NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New gun legislation pending on Capitol Hill has some law enforcement authorities worried.
The proposed measure is about whether you can carry a loaded, concealed weapon across state lines, and it’s triggered an explosive political debate, especially in New York.
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, in the fight over the right to bear arms, there’s a new battle to wear arms wherever you go.
Gun instructor Lauren Hartnett and other advocates said if you have a permit to carry a concealed weapon in one state, you should be able to travel to any other state loaded gun in tow.
“I am responsible for my own safety, and I don’t want to put that in anyone else’s hands,” Hartnett said.
Now, there are bills in congress pushing the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.
The bills would let anyone from states that allow carrying concealed guns to carry them from state to state, no questions asked.
Authorities in New York said, hold it right there.
“The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act threatens New York’s ability to protect itself,” Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance said.
Vance said the bill would make it impossible for the NYPD to tell the good guys from the bad, including terrorists.
“If the residents of Idaho want to have a state when you don’t need a permit to get a gun, I don’t think New York should tell Idaho how to manage its public safety, and I certainly don’t think the people of Idaho should tell New York City how to manage its public safety,” Vance said.
“We don’t think the right to protect, to defend yourself should be an arbitrary jurisdiction,” Catherine Mortensen said.
Mortensen of the National Rifle Association said the authorities are punishing law-abiding citizens.
“More Americans than ever are carrying firearms for personal protection and the fact is they travel, and their lives should not be turned upside down, simply by traveling from one state to another,” Mortensen said.
Thirty-eight states require a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but twelve don’t, and that means no extra vetting.
“There’s no training, aside from the background check when you obtain your gun, there’s no additional check whatsoever,” Dr. Robert Spitzer, Cortland State University said.
The Manhattan DA said if the bill passes, some 2-million loaded guns could pour into the city every year.
“As a mother who has lost two kids to gun violence, I am absolutely, and they should be too, and you should be too, to be against this legislation,” Jackie Rowe Adams said.
Adams of the group, Harlem Mothers Save, fears the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act will lead to chaos on New York City’s streets.
Congressman Peter King opposes the bill and said right now it doesn’t have the votes.
“I doubt it would pass the house, but even if it did I don’t see any way it could pass the senate,” he said.
Advocates believe they can get the bill passed in the house, and hope to take action soon.
Advocates argued it’s gun laws that have gone too far, and insist the concealed carry bill will only deter crime.