House passes concealed carry gun bill
BY CRISTINA MARCOS -
12/06/17 04:45 PM EST
Two months after the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, the House on Wednesday passed legislation that would allow people to use permits for carrying concealed handguns across state lines while also boosting the background check system.Despite bipartisan support for enhancing background checks for gun purchases, the bill passed along party lines, 231-198, due to Democratic opposition to the concealed-carry reciprocity measure.
Six centrist Democrats voted with Republicans to approve the package: Reps. Sanford Bishop (Ga.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Vicente Gonzalez (Texas), Ron Kind (Wis.), Collin Peterson (Minn.) and Kurt Schrader (Ore.).
Fourteen Republicans voted “no,” including a mix of conservatives and centrists.
Conservative Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) held the mirror opposite position of Democrats who voted against the legislation: he supports concealed-carry reciprocity but didn’t want the background check measure attached.
"It throws millions of dollars at a faulty program and it will result in more law-abiding citizens being deprived of their right to keep and bear arms," Massie wrote in a Facebook post ahead of the vote.The gun policy measures were originally two separate bills. But House GOP leaders opted to combine them so that lawmakers only had to cast one vote.
Attaching the concealed-carry reciprocity measure puts the bipartisan measure to beef up background checks in jeopardy in the Senate.
The legislation as passed by the House faces an uncertain future in the upper chamber, where Democrats are sure to block the concealed-carry measure, but a bipartisan coalition has enough votes to break a filibuster on enhancing background checks.
Under the House legislation, people with permits for carrying concealed handguns could do so in any state that allows concealed weapons.
People could only use their concealed-carry permits in other states that allow the practice if they are carrying a valid government-issued photo ID and are lawfully licensed to possess a concealed handgun. They would still have to adhere to established state and local laws.
Concealed-carry reciprocity is a top legislative priority for the National Rifle Association, which has resisted proposals to restrict access to guns in response to mass shootings.
Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), the author of the concealed-carry bill, compared the concealed-carry reciprocity measure to how driver’s licenses and marriage licenses are recognized across states.
He gave an example of a single mother in south Philadelphia who had twice been mugged and purchased a handgun to protect herself. But she traveled to New Jersey, which didn’t recognize her Pennsylvania concealed-carry permit.
"If I get married in North Carolina but I move to Arizona, I’m not a single man again. They recognize that marriage," Hudson said during House floor debate. "The concealed-carry permit should be recognized the same way."
Gun reform groups lobbied against the concealed-carry measure. Mark Kelly, the co-founder of a group named after his wife, ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), said that the policy doesn’t work if people aren’t properly trained.
Kelly recalled how a well-intentioned man with a concealed gun almost shot one of the people responsible for wrestling the shooter who nearly killed Giffords in a 2011 shooting to the ground.
“The situation that played out in the Safeway parking lot that day shows the potential for tragedy and bloodshed when untrained people carrying loaded guns react to a crisis. Even with the best intentions, an armed person without the extensive firearms training that is required to respond under pressure in a crisis will risk making the situation worse, not better,” Kelly wrote in a Washington Post op-ed.
States have varying requirements for carrying concealed weapons, like gun safety training, age limits, and prohibitions on individuals known to have abusive pasts.
The package also included a bill from Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas) that would ensure authorities report criminal history records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and penalize agencies that don’t report to the FBI.
Democrats supported the background check measure but balked at including the concealed-carry reciprocity.
“Unfortunately, the dangers posed by the concealed carry reciprocity portion of the bill greatly outweigh the benefits of the NICS improvements,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), the acting ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
The shooter responsible for the Nov. 5 massacre at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was prohibited from buying or possessing a gun due to a domestic violence conviction while serving in the Air Force. But the Air Force failed to enter the criminal record into the federal database used for gun background checks.
Another provision in the bill is in direct response to the Oct. 1 shooting in Las Vegas, which killed nearly 60 people and injured more than 500 others.
Law enforcement authorities found a dozen devices known as bump stocks, which are used to make weapons fire more rapidly, in the Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room.
The measure would require the Justice Department to report to Congress on the number of times a bump stock has been used in a crime. It’s far less stringent than bipartisan bills introduced in Congress since the Las Vegas shooting to prohibit the manufacture, sale and use of the devices.
But ahead of Wednesday’s vote, the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) announced on Tuesday that it is considering a possible ban on certain bump stocks.
Lawmakers had been pushing for the Trump administration to clarify whether bump stocks violate the ban on fully automatic weapons manufactured after 1986.
“The regulatory clarification we begin today will help us to continue to protect the American people by carrying out the laws duly enacted by our representatives in Congress,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) introduced a bipartisan bill after the Las Vegas shooting to ban bump stocks. He voted against the Wednesday legislation, citing the lack of an effort to prohibit the devices.
“[T]he refusal to meaningfully address dangerous bump stocks in this legislation is inexplicable and contrary to the position held by most Americans and the overwhelming majority of responsible gun owners,” Curbelo said in a statement.
Florida Expedites 82,000 Carry Licenses to Military Personnel After Chattanooga Terror Attack
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, Fileby AWR HAWKINS
19 Jul 2017
The state of Florida has expedited 82,000 concealed carry licenses to military personnel in the two years since the heinous attack on unarmed members of USMC and the U.S. Navy.Florida responded to the attack by announcing an expedited concealed carry permitting process which allows military personnel to acquire a carry permit quicker–and at a younger age–than regular civilians. The issuance of the permits has been overseen by State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.
The Chattanooga terror attack occurred July 16, 2015. The following day, Breitbart Newsreported that retired Marine Colonel Gary Anderson pointed to gun control as a problematic contributor; one that kept the victims from being able to shoot back in defense of themselves and their fellow military members. Florida’s response was to be sure more military personnel are carrying guns in more places.
According to News4Jax, the Sunshine State “has fast-tracked concealed-weapons licenses to 82,000 military members and honorably discharged veterans since [the] terror-related shootings.”
Putnam commented on the issuance of the expedited permits, saying, “This is just one example of what we do through our department to make Florida the most veteran- and military-friendly state in the nation.”
Looking at concealed carry broadly, since 2010 Florida has gone from roughly 800,000 to nearly 1.8 million. It is one of the most gun-friendly states in the union for military personnel and civilians alike.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CONGRESSMAN SAYS HE’LL CARRY GUN AFTER SCALISE SHOOTING
JUNE 15, 2017
To no surprise, anti-gun fanatics instantly took to every form of media possible to call for more and stricter gun control after a Sanders’ supporter shot Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), House Majority Whip. The topic of gun control became an instant political hot-potato. One Congressman, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) told the media that the shooting was directed at Trump supporters and that from this day on, he will carry his gun in his pocket. The shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise and four others at a baseball practice for Republican members of Congress on Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia, was always going to quickly turn to politics.
Rep. Chris Collins, one of President Donald Trump’s most prominent congressional supporters, insisted that the shooting was directly tied to anti-Trump rhetoric from the left. “I can only hope that the Democrats do tone down the rhetoric,” Collins said on a local radio station in upstate New York. “The rhetoric has been outrageous — the finger-pointing, just the tone and the angst and the anger directed at Donald Trump, his supporters. Really, then, you know, some people react to things like that. They get angry as well. And then you fuel the fires.”
Collins also said in the same interview he would have his gun “in my pocket from this day forward.” …
If more law-abiding citizens carried a gun with them at all times, there would be far fewer shootings and less violent crime. Notice that most mass or public shootings take place in gun free zones or in cities with strict gun control laws already in place that make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to be armed and ready to defend themselves and others. The solution to violence and shootings is to arm the people!
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