NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Las Vegas massacre has renewed a push for gun control, but Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-New York) warned that Congress could still try to pass a law that expands gun rights.
He said such a law would make New Yorkers less safe, and called its potential consequences “even worse than bump stocks,” the devices Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock apparently used to make semi-automatic rifles fire like fully automatic weapons.
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act has been pending on Capitol Hill for months. The bill would permit anyone from states allowing carrying concealed weapons to bring them across state lines – no questions asked.
“Many states out west and in the South with lax gun laws let just about anyone carry a gun concealed. Under this law, if Wyoming or Alabama said any person could carry a concealed gun, they could come to Times Square; Penn Station carrying that gun – concealed. No one would know about it,” Schumer said. “Can you imagine if somebody who had the same kind of mental illness as the horrible shooter in Las Vegas was allowed to come to New York and carry guns concealed on his person?”
He said the resulting chaos “would be utterly amazing.”
Schumer read part of an NRA statement on the bill, which the organization said would “allow law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families against acts of violence.”
“Is that appalling?” Schumer said. “The NYPD is aghast. Commissioner (James) O’Neill is out of town, but would have stood here next to me, that our police; our citizenry, could be confronted with people who had no background checks; no looking into whether they had serious problems, mental or otherwise – and they could carry whatever weapons they want, concealed, to any part of New York,” Schumer said.
Schumer said he would “oppose this legislation with every fiber of my body.”
He called on House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) not to allow the legislation onto the floor for discussion, though he said in the past, they have suggested they might.
He also said the legislation simply cannot be allowed to pass.