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Oppose H.R. 38

As our hearts go out to the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas and to their families and friends, we also grieve, on this Domestic Violence Awareness Month, for the approximately 470 women who have been killed this year by abusers with guns.  As we grieve, the House may vote on a bill that would make it terrifyingly easy for abusers to legally carry concealed firearms into other states when stalking their victims (this bill may also be added as an amendment to the SHARE Act – HR. 3668 - another very harmful bill that, among other things, deregulates silencers and aids gun traffickers, or to other legislation)H.R. 38, Representative Hudson’s (R-NC-08) ‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017’ would undercut existing state and local protections for victims of domestic and dating violence -- and replace those protections with the weakest gun laws in the country. It’s a race to the bottom. And survivors of domestic violence will be the losers.

“Concealed carry reciprocity (CCR)” is a complicated name for a law that would make it simple for abusers to threaten and harass -- and kill -- their intimate partners with firearms. H.R. 38 would force every state to accept other states’ concealed carry permits, even if the out-of-state permit was issued to a domestic violence offender who would be prohibited from obtaining such a permit in the travel state.  This is a clear violation of the Constitution’s recognition of states’ rights, and it is dangerous for victims of domestic violence.

Contact your Members of Congress NOW.  Click here to find your Representative.  You can find his/her Twitter handle here (scroll down for sample social media posts; hashtags #DVAM2017, #NoGuns4Abusers, #NoCCR, #NoHR38).  Use our sample scripts below!

Background:

Carrying concealed firearms makes it easier for abusers to go follow their victims without the guns being detected and the abuser apprehended.  Currently, every state has its own concealed carry permitting requirements. Some states’ firearms laws are more protective of victims of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, while other states provide almost no firearms protections for survivors. Under the Constitution, each state has the individual authority to say who can and cannot carry concealed firearms within their borders. Under the Constitution, anyone traveling with a concealed firearm from their state of residence to another state must follow the concealed carry permit laws of the state to which they travel unless the two states have a reciprocity agreement.  Congress is negating protections that make domestic violence victims safer. Why would Congress take away these protections?

  • Survivors often relocate to other states to escape their abusers, sometimes seeking refuge in states that have stricter firearms protections.
  • Many states have stronger laws than the federal government, including prohibiting dating violence and stalking misdemeanants from possessing firearms.
  • Twelve states currently have no requirement that an individual must apply for and obtain a state permit to carry concealed firearms. Anyone in these states, regardless of prior acts of violence, can just pick up a gun, conceal it in their clothing, and go anywhere they want in the state. This could be the standard for the whole country if Congress passes these bills.
  • H.R. 38 would make it easy for domestic violence offenders who are ineligible for a permit in their states of residence to “shop” for states with weak concealed carry permit laws and to avoid being turned down for a concealed carry permit in a state that is more protective of survivors.
  • H.R. 38 has a provision that threatens law enforcement with lawsuits if they try to enforce their own state’s firearms laws that protect victims and survivors. This would punish law enforcement for doing their jobs -- and would put law enforcement officers in danger, as well as survivors.
  • State and federal firearms databases are not well-maintained. They don’t have the records needed to perform an effective background check in many cases. H.R. 38 depends on a fully functioning National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Unless Congress also provides sufficient funding to bring these databases up-to-date, there is no way for law enforcement to make sure domestic violence offenders are not carrying concealed firearms in violation of federal law.

A note about the SHARE Act:

H.R.3668, Representative Jeff Duncan’s (R-SC-3) grandiously entitled ‘The Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act’ (SHARE Act) is another harmful bill that would, among other things, deregulate silencers and weaken requirements for transporting firearms.  As one Congressman said in passing, only criminals would think this was a good idea.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Rachel Graber at the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence or Rob Valente at the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

 

Phone script: “My name is [your name], I am from [city and organization, if applicable].  I am a constituent, and I oppose H.R. 38, Representative Hudson’s bill that imposes federally-mandated concealed carry reciprocity on my state.  H.R.38 makes it harder for law enforcement to protect victims of domestic violence, puts victims of domestic violence and law enforcement officers at risk of gun violence, is a violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of states’ rights, and makes our communities less safe.  I oppose H.R.38 as a stand-alone bill and/or as an amendment to other legislation and oppose H.R. 3668, the SHARE Act, which puts communities at risk by deregulating silencers and aiding gun traffickers.  I urge [name of Member of Congress] to oppose them as well.”

