WASHINGTON, D.C. — Republican Congressman voted to force states with tough gun laws to allow more people to carry concealed weapons.
Leonard Lance joined all but seven Republicans in Congress who voted to allow anyone to carry a concealed firearm on New Jersey streets, simply by obtaining a concealed firearm permit under laws outside of the Garden State.
H.R. 822, known as the “National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011,” would force states to allow out-of-state visitors to carry loaded, hidden guns by even if those persons are not trained to the standards or legally barred from possessing guns in the state where the carrying occurs.
There were 147 Democrats voting against the bill, compared with just 43 in favor of the measure — which opposing groups refer to as the “Packing Heat on Your Street” bill, recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is now in the U.S. Senate.
“This legislation is so dangerous that it would trample a state’s ability to set its own rules and training requirements concerning who carries loaded, hidden guns in public and override basic state possession laws setting minimum age limits to possess handguns,” said Dennis Henigan, acting president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “It’s deplorable that the first major gun legislation passed by a house of Congress since the Tucson shootings is one that would make it easier for the Jared Loughners of the world to pack heat on our streets and in our communities. It’s deplorable that they did this so soon after Gabby Giffords shared her remarkable and moving comeback story. She and all gun violence victims deserve better from Congress.”
Henigan said H.R. 822 is so extreme it would allow dangerous, violent, and untrained people from out-of-state to carry loaded guns in your community, and your state would be powerless to stop them.
National and state law enforcement organizations, such as the International Association of Chiefs of Police and Major Cities Chiefs Association, strongly oppose the measure — as do the 34 national faith-based organizations that make up the Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence coalition — because more loaded, hidden guns in more communities will undermine public safety.
The Brady Campaign has released a report with profiles of some of 13 of the most notorious concealed carry killers. Click Packing Heat on Your Street, to review the report.
Democrats Robert Andrews (NJ-1), Frank Pallone (NJ-6), William Pascrell (NJ-8), Steven Rothman (NJ-9), Donald Payne (NJ-10), Rush Holt (NJ-12) and Albio Sires (NJ-13) voted against the legislation; Republicans Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2), Jon Runyan (NJ-3), Christopher Smith (NJ-4), Scott Garrett (NJ-5) and Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) joined Lance in voting for the bill last month.
The National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it is awaiting consideration.