The U.S. House of Representatives may give domestic violence offenders the right to stalk their intimate partners across state lines with guns, which often leads to murder. In the next few weeks, the House plans to vote for H.R. 38, sponsored by Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC), that would allow abusers to carry concealed firearms into any state. This bill would replace existing state and local protections for victims of domestic and dating violence with some of the weakest gun laws in the country. H.R. 38 would force every state to recognize 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 due to crimes such as stalking, dating violence and other crimes of violence convictions that do not trigger the federal domestic violence prohibitors.
Contact your Members of Congress NOW. Click here to find your Representative. You can find their Twitter handles here. Tell them:
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, which imposes federally-mandated concealed carry reciprocity on my state. 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. I urge [name of Member of Congress] to oppose it as well.”
Sample Facebook Post On Member Page: 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.
Currently, each state has the individual authority to say who can and cannot carry concealed firearms within their borders, and travelers must follow the law. Some states’ firearms laws are stronger for victims of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, while some states provide almost no protections for survivors from abusers with guns.
This dangerous bill would also put law enforcement at risk, as they would be unable to confirm validity of out-of-state permits, endangering their safety, and would punish law enforcement for doing their jobs if they investigate the validity of such permits.
A more thorough explanation of the bill and consequences is available here.
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 norequirement that an individual must apply for and obtain a state permit to carry concealed firearms. None of these twelve states requires a background check for private gun sales. Anyone in these states, regardless of prior acts of violence, can just pick up a gun, conceal it in their clothing, and go almost 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 to “shop” for a state 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.
Law enforcement’s ability to remove firearms based on federal law is hindered by the limitations of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Domestic violence offenses not always entered, and further not always labelled as domestic violence offenses. 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.