Wyoming does not resemble Washington, D.C. Nevada is not like New York City. The differences in those places justify differences in their gun laws.
That’s why the Senate must stop a National Rifle Association-backed bill passed in the House of Representatives that would allow anybody permitted to carry a concealed weapon anywhere in the United States to carry a concealed weapon everywhere in the nation.
Police officials and union leaders in NYC and other urban areas nationwide oppose 50-state carry because it endangers their officers and communities. Imagine the impact a change in concealed-carry laws would have on the busiest parts of Manhattan, where anyone could carry a hidden gun while strolling through a crowded Times Square or Rockefeller Center during the holidays. Imagine the potential for trouble in a moment of rage on the frenzied subways, on a packed bus or on the busy streets.
States should have the right to set the rules for carrying concealed weapons in their borders, and they traditionally have done so. In some cases, counties and cities enact more restrictive laws.
So, the rules vary tremendously. Many rural states have lax concealed-carry requirements that do not require specific training or a clean criminal record. Others, like New York, require safety training and background checks. In NYC, the rules are even stricter.
The argument from 50-state-carry proponents that driver’s licenses are valid in all 50 states once issued by each one misses the mark. No state allows everybody to drive regardless of circumstances or training, nor does any state let almost no one drive. There is a broad national consensus on how to license drivers that does not exist with concealed-carry permits.
NYC is closing out what might be its safest year since the 1950s. Through November, the number of homicides was 259, down 17 percent from a year ago.
And now our national leaders want to make us less safe?
Senators need to heed the concerns of law enforcement and defeat this bill.