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McGovern: GOP Conceal Carry Bill Weakens Gun Safety Standards Nationwide, Shameless Gift to NRA

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Washington, December 5, 2017 | comments
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA) sharply criticized H.R. 38 the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, a House Republican bill that would weaken gun safety standards by forcing states with strong concealed carry laws to recede to permits from states with weak or non-existent concealed carry laws. Click here to view video.

“I look at this and ask myself, how much in the bag with the National Rifle Association is this leadership in this House? This makes no sense, that you are going to impose the weakest standards that exist in some states on other states with higher standards when it comes to allowing individuals to conceal and carry weapons.

“Concealed carry reciprocity is the NRA's highest legislative priority in this Congress. So we all know why we're here today. Follow the money. This is about campaigning. This is about contributions to political parties and members of Congress who are worried about the next election. But this is not about what's in the best interest of the American people.

“This bill we're taking up today would force states to let violent offenders, people with no firearm safety training, carry loaded hidden guns even if those people could not otherwise legally purchase a gun in the state. I mean, really? I don't get that.

“Each state determines if it will recognize conceal carry permits issued by other states. Most states only recognize concealed carry permits with equivalent standards. This is a rush to the bottom. I'm trying to understand why anybody would think this is a good idea.

“Massachusetts has the lowest firearms death rate in the entire country. I'm proud of that. Don't screw around with what we have done in my state by trying to forcibly, through statute, lower the standards. This is just not right.”

Click here to view video.

Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Remarks:

“I can't believe this legislation is even before us. We have pressing, urgent things that need to be done like keep the government open, for example, that now has been pushed off and we don't know what's going to happen. We need to reauthorize the CHIP program to make sure our kids get access to healthcare. We have hurricane relief issues that we need to deal with. We have a zillion things that are urgent, that need to be dealt with now, and here we are dealing with this.

“It is a little bit frustrating to sit here and be told there were no hearings on this legislation. I mean, it's December. It's not like we started a new session. It's December. It would have been nice to bring the police chief that Miss Jackson Lee referred to up, let them express their concerns, or others. You could bring anyone you want who supports this legislation. There is value in listening to people outside of the bully pulpit here in Washington.

“I look at this and ask myself, how much in the bag with the National Rifle Association is this leadership in this House? This makes no sense, that you are going to impose the weakest standards that exist in some states on other states with higher standards when it comes to allowing individuals to conceal and carry weapons.

“I look at the National Rifle Association webpage and Concealed carry reciprocity is the NRA's highest legislative priority in this Congress. So we all know why we're here today. Follow the money. This is about campaigning. This is about contributions to political parties and members of Congress who are worried about the next election. But this is not about what's in the best interest of the American people.

“This bill we're taking up today would force states to let violent offenders, people with no firearm safety training, carry loaded hidden guns even if those people could not otherwise legally purchase a gun in the state. I mean, really? I don't get that.

“As Mr. Nadler pointed out, under current law, each state determines if it will recognize conceal carry permits issued by other states. Currently, 11 states do not recognize concealed carry permits issued by other states. Most states only recognize concealed carry permits with equivalent standards. This is a rush to the bottom. I'm trying to understand why anybody would think this is a good idea.

“The gentleman from Georgia tried to compare these to driver's licenses. Driver's licenses, as I understand them, are standard, verifiable documents with the same criteria nationwide. Concealed carry, there's no uniform standard security feature, no national - and sometimes no statewide - database. Driver's licenses require things like vision, and law, and in-person driving tests.

“Concealed carry licenses, as we have learned, the training varies widely. And it isn't even always required by states. And yet, you're going to impose those low standards on my state?

“Massachusetts has the lowest firearms death rate in the entire country. I'm proud of that. Don't screw around with what we have done in my state by trying to forcibly, through statute, lower the standards. This is just not right.

“I could go on and on. You know what? This is a big waste of time. And I'm hoping the Senate won't even take it up. This is a terrible idea. It's about campaign contributions. This is not about good policy."

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