from “politicizing” mass shootings by discussing gun control. Notably, many surviving victims of those shootings disagree, insisting that this is an excellent time to discuss gun control.

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Photo credit: A C Moraes

62 comments

Marie W
Marie W6 months ago

Thank you

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill10 months ago

I believe that if you have a license to carry a gun in one state, it should be recognized in all other states! It should be like a driver's licence.

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Colin C
Colin Cabout a year ago

I guess carrying a gun gives some people a feeling of power and control but I have lived for over 60 years and never wanted or needed one.

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One Heart i
One Heart incabout a year ago

Thanks!!!

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Jennifer H
Jennifer Habout a year ago

I am not surprised. Currying favor again. This will be another mess the repugs will leave us with.

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One Heart i
One Heart incabout a year ago

Thanks!!!!

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Lorraine Andersen
Lorraine Andersenabout a year ago

I would be afraid to leave my house if i thought every idiot out there had a concealed gun. How many people will be shot because someone got angry at someone. It could be shopping it could be road rage, but no matter where you are at least one someone will be carrying a gun. No thank you.

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chris B
chris Babout a year ago

I say BAN the conceal/carry. Too dangerous. Trump wants the police to have MILITARY weapons. What the f- - - is wrong with this man? Ban all semi-auto weapons. I'd gladly give up my little 38 to get rid of unnecessary guns. Look at Australia and UK. Or every other country on the planet. US is the worst for gun deaths. Including children!!! Yep, I'm angry and everyone else should be too.

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JT Smith
Past Member about a year ago

All a drawn gun demonstrates is two things:

First, you're the prime target of anyone else with a loaded gun.

Second, whether it's drawn or holstered, empty or loaded, a gun simply demonstrates fear. The fear of the person carrying the gun. This includes the American police. Other nations (e.g. Great Britain) have police forces that are not constantly armed with a firearm and are trained to do something Americans find unthinkable: they talk down the criminal with the gun and disarm them without firing a shot. They're not completely defenseless as they do have collapsible batons and tasers, but those are not their first used option. Instead, they use a far more dangerous weapon: their BRAIN.

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JT Smith
Past Member about a year ago

The sole purpose of a gun is to maim or kill at a distance. Any argument of what does the killing demonstrates a distinct mental disconnect (not to mention a severe case of cranial-rectal inversion).

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