To the Editor:
I don’t want no wild-eyed, gun totin’ good ole boys from out west comin’ up here to Row Dylan packin’ heat.
This seems to be the sentiment of critics like Cranston’s Tom Wojick, who is concerned that the “Fix NICS Act” of 2017 will “strip the rights of states to regulate the safe and responsible use of weapons.” In this he joins our left-leaning congressional delegation.
Mr. Wojick “[doesn’t] trust Idaho and Arizona which have no permit process.” He doesn’t have to look that far. Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are constitutional carry states – no permit required. He also doesn’t have to worry. The bill says a state does not have to recognize the right of a resident of a permitless state to carry concealed or openly.
The Fix NICS Act is a response to the mass shooting by a domestic abuser who was committed to and escaped from an institution for the mentally ill and dishonorably discharged from the Air Force, which did not report him to the FBI database.
The bill by Democrats would give government agencies cash bonuses for putting names in the database –something they are required by law to do anyway. This will result in cases like the veteran who suffered a broken back in Iraq and who assigned an attorney-in-fact to act on his behalf while he underwent rehabilitation for his injury. The VA entered this man’s name into NICS and it took him a year and a half and thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees to clear his name.
The GOP amended the bill (taking a page from the Democrats playbook) to include a provision that states honor concealed carry permits issued by another state. The fact is over 40 states already do so.
This will stop abuses like the single mother from Pennsylvania who was stopped in New Jersey for a motor vehicle violation. She dutifully told the law enforcement officer that she had a concealed carry permit and had a firearm on her. She was detained and charged under New Jersey law for carrying without a permit and was only saved from jail by a pardon from then-governor Chris Christie.
The fact is all states require a background check, fingerprints and photographs and other requirements for issuing a concealed carry permit. Some states do not require an applicant demonstrate a level of proficiency with a handgun. Rhode Island does. Some states require applicants to attend a certain number of classroom hours and pass a test. Rhode Island does not.
All states recognize and honor driver licenses issued by another state although the requirements may differ. The same should be true of concealed carry permits.
Richard J. August