The U.S. Conference of Mayors has come out in opposition to House and Senate GOP proposals to allow "concealed carry" gun license holders to carry weapons into other states that allow it.
The resolution was offered by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, among others, and came as the Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to a California law setting strict limits on who can carry concealed weapons.
The GOP bills — introduced by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) in the House and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) in the Senate — are backed by the National Rifle Association, which has made passage of "concealed carry reciprocity" legislation its top congressional priority. They also have attracted widespread support from Republican lawmakers, as well as some Democrats. Neither bill has received a hearing or date for consideration yet.
Hudson, however, said that after the recent shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), a "number of members have approached me and asked me if we could move up the timetable" for marking up his bill.
Gun-control groups are strongly opposed to the measure. John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, derided the Hudson and Cornyn bills as "the gun lobby’s dream."
"Under ‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity,’ Congress would gut local public safety laws and turn the weakest state’s laws effectively into nationwide laws, forcing states to allow domestic abusers, people with violent histories, and people who lack even the most basic gun safety training to carry concealed guns in public," Feinblatt said in a statement praising the mayors’ resolution.
At its annual meeting, the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a broad resolution stating that the "goals of this legislation are completely antithetical to all of the efforts to reduce and prevent gun violence…."
The resolution also stresses that the proposed legislation "would essentially force the localities to give full faith and credit to permits that are issued on less rigorous grounds, remove local governments’ ability to maintain sensible gun standards, and keep a proper vetting process in place…."
Hudson said the mayors’ resolution "shows a misunderstanding of the legislation." Hudson noted that his proposal did not alter the requirements for background checks on handgun purchases or override any state, county or municipal ban on carry concealed weapons.
"You keep hearing about carrying a gun in Times Square," Hudson said. "If the city of New York prohibits carrying a gun in Times Square, then any visitor with a concealed-carry privilege would have to follow that law and wouldn’t be able to carry their weapon."
Hudson added: "It’s just like a driver’s license. If you go into a town where it’s 35 miles per hour everywhere, I have to drive 35."