Different states have different requirements for gun ownership. Some states require a thorough background check and a waiting period to purchase a gun. Some require proof of good mental health. Unlike the requirements for a drivers’ license, the requirements for gun ownership vary greatly. That is why H.R. 822 is disturbing. It is intended to allow persons who hold a concealed carry permit from one state to also be allowed to carry anywhere in the country, with the exception of Illinois* and Washington, D.C.*
My biggest concern is that states that have a more restrictive “may issue” permit process, will be forced to allow non-residents to carry concealed when many of their own citizens may not. And those non-residents who carry concealed may have gotten their gun permit from a state that doesn’t have background checks. Background checks are important in determining who should be allowed to own a gun. People with a history of violence should not have weapons. People with lengthy criminal records should not have weapons. People who have had restraining orders filed against them should not have weapons. But in all those cases, states that have little or no restrictions on gun ownership can allow someone to purchase a weapon, carry concealed, and travel to another state with that weapon.
The House passed the bill on November 17, and it is now headed to the Senate.
Many of the politicians running for the Republican nomination will say that they believe in states’ rights. But the NRA is a powerful association that contributes millions of dollars to politicians. In turn, those politicians due the NRA’s bidding. By passing this bill, they are eroding the rights of states to determine what will and what will not be allowed in their state.
*Illinois does not allow anyone to carry concealed.
*Washington D.C. does not issue carry concealed permits, although they are currently being sued over this.