Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

Rep. Pascrell Opposes H.R. 38, So-Called ‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act’

Dec 6, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09), co-chair of the Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, gave the following floor remarks today (VIDEO) on H.R. 38, the so-called “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.” This extreme GOP bill creates a dangerous threat to public safety by forcing each state to recognize the concealed carry standards from every other state, even those that have dramatically weaker standards.  That means that, under the bill, states with strong concealed carry laws are forced to honor concealed carry permits from states with very weak laws.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in solidarity with towns across New Jersey’s Ninth Congressional District that strongly oppose H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act.

As a “may issue” state, New Jersey allows local law enforcement the discretion on issuing concealed carry permits.

In order to receive a permit, applicants must demonstrate an urgent need to carry a concealed weapon and pass a safety course on par with firearms training required of police officers.

However, H.R. 38 would undermine the good regulations New Jersey has in place by forcing New Jersey and other states to recognize the concealed carry standards from every other state, even if their regulations are weak or non-existent.

Allowing states with the weakest concealed carry requirements to set the national standard creates a race to the bottom for people to carry concealed, loaded weapons.

Aside from the outrageous fact House Republicans are pushing a bill to weaken states’ rights, this bill makes it HARDER for local law enforcement to do their jobs.

This bill does not establish a process for officers to easily verify that someone is carrying lawfully because officers would be essentially required to know the permitting standards of every state, a heavy and unnecessary burden.

Most alarmingly, the bill opens up law enforcement to the threat of personal litigation if an officer mistakenly questions a person’s legal authority to carry a concealed firearm.

Mr. Speaker, a good guy with a gun did not prevent the four worst mass shootings in U.S. history that occurred within the last decade.

It has been over two months since the Las Vegas shooting and this House has not taken any action that would have prevented the massacre from happening.

Now we are poised to pass a bill that could drastically expand the number of guns on our streets.

Mr. Speaker, I ask, how does this make us safer?

The simple answer is that it does not!

I oppose H.R. 38 and urge my colleagues to vote against this foolhardy piece of legislation.”

H.R. 38 creates a dangerous threat to public safety by forcing each state to recognize the concealed carry standards from every other state, even those that have dramatically weaker standards.  That means that, under the bill, states with strong concealed carry laws are forced to honor concealed carry permits from states with very weak laws. For example, 12 states currently do not even require a permit to carry a concealed gun in public, and this bill would force all states to allow the residents of these “permitless” states – who may have never been screened by a background check – to carry concealed, loaded guns within their borders.

The bill is opposed by numerous law enforcement and other organizations, including the Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence (that includes nine groups such as Major Cities Chiefs Association and International Association of Chiefs of Police), U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, American Bar Association, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, American Academy of Pediatrics, Giffords Law Enforcement Coalition, Everytown, and Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence (that includes National Council of Churches, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, The Episcopal Church, and 48 other groups).    

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