U.S. mayors want local authority on gun laws

A coalition of more than 600 Republican, Democratic and Independent U.S. mayors today called on the Senate to reject efforts by gun lobby allies to quickly introduce and pass a measure that would override state laws determining who can carry concealed, loaded weapons in public places.Legislation to impose national reciprocity for concealed weapon permits - called the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 822) - was marked up by the House Judiciary Committee last week and is expected to be approved by the House as early as next week. Senators are expected to try to attach a nearly identical measure to must-pass bills now on the Senate docket, including a series of appropriation measures and defense authorization legislation to be considered in the coming weeks. The legislation would force nearly every state to recognize permits to carry hidden, loaded weapons issued by any other state, even if the carrier would not qualify for a local permit. In Thursday's edition of USA Today, the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition published an open letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid and members of the Senate strongly opposing the Washington gun lobby's attempt to strip cities and states of their authority to set minimum standards for concealed carrying. "States and cities across the country have always had the authority to decide whether some people are just too dangerous to carry a loaded, hidden gun in public," said coalition co-chair Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "This bill would take away that authority and force states to allow out-of-state permit holders who have records of domestic violence, have certain misdemeanor convictions, or haven't completed basic gun safety training to carry loaded guns in public. When it comes to public safety, Congress has no business telling states, cities and police how to do their jobs."

********** Published: October 20, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 27