Time to pass Concealed Carry Reciprocity
The recent shooting at an Alexandria, Va., baseball field where Republicans were practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game was a shocking attack on our elected representatives, and called into question the safety of our nation’s leaders in a time of heated political rhetoric and dysfunction. Had it not been for the heroism of the two Capitol Police officers at the scene and officers who arrived soon after, there could have been more injuries, and even casualties among the members of Congress present that morning.
Highly trained to respond in a crisis situation, Officers David Bailey and Crystal Griner ran toward the shooter, and neutralized the threat. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told CNN shortly after the dramatic incident that, “Nobody would have survived without the Capitol Hill police … it would have been a massacre without them.”
Two good people with guns were the only thing able to stop a bad guy with a gun.
What hasn’t received the attention it deserves though is that coming from the District of Columbia, which has no reciprocity for concealed carry permits and extremely restrictive gun laws, members of Congress were caught unarmed in a life threatening situation. As Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) noted, “We had nothing but bats to defend ourselves.”
It is time for there to be national reciprocity for concealed carry permits, instead of the patchwork of laws governing reciprocity that vary by state. Virginia, where the shooting happened, has reciprocity for some states’ concealed carry permits, but if members would have brought their guns back and forth from D.C., they would have been breaking the law. It should never be a crime to be responsibly prepared to defend yourself in any possible situation.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) have introduced the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, which would allow legal gun owners and concealed carry permit holders nationwide to responsibly arm themselves no matter where they are. Responsible gun owners take self defense seriously, and these individuals have already proven that they are willing to comply with the law, by fulfilling all of the requirements associated with getting a concealed carry permit. Criminals, by definition, have no regard for laws or permits or gun free zones, and by allowing safe, responsible citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights, our communities could be much safer.