This morning, I received an email from keystoneprogress.org regarding a bill to be considered by the US Senate, which will supposedly make it easier for convicted criminals to obtain concealed weapons permits. I wanted to see what other atheists (and I assume skeptics) would think of this, so here is the text of the aforementioned email:

Here's what some Senators envision for Pennsylvania — loaded guns hidden from view being carried almost anywhere. In your grocery store, your child's playground, your neighborhood restaurant.

And these loaded, concealed weapons could be carried by almost anyone, even if state law prohibits them from carrying concealed weapons. Who will these Senators allow to carry guns in Pennsylvania? Alcohol abusers, criminals who have been convicted of impersonating a police officer, and people convicted of other offenses would be allowed to carry a concealed weapon if these radical Senators have their way.

Click here to say no to this madness: http://www.keystoneprogress.org/page/speakout/paconceal

The U.S. Senate is poised to consider a bill (S. 845) that will make it incredibly easy to obtain a permit to carry a concealed gun almost anywhere in the country. The vote could come as early as this Wednesday.

S. 845 will bring a "lowest common denominator" standard to the issue of where and how you can obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm in your state. The end result will be the Federal government imposing its will over the will of individual states and local communities, many of which have drafted and passed careful rules and regulations concerning the concealed carry permit process.

This terrible piece of legislation may be brought up in the Senate at any time now, so there's no time to delay if you want your voice to be heard. Click here to write to Senators Casey and Specter and urge them to VOTE NO on S. 845. [link removed]

It will only take a minute. You can use our sample letter or write your own by clicking here now. [link removed]

Pennsylvania has crafted common sense laws that respect the rights of gun owners, but place reasonable restrictions on allowing criminals to carry concealed weapons. Don't let Congress overturn our laws designed to protect our citizens. Act now.

Michael Morrill
Executive Director
Keystone Progress
www.keystoneprogress.org

Tags: bill, conceal, congress, criminal, legislation, permit, senate, weapon

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Replies to This Discussion

Here are some additional notes to consider, also provided by the Keystone Progress web site:

- 18 states prohibit alcohol abusers from obtaining a concealed carry permit, including South Carolina, which prevents “habitual drunkards” from carrying guns.

- 24 states prohibit persons convicted of certain misdemeanor crimes from carrying concealed firearms, including Pennsylvania, which bars those who have been convicted of impersonating a law enforcement officer and other misdemeanor offenses.

- 19 states require the completion of a gun safety program prior to the issuance of a permit, including Nevada, which requires a 40 question written exam and live fire training from three different positions with a certified instructor as components of their required gun safety course.

S. 845 would eviscerate all of these standards, moving concealed carry permitting to a new national lowest common denominator. Incredibly, this bill would even allow persons ineligible for a permit in their own state to shop around for lower standards in the many states that offer permits to out-of-state residents, circumventing laws that would otherwise render the applicant ineligible.

States ought to have the ability to make their own decisions about whether to accept concealed carry permits from out of state. Eight states have chosen to honor concealed carry permits issued in any other state. However, 13 states choose not to recognize any out of state permits. And 29 states, including Pennsylvania, recognize permits only from selected states – typically from states with equivalent or higher standards. Any of these options should be available – and it should be each state’s choice to make.

This law would not only frustrate our police officers, it would endanger them. Policing our streets and confronting the risks inherent in even routine traffic stops is already perilous enough without increasing the number of guns that officers encounter. In Pennsylvania, 13 law enforcement officers have been shot and killed in Pennsylvania in the line of duty in the past four years. Ambiguity as to the legality of firearm possession will lead to further potentially catastrophic officer hesitation in dangerous situations. Congress should be working to make the job of a police officer more safe – not less.
All it does is establish concealed carry license reciprocity between states. No more than already done for drivers licenses.

