New York State has taken important steps over the years to create common-sense gun safety laws that protect its citizens from the misuse of firearms. For example, New York State law prevents individuals with violent backgrounds from receiving permits to carry concealed weapons — a reasonable, responsible provision supported broadly by law enforcement officials.
But a misguided bill just approved by the House of Representatives would undermine this protection by requiring each state to recognize the concealed weapon permits issued by any other state, including permits granted without the most minimal safety standards. If passed, the bill would threaten our safety, complicate the efforts of Police personnel, and aid gun traffickers seeking to transport large numbers of firearms over state lines.
It’s amazing that the House majority would demonstrate greater allegiance to a single, vocal lobby than to the clear, stated concerns of families and Police personnel all across the country. It’s equally amazing that many of the representatives professing to have the strongest commitment to states’ rights would cavalierly sweep away those rights. And for what? So that dangerous individuals can carry concealed weapons? It defies rational explanation.
On Monday, I joined Representative Nita Lowey, as well as several other local mayors, law enforcement officials, and gun safety advocates, at a press conference held at New Rochelle Police headquarters. We called on the Senate to reject the so-called National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, and to uphold the rights of states like New York to protect their own residents.
Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a national group of like-minded local leaders, to which I am proud to belong, strongly opposes this legislation, as does the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and many national law enforcement groups.