Concealed carry bill poses risks
The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (H.R.38) is a terrible idea. This bill would allow those with concealed carry permits from any state to legally carry a concealed handgun in any other state (including currently protected school zones).
To many, this may not seem like a radical idea, but scratch beneath the surface and you find that concealed carry requirements can vary immensely from state to state. For instance, Florida is a “mail-in” state that doesn’t even require residency. All you need to obtain a Florida concealed carry permit is to attend an NRA-sponsored class, get fingerprinted on site, mail in a form to the Florida Department of Agriculture (which doesn’t have a complete database from which to run background checks) and eight weeks later, you receive a concealed carry permit in the mail. It should come as no surprise that Florida has granted concealed carry permits to 1,400 convicted felons.
On the other hand, Ohio mandates residency or employment in the state, completion of a firearms safety course, live-fire training, NICS background check, no record of domestic violence, no record of severe mental illness, and no current restraining orders (other states have even more stringent requirements).
In effect, H.R. 38 could easily allow the most dangerous among us to legally carry concealed firearms throughout most of the country. At a moment in our history when mass shootings seem to occur on a monthly (sometimes weekly) basis and we have to teach our children how to throw their textbooks at school shooters (ALICE Training), this is the last bill Congress – especially our representative, Jim Renacci, who is a co-sponsor – should be considering.
– Patrick Frato, Westlake