The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

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Senate May Try to Override State Concealed Weapons Restrictions by Amendment to Defense Authorization Bill


The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is alerting activists
across the country that a potential amendment to a Department of
Defense authorization bill scheduled for action in the U.S. Senate as
early as next week would eviscerate limitations in many U.S. states on
who can carry a loaded, hidden handgun in public in their state.

"We believe that, at the urging of the extremist gun lobby,
some Senators want to adopt Federal legislation that would undercut
state law limits on carrying hidden handguns," said Paul Helmke,
President of the Brady Campaign. "This will endanger public safety and
make it more difficult for our police officers to do their jobs."

The Brady Action alert emailed yesterday urged activists to call their Senators' offices to voice their opposition.

The bill that may be introduced as an amendment, S. 845,
would allow the carrying of loaded, concealed firearms outside a
person's home state, even by persons legally barred from possessing
guns in the state where the carrying occurs
. It would apply in
the 48 states that allow concealed carrying of firearms and would
effectively allow the weaker concealed carry laws of one state to
nullify the restrictions on gun carrying of other states.

Under the proposed legislation, to carry concealed weapons people need
only meet the minimum requirements of federal law to possess a gun, be
permitted in their home state to carry a concealed weapon, and abide by
a state's concealed carry location restrictions. For example, Alaska
allows adult residents to carry a concealed weapon without a license,
background check, or training as long as they are allowed to possess a
gun under weak Alaska gun laws - even if they have committed repeated
violent misdemeanors or have committed misdemeanor sex offenses against
. This legislation would force the other 47 states that
allow concealed carrying to allow many Alaskan violent misdemeanants to
carry concealed guns in their state, even if a state completely bans
gun possession by such persons.

Multiple studies have shown that laws allowing the carrying of concealed firearms have not reduced crime and, if anything, have increased violent crime, including murder and robbery. Numerous examples of crimes and dangerous acts committed by concealed carry licensees are at

Brady United formerly known as The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and its legislative and grassroots affiliate, the Brady Campaign and its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence. We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.