New York AG Takes On “Reciprocity” Gun Bill

by James King, Village Voice  |  published on December 1, 2012


As it currently stands, the Second Amendment guarantees U.S. citizens the right to own firearms. But each state is permitted to place its own restrictions on the types of firearms — and the manner in which they’re possessed — that people are allowed to own.

A bill making its way through Congress would grant “reciprocity” for gun owners in states where they don’t actually live. In other words, if you can carry a concealed handgun under Ohio law, an Ohio resident can carry a concealed weapon in New York — regardless of New York’s gun laws.

The bill is designed to keep gun owners from getting arrested in other states where gun laws might be different than they are in the state in which they live. But New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ain’t havin’ it.

Schneiderman is leading a coalition of attorneys general who oppose “The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act” and “The Respecting States Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act,” which he says “would force states like New York, and the other co-signing states, to abandon their own gun laws by allowing out-of-state visitors to carry concealed firearms based on their home state’s less safe laws, rather than those of the state they are entering.”

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the attorneys general expressed their concern that “the bill would restrict their states’ ability to control who may and may not carry a concealed weapon within their borders, undermine the ability of police to verify the validity of gun permits, and allow gun traffickers to more easily bring illegal guns into their respective states.
“These two bills would force states to recognize concealed carry permits issued by any other states, even those with poor oversight and weaker permitting standards,” the attorneys general wrote. “These bills would create a lowest common denominator approach to public safety that would endanger police and make it more difficult to prosecute gun traffickers.”

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