Law Enforcement Leaders Express Opposition to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act

Today, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) released a letter of opposition to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38/S. 446)(H.R.38/S. 446). The letter was signed by 473 law enforcement agencies from 39 states who joined together to oppose this legislation that would dismantle state-level concealed carry permitting systems. The letter is found in its entirety here.

Statement by IACP President Louis M. Dekmar, Chief of the LaGrange, Georgia, Police Department:

“While I support Second Amendment rights for all law-abiding citizens, I strongly oppose to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act because it endangers the public and law enforcement. This legislation would override state laws that determine who is qualified to carry a concealed firearm—laws that take into account the distinctive circumstances and needs in each state. No state should be forced to accept a person carrying a concealed that does not meet the standards the state has set for its own citizens. This legislation, if passed, would severely interfere with local law enforcement’s ability to prevent gun violence and safeguard the public.”

Statement by Boston Commissioner William Evans:

“This bill would override state laws determining who is qualified to carry a loaded hidden gun – laws which take into account the unique circumstances and needs in each state– and would force states to allow individuals to carry guns who are not qualified to do so under their own laws,” said Commissioner Evans of the legislation. “During traffic stops and other interactions with the public, our officers would have to be familiar with 50 different state’s laws on conceal carry permitting. Given the split-second decisions our officers frequently need to make, this is nearly impossible and can foreseeably lead to violent confrontations. As law enforcement officers across the US, we oppose this dangerous threat to our officers and to public safety.”

Statement by Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo:

“The federal Conceal Carry law would override carefully crafted state laws, which vary widely in their standards, and reduce the country to the least common denominator for safety. Not all states require background checks or safety training. Some states don’t require carriers to have a permit at all, and some allow people convicted of violent misdemeanors to carry weapons. States must retain the ability to legislate concealed carry laws that best fit the needs of their communities. Texans have a history of responsible gun ownership, strongly believe in states’ rights, and deserve to not be forced to accept permits holders from states that don’t have our proven processes.”

Statement by Springfield, MO Police Chief Paul Williams:

“The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is simply a bad idea. The United States of America, lest we forget, is a Union of States. Each State has a responsibility to its residents to enact laws reflecting the views of their residents, and not those of another State. There is already CCW reciprocity between states that agree with each other on this issue; but forcing other states, who are not like minded, to honor that agreement is not the role of the Federal government, or in the best interests of ALL citizens. Although we had a very well designed and functioning CCW permitting process in Missouri, in 2016 our legislature voted to allow anyone to carry a concealed handgun, without a permit, without training, and without requiring a background check. That may well be the will of Missourians, but I dare say it is not something that would be universally accepted across the country.”

Statement by Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields:

“Given the recent series of mass shootings, the last thing we need to do is make it easier for people to carry concealed weapons across state lines. This law makes no sense if our goal is to reduce deaths from gun violence.”

Law enforcement officers interested in adding their voice to this national effort may sign on to the letter of opposition here: http://bit.ly/IACPOpposesCCR.

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