 

Sample Email:

Dear Representative [Representative’s name],

My name is [your name], and I am a constituent from [your location and, if applicable, organization].  I strongly urge you to oppose H.R.38, which could have fatal consequences for victims and survivors of domestic violence.  H.R. 38,  Representative Hudson’s federally mandated concealed carry reciprocity bill, would undercut existing state and local protections for victims of domestic and dating violence -- and would replace those protections with the weakest gun laws in the country!  Do you want to make it easier for domestic abusers to get guns and to terrorize, stalk, and kill their victims?

Currently, every state has its own concealed carry permitting requirements. Some states’ firearms laws are more protective of victims of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, while other states provide almost no firearms protections for survivors. Under the Constitution, each state has the individual authority to say who can and cannot carry concealed firearms within their borders. Under the Constitution, anyone traveling with a concealed firearm from their state of residence to another state must follow the concealed carry permit laws of the state to which they travel unless the two states have a reciprocity agreement.  This makes victims of domestic violence safer. Why would you support legislation to take away these protections?

H.R. 38 would force every state to accept other states’ concealed carry permits, even if the out-of-state concealed carry permit was issued to a domestic violence offender who would be prohibited from obtaining such a permit in the travel state.  This is a clear violation of the Constitution’s recognition of states’ rights, and it is dangerous for victims of domestic violence.

  • Survivors often relocate to other states to escape their abusers, sometimes seeking refuge in states that have stronger firearms protections.
  • Many states have stronger laws than the federal government, including prohibiting dating violence and stalking misdemeanants from possessing firearms and/or from carrying loaded, concealed guns in public.
  • Twelve states currently have no requirement that an individual must apply for and obtain a state permit to carry concealed firearms. Anyone in these states, regardless of prior acts of violence, can just pick up a gun, conceal it in their clothing, and go anywhere they want in the state. This could be the standard for the whole country if Congress passes these bills.
  • H.R. 38 would make it easy for domestic violence offenders who are ineligible for a permit in their states of residence to “shop” for states with weak concealed carry permit laws and to avoid being turned down for a concealed carry permit in a state that is more protective of survivors.
  • H.R. 38 has a provision that threatens law enforcement with lawsuits if they try to enforce their own state’s firearms laws that protect victims and survivors. This would punish law enforcement for doing their jobs -- and would put law enforcement officers in danger, as well as survivors.
  • State and federal firearms databases are not well-maintained or up-to-date. They don’t have the records needed to perform effective background checks in many cases. H.R. 38 depends on a fully functioning National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Unless Congress also provides sufficient funding to bring these databases up-to-date, there is no way for law enforcement to make sure domestic violence offenders are not carrying concealed firearms in violation of federal law.

For all of these reasons, I urge you to OPPOSE H.R.38 as a stand-alone bill and/or as an amendment to other legislation and to oppose H.R. 3668, the SHARE Act, which puts communities at risk by deregulating silencers and aiding gun traffickers.  The lives of women, children, men and law enforcement rest in your hands. 

Sincerely,

[Your name]

 

Sample Tweet 1: @[Legislator’s Twitter handle] Fed-mandated concealed carry reciprocity harms victims of DV & endangers law enforcement. #DVAM2017 #NoGuns4Abusers #NoHR38

Sample Tweet 2: @[Legislator’s Twitter handle] The SHARE Act, deregulating silencers & aiding gun traffickers, harms victims of DV #DVAM2017 #NoGuns4Abusers #NoHR3668

Sample Facebook Post:  As a constituent, I ask you to oppose federally-mandated concealed carry reciprocity.   It makes it harder for law enforcement to protect victims of domestic violence, puts victims of domestic violence and law enforcement officers at risk of gun violence, is a violation of the Constitution’s guarantee of states’ rights, and makes our communities less safe.

Posted by Lynn Brewer-Muse at 8:58 AM

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