Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-Mineola, a vocal advocate for reducing gun violence, blasted House leadership and many of her colleagues after the passage of H.R. 822, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act.
The bill forces states to recognize the concealed handgun permits issued by other states even if their safety standards are much lower. Rep. McCarthy said that it’s the wrong bill to pass when it would hurt public safety and does nothing to help the country’s top priority, jobs and the economy.
“This bill is a gross violation of both states’ rights and public safety, as well as a gratuitous gift to the powerful gun lobby when states already have the option to do what this bill mandates," she said. “With the White House getting shot at with an assault weapon and the nation demanding that Congress focus on creating jobs and helping the economy, the last thing we need right now is another gun proliferation bill, which does nothing to protect American citizens or help them pay their bills.
“I hope that more rational heads will prevail in the U.S. Senate, or in the White House where Sen. Lautenberg and I have asked President Obama to issue a veto threat to this unnecessary and dangerous bill.”
Rep. McCarthy proposed an amendment to H.R. 822 that would have required states to proactively opt-in to the agreements called for in the bill by passing state law. The amendment would have restored the law to its current status – currently, states have the option to enter reciprocity agreements for handgun permits should they choose to, and states have the right to set the standards for who should carry a concealed handgun on their streets. The amendment failed despite bipartisan support.
Last week, Rep. McCarthy and Sen. Frank Lautenberg wrote to President Obama urging him to issue a veto threat to H.R. 822, an action that could help stop the dangerous and unnecessary bill in its tracks.
“We strongly urge you and your administration to make clear your opposition to, and issue a veto threat for H.R. 822,” McCarthy and Lautenberg wrote. “Passing H.R. 822 would jeopardize public safety and would be an insult to states like New Jersey and New York that purposefully have strong gun ownership laws. In a country with almost 300 million guns, we need to be strengthening our gun safety laws, not weakening them.”
Last month, Rep. McCarthy wrote to every governor in the United States warning them of the threat to both public safety and states’ rights posed by H.R. 822.
“This policy removes the ability of your state to pass laws or regulations regarding armed visitors to your state and forces the citizens of your state to honor the policies of the government of another state over whom they have no electoral control or remedies for addressing ill-advised policies,” Rep. McCarthy wrote to the governors.