To the Editor:
While the health care debate rages on, another important matter is flying under the radar in Congress. Republican House and Senate members, including U.S. Rep. Hultgren and Kinzinger from Illinois Congressional Districts 14 and 15, have sponsored legislation to create concealed-carry reciprocity (CCR). The passage of CCR would make Illinois’ gun safety measures useless.
CCR would force states to recognize the concealed-carry standards from other states with lower safety standards. In Illinois, anyone who wants to carry a concealed weapon must pass a background check and take a 16-hour course that includes lessons on gun safety and Illinois laws. But Missouri, for instance, doesn’t require any of this. If CCR becomes law, anyone from Missouri, or a number of other states, who has a concealed-carry permit can conceal and carry that gun in Illinois as well, even if they haven’t met the safety standards that Illinois requires of its citizens.
Furthermore, CCR is largely denounced by law enforcement officials, including the Fraternal Order of Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and at least eight other major law enforcement organizations on the grounds that the bills would put both police and the public at greater danger.
Members of Congress are currently at home for the August recess. Constituents should take this opportunity to contact their representative, as well as our senators, Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, to let them know that we stand by Illinois’ right to make its own gun safety laws and that we are against concealed-carry reciprocity.
Dr. Mimi Cowan