New York Lawmakers Divided Over The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (Video)

Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed 231 to 198 the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, allowing concealed carry permit holders to transport their weapons across state lines.

As a result, rifts are forming between legislators in even solidly Democratic states with strict gun laws, like New York.

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement:

“This legislation would let individuals from out-of-state convicted of certain crimes carry hidden, loaded weapons in New York, in violation of New York’s much better, safer law. Only the NRA could propose something so ill-considered, dangerous and vile.”

The “much better, safer law” to which Cuomo referred is his 2013 Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, passed after the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn.

According to Cuomo’s own explanation on the state’s SAVE Act webpage:

“[SAVE] Stops criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from buying a gun by requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, increases penalties for people who use illegal guns, mandates life in prison without parole for anyone who murders a first responder, and imposes the toughest assault weapons ban in the country. For hunters, sportsmen, and law abiding gun owners, this new law preserves and protects your right to buy, sell, keep or use your guns.”

Seven of the nine New York GOP House members voted for Wednesday’s measure; all Democratic House members voted against it.

Long Island Rep. Peter King and Staten Island Rep. Dan Donovan were the only Republicans to vote against it.

Currently in New York, a resident can apply for a concealed-carry license in the county where he or she lives based on stringent criteria.

The state does not recognize licenses from other states.

Outside New York City, residents can obtain concealed carry permission with hand gun permits.

The same is true for Massachusetts.

The new federal bill revises these provisions, requiring each state to treat concealed carry permits like driver’s licenses, recognizing them from other states, regardless of individual state laws.

It also allows qualified individuals to carry concealed weapons on federal lands.

A supporter of the new concealed weapons, NY Rep. John Faso (R-Kinderhook), argues the bill adds uniformity to the nation’s mismatched concealed-carry system.

He said:

“Gun regulations for law-abiding firearm owners are often confusing and redundant. This bill clarifies those regulations and allows individuals with valid state-issued concealed firearm permits to carry a concealed firearm in any other state that also issues similar permits. Rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment do not end at the state line. Additionally, this bill strengthens reporting requirements for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Strengthening reporting ensures those who are not allowed to purchase a firearm cannot do so.”

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) agrees.

She stated:

“Establishing nationwide reciprocity will streamline regulations allowing permit holders to cross state lines without the worry of breaking the law.”

Supporters argue the gun lobby premise that the law will reduce gun violence.

Democrats, though, counter with the argument that gun violence will increase.

A report last year from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman states seventy-four percent of guns used in crimes in his state came from other states with fewer firearms regulations.

About the House bill, Schneiderman said:

“[A] lowest-common-denominator approach would undermine states’ basic responsibility to protect our communities — including by determining who may carry a concealed, loaded gun within our borders.”

To date, the United States has experienced 328 mass shootings this year.

According to, in 2016, the National Rifle Association (NRA) handed more than $50 million to key Republican candidates, including President Donald Trump.

It showered $50.2 million, 96 percent of total outside spending, on Trump and six Republican Senate candidates, and lost only the race for former Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid’s Nevada senate seat, on which it invested roughly $2.5 million.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 is now making its way through the Senate.

If it passes there, it goes to conference committee before landing on President Trump’s desk.

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Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, Liberal Nation Rising, and Medium.