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Protect survivors from gun violence: Stop H.R. 38

ACTION ALERT: Contact Your House Representative Members TODAY and Urge Them to Oppose H.R. 38

The U.S. House of Representatives wants to give domestic violence offenders the right to stalk and kill their intimate partners across state lines.
Protect survivors from gun violence: Stop H.R. 38!

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CONGRESS RIGHT NOW

Next week, the House is planning to vote on a bill that would make it terrifyingly easy for abusers to legally carry concealed firearms into other states when stalking their victims. 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.

In a sneaky attempt to pass the H.R.38, the House majority is bundling federally-mandated concealed carry reciprocity (CCR) with a bill that we do support, the Fix NICS Act of 2017 (H.R. 4477).   The combined measure would negate protections offered by the FIX NICS Act. Despite our support for Fix NICS, we vigorously oppose CCR, and we therefore we also adamantly oppose this 'guns package' and urge you to take action.

"Concealed carry reciprocity" 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.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT

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 #NoGuns4Abusers, #NoCCR, #NoHR38). Tell them to vote NO on the gun package. Use our sample scripts below or use your own!

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.  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.
  • 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.

Sample Telephone Script:

"My name is [your name], and I am from [your location and, if applicable, your organization; if you are a constituent, identify yourself as such].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.  House leadership has decided to bundle the Fix NICS Act with H.R.38.  Although I support Fix NICS Act, I adamantly oppose any gun package that includes concealed carry, and I very strongly urge Representative [your Representative's name] to vote against the package!

Sample Email:

Dear Representative [Representative's name],

My name is [your name], and I am a constituent from [your location and, if applicable, organization; if you are a constituent, identify yourself as such]. 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.

The House will be voting on H.R.38, bundled with the Fix NICS Act.  While I support Fix NICS, I cannot support a gun package that includes CCR.  I oppose this package, and I urge you to oppose it, too! 

Sincerely,

[Your name]

Sample Tweet (280 characters):
@[Legislator's Twitter handle] Fed-mandated concealed carry reciprocity harms victims of DV & endangers law enforcement. Vote NO on the gun package that includes HR38. #NoCCR #NoGuns4Abusers

Sample Facebook Post:  

As a constituent, I ask you to oppose the upcoming gun package.  Federally-mandated concealed carry reciprocity 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.  Any package with CCR is dangerous, and I very strongly urge you to oppose it. 

Posted by Lynn Brewer-Muse at 1:37 PM
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