House Passes Dangerous Guns Bill

November 17, 2011Noah Baron

Yesterday the House of Representatives passed a dangerous bill that would allow individuals with a concealed-carry permit from any state to carry a concealed weapon in any other state, regardless of whether they have met the training requirements of that state.

Yesterday the House of Representatives passed a bill called the "National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act" (H.R. 822) - a proposal some groupsare calling the "Packing Heat On Your Street" bill. The legislation would allow individuals with a concealed-carry permit from any state to carry a concealed weapon in any other state, regardless of whether they have met the training requirements of that state. In other words, the bill overrides state laws and allows the least stringent permit requirements to dictate national policy on concealed weapons.
Regardless of one's general feelings on gun violence prevention, this piece of legislation is particularly heinous because it would remove the ability of communities and even states to regulate for themselves who can carry a gun. All anyone would need is a concealed carry permit from a state with particularly weak requirements for permits.For example, Arizona's permit requirements are so lax that Jared Loughner, the mentally disturbed shooter who killed six people at the January 2011 event where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was speaking, did not even need a permit to carry a semi-automatic pistol in that state - but, as Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign explains: "[H]e was certainly eligible for an Arizona concealed carry permit, and if he had obtained one, H.R. 822 would have enabled him to carry his Glock into Times Square," or into any other city in any other state. H.R. 822, if passed, would allow more potentially dangerous individuals to carry concealed weapons on our streets and across state lines - likely multiplying the number of gun deaths in our own communities. Yet Jewish tradition teaches us to avoid the taking of life whenever possible. Isaiah exhorts the people of the earth to "beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks" (Isaiah 2:4). We are commanded to turn away from weapons of destruction and focus instead on working for the greater good of society. As Reform Jews, then, we should work to oppose this legislation. Keep checking RACblog for updates on H.R. 822, such as whether a version of the House bill is introduced in the Senate. Explore our issue page for more resources on gun control. Photo courtesy of ABC 4 News.

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