Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival during a mass shooting on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo: David Becker/Getty Images)

Two Months After Nation's Deadliest Mass Shooting, GOP House Passes 'Dangerous' Bill to Undermine Local Gun Control Laws

"If this bill becomes law, the body count of innocent victims killed by concealed carry permit holders will only rise."

Julia Conley

Gun control advocates denounced a House vote on Wednesday approving major legislation which would allow gun owners to carry licensed concealed weapons across state laws—effectively voiding gun control laws that prohibit hidden firearms in certain states.

The House passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 in a 231-198 vote. The Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote that the law is "clearly aimed at undermining gun control efforts nationally," while the National Rifle Association (NRA) called the measure its "highest legislative priority" for the year.

Kristen Rand, Legislative Director of the Violence Policy Center, said after the bill passed, "Today's winners are the NRA and the gun industry, the losers are public safety and law enforcement. If this bill become law, the body count of innocent victims killed by concealed carry permit holders will only rise."

"Just two months after the deadliest mass shooting in American history, we should not be weakening our nation's gun laws."—Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.)

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38) would make a gun owner's concealed carry permit issued in states like Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, and others—including 19 states where permit-holders are not required to complete any safety training to qualify for concealed carry—valid in states that have passed more stringent gun control laws.

"In other words, Georgia and other states would have more say than New York in determining how many guns are safe to have on the streets of Manhattan," wrote the New York Times editorial board on Wednesday. "The inflow of weapons that could then be carried around secretly would threaten law and order."

Anticipating the vote, the Violence Policy Center and Moms Demand Action shared statistics related to concealed weapons:

In a bid to win support for the legislation from those who generally back stringent gun control measures, pro-gun representatives merged the bill with the Fix NICS Act, which has broad bipartisan support and is aimed at reinforcing the national criminal background check system by strengthening reporting requirements and helping government agencies to report criminal activity more effectively.

"It's a small step forward, but not nearly enough to overcome the awfulness of the Reciprocity Act," wrote the Los Angeles Times of the Fix NICS Act.

At a press conference held by gun control advocacy groups Giffords and Newtown Action Alliance, law enforcement officials added their voices to the call to oppose H.R. 38.

Major Sabrina Tapp-Harper, who heads the domestic violence unit at the Baltimore City Sheriff's office, stressed that the law would create new risks for abuse survivors who flee their attackers and attempt to start over in new states. (Although federal law prohibits people who have been convicted of domestic abuse from buying guns, the law only applies to spouses, leaving what's known as the "boyfriend loophole."

"I've seen the incredible danger that comes from a domestic violence abuser with a gun," said Tapp-Harper. "This law will take away the ability of victims to seek refuge in states without stronger laws to protect them."

Other gun control advocates said the weakening of laws in states with strict gun control will also allow domestic abusers to apply for a concealed carry permit in a more permissive state, even if they would be banned from doing so at home.

"The efforts that some states have made will be for naught," Ruth Glenn of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, told the Huffington Post. "Domestic abusers are very crafty. If we think they don't know about these laws and ways around them, we are sadly mistaken."

On social media, opponents of H.R. 38 denounced the bill and urged constituents to fight against its passage in the Senate.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Dems Mark Anniversary of 13th Amendment With Calls to 'Close the Slavery Loophole'

"Prison labor is slave labor. Pass the #AbolitionAmendment."

Jessica Corbett ·


Urging Dems to 'Fight for Justice,' Progressives Launch 'Pass the PRO Act Holiday Tour'

"We've seen time and time again, when Democrats don't deliver quickly for their base and for labor, bad things happen, and you're approaching that precipice again."

Brett Wilkins ·


Dems Urge DOJ Antitrust Probe Into $43 Billion Discovery-WarnerMedia Merger

"Giant corporations must not be allowed to stomp out competition, put up barriers to enter the market, and continue to exclude Latinos from the media industry."

Jessica Corbett ·


DOJ Lawsuit Challenging Texas Gerrymandering Met With Applause, Calls for Action in Congress

"While we are grateful for the involvement of the federal government, what we need to stop the five-decade cycle of having to take legal action every 10 years is for Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act," said one advocate.

Julia Conley ·


'Nobody Is Above the Law': Elizabeth Warren Applauds SEC Probe of Trump's Social Media Venture

"There may have been serious violations of securities laws during the proposed merger of Digital World Acquisition Corp. and Trump's media company," said the Massachusetts Democrat.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo