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Editorial: Don't let 'concealed carry' issue stifle gun controls

A handgun is used on the indoor firing

A handgun is used on the indoor firing range at the National Armory gun store in Pompano Beach, Florida. (April 11, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

A push to allow anyone who has a permit to carry a concealed weapon in one state to carry that gun in every other state is a pernicious bit of political mischief that could doom a federal bill to combat gun violence. The Senate should reject the subversive amendment.

No good would come from authorizing concealed carry reciprocity. It would undermine anti-violence efforts in states such as New York that have tough carry laws and rigorously screen applicants. The New York law withstood a legal challenge this week when the U.S. Supreme Court opted not to take a case by five people who were denied carry permits and argued the restrictive law infringed on their constitutional right to bear arms. The court was right to rebuff the specious claim.

But if gun advocates in Congress manage to muscle concealed carry reciprocity into law, the legislatures of other states would be able to dictate who can carry a gun on our streets. The most lax state laws would become the de facto national standard. That shouldn't be allowed to happen. Merely inserting the amendment in the bill could drain away the support of enough senators who favor reasonable gun restrictions to make it impossible to pass the legislation's popular expanded background checks, tougher penalties for gun trafficking and additional funding for school security.

With mass shootings punctuating the rolling tragedy of daily gun violence, doing nothing would mark a new low for Congress.