Under a bill that passed the US House of Representatives Wednesday, a person with a concealed-carry permit and a photo identification from one state would be able to have a gun hidden in their clothes in any other state that allows such permits.
The bill, H.R. 38, will allow Americans who legally hide carry firearms to do so in other states. It now goes to the Senate.
Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said the bill "most assuredly puts the safety of all police officers and the public at risk.".
Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords called the vote "unthinkable". "I'm angry that when this country is begging for courage from our leaders, they are responding with cowardice". He also urged New Yorkers to Tweet their displeasure toward GOP lawmakers, although the list included Long Island's Pete King and Staten Island's Dan Donovan, two Republicans who voted against the measure. Bump stocks allow semi-automatic rifles to fire almost as fast as an automatic rifle.
On the other end, Rep. Liz Cheney said, "Those traveling or living on the border of a state that does not recognize their home state's laws could have their gun rights stripped when they cross state lines". If the bill -known as the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act- becomes federal law, it will contradict existing state laws and would increase the number of legally carried guns in the state. He cited 2015 incident in which an Uber driver shot and wounded a gunman who was firing into a crowd of people in Chicago.
Our senior senator pointed out that states such as North Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Tennessee, Michigan and Georgia, to name just a handful, have gun permit standards that are not as safe as NY and geographies that are much more rural than urban.
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State gun laws vary across the United States; some states issue permits to convicted felons through loopholes in background check laws, convicted violent misdemeanants, people wanted on warrants, and those subject to orders of protection. "Georgia has no business, no right, to tell Colorado what its laws should be", he said. Last month, a man killed 26 and injured around 20 people in a Texas church sanctuary. The Air Force has discovered several dozen other such reporting omissions since the November 5 shooting. "This bill, will allow a law-abiding citizen to carry concealed gun only if they are not federally prohibited from possessing or receiving a firearm". He called it a cynical maneuver to force Democrats to cast a politically unpopular vote against background checks. Meanwhile, the Justice Department has already begun studying bump stocks, and could soon ban them.
The legislation faces an uncertain future in the Senate.
The bill will now head to the U.S. Senate.
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"I am proud to support this common-sense legislation".
This story was reported by The Associated Press.