A fellow reader was flatly wrong about the proposed concealed carry reciprocity bill and the dangers it poses, and he used wordplay to dismiss a serious concern of both police and victims of abuse.
Brian Baker responded in print to my earlier letter, which cited LAPD Chief Charlie Beck’s withering criticism of the bill Congressman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, has co-sponsored.
The bill allows those with concealed carry permits to cross state lines regardless of whether they would qualify for such a permit in that area.
The proposal has also been denounced by the NYPD commissioner, the Fraternal Order of Police and dozens of the largest police and sheriff’s departments in America.
And for good reason.
I used the example of a spousal abuser, who might be restricted from carrying a hidden weapon in one state, but under this new bill would be allowed to carry one wherever he likes as long as he’s from a state with lax laws.
Mr. Baker correctly notes there is a federal law against spousal abusers getting concealed carry permits. But the fact remains: the federal law is extremely limited and does not cover dating partners, those who abuse family members besides a spouse or child, or even those convicted of stalking.
That’s why many states have passed more stringent restrictions covering these red-flag individuals, but other states have not. The concealed carry reciprocity law Knight supports reduces the national standard to the state with the weakest laws.
For instance, only 35 states specifically ban dating partners who have been convicted of abuse from carrying hidden handguns in public. Only 28 states prohibit convicted stalkers from carrying concealed guns.
There are 12 other states that have absolutely zero restrictions on who carries a hidden gun. There is no concealed carry permit required in those states. No safety training.
No restrictions whatsoever.
The bill Knight co-sponsored would force all states to allow these kinds of permit-free carriers to carry hidden guns across their borders, even to states that have the more stringent rules.
This undermines the individual state laws and the safety of those states’ citizens. It also forces our police to face a tangle of excuses and conflicting laws as they try to enforce California’s permit rules.
Mr. Baker’s exploitation of semantics is a perfect example of this chaos. He zeroed in on the shorthand use of “spousal” to try to dismiss the very real concerns expressed by law enforcement leaders.
That just shows how America’s hodgepodge of lax laws, loopholes, and ultra-narrow restrictions are manipulated by technicalities to empower criminals and exacerbate dangers.
These are facts. These aren’t just opinions. These are the concerns of the police. But they are of no concern to our own congressman, Steve Knight.
Anthony Breznican is a Santa Clarita resident.