Which would be nice instead of getting it in one state, which may cover you in a handful of non-adjacent states, then having to write to the governor's office of each state in which you plan to travel for a separate permit.
Well yeah, it would be really nice to not have to carry an Oregon AND Washington AND Florida CHL just because one lives in the Northwest and tends to drive a bit. I am all for reciprocity on an even basis and dismantling the hodge-podge of restrictions... however, reading the bill language carefully gives me pause: "A person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm"... Perhaps this is a blanket that would easily allow tighter control with subsequent passage of very restrictive federal legislation (see some of the other threads here). For now tho I would have to say I am in support of this as a common sense approach.
A common sense approach is needed. Just look at the amount of red tape for permit reciprocity here in Virginia: http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms_Reciprocity.shtm

So if I want to go on a road-trip and have protection with me, I have to do all this research in order to carry legally, as opposed to the criminals from which I plan to be protecting myself, who will buy their guns illegally and carry them without permits without a second thought... So who are these gun laws really protecting? It seems to me that they've just been making criminals out of people who are not actually setting out to commit crimes, but just want to exercise their 2nd amendment rights to keep/bear arms.
"While I do not accept it is a legitimate power the Federal government already regulates firearms ownership so this bill does not create anything new in that regard."

Well actually, it really means nothing that you do not accept it as legitimate, because as you state, the feds already regulate firearms ownership, and you can do little to nothing about it. So if they regulate it further - and they will - this bill does make it easier to consolidate control by reducing some of the interstate / intrastate complexities of licensing and ownership. Please read my comments in other threads in this section regarding some of the possible ways this can occur.

As I indicated initially, I also believe this bill is a step in the right direction, but we MUST remain vigilant at all times; I have no doubt the anti-gunners will take any opportunity to push their agenda. This bill could simply provide yet another potential avenue for them to usurp 2AM if not monitored... and this was my reason for taking pause.
It's all academic at this point, the bill failed.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/22/AR2...

And here's a very good comment, quoted from the Oregon Firearms Federation website:

"...keep in mind, driver's licenses were always the domain of the states. Now, the FEDs have moved in to use them as a backdoor national id card. If the states do not comply with Federal mandates on driver's licenses. they will not be acceptable ID for boarding planes or entering Federal buildings. The long and belligerent arm of the Federal Government has stepped in on driver's licenses. What happens when they do the same on CHL's?"
I don't see what all the fuss is about regarding national ID cards. That's basically what a passport is, it just doesn't permit me to operate a motored vehicle.
It's the Federal government taking over state governments... you really want the beaurocrats in DC to be in control of your state? As if your state beaurocrats weren't enough? Passports are supposed to be handled on a national, federal basis since they are country based and allow an individual's controlled movement betweeen sovereign entities. Driving is a local, state granted privelege. Unfortunately so is CHL right now, although clearly the 2AM grants RKBA (should not require licensing, IMHO).

As we lose more local control we increase the liklihood of control from a distance by those that know nothing of our local situation, social complexities, culture, whatever you want to insert here. And make no mistake, the Federal government is deeply beholden to flagless corporations and moneyed interests (actually that's what they are), and they have an agenda... which likely doesn't include you, just whatever they can get from you. By whatever means necessary.
"Driving is a local, state granted privelege."

Not really... The license may be issued by the state, but it allows me to drive in any/all other states. I don't have to apply for non-resident driving licenses in states that I plan to visit and/or pass through.
You're missing my point - I agreed with you initially on the potential benefit of the bill but it has possible consequences that need to be considered...

And its the STATE that grants a driving privelege and license and other states CHOOSE to reciprocate the privelege provided you follow their rules. It does not allow you to drive in other states unless they allow it - think driving permits and restircted licenses... perhaps you may not be able to drive in one state or another if restricted, but can in your home state. Given the mad variety of CHL rules amongst the states such reciprocity becomes challenging, and this bill may have been a good step to fix some of that.
No, I didn't miss the point. I was just pointing out that a driver's license is not an accurate comparison. What is the legislation that specifies other states are choosing to reciprocate the privilege of driving through their states? In what state is my Virginia driver's license not valid?

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