NY Attorney General Warns of 'Guns in Times Square on New Year's Eve' with Concealed Carry Reciprocity
WASHINGTON -- New York's attorney general charged this week that the concealed carry reciprocity bill passed by the House could turn Dec. 31 into an even more dangerous event in his city.
"Concealed carry reciprocity is a public safety disaster in the making," Eric Schneiderman tweeted Wednesday. "We’re a Senate vote away from guns in Times Square on New Years Eve."
The House passed 231-198 on Wednesday legislation to allow concealed carry permit holders to carry a concealed weapon in states other than the one in which they were licensed.
Fourteen Republicans voted against the bill, while six Democrats voted in favor. It now moves to the Senate, where it faces stiff Democratic opposition.
After the bill passed, legislative author Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) declared, "For the millions of law-abiding citizens who lawfully carry concealed to protect themselves, for conservatives who want to strengthen our Second Amendment rights, and for the overwhelming majority of Americans who support concealed carry reciprocity, Christmas came early."
Two dozen state attorneys general supported the bill, which the NRA called "a watershed moment for Second Amendment rights." Critics contend it strips states of their rights to regulate concealed carry permit holders.
Schneiderman said in a statement that the legislation strips New York law enforcement of "their right to enforce common sense policies that keep New Yorkers safe from the scourge of gun violence."
"New York has some of the strongest gun laws in the country. This bill could return New York to the bad old days, by rolling back the protections that have reduced gun-related deaths in New York State to some of the lowest rates in the nation," he argued. "This lowest-common-denominator approach would undermine states’ basic responsibility to protect our communities – including by determining who may carry a concealed, loaded gun within our borders."
The attorney general charged that the measure "would risk the lives of our families and our law enforcement officers, while facilitating gun trafficking and promoting mass violence."
"With each tragedy, we lament the loopholes in our federal gun laws. Today, the House just voted to create a huge new one," Schneiderman added.
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who survived the June shooting at a GOP baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., called the bill's passage "strong action to strengthen our Second Amendment rights."
"With this law, we put public safety first by stopping guns from getting into the hands of criminals and ensuring federal agencies who fail to report accurate records of felons trying to get a weapon are penalized, while also allowing our law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from these criminals by providing concealed carry license reciprocity across state lines," Scalise said.
"By mandating enforcement of laws already on the books and protecting the ability of our law-abiding citizens to defend themselves, we are making important progress in preventing mass shootings from happening in the future," he